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Hollowbody basses - how often do you gig yours??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Groove Doctor, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Who here gigs with their Hollowbody (HB) bass?
    What music/ context do you play it in?

    I scored a 70's Aria 30.5" scale HB with single coils that looks amazing, but just doesn't cut it for gigging. Gets lost in the mix so easily, even quieter gigs.

    Then I bought a Duesenberg Starplayer 30.5" scale semi-HB with humbuckers that seems to work better, but isn't far different from a Fender P when playing in louder gigs.

    Just wondering if anyone else had a similar experience and sold their HB bass?
    Have you missed it or regretted the sale?
    What do you play now instead?
  2. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    I play an EB-2dc off and on. It has a thunderous quality that works well for some things. It can also do a warm, woody sound that works well for some things. The oddball Japanese hollowbody hasn't been around long enough to take it out on a gig, but it sounds a lot more like an upright than any bass guitar should. So, it's probably going to go out eventually. What's appropriate music for these? Who knows - whatever I think is a good idea at the time.

    I probably won't sell either one unless I'm under some kind of extreme duress.
  3. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    My main gig is a Beatles tribute so I play a Hofner hollowbody every show. With my original band I play a Gibson Midtown and Dipinto Belvedere. With my friend's Tom Petty band I play a Schecter Baron H.
  4. Because I set up my hollow/semi-hollows with flats and go for a an old school woody tubby tone, I use those basses for music that calls for that tone. I used them a lot when I played for a retro-country band.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I have an Ibanez (forgot the model) that I've so far only taken to a rehearsal. It did, as you say, get lost in the mix. I'm planning to use it on some acoustic gigs, but it hasn't happened yet. The bass sounds really rich and full in the house. Especially when ABed with others, not sure what's up with band mix thing. May just need to be EQed radically different from what I'm accustomed to with my other basses. I realized a while back that I've grown so comfortable with what I'm accustomed to on amp dials, that it's almost sacreligious for me to stray very from that. I love the look and feel of this bass, so I plan to keep experimenting.
  6. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Hurst, tx
    My main gigging bass was my Coronado from '68 to mid 70's, then I bought a Jazz. I played R&B, Blues, what is now call Classic Rock, and Psychedelic Rock, with no problem.

  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    For a couple of years, a DiPinto Belvedere semi-HB was one of my main gigging basses, and it never got lost in the mix. With hot single coils, 34" scale, and an ebony fretboard, it had plenty of cut with rounds, almost like a semi-HB Jazz with both pickups on, or a semi-HB Precision on the neck pickup. It sounded fantastic in heavy rock band mixes, with decent clarity seasoned with a little "thud."

    I loved it, but sold it because: 1) drop-tuners didn't work reliably on it, I think because of the trapeze tailpiece; 2) I got a G&L SB-2, which did the deep and heavy thing just as well, with better ergonomics; and 3) I hated the long reach to first position caused by the strap button at the 15th fret. I improved the reach issue with a strap button extender, but it still wasn't as comfy as my Fenders or G&L's.
  8. With my soul band the Epi Jack Casady became my main gigging bass. I got one with TI flats and one with coated slinkys and they do the job great. I just got a Midtown a week ago and will take it to rehearsal tomorrow.

    That said, my like 15 other basses don't get much playing time at the moment...
  9. lowfreqguy


    Oct 18, 2000
    Baltimore, MD
    My Washburn AB95 is very cool, but doesn't have the hefty sound needed to drive my top 40/rock band. When I do take it out, it's usually to a church gig, or a second bass to my Modulus Q5.
  10. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    With my roots-rock group, I use my '70 Univox Coily for EVERY rehearsal & gig... It's the only bass that that band's leader is interested in hearing... The front pickup has an on-again-off-again issue dropping out that I cannot figure out, but for the last several months it hasn't been an issue... Sits perfectly in the mix!

  11. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    My Midtown is my go to bass these days.
  12. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    When I had my old hollow body Rickenbacker bass I gigged with it fairly often. I still play my Rick Turner RB4FL.
  13. Played the Duesy last night thru a different head - old SWR Studio 220. Mostly fingerstyle this time, but also with a jazz pick (smaller size & thicker).

    Very expressive.... Sounded brilliant in the mix with boosting low-mid fatness @120Hz, finger attack @1.6kHz, and sibilance/air @5kHz. I liked the Chromes on it when set this way.

    It also sounded amazing when played thru an AI Clarus+. Not so with the Mesa Walkabout, (though that's def the amp of choice for the Aria with single coils and TI's).
  14. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    When I was playing 300+/- shows a year, every night.

    Our opening set was the full B-Side of Abbey Road with 5 vocals.

    Winter temps, rapid temperature changes from outside, inside to under hot stage lights does take a toll.

    Note the checking in the finish to my '66 Hofner.

  15. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    My Ibanez afb200 is my #1 in our alt-country band. Here's a pic from this winter with a couple friends sitting in with us.

  16. I play my 1989 Jack Casady bass out every week. It's very dependable and perfect.
  17. My late 60's/early 70's Eko semi-HB works very well in rehearsal, but I've yet to try it at a gig. However, I trust it'll do the job, it has such a presence in the mix. I play in a three-piece with one guitarist so there's not that much to cut through.

    I have it set up with steel rounds, which gives it a quite versatile tone.
  18. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Usually use hollow bodies for quieter sit down gigs when feedback is not an issue. I find the larger bodies more comfortable in the sitting position.
  19. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Dano Longhorn here . Never had any problems , one of the most stable necks I own .
  20. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I use an old 60's fully hollow Yamaha SA70 for about a third of my session work! It has a unique 'thing' that works great on more "vibey" material. I will be buried with it. I blogged about the bass here:

    I use a Waterstone Cestus (Hopf copy, sorta Hofner-ish) with aftermarket staple pickups a lot with my surf/rock instrumental band. We only gig maybe 8-12 times a year. I use it on a fair amount of our material though.

    There's an Epiphone Rivoli that I heavily modified (different electronics and added a bridge mini humbucker). It has that old, dub reggae sound to it. I use it primarily in the studio but very infrequently. It does a unique thing in my collection that I need for those few times on a track.

    Right now, I'm converting an Ibanez AGB140 to BEAD tuning. I don't use that bass hardly at all any more, but maybe will find new use for it as a low-tuned 4 string? I did tour with it extensively about 8 years ago for a pop-country gig. It was a weird time for me, lol! Probably did about 100 shows with it that year.