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HELP: What kinda bass is this??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lordie, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. lordie


    Jun 25, 2003
    I got this bass as a swap (for a Pentium II PC) for my 16 yr old son who'd like to start playing bass (he's a drummer).

    The markings say it is a Hondo Fame Series 861. I search the net and could not find even one place that reffers to this type of base.

    It has 2 dials (volume/tone?) and 2 toggle switches, one with 2 possitions and one with 3 positions.. see picture below...

    Is this bass good enough for a beginner?
    What kind of Amp would you'all recomend?

    Thanks in advance!


  2. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I have heard of Hondo Basses, though not this particular Fame series. From what I have heard about Hondo their basses should be fine for a beginner.
  3. Hondo maker Fame Series 861 modle. i forget what happen to them.
  4. lordie


    Jun 25, 2003
    could you recomend an Amp? Make? Wattage?

    Also, whay does it have 2 sets of pickups?
  5. It actually looks pretty odd lol. The middle pickup is based off of Leo Fender's Precision bass pickup that, one of THE classic pickup designs. On a Fender Precision bass it is much closer to the fretboard however. The lower one looks to be two jazz pickups, possibly humbuckers (these operate slightly out of phase reducing hum). There are two because position and type of pickup drastically affects the way it sounds. Combining them also makes it interesting.

    It definitely looks interested and certainly good enough for a beginner.

    For an amp, a combo practice amp of 15-30W is good enough. If he plans on actually practicing with friends, esspecially a drummer he will need more power, but for just himself 15-30 is good. Any music store should have that small of an amp.

    Those switches could be any number of things. The 3 position one seems most likely to me to be switching between pickups (Bridge, combined, Middle), and the second one might have to do with the bridge pickup, perhaps making it series or parallel? I am going out on a tangent on that second one since it could be any NUMBER of things, but I think I am right about the first. I suggest you take it in to a bass store when you get your amp and ask for assistance from a bass player who can give you a better description of what each does from hearing it.
  6. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    hey, get a behringer amp, or something similar. They're quite inexpensive and they sound alright. I would reccoment the BX600. It's 60 watts, single 12" speaker. Pretty Loud. Might be able to play with a drummer that knows how toy control volume.
  7. lordie


    Jun 25, 2003
    Masamax: thanks for the info. I wanted to get the feel for the bass before I go and put down more $$ for an amp...

    My budget for the bass/amp is $300+ but now that the bass was "free" I can shell some $200 for a 50+ Watts amp... pluss new strings, picks, cable, etc. etc. :)
  8. Well, I am not sure it's worth it.

    IMO, to be heard well over a precussion set and guitarest, you need at least 100W. For a practice amp I wouldn't recommend anything over 30 since all you will be using it for is practice. If/when an amp is needed for practicing with a band money will have to be spent on that. I currently play through a Ampeg 2x10 which cost me about $1500 Canadian, however for about $500-600 CAD you can get a 100W amp easy that is good quality.

    The bigger an amp is the harder it is to transport. 30W is ample power to be heard over guitarests' practice amps, 50 is a bit excessive in that regard, but as soon as precussion comes in it's probably 100W minimum.

    Just wanted to mention that since you can be talking like 15-20 lbs. more from 15-50W so be careful you only get what you need. Your son may end up upgrading basses and at that time upgrade his amp as well.
  9. personally, i dont feel you will need 100W to be heard above a kit. i play in a band with a guitarist who uses a 30W amp and a full kit, and i use a 65W Marshall amp and barely get the volume past half on the dial and can easily hear myself! 50W will be fine for practice amp and can be used in a band situation. i also have a Peavey Microbass amp that i use for practicing, cost me £60 2nd hand (about $40 i think) i think theyr about £100 new ($70-80) but someone will correct me on that! but they are one of the best amps you will find for the money and can go as loud as you'd like, i dont use mine in the band because i have a nicer amp that i prefer, but im sure it would work great.

    as for the bass, as far as i know, Hondo weren't the best of basses, but for a beginner it will be fine, and seens its free its not much of a problem is it!?

    Hope that helps!

  10. I guess it's all a matter of opinion on amps. My 250W Ampeg hsa to work hard to compete with my guitarests and drummer, but my guitarests use 100W amps, and the drummer is pretty fierce. I like the power to shake walls anyways ;)
  11. BassDodger

    BassDodger Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    Funny- the very 1st bass I ever played and owned was a Hondo Percision knock-off. That was 20 years ago...

    Perfect for a beginer!
  12. Malcom


    Oct 21, 2002
    The Midwest
    I think the Fame series was Hondo's attempt at making a "higher end" instrument than the usual import crap. Unfortunately, by this point they had a bad reputation of making poor quality instruments, so the series was to late to save the company.

    My dad has some '80's Guitar Player magazines which have ads for the Fame series promoting solid wood bodies, natural finishes, and active electronics.
  13. I played a Hondo P-bass knockoff, and I was in love with it! Get that bass! That bridge is nice and massive, and gives off a BadAss bridge kind of vibe. Excellent playing bass. And check my sig for an amp too! :D
  14. lordie


    Jun 25, 2003
    I have decided on a Behringer BX1200 ($249), and now I am looking for a tuner in the range of $20-$45..

    Recomendations? Specific brands? types?

    Thanks in advance,

  15. I have this Korg Chromatic tuner that I got for 20 bucks, its small and runs off 2 AAA's, and it tunes to every note, unlike the really really cheap tuners that tune to designated notes.
  16. Yes, get the Korg Chromatic or Bass/Guitar tuner.
  17. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    its a "magic bass",if you plant it in the soil it will grow into a giant bass neck shaped tree,which when climbed to the top will bring you to the Fender Custom Shop. LOL!! only joking,the answers you got are acurate. good luck:bassist: