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Looking for a hollow bass: what should I buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wubalubadubdub, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. wubalubadubdub


    Dec 29, 2016
    Hi there
    Some days ago I had the pleasure to try a semi acoustic bass which was borrowed to me by a friend (it was an Ibanez but I don't remember the model) and I really enjoyed it due to its unexpected lightness and the kind of sound perfect for the style we play (mainly a bluesy form of alt rock).

    So, given that I was already willing to buy a new bass (without spending too much) I am here to ask for suggestions for an hollow one.
    I quite like the Höfner ignition Beatles bass (the cheap one, sorry) or the "cavern" model (which I guess only differs for the pickups placement and slightly soundwise, right?), and also the Epiphone Viola looks good. But which is better? Any other ideas provided that my budget is around 400€?
  2. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    The Hofner Ignition is a full hollow body. The Epiphone Viola has a center block like the Hofner Contemporary series. Both are good basses but will have somewhat different sound. The Hofner will be very light and have the traditional thumpy sound. The Epiphone will be a bit heavier and will have more sustain and, depending on your preferences may be a bit more versatile.
    wubalubadubdub likes this.
  3. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    If you want hollow body but not the Beatle bass look, you can always consider the Hofner club Bass or the Epiphone Rumblekat.
    mcarp555, RaggaDruida, Joe Ty and 4 others like this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    What type of blues needs a hollow- body bass?
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    How about a nice PJ with dead flats?
  6. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    Semi-hollow/hollow-body basses are the bees knees, I think. Your options expand quite a bit starting around $500 (new), but between the Epi Viola and the Hofner Ignition (violin shape), I prefer the Epiphone--I think I've tried two of each, and I've liked the feel of the Viola a bit better. They both sound good, though, and the Ignition Clubs look cool, although I haven't had the chance to play one. Guitar Center usually has quite a few Epi Violas available used, so you can land one for $200-$250.

    The Rumblekat sometimes shows up used for around $350, so that's another good option, and if you go up in price, there's the Chowny CHB-1 and Eastwood. That's just short scales--if you want a long scale, Epiphone's Jack Casady bass seems really cool, and sometimes it shows up used or discounted at pretty good prices.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
    Nunovsky and wubalubadubdub like this.
  7. Signalsdrone


    Feb 6, 2017
    SW Ontario
    +1 on the Rumblekat, it's got a nice growly tone and is noticeably lighter than my Yamaha BB414.
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  8. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Ibanez put out a fretless semi hollow body recently that looks a bit weird but sounds fantastic. SRH

    Probably the viola shaped basses suffer from neck dive.
    bassestkkm likes this.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    And the violin shaped ones as well.
  10. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Viola is a bigger violin no? Same shape lol
  11. wubalubadubdub


    Dec 29, 2016
    Well how it looks it's not that big of problem for me. I mean I like the Hofner club shape more than the violin shape but isn't the club sound somehow "rougher" than the ignition or the Epiphone viola?
  12. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    I honestly do not have a Club do could not give you an accurate answer. They make both in Ignition or Contemporary series. The key difference being the Contemporary has a center block and German electronics and about double the price. I have had the Epi and the Contemporary violin bass and both sounded very good. Now I have 2 German made and an Ignition. I have been thinking of a Club bass in Contemporary for the different sound.
  13. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    Although I have to admit, the VeryThin intrigues me, as well IMG_0329.JPG
    bholder and Michael Schreiber like this.
  14. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    The only hollowbody/semi-hollowbody bass I've ever played that felt comfortable to me is the Lakeland Skyline H-30. It is definitely on the "semi" end of semi-hollow, which may be why I find it ergonomically pleasant. I played an Epiphone Jack Casady recently and found it, um..."unwieldly." For me, no point in getting a great tone if the instrument is not physically comfortable to play. But I'm a wimp about playability anyway...
    Qlanq, petch and bassfran like this.
  15. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    I had the JC and sold it for that reason. Fantastic sound but never got comfortable with it.
    Bunk McNulty likes this.
  16. Hofner Beatle bass.
  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Out of your price range but if you want the epitome of hollow body bass sound, this is it, No mods required.

    Reverend Dub King Rock Orange

    And it's short scale to boot
    carrythatweight likes this.
  18. ric4682


    Jul 2, 2008
    Why don't you go for the Ibanez model you played? Used Artcores are usually pretty reasonable and you already know that you like the feel and sound.
  19. BD Jones

    BD Jones

    Jul 22, 2016
    Here are the two current Ibanez models that might work. Both are short scale (30") and have that old school, blues vibe. I might have gone for one of these over my Warwick semi-hollow, but the scale is too short of me (the Warwick is 32"). New, they are out of your price range, but you can probably pick them up used for a few hundred less.


    Xyth, pudge, edencab and 3 others like this.
  20. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada

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