Rogue Viola (VB100) Bass Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Flyingfrets, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    As the title says...

    Looked around & didn't see one (maybe no interest?)

    If there's any interest or love for these under-appreciated instruments, this would be the chance to share it and be counted!

    Pics a must!
  2. My VB100 is my favorite bass! I have strung with D'Addario Tapewounds and when paired with my Acoustic B100...the tones are amazing! I'd love to be a part of this group:hyper:

    maestrovert likes this.
  3. Recently restrung mine with a set of Piccolo strings and am loving the tones I am getting out of it.

    Attached Files:

  4. Mine sits next to my office desk. Love it!
  5. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Nice to see there are at least a few other proponents of this instrument out there...

    So, I guess we can try being "official"...

    Flyingfrets: #1
    gregstj114: #2
    stantonl: #3
    fenderslaper: #4 (if you want it...didn't see a photo!)

    Specs (year / where made - if you know), tech tricks, set-up tips, mods & gig stories welcome!

    Here's a few images & specs of mine...


    2006 or 2007 MIK (don't know the year for sure - bought it used on the 'bay for $130 shipped back in '07)


    Kept the stock pickups (like the sound & I don't know enough about the replacement "staple" pups from AllParts to chance them...yet ;)), but everything else has been modded. Hofner tailpiece (also used on the 'bay - $19), new CTS pots (custom wiring harness from TundraTone - standard operation, just way better quality than the stock stuff), Switchcraft jack & switches. Backed up the stock control plate with black sheetstyrene - sanded in beveled edge, rounded the corners & polished. Knobs from StewMac (also installed pearloid banjo tuners from SM). Frets leveled & recrowned (StewMac has all the tools to DIY) and the bridge was dyed with Feibing black shoe dye (same stuff SM will sell you at 4X the price! Get it from a shoe store if you wanna do it!). Seems to have made the bridge much harder once it cured (particulates in the dye?). Seems to have put a little more definition in the tone - even though she's currently strung with LaBella flats. Oh yeah, took the pickguard off. Still have it in the case, but why hide that flame-top?

    All told, right around $200 invested and she plays like a much more expensive bass. Bargain of the century for me!

    So let's hear about yours!
    Scooter Johnson and maestrovert like this.
  6. Awesome! Glad you're making this official :cool:! All I've gotten done to mine was a setup from Guitar Center. Everything on mine is stock but I had this crazy idea to modify the electronics to make it have a master volume, master tone, bass/baritone switch instead of the rythym/solo switch, and even going as far as putting in a cheap mudbucker in the neck position and adding a tune-a-matic style bridge. Basically make it a Hofner meets Epiphone Rivoli lol.

    I have no idea what year it was made in, but my Dad got it off Craigslist in September 2009. Headstock says Rogue Series II and the truss rod cover says VB-100. I miss having flatwounds on it, I've been using my tapewounds on it since April lol.
  7. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Nice! IIRC, the Series II were made in China. Older series were built in Korea (if that info does you any good). Lot of the Series II I'd seen had a brighter, almost "toyish" finish I didn't care much for. From what I can see, yours looks more like the older "Iced Tea" bursts.

    IDK if Rogue outsourced these through Samick or one of the other plants that build for other manufacturers, but the VB100seems to be built much better than their other basses.

    The nice thing about these basses (unlike most other Rogues) is that they generally play well right outta the box and won't break the bank, so they're a great starting place for modding.

    If your ideas suit your needs, GO for it! Keep the original parts and you can always go back it you don't care for the new mods.

    Most of what I've done has been to aimed at bringing out the best of what it had to offer in the first place (though I think they haven't hurt the cosmetics any...well, IMO anyway! :D).

    Playing with a group called Revolver right now, a Beatles cover band (no costume changes, just music as close to note perfect as possible, along the lines of The Fab Faux), so this bass is indespensible to me, but a few years ago, I used it (with roundwounds) in a power-trio (original hard rock). With a few FX and some heavy compression, it sounded almost like a solid body without the back breaking weight. It's already proven itself pretty versatile to me.

    Glad you're enjoying yours...and welcome aboard!
    maestrovert likes this.
  8. I think it's made in China and the finish from what I can tell looks like a darker sunburst.

    I'm a huge fan of the band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the bassist uses an Epiphone Rivoli with a heavily overdriven sound! I've tried to get a similar tone with the Rogue, but IMO it lacks the low end of the EB-2/Rivoli and I don't have a suitable pedal. Thank god my Acoustic B100 has great EQ on it and I'm also thinking about buying a Behringer Super Fuzz Pedal.

    I've used mine in my old band for quite sometime when my Squier Jazz Bass "died" on me. The short-scale is amazing in my hands and I've gotten some good sounds out of it when jamming. A few months back I got a cheap Starcaster Jazz Bass so I could still have that style of bass, but I find myself picking up the Rogue more. When I had my old Russian Big Muff it sounded great! Kind of wish it had f-holes so I can get some crazy feedback effects lol.
  9. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Only ever tried fuzz with the VB100 once (was on an original tune. Not my cup 'o tea, but not my song either & that's the sound he wanted). Didn't sound bad, just not my thing.

