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Hellcat VI

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by royjulius, May 18, 2011.


  1. royjulius

    royjulius

    Jul 30, 2010
    Hey all you guys and gals that have Hellcat VIs, is there any neck-dive on these things? I'm getting ready to order one. Also, how does the neck feel? Can you get the action set up good without buzzes and not too high?
     
  2. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Is that a baritone, or something like a Bass VI?
     
  3. This dude I used to jam with had one and it was awesomely fun to play, but the smaller gauge strings don't really give you that oomph you're used to for bass. No neck dive that I remember & the neck was good. Plays way more like a guitar than a bass for sure though.
     
  4. nocontrols

    nocontrols

    Apr 2, 2011
    These things baffle me... I could never figure out if it's a guitar or bass. I guess it depends on how it's used?
     
  5. Bread Knife

    Bread Knife

    Oct 8, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    There is a club for Bass VI-type basses on Talkbass. You should find it if you do a search for Hellcat. I think lots of those guys have them; they should chime in if you ask on the club thread.
     
  6. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    I own one of these. Great instrument!
    To answer some questions:
    Yes, it is a Bass VI type instrument. It's a 30" scale instrument that has six strings strung in a standard E-E setup. With some judicious EQing and the right strings you can definitely cop some bass vibe with this instrument. It can also do some guitar things as well, and is great for arpeggios and simple chords (you would need to get used to the larger strings, scale length, and string spacing however). You can play it fingerstyle with some practice, but it really is an instrument best suited to a pick (IMHO and YMMV of course).

    I received mine from the factory (my local shop is a dealer and didn't have one in stock, so I got a brand-spanking new one that was setup at the factory).

    I haven't personally noticed any neck dive with this instrument. Mind you, I am using Comfort Strapps with all of my instruemnts at present. I do not know how much the neoprene strap would combat neck dive, but it does not feel like it is going to even if I used a regular strap. I would definitely suggest getting some Labella strings for your Hellcat. The strings are made specifically for the Hellcat VI and don't require you to change your current setup much at all (at least I didn't need to change the action or intonation as it was set from the factory... mind you that the factory is in Los Angeles and my Hellcat traveled all of ~30 miles to get to me, so there was no climatic change in getting it to me). The stock D'Addario strings didn't really do anything for me (YMMV of course). Elderly Instruments usually has them in stock. They come in flatwound (HC-6F), nickel (HC-6N) and stainless steel (HC-6S). I have two of each set of strings, but so far have only strung up with the nickel strings (love em!).
     
  7. There is no neck dive with my Hellcat VI. The neck feels very nice, slick and smooth, well-finished. Set-up has never been a problem. I have LaBella flatwounds on mine and it sounds absolutely like a bass. Of course I could play through the bridge pickup in single coil mode and through some tube overdrive to get some guitar-like bite if I really wanted to.

    I recorded a crappy soundfile demo back in 2009 (when I still had roundwounds on it):
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/74520122-0348-4bd0-94b9-296a7f2b42c6/Hellcat-VI-dry-demo
     
  8. nocontrols

    nocontrols

    Apr 2, 2011
    What are the gauges of each string? Is the low E higher than a bass's low E but lower than a guitar's?
     
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I tried one out in a store and was really intrigued. I'm very much GASsing for one, or another bass VI like it. Didn't notice any neck dive but then I didn't have it on a strap, just on my lap on a stool.

    The thing is, I think you'd really need to think about technique with it. You can't strum open guitar chords on it, it's too muddy, but just playing it like a bass wouldn't use the full potential of the instrument. I'm thinking in a duo or trio setting, maybe playing fingerstyle more like a classical guitar, you could do some great things with it.
     
  10. royjulius

    royjulius

    Jul 30, 2010
    Thanks for all of the info guys. I plan to use it mostly as a bass, but I will step out and do some harmony with the guitar player occasionally while the keyboards hold the bottom end down for a few bars. I think it will add another cool dimension to my band. I can't wait to get one of these!
     
  11. royjulius

    royjulius

    Jul 30, 2010
    Wow, Lunarpollen, Thanks for posting that bit. It's the clearest sample of this instrument I've heard yet. That thing really has a full warm sound. Do you remember which amp you were playing thru on that demo?
     
  12. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    The low E on a typical bass is exactly an octave below a guitar, so it can't be anything in between.
     
  13. royjulius

    royjulius

    Jul 30, 2010
    I just pulled the trigger on a sunburst Hellcat VI!! I sprung for 2 day shipping so that I have time to set it up before next weekend. What a great day. I sold a Roland vs-880 and a mountain bike to get it.
     
  14. How did you like it?
     

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