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Icon/Turser/Epiphone Viola??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rickochet, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Rickochet


    Mar 30, 2009
    Hi all, I'm new to the bass (and to the forum), and would like the benefits of your experience. My goal is strictly recreational, to play Beatles and comparable stuff as a hobby. I can't afford a German-made Hofner and would like to know which among the "cheapies" - Hofner Icon, Jay Turser, Epiphone Viola - is the best alternative, sound/playability/quality-wise. Thanks, and nice to be with you all!

  2. Check out the Douglas violin basses at rondomusic.com also. They are probably the least expensive violin basses and I'd bet they are made in the same factory as the Turser and Epiphone.

    Rick B.
  3. rfclef


    Jan 19, 2007
    Woodburn, Oregon
    I have the Epiphone, and I love it... the Douglas does look very similar... I personally like the vol vol tone 3 knob setup that the epi (and the douglas, I think) has... One thing I also like is that the Epi has a Zero Fret... I just like the Zero fret... most of my basses have em... EPI gets my vote, but you would probably like the Douglas too
  4. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass Rick.

    Once, a long time ago I had the Epi, and while nothing spectacular, it was a decent instrument that I can recommend.

    If the looks aren't the most important aspect, but the sound, check (Google ;)) for 60's Höfner 182.

    Looks like a Jag/Strat, but has the same pickups and same kind of neck as the "real deal", but for a fraction of the price.

  5. I had the Viola some years ago and felt it was more solid than the Icons I've played of late. I don't know if the newer, less expensive Violas share that qulaity, but it felt really durable and less toy-like than an Icon--IMHO.
  6. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    I own an Icon and I had a Jay Turser for a while. I can say without question that the Icon is the way to go if you're looking for the Beatles vibe and sound, particularly with flats.
  7. kingbee


    Apr 18, 2006
    I owned the Epiphone for a few years and I absolutely loved it. The fit and finish was superb and the sound was just unbeatable once I put some flatwounds on it. It's definitely better than the Turser and the Rogue but I never had the chance to compare it to the Icon.
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I would think the Hofner would be the closest to the real McCoy. From what I understand the Turser copy is highly regarded. My money would be on the Hofner.
  9. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Looks wise the Icon is cool Playability, I like the Truser.

  10. You may also want to look at the Rogue viola. $199 at Musician's Friend and I've found it to be a really nice bass.
  11. A couple of years ago a gent at the Fenderforum acquired and did side-by-side testing of Turser, Epiphone, Rogue and Douglas. There was essentially no difference between them in sound quality or playability. I don't recall whether the bottom-end Hofner was involved or not.

    I have the Rogue VB-100; the construction and finish are excellent, and with LaBella Hofner flats on it, the sound is great. It's a good way to go. I think the Epi, Turser or Douglas would also be good.
  12. Rudy? The Icon was not out at the time he did that shootout. I am not sure it was the Douglas either. It was a Rogue, Brice, Epiphone and another if I remember correctly. I think the Brice or the Rogue was his favorite.

    I give the nod to the Icon as it is an official Hofner even if it is an import. I believe it has more exact measurements as well.
  13. I have the Hofner Icon and love it. I also love the Beatles, so it was an easy choice. I am sure the others are good basses as well.

    I also just got an Eastwood Club Bass off of ebay and it is a killer Beatle-tone bass with La Bella flatwounds on it!
  14. Yep, Rudy. He got chucked out of there just before I did. I just recall it as being so even that it was a "pickum".

    Sic transit forum.
  15. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I would go with the Icon.
  16. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    I had a Rogue VB-100. I couldn't believe how well-made it was, given how cheap they are. Good playing, good sounding bass. It has the original Hofner-style controls; I don't know which ones do or don't but not all of them do.
  17. The original Hofner has a completly different neck than ALL of the import copies, even the Hofner Icon- I'd go Brice, cheapest and Rondo is really helpful.

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