    Compression with a just a touch of overdrive gave me a tone similar to Chris Squire's on "Fish Out Of Water." To my ears, it suited what that band was about.

    Using very few FX with my current band (at least on the Rogue - also using my Ric on maybe a third of the material). Right now, I need that primitive, McCartney "thump"...and it does that very well too.

    Yeah, the short scale is easy to fly around on, but I really appreciate the weight, or lack of it on this bass. Lots easier on my back!
    WJBIII likes this.
  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've got a Rogue but I prefer the Hofner Icon/Ignition.
    Rocker949 likes this.
  11. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Do you own one of the Ignitions too?

    I actually bought the Rogue on a lark. Was looking for a lighter bass & figured if I hated it, I wasn't out a whole lot of scratch.

    My initial impression was pleasant surprise & it's only gotten better from there.

    Didn't play one of the Ignitions till well after I'd modded my Rogue. Truthfully, the Rogue feels sturdier to me and taking the mods into consideration, I much prefer the Rogue, though in fairness, the Ignition was a floor model and the set-up left something to be desired. Doubt it would've made much difference felt almost...fragile to me. As a working instrument, I need something that can stand a little incidental abuse.
    WJBIII likes this.
  12. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
  13. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Recently came across some manufacturer information on these instruments...

    I'd thought that the Korean examples may have been built by Samick for Musician's Friend (Rogue is their "house brand") due to the over-all quality (generally much better than other instruments carrying the "Rogue" brand), but the Series I were built by Sungbo Industry in Seoul/Incheon, South Korea.

    Musician's Friend has yet to specify who builds the Series II (other than that they're made in China). The reasoning for the cloak & dagger secrecy escapes me, but it may just mean that they obtain them from several suppliers & don't want to be bothered with specifics. Too bad, it'd be nice to know for sure where our basses were made.
    WJBIII and maestrovert like this.
  14. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I just bought one of these off the 'Bay. I wasn't finding many of them out there. I'm envious of the guy that got one for $130 shipped. Mine's going to be (I haven't got it yet) a Series II and I paid $230 shipped. Oh well, still not large money. We'll see how I like it. I've wanted a Hofner like bass for a LONG time.

  15. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    You hit the nail on the head. It's a "Hofner-like" bass, not a clone. If you've ever played any of the Hofners, this will feel a bit more substantial. The neck is definitely beefier than the the Hofner, but not uncomfortably so. That said, I prefer this bass because of those things, not in spite of them, but taste is of course, a subjective thing. Your expectations will play a big part in that as well.

    Weight was the biggest factor for me after back surgery, and I've been very pleased with the performance of this instrument. As fate would have it, 5 years after buying this bass, I ended up in a Beatles cover band, so the natural properties & aesthetics of the Rogue fit right in, but when I bought it, I was hoping there would be a little versatility along with the lighter weight. I wasn't disappointed.

    As I've said before, the right strings & some basic bass fx (notably compression) will take you a long way (along with dialing in an effective EQ). I've used mine on everything from classic rock to original hard rock and all points in between.

    Just remember to take your time with set up, particularly the intonation. The floating bridge can make the process a little more fiddly than on a standard bridge. Keep in mind once the E & G strings are properly intonated, the fretwire used for saddles on the A/D strings can be moved individually (you have to carefully pry them out of the bridge and move them to the correct slot in the bridge).

    Once it's set, unless you change string type or gauge, you shouldn't need to reset it again for quite awhile.

    BTW, the $130 I paid was 5 years ago ;). Mods were another $75-$100. And the case set me back just about what the bass itself did!

    Speaking of mods, found these awhile ago, but I can't vouch for whether they're really an upgrade, or just a basic replacement:

    They have "the look" though...

    Congrats on the new bass! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do...

    When she arrives, post some pics, take a number & there's beer in the fridge...:D
  16. ivorytower

    ivorytower He's just this guy, you know?

    Feb 4, 2012
    Chicago Suburbs
    Mine's on the way next week, scored a nice deal off of the 'Bay with hard case. Looking forward to getting it and figuring things out.
  17. Goldfieldguss


    Aug 18, 2013
    How do I join the club?:hyper:
  18. ivorytower

    ivorytower He's just this guy, you know?

    Feb 4, 2012
    Chicago Suburbs
    Mine (finally) arrived. Seems to be an older version. Came with a Rogue case. Strings a bit corroded, action pretty high. Will need to figure out how to set this up. Managed to lower the bridge a bit though.


    Apologies for the lousy camera phone shot for now.

    Any idea where I can find the serial number on one of these?

  19. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Resurrected due to the discussion on the "Best Beatle Basses" thread...hopefully some of the info here may help. has been awhile. Looks like I missed a few posts, so...

    If you want 'em:

    ivorytower: #5


    Goldfieldguss: #6
  20. ivorytower

    ivorytower He's just this guy, you know?

    Feb 4, 2012
    Chicago Suburbs
    Sure, I'll take #5, thanks! I put a set of the standard LaBella Beatles Bass strings on it and it sounds great. Trying to figure out Hello Goodbye too.