Opinions on Violin Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sinisterman, Jul 14, 2001.

  1. sinisterman

    sinisterman Guest

    Jul 6, 2001
    I just saw that MF is selling a Rogue copy of the old Hofner Violin Bass. Anyone ever tried this bass, or another similar violin bass? I've heard some good reviews, but I'm wondering if it's worth getting.
  2. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    You won't find many friends of the brand Rogue, here. It does look good, but I have never tried it and can not tell you how it sounds.

    Musiciansfriend has a really good return policy if you want to give it a try. If you do, let us know what you think. :)
  3. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I´ve tried one violin bass, it was one of the coolest basses I´ve ever tried:)
    El Pelusa likes this.
  4. Just to show the diversity of opinion here, I think they are total crap. I have owned a Hofner, and have played an Epiphone, and they are horrible, IMO. The strings are too close together, and the sound is lightweight.
  5. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    the violin basses are well known for their shape more than for their sound. i tried an epiphone viola and i would recommend it as fourth or fifth bass. it's not so bad, but it lacks of tonal variety. if you have a good workhorse bass, try one. but if the violin would be in your future project your main bass i'll suggest you to try something else.
  6. cole

    cole Guest

    Sep 14, 2000
    why haven't any bass makers made any improvements to the violin bass? for example: that piddly little piece of wood that passes for a "bridge" -- why do they still use that?
  7. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    I went through a period a few years ago of wanting a violin bass, and tried a few. I think Matty is about right - I personally don't like short scale basses anyway, so I didn't really enjoy playing one. And the tone is pretty poor, too.
  8. fretless5

    fretless5 Guest

    Nov 28, 2000
    Blue Ash, Ohio, USA
    I've played (but never owned) Hohner, Univox, Hofner, Epiphone, and Eko violin bodies and never cared a bit for any of them. They all felt like they were ready to snap in 1/2... no mass to them.
  9. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    My very first bass was a no-name Hofner knockoff, so I can't speak for the genuine article. I can say however, of the one that I had, that it was a good bass to start on.

    It was short scale, which suited my kid-sized hands, it was very small-bodied and lightweight (also good for a kid), and it had tapewound strings that were very forgiving of weenie-fingered fretting. The tone was really muted, almost like a cottony thud.

    I don't think I'd seriously own another one (although a fretless model would be kinda cool, I suppose), but I'm glad for the one that was in my history. It was a good place to start.

    I think I sold it at a garage sale for 20 bucks.

  10. gweimer

    gweimer Guest

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Are you talking about violin-shaped basses, or hollow-body basses? Most violin-shaped basses also happen to be hollow-bodied, but the Gibson EB-1 was a solid-body, and has a bit more meat and guts to it than others. FWIW, the hollow-bodied violin basses have a distinct sound, and there is a place to use them. They have a nice, warm tone (something along the lines of Ronnie Lane from Faces) that may not work for all songs, but they are cool for certain types of music.
    El Pelusa likes this.
  11. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I had one back in 1984 or so except it was a Hohner. Had a floating wooden bridge. Terrible intonation, terrible action, a piece of crap over all. I don't have a great liking for hollow-bodies in general though two of my first basses were. The note diminishes so quickly. I guess it has its place. Just didn't suit me. I also was not fond of the shape. The neck was way out to the left due to the strap being fastened behind the body joint.
  12. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    The guitar player in my band has a real vintage Hoffner. It is kinda cool to look at, but other than that, mostly useless. It has no attack, no sustain at all. The tone is "a cottony thud" as was mentioned.

    They are not very practical for regular use.

    Look at Paul McCartney. That bass formed his whole technique. He plays with a picking thub style that I believe had to develop because he got no sustain ot attack out of his bass. When he switched to a Ric, he still played like that.
  13. Well I will probably get ragged for saying this but I own a Rogue VB100 violin bass. When I first got it there was some fret buzz but I moved the bridge back and messed with the height of the bridge a little and It sounds fine now. The sustain is a problem as it doesn't last as long as my other bass(Fender P) but I am going to try a Fat Finger to try and solve that. It has great tone, especially for a cheap bass. I feel that it fits in well when I play it at my church. I do have a problem (more psychological than anything) that I feel that it is too fragile. I agree with Gabu, try it out and if you like it keep it. I like mine.

