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Thoughts on semi-hollow shorties: Guild Starfire, Hagstrom Viking, Hofner Verythin, Fender Coronado

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by E-J, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Guild Starfire

  2. Hagstrom Viking

  3. Hofner Verythin

  4. Fender Coronado

  1. E-J


    Oct 24, 2007
    Western NC
    Hey folks, I'm in the market for a semi-hollow, short scale thump machine. Really liked the tone, effortless scale & lightweight of the Hofner Icon Beatle bass I owned in the past but it definitely felt cheesy build-wise. Quality control also seemed to be sorely lacking on the lesser Hofners; mine came sans input jack from the factory... just leads and a hole in the body!

    QC concerns aside, I've been digging on the Hofner CT Verythin but also noticed similar offerings in the Guild Starfire, Hagstrom Viking and Fender Coronado. Was hoping to hear thoughts on some of these basses or anything similar I may have overlooked. Balance, feel, build quality, tone, value (seems like the Guild can be had around the $1k mark while the others go for somewhere between $600-700; Guild & Hofner include hard cases)... that sort of stuff.

    I tend towards pick playing & flatwounds mostly within the realm of neo-psych (Ty Segall/Fuzz, Thee Oh Sees, Wand, Cloudland Canyon, Eternal Tapestry, Tame Impala, Allah-Las, Wooden Shjips, Woodsman), Meters-esque funk/psych-soul & roots dub.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated as these basses are not easy finds locally. Cheers!

    *EDIT: Just to clarify:
    • Budget limit here is around the $1000 mark
    • Double-cutaways and "vintage" aesthetics are more my thing
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  2. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    I would check out the Gretsch also, nice quality at a good price and if you aren't concerned about treble they might be your thing.
  3. gsgbass

    gsgbass "ROAD REX" Supporting Member

    I just bought a Hofner Ignition. It sounds great. Quality Control on it is right there too. The best $400.Buckaroos I paid in a long time. Great bass tones to with the LaBella Flats that were strung on it.

    QO4jCEo. QLkfzO0.
  4. Nomogram


    Sep 30, 2015
    Central Illinois
    I have an Ibanez AGB-200 Artcore short-scale semi-hollowbody bass that I really like. It was an incredible bargain for what a great bass it's been.

    Since I bought mine, Ibanez (I believe fairly recently) has changed the model and line. Here is the current equivalent:
    Electric Basses Artcore Basses - AGBV200A | Ibanez guitars

    For mine, I found that moving the strap button from the back of the body by the neck to the upper horn really helped it sit and balance perfectly, for me:

    ibanez comp2.

    Good luck in your search. Give Ibanez a look too, I was certainly happy with how nice mine turned out to be....
  5. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    If I were going to buy one from your list? It would have to be the Hagstrom Viking - simply because it's the only one available as a lefty. If it's as well made as my Swede guitar, I'd be happy with it, I imagine. Come to think of it, I don't have any semi-hollow basses; 4 full hollow bodies, but no semis. Hmm...:rolleyes:
  6. No Hofner lefties??:bored:

    My little Icon was perfect as delivered, as much as anything can be. The case had a minor scuff, but it now has more minor scuffs. It sounds like the OP got stuck with a 2nd.
  7. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    Within the list, my vote goes towards the viking. The tone's it can produce is far fetched & it's easy to play. I've played the coronado & felt that although it was decent to play, it lacked any real tone (it's also a bolt-on, semi hollows should be set neck - glued in). I've played the verythin guitar, so i wouldn't know how the bass feels. Another option could be the Aria Tab-66 bass. Semi hollow, 2 pickups, volume, tone, 3 way switch. It has decent tones from what i've heard on youtube.
    AlexanderB, wintremute and E-J like this.
  8. Cuzzie

    Cuzzie Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    Don't leave out the starcaster

    It's got a nice full time and growl

    I use GHS boomers mid for a full dirty sounds.

