Hollowbody Bass Guitars

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gear_Junky, Jul 21, 2000.

  1. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    I don't see too many of these discussed. So what are some good [currently made] hollowbody basses? Include "beatle" basses, etc.
  2. zeta


    Jun 16, 2000
    I have a Hofner Beatle bass, s/n 937 that I would not part with, and a Guild Starfire II. In fact, I like the Guild so much I just bought a DeArmond version of it to save the Guild. Gretsch also makes two such basses, but I have not seen one in person, but I expect that they are excellent. Hollowbody basses are capable of yielding a deep, warm tone that solid body basses can't. Every bassist should have at least one hollow body. Musicians Friend has a deal on the DeArmond Starfire for only $299.00. Buy one, now!
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'm starting to jones for a Lakland hollowbody. Trouble is, they're not making a 5-string, which I require. I have one of their 55-94 Deluxe basses, and the workmanship is superb. The danged hollowbody lists out at about $4200 and up, so it's going to be a while in the dream stage.
  4. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    Zeta, the DeArmond Starfire bass looks pretty good to me. How does it compare to the beatle and to the original Guild? How are those pickups?

    With archtop and hollowbodies is it desirable to have a "solid top" like on bettter acoustics (if this even exists) or is "laminated maple" just right?

    It seems to have a shorter scale, but I guess that's supposed to be that way, no?

    What are the string choices for hollows? Do you put rounds or flats on them?

    BTW, Zeta, did the DeArmond come with case or do they offer a nice case for it and how much? Thanks!
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    We can't have a hollow body bass discussion without mentioning Linc Luthier basses. All their basses are hollow body style and feature passive electronics. I've never seen one, though.

    Will C. [​IMG]

    I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard working guy.

  6. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Yamaha have just introduced a semi-acoustic bass guitar. It's called the BEX4C (or something like that). BassNW.com has photos of two (orange and blueburst) under the "new exotic basses" section. RRP is around £550, I believe. They look very appealing.

  7. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    Hm, the Yamaha looks interesting - it's got a bridge piezo pickup (nice) but a soapbar in the middle and active preamp? I'm used to seeing passive humbuckers on the archtop hollowbodies. I'd be interested in trying this one out, but so far the DeArmond Starfire bass looks more interesting, at least until I try 'em.
  8. slam

    slam Guest

    Mar 22, 2000
    You must also mention the Rick Turner Renaissance and the Rob Allen MB-2. Also Warwick now has a hollow body. Plus there is the Jack Cassidy signature bass from Epiphone. I believe the Reverend Rumblefish is semi-hollow. I myself have a POS Hofner copy from Japan. Not my fav bass, but good to have when the Roscoe Beck gets to be too much for my back.

    A question for you people who gig with hollow-bodied basses, do you have feedback problems?
  9. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    I was wondering if the size makes much difference. Like if we compared a similar construction "beatle" bass and a classic "archtop" (like the Starfire), would there be a major difference in sound?

    I was listening to a Beatles song and the bass there sounded suh-weet! Almost like an upright. Would the starfire sound similar? Zeta, you mentioned having both, so how do they compare?
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I really like the Rob Allens. They have one sound, but that sound is so deep and full it's ridiculous. Let me know if you see one for sale [​IMG]

    BW, I've seen and played several Linc's (unfortunately that name makes me think of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp). They played well and sounded fine but the styling seriously falls into the "acquired taste" category for me [​IMG] I think the styling makes them hard to sell, definitely not mainstream. This translates into low purchase prices though, so if you like them you can probably find one cheap.
  11. Tim Shea

    Tim Shea

    Dec 13, 1999
    One of my friends has a Rob Allen 4 string fretless. Sound is awesome!!!!!
  12. loudfunk


    Jul 16, 2000
    there's always the Azolas, Bebensee...and Conklin as well.


    Nothing in music is difficult...only unfamiliar.-Ken Werner
  13. Al Steen

    Al Steen

    Feb 1, 2000
    I've tried the D'Armond and while it's built nicely it doesn't sound anything like my Guild. It's only about half as loud and just doesn't have the punch.
    For my money I'd get the JC Epi, 34" scale and tone to the bone!
    Of course the new Guild Starfires are awfully nice also [​IMG] .. Al mp3.com/badart
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I really like my DeArmond Starfire. I play short scale, so my choices are limited to begin with. I have no complaints about the factory pickups, either.

    "Why sharpen the plow when you can just beat the mule?"

    [This message has been edited by HeavyDuty (edited July 22, 2000).]
  15. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have the Epi Casady bass.In a word-EXCELLENT!Their Viola bass is supposed to be great as well but ive not had a chance to try one yet.Some folks at the FDP say they like it better than the Hofner.The DeArmond is pretty nice and at the price MF is selling them for,its even more attractive.The Guild is VERY nice as is the new Lakland but cost quite a bit more than the others.Especially the Lakland.One of the guys that posts here,Steve Barr(Dude)is a Lakland dealer and will give you a good price if your interested.Hes one of the VERY FEW i would buy a bass from mail order.Good luck!
  16. Bruce Ridinger

    Bruce Ridinger

    Dec 18, 1999
    The Epi Jack Casady (34" scale) is a very well-made, comfortable and cool sounding hollow body. One of the best out there that can accomodate a variety of music styles. Sometimes you can get one for $500-600 used.

    The Epi Viola (short scale) is another well-made semi-hollow with 2 mini-humbucking PU's providing low-end punch. It's very light and fun to play.

    However, the sharp lines of the viola shape, sans the usual bass body comfort contours, takes a while to get used to. The neck is thinner than most basses along with narrower string spacing.

    This is fine for smaller hands, but tends to cramp those with longer than average fingers or big hands. It still plays fine for many songs and recording situations, but probably not desirable as the main gigging instrument. It's a bit fragile with a set neck, floating bridge etc.

    The Guild Starfire (in black) is a geat looking hollow. Just A-1 workmanship and a lot of gut power. Tough to find though, since once bought, they rarely on the market.
  17. Bass66


    May 18, 2000
    I reiterate that the Epiphone Jack Casady is great, you can see my review in the dropbox at the end of the forum.

    The only thing I didn't like were the strings. I threw on some nice flatwounds and the sound is really great. With flats, you can get all those great MaCartney type sounds
    as well as cool reggae vibes. I haven't had the chance to try the flats in the context of the band but I think it will sound great.

    All in all, I'm really happy with the hollowbody bass sound, it has a lot more presence than the Jazz
  18. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    No one's yet mentioned the Godin A4. It's a great sounding, albeit plain-looking instrument, and it sells for around $450 street.
  19. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    Bass 66,which flats are you using.I tried some Labella deep talkin flats on mine just out of curiosity.Sounded pretty nice,good percusive punch,kinda dark,nice smooth,even tone.
  20. Al Steen

    Al Steen

    Feb 1, 2000
    Gotta tell ya that my Starfire just kills with Pyramid Flatwounds! .. Al