Author Topic: Looking for a Hollowbody  (Read 1365 times)

rexdiablo

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Looking for a Hollowbody
« on: July 11, 2017, 04:36:38 PM »
So, I've been bitten by the new bass bug, and have been giving a lot of thought to getting a hollow body. I'll be playing with a garage/punk band. Any recommendations if working with an $800 or so budget?

I've played a reissue Starfire, an original EB-2D, as well as several funky old cheapies (ala Orfeus, Conquistador.) But shops don't tend to have much in stock to put my hands on. Of the ones I've played the Gibson was the favorite, but I can't swing the $2300 price.

I usually prefer shortscale instruments with this band, but am not married to one scale length. I really like the look of EB-2, but again, not married to anything in particular. I'm interested in the Gretsch Electromatic, Epiphone Rivoli reissues, Jack Casady Signatures, Kays, Harmonys, Arias, anything and everything, really. Spending less is always nice, and I could go a hair higher if there's a clear winner.  Just asking for opinions and experience!
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rexdiablo

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 04:42:10 PM »


This is the band in question...
Go fast, take chances.

amptech

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 09:51:23 PM »
I love my Gretsch 6070. It has a huge neck but if that's OK with you, the reward is a full and authoritive tone with the ability to cut through too. They are not too common, but not in demand either so you can stumble upon a vintage one for a good price. When I got mine a couple of years back, I remember the few I saw were about $800-900. I saw a couple priced higher too, that did not sell. Worth checking out!

Alanko

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 01:28:05 AM »
I like my Aria TAB-66, but I've modified mine quite extensively. I picked it up cheap, but it seems they are discontinued. Even stock it had two minibuckers that were quite snarly. I've seen mention of a few Post Punk bands using these, perhaps because they look like Peter Hook's custom hollow basses?

Another contender that hasn't been mentioned here is the Warwick Star bass. They sound surprisingly modern, but look quite a bit like a Starfire with two mudbuckers. The only thing I dislike about them is the Warwick headstock on them, complete with the raked back tuners. It totally spoils the look for me.



Punk/Garage conjures up two different sounds to me. Garage rock just needs that fat, pillowy low-mids tone that almost echoes the 'British Invasion' tone generated by Rivolis and the like. Punk tone is a lot brighter and, if anything, is lacking in serious lows and low-mids in favour of a tinny snarl.

You could buy a used and abused Epiphone Rivoli and have it routed for a P pickup in the mid position, and maybe stick a Dimarzio Model One up front to reduce the impedance discrepancy between the pickups? A total wildcard suggestion on my part.

FrankieTbird

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 03:38:13 AM »

Look into a Gibson Midtown also.  Great bass and a lot cheaper than an EB-2 or a 335 bass.


bassilisk

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 03:55:42 AM »
I have an Epi Jack Casady (34" scale) and it suits me to the ground. I don't play music requiring an aggressive tone, but I can attest to the versatility of the pickup. The 3 position varitone goes from a low output mellow setting (1) to a high output P bass plus setting (3) with an intermediate step up the tone ladder.

The construction of the bass is first rate, and the neck is nice and slim. The hardware - meh. The tuners were okay enough but the 3 point bridge didn't do it for me. The Epi version is not nearly as robust as Gibson's. I put in a Hipshot, which made life easier all around. This was a personal preference of mine and not strictly necessary. Babicz makes a fine upgrade as well.

New ones are right at your price point and used ones are a good deal IMO.

Among the hollow bodies currently available this is a model well worth checking out.
If you can't find one to try you can always buy one and take advantage of the 45 day return policy most retailers offer.

BTW - mine was brand new in a sealed box but a cosmetic second so the price was really right. After meticulously going over the entire bass the only cosmetic issue I found was the edges of the F holes weren't blacked out. Fixed that with a felt tip marker.
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Pilgrim

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 09:05:04 AM »
I'm officially a short scale hollowbody fan.

My list is:

Early 70's Univox 335-copy (30", staple pickups, sunburst)
Gretsch 5123 (32", lovely orange, Filtertrons)
Dean Psycho cabbie (30", Yellow with checkerboard sides)

I've had the Casady and it's a great bass but a big one, as well, 34" scale.

Of the list above, my recommendation would be the Gretsch 5123 or one of its relatives like the current 5442. My 5123 is about an inch deeper front to back than most hollowbodies, but it's very playable and has a super sound with the dual Filtertron pickups. I don't think anyone does hollowbodies better than Gretsch.

BTW, I recall that Dr. Bassman was a really big fan of the Epiphone Allen Woody bass, and I've heard many good things about them.

My recommendation would be "Go Gretsch, young man."  The 5123 series are around used in the $600 range, and they're that lovely Orange that only Gretsch does.

5123:


5442:


Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

patman

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 10:42:33 AM »
For the last few weeks my finger has been twitching on the Hofner Contemporary Verythin. $650 at AMS with case.

I have not hit it yet, because it represents a want, and not a need...(how I make financial decisions...weird, I know).

rexdiablo

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 11:36:22 AM »
Thanks for all the input! Our guitar player is a Gretsch guy more frequently than not at this point, so if I got one too he'd be pleased as punch! I always forget about the midtown, for some reason- maybe just because I've never seen one in the flesh. And I've always been a fan of Epiphone, yet never owned one of their basses- could be time to remedy that!

I agree on the Warwick. I think they look great, until I see the headstock. Something just doesn't sit right with me.

I also play in a metal band, so that's where I get most of my agro tones taken care of, so I'm more likely to head to the thumpy, garagey end of things with this band...
Go fast, take chances.

Pilgrim

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 11:52:38 AM »
I can honestly say I've never played a Gretsch bass I didn't like. Maybe that's why I have four of them. (One, the fabulous Cougar bass, was a gift...)
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

rexdiablo

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 02:14:59 PM »
My only Gretsch bass is a Junior Jet that's been modded a bit. I never really bonded with it and a friend has had it on loan for years now. I just asked him to bring it to rehearsal this weekend, just as a change of pace.

I LOVE one of our guitar players Gretsch hollow bodies though, so we'll see. I know a guy not far from me that has an electromatic bass, so I may try to play that, too.

The Rumblekat has always seemed cool to me as well, and the price on those seem to stay low, so may look into that too. I guess it's not really a hollow body? Leave it to me to start a topic looking for a hollow body and end up chasing down something else entirely...
Go fast, take chances.

Pilgrim

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 04:29:44 PM »
Well, there are hollowbodies and semi-hollows. The semis are a bit more resistant to feedback.

And then there are the chambered basses. I have one - the Gretsch 6128 Thunderjet, which is 30" scale and has dual Thundertrons. It will run over $1200 but is one incredibly well made, good playing bass!!







I saved up for this one, and it was well worth it.
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

dadagoboi

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2017, 12:15:37 AM »
This works for me...


My '67 with fruit salad removed.

dadagoboi

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 12:23:52 AM »
Then there's these...

slinkp

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Re: Looking for a Hollowbody
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 10:01:13 AM »
Do these count as hollow?  :)