    With light gauge you can get zing and pop for slapping

    Chowny also do cheap bases which are ok

    nixdad, walldaja, ed morgan and 7 others like this.
  9. gsgbass

    gsgbass "ROAD REX" Supporting Member

    I was between the AGB-200, and the Hofner. I wasn't liking the Vintage changes on the AGBV200A. Plus the AGB-200 went up in price $50.
    Nomogram likes this.
  10. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Cuzzie beat me to it!
    walldaja, ed morgan, Pyrat and 4 others like this.
  11. RedVee


    Dec 24, 2014
    Does the Warwick Rockbass Star bass have any fans?
    ed morgan and Old Blastard like this.
  12. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Reverend Dub King is another short scale. Very broad tonal palette and excellent build quality (MIK). I have one and also a Guild Newark Starfire I and the DK is much more versatile. I Imagine the Starfire II would offer an expanding variety of tone over the SF I but I haven't played one so can't say how much from personal experience.

    Both the Dub King and the Starfire do have a very wide lower bout without body relief cuts, which could mean you'd find them less ergonomic that other short scales such as a Hofner or, say, a Mustang.

    Both the Guild Newark St. and the Dub King have a 12" radius fretboard. The Guild's neck is narrower (1-1/2") vs. the Dub King's (1-21/32"). Guild: 21 frets. DK: 22 frets.

    Reverend Guitars » Dub King

    Shortie, Jkn214 and E-J like this.
  13. E-J


    Oct 24, 2007
    Western NC
    Nice bass, I strung my long gone Icon with Labellas as well. Loved them at the time but I've gravitated towards Chromes; to my ear they just seem to have more bite & zing on tap when you fiddle the right knobs. This time around I'm looking for something a little different than the Macca viola shape though.

    Thanks for sharing this one and glad you dig it. Always liked Ibanez but I'm just not crazy about this particular shape (prefer the double-cutaway) or the current finish they offer.

    The Viking without a doubt sounds the most badass; I almost want it based on the name alone. Also, good point on the set vs bolt-on necks this is something I didn't even consider. I'll check out the Aria.

    Yeah, the Starcaster looks great too and I might have better luck at least finding one semi-local to try. Really like the meaty headstocks on the Fenders. Of course now Andii's got me mulling over set vs bolt-on necks, heh.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I've played the Hofner Verythin and the Guild Starfire. I'd get either one in a heartbeat purely because I really liked the way they both sounded. The Starfire had more of a late '60s early '70s 'prog' sound to my ears, whereas the Hofner had more of that characteristic Hofner woody sound but without sounding quite like either the Club or the 500/1.

    Of the two, I probably go with the Starfire if I had to choose.

    If you go in for this sort of vibe, you'll like the Starfire:

    Unemploid, E-J and pudge like this.
  15. Both Aria TAB-66 and the Warwick Starbass are long scale or (for the non German Warwick) medium scale. That's why I am interrested by the Aria.
  16. E-J


    Oct 24, 2007
    Western NC
    Nice, haven't seen this one before. The hardware & string-thru-body setup look sweet. As petty as it may seem, I do prefer a double-cutaway body style.
  17. E-J


    Oct 24, 2007
    Western NC
    Great description between those two, thanks. A big factor with the Guild is the ~$300 premium over most of the other basses mentioned (other than the Gretsch & Dub King)...
  18. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    The Dub King can either be strung string-through with medium-scale strings or top-loaded with short scale strings: your choice, depending on personal preference and/or what scale lengths your favorite strings are available in.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
    Jkn214 and E-J like this.
  19. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    I picked this up here a few weeks ago.I love it! It's small and light.

    bearfoot, macmanlou, Mvilmany and 4 others like this.
  20. DLemos


    Sep 7, 2015
    The big ol' 1960's Gibson EB basses- the ones similar in physical design to the ES-335, provides a tone that is too beautiful to describe!

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