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HOLLOWBODY BASS SELECTION: Which would you choose?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by uberman, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. uberman


    Nov 5, 2013
    I have had a lot of basses over the years...lots of Gretchs, fenders, birdsongs, music man, kala, lakland, Ibanez, epiphone, Gibson, etc. I have sold them all and now have been playing live in an 3 piece alt country/American original act. So, Im looking for a bass that fits the look and sound-semi hollow or hollow. Ill put tapewound flatwounds on the instrument when I get it. So far ive narrowed my choice to the following:

    lakland Skyline 30 hollowbody: Iver owned on in the past and wish I still had it. However, it had a very thick and more modern sound and not a lot of that tubby thump that I love...still, a great, solid and reliable bass that would really hold up night after night.

    Gibson Midtown: Long scale and great bass but again no real thump in the sound when played with flats and a pick...still a great bass with a nice throaty growl which makes it a contender.

    Fender Coronado II reissue: I don't give a rats ass about it being made in China. What Im looking for is quality of the build and the sound. I like the fact that it has the fidelatrons for pickups, is short scale and semi hollow. Stung with flats, muted and played with a pick it might be the one...some great online videos.

    Fender Starcaster: Same as above but I'm a little leary of the big ol humbuckers killing any old school tone.

    Gretsch Electrotone: Intrigued....cant find many sound clips....

    Gretsch Thunderjet: had one, nice, but barely played it. Very nasal, mid sounding bass. Like the look a lot more than the sound.

    Gretsch Electromatic: Had one. Nice woody airy sound but a bit on the muddy side with a overly boomy bass sound.

    Hofner Verythin: Love the sound clips. This thing sounds great but very few music stores carry it and Ill have to finance the bass through the store. Video clip online of a guy demoing this is the best video Ive seen of someone who understands hollowbody, shortscale basses. Played to perfection and very informative.

    DeAngelico Ex Bass: Don't know much about this one. Like 99% of the bass guitar videos, people start slapping at damn near ripping the strings off the body when playing-just garbled poopie. its nice when someone plays a shorty with some style instead of trying to overplay.

    Gibson 2015 es les paul bass: Love the look of this thing, but have yet to hear anyone review them or hear any sound clips. And the price-That's an awful expensive bass to be gigging with, and I'm one who believes you should play your tools and not stick em in a shrine.

    Epiphone: Owned the Allen Woody. Nice, but boomy/muddy at times. Not interested in the Jack Bruce one.

    That's all for now....I guess If I had to bite on one today it would probably be the Coronado II, the Verythin or the Lakland. However, the Lakland and Hofner aren't carried by many, so I'd probably go Coronado for a solid, gigging hollowbody....
  2. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Eastwood guitars have a few models comparable in quality to those.
    blindrabbit and bholder like this.
  3. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Ibanez Art Core series. I have the full hollowbody AFB 200 and I love it. It has a lot of thump and wood and can be a bit muddy, but I can dial in some treble on the tone. Awesome with a pick. The semi-hollows have a little less woody thump.

  4. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Does it have to be new? An Epiphone Rivoli is a good choice. Go back farther and you might be able to pick up a solid EB-2 for a reasonable, if high, price. Then there are all the oddballs out there. I picked up a Canora (I think that's what it is) for $100. It's a Japanese hollowbody from the 1960s with a lurid porno-burst finish, matching headstock, and a weird triangular pickguard that covers the tops of the f-holes. It sounds great, and it's got a huge laminated neck that's probably going to survive Armageddon. The pickup and sound are far better than they have any right to be. It sounds like muffled upright unplugged and has a wonderful thump when plugged in. I think the pickup is a single coil, but it's not too noisy.
    Obese Chess likes this.
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I assume you mean the Epi Jack Casady, as the only Jack Bruce signature model I've heard of is by Warwick. ;) Too bad, they're quite possibly the best of the lot.
    1stnamebassist and NightCat like this.
  6. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess I'm Your New Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Seconded on an old Epiphone. I had no use for my EA-260 so I sold it, but that thing just SANG. There's a used one for sale locally and I've been nostalgia trippin' every time I go into that guitar store.
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    +1. I sold my original, regretted it, now have 2, am trying to keep myself from bidding on another on ebay right now. ;)
  8. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess I'm Your New Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    I don't regret selling it and am glad it went to a good home, but boy it sounded good.
  9. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I'd definitely go for the Allen Woody Rumblekat.
    I missed one awhile back and really regret it. One of the only short scale basses I like and a bargain for the price.
    Tone issue can be helped with either an Electro Harmonix Steel Leather Bass Expander...$50 and change or an Aphex Aural Exciter pedal...around the same price used.
    Worked great with my old Thunderbird.
    Both pedals are often overlooked but definitely have their uses.
  10. FloridaTim


    May 29, 2013
    Kissimmee, FL
    I went with the Jack Casady for the 34 inch scale. Some of the other might be also, but many are short scale.

    I love mine.
    bholder and 1stnamebassist like this.
  11. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    There's also the Guild Starfire or M85. Those BiSonic pickups just love flats or tapes.
    One Drop and old spice like this.
  12. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
  13. Anyone got an opinion on the Duesenberg Starplayer?
  14. rockscott


    Aug 28, 2010
    I have a 15 year old Ibanez artcore 140 (single pup). I cant say I have tried every hollow body out there, but the ones I have played & owned (epiphone,fender,gretsch) don't compare to artcore tone!
  15. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Have you tried the Harmony H22, Guild Starfire, and Kay reissues?

    All three originals had classic HB tones and one might do the trick for you. i have an original Harmony and it has a great sound with flats. I also have an original Starfire and it is a killer with TIs, a great sounding and playing bass.

    I find for tubby fat short scale HB tones the various Höfners are unbeatable, if you play with a pick.
  16. Jeff Elkins

    Jeff Elkins Supporting Member

    That website is incredibly non-mobile-friendly.
  17. And Warwick Starbass. The only one I am aware that comes in 5 strings.
  18. LarryBama

    LarryBama Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2013
    I just got my Ibanez Artcore AGB205 last week. Work is keeping me too busy to totally dive into it, but am a totally in love with its sound and feel!
  19. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    It's not very friendly with a regular browser, either...

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