  14. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Cool. :) It shows that it's mostly preference and only a bit of technical concern. The sound will definately suit some. I like the sound of my Rogue ABG through my Carvin RC210. It was less than $200. For a instrument that I like, how can I beat that? :D

    I had a violin bass fetish for a long, long time... But I think I am over it. My only remaining violin bass has been gutted and experimented with one too many times and I am tired of fixing the silly thing. It feels too small in my hands compared to the 2 5 sting basses I primarily use. Oh, well... I wonder if my 5 stringers will suffer that fate when I eventually move to 6ers???
  15. sinisterman

    sinisterman Guest

    Jul 6, 2001
    Well, it looks like a lot of people really hate these basses and a few are lukewarm about them. I am a little suprised, because I read (on some other site I can't remember now) some reviews by people who owned the Rogue remake, and they LOVED it. They all seemed to think it was much better than the original Hofner or the Epiphone. So now I'm looking at a couple of extremely positive reviews, a bunch of extremely negative ones, and a couple so-so's.

    Too bad, too. I'm kind of stuck playing a small-scale, narrow-necked bass because my hands are so small. The violin bass looks distinctive, and doesn't cost a lot. But if it doesn't play or sound good, then I might as well just look at a picture.
  16. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Well... don't forget MF has that great return policy. If you are looking for a 3/4 sized bass and like violin shaped then it might be a good thing. Only you can decide if it's tone is YOUR tone.

    Good luck.
  17. utrvp

    utrvp Guest

    Jan 5, 2005
    Seaford, Delaware
    Hi all! I'm a new guy here but I own a Rogue VB100 and although I was reluctant to spend the money on a bass I had never seen or heard I decided to just go for it and haven't regretted it a bit. I think you have to take into account what you want it for before you can say whether it is a good or bad instrument. If you are in a punk or heavy metal band you probably should stay away from the Rogue VB100. If you like to play a little country, bluegrass or 60's style rock then I think you will be pleasently surprised at how good this bass sounds. Personaly I like the light weight and short scale. My hands are large enough but I don't have much stretch. Someone mentioned the reviews in MF. They helped influence me not so much for the reviews of the Rogue bass but reviews of some other equipment. All the reviews for the Rogue were positive and a lot of people gave it all 10s'. I was suspicious thinking they wouldn't put a bad review up but as I read some for other equipment I saw they do leave up the bad ones too. One amplifier I was reading about was called " piece of crap" and others had similar things to say about it. My point is I believe the reviews were honest and the people who bought the bass really liked it a lot. Hope this isn't too long winded and I look forward to reading and posting in this forum again in the future.
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Rondo Music has a nice violin shaped bass for $225 that has a flamed maple top and back and is made in Korea. Possibly the exact same bass as the Rogue, with just a small price increase that may or may not be negated by shipping costs.
    I have a different Brice bass and it is very good, I'll bet this is a darn good bass, too. If I were looking for a violin bass this is the one I would buy.

    Personally I love the "plunk" fast decay bass sound. I don't own a violin bass but I think I would like it.

    As for Rogue, MF sells a lot of stuff under that name, everything from reasonably nice Korean made stuff (which I think this violin bass is) to total crap. So don't take anybody's word for it unless you can try it yourself. Brice is pretty much all nice.
  19. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Yah, they're on a blowout for $199 right now, right? If I had the spare cash, I'd get one sight unseen. I've got a Turser and it's totally 'my' sound. I started in the 70s with a Sears Violin bass, and now I've come full circle it seems.

    I've also got 34" scale basses, and had a 4001 for many years, but I found, after all these years that I love the short scales - especially with a nice set of flatwounds on them. In fact, the Turser is the reason I put flats on one of my other basses.

    I love that tone too!

    But I love mostly the low tension feel of a short scale. It makes you 'think' outside the box people are into now and it's...refreshing in many ways - musically.

    If you want to try it out, maybe try the Brice or Turser out, but for me, since I have the Turser already, I'd be willing to experiment a little with a Rogue.

    What's a little tweaking anyhow? It's part of the fun! Just remember the flatwounds though :)
  20. utrvp

    utrvp Guest

    Jan 5, 2005
    Seaford, Delaware
    That Brice Bass looks EXACTLY like my Rogue Bass. Also a photo I saw of the Turser bass was exactly the same too. If I were you and already had the Turser unless I wanted another of the same I wouldn't bother with getting the Rogue too. I could be wrong but I believe the Rogue, Turser and Brice are three peas from the same pod. BTW I love my Rogue bass. You would be hard pressed to find a better value for $199.00.