Recommendation for Semi-hollow bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bdengler, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    I did some searches on this wonderful site but I haven't been successful in finding an answer (I will admit a lack of skill on my part). Our church passed a new, unsual rule that we may only use "accoustic" instruments, but, these instruments may be amplified. It was openly admitted that this is more of a cosmetic move than one based on sound (I guess some parishioners were complaining of the use of the "EEEEE-Lek-trik gee-tars." I just gave up the double bass because of arthritis, so I'm in the market for a bass guitar anyway. Would any of you have a recommendation for a good semi-hollow bass in the $500 to $1,000 range? I was looking at an Ibanez ASB140. I'm not really interested in the large body bass guitars; I prefer the style like the Ibanez that have more traditional pickups on them. Your recommendation would be appreciated!

    Thanks, Brian
  2. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Bummer about your DB. It's a bit out of your price range but a used Rob Allen would be sweet. I have a Mouse fretless that I picked up on Ebay that has a huge acoustic sound. This bass is not much bigger than a Telecaster and weighs like 5 lbs. Rob also makes standard scale instruments (mine is 30").

    Another similar product are the Godin A series. The natural finish ones would definitely fit your aesthetic requirements.
  3. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I just posted this same rave in another threat, but here it goes...

    You should really try a Hofner copy, like Brice (, Rogue ( and Jay Turser.

    These are cheap but amazing Hofner copies ($200-$300) and they sound great - I'm using the Rogue with a 10-piece latin-funk band, and also with a 4-piece semi-acoustic pop band, and it sounds great.

    They are very responsive and expresive, have lost of tones, and I think they would fit nicely in your situation. They look classy too.
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    The Ibanez Artcore is a very nice bass. It'll give you anything most solid body electrics will. With Thomastic flatwounds it's great. The build quality is very high.

    I tend to stay away from a lot of the imported copies as the quality can be a bit lacking. Of course, the real Hofners do have a certain sound that many like, but they cost a fortune and in my opinion are not all that well made for the money. I haven't tried the Rogue so I can't comment on that.
  5. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I don't know if Epiphone still makes the Rivoli, but those are cool. I liked the Lakland hollowbody a lot; I think there's a Skyline version of it. DeArmond made a Starfire Bass that is pretty nice, too. I liked the Ibanez 140, but it is a bit 'modern' sounding to me, tho I hear they sound great with Darkstar pickups in them. I've tried a bunch of the Hofner copy basses, and there's no way I'd get one of those.
  6. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    I have a Jack Casady signature model and totally dig it. I put some Chromes on it last week and now it sounds even better. It should be right in your price range-- you can get one signed by Jack himself through his website.
  7. It seems like you are looking for a 'semi-acoustic' bass versus a hollowbody bass like the Lakland (from your comment about acoustic instruments).

    Carvin makes a semi-hollowbody piezo pickup bass guitar (one that is meant to sound 'acoustic') within your price range. The design is very similar to the much more expensive Rob Allens and Rick Turners.

    I've never played the Carvin, but from my experience with other basses in their line, they should be quite good.
  8. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Another piezo equipped acoustic type is the Godin. I have one of the fretless models and it sounds good. They are also available fretted. One bonus is they are very light. They sound best with flatwounds I think.

    You should be able to find one at the price you're willing to pay.

    Godin quality is very good and they're made in Canada.
  9. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
  10. BassDerek


    Aug 15, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
  11. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    You can probably pickup a used Lakland HB for around 700/800 - nice basses

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Epiphone Jack Casady or Lakland Hollowbody are good hollowbodys in that price point.
  13. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Bummer about the DB.

    Priced in between the Ibanez (below $500) and Lakland (around $1K), you might also want to look at the Godin A4. It's a little like the poor man's Rob Allen -- nice woody tone. There are a couple nice used fretless ones on ebay right now.

    Here's a picture of mine:

  14. Great basses... but again, I think his requirement is a bass that can pass as 'acoustic'... which would be more in the Rob Allen/Rick Turner type EB's that are meant to cop a more DB vibe... at least that's what I think he's looking for.

    The Carvin and Godin's are nice lower priced versions of the amazing Allen's and Turner's, and do the 'unplugged' type thing very well.
  15. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    If you are looking for a true acoustic,(piezo pickup) I would say go with the Carvin for maximum playablility in an acoustic instrument under 1k.

    If you want a "semi hollow" (electro/magnetic pickups) go with the a used Lakland skyline hollowbody. Used ones alwasy go for under 1k. It isn't actually a semi hollow, as it has no center block (hence the name "hollowbody"), but I played one at the Lakland factory a month a go, and it was super versatile, extremely well made, and very resistant to feedback. Currently at the top of my GAS list.

    Hofners are nice, but not nearly as versatile, comfortable, or as good a value as the lakland basses.

    If you want to keep it around 500, go with the Ibanez, it's 399, well made and a good deal even at full price new.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yeah those rob allen / rick turner basses are pretty cool , check the used market.
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    The DeArmond StarFire Basses are good; I had one for a number of years, and it never disappointed. The only reason I sold it was because I switched to five strings.

    That said, I'd give a hard look at the Ibanez Artcore models. I've been impressed with the ones I've seen, and would buy one in a heartbeat if the came out with a fiver.