Don't go to the music shop!

I went to the local music shop during lunch.
I wanted to look at bass cases primarily but also to see what was there and to look at finishes.
As you may know I am tossing up the Cherryburst and Black Thomanbacker.
So I am looking around to the prettys , there is a hollow body Ibanez with f holes, pretty sweet, fondled a few short scale Fenders and Squiers just to see what the fuss is.
Then as I am taking a last look I see an Epiphone Viola bass, I picked it up as I have a cheap Chinese one, I like mine but sometimes it feels a little small and light.
Anyway the Epiphone is a different animal, more substantial and although still short scale the neck feels like a full length one.
Then I see the price $669 Aud which seems pretty damn affordable to me.
Now I am getting GAS over this, I’ll need to compare it to how mine feels and see if it fits my case.
It looks and feels pretty nice, I think I will go back on Monday and plug it in…
Next thing is to smuggle it home!


I’d check out the Hofner.
The cheap low-end Hofner is a huge bang for your buck and sounds fantastic.


There are some used Hofner Clubs nearby but no viola/violin ones.
Certainly not at a comparable price.
I see that there are good things said about the Epiphone one, it certainly looks and feels nice.

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On the forum, there are quite a few posts about Epiphone quality.

Hofner is a better way to go since they essentially created the model.

Your choice, but I’d go Hofner, if I there were an option to do so.

And the Club bass is pretty great.


Cheers, I’ll poke around

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Well, an Epiphone Viola Bass followed me home from the store today from AUD $669 marked down from AUD$1000 I had to take it.
I’ll do a review and such later with pics but the short story is that it is a lot better than my dodgy Axiom Beatle bass with a better neck, more weight and much better sound.
First job it to put on the laBella flats and maybe move the strap button.


Congrats! Looks great.
The LaBella HBB flats are def the way to go!!
Enjoy it!


I have some on the other Hofner clone so they will be broken in.


Congratulations on your new instrument!


Cheers mate, it seems like night and day, body is slightly larger and the neck feels like a proper size.
I like the Axiom but it was a bit small and fiddly.

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I put the LaBella Hofner flats on last nite and had a bit of a play, this may be heresy but I am not completely sold yet.
I’ll play around a bit tonite also but I did kind of like the sound of the rounds it came with (no idea what they were-dark red silk)
The rounds gave a variety of sounds and greater difference than the flats do with pickup setting changes.
I am not looking for a specific McCartney sound I am looking for something I like

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For me it’s the feel. I just don’t dig the feel of flats, and you pay for flats with the tone too so it’s kind of a combo of disliking the feel AND losing the high harmonics that makes me shy away. But it’s 75% die to the feel; they just feel much more grippy than rounds to me.


TI Jazz flats are glass-smooth. Zero grippiness.


I normally don’t like the string noise, I have flats on a PJ bass, and nylons on my usual playing bass, I had the labella flats on the old beatle bass and swapped these over- they were god on that one.
I may change them back tonite and get some nylons for the Viola in the future.


People say this about all flats but still the ones I tried on friends instriments felt noticeably draggy or grippy to me for the fretting hand, compared to rounds.

Others have noted this too so I know it is not just me.

I have dry hands and a pretty light touch fretting so maybe that is it.



I’m a dyed-in-the-wool rounds guy. I’ve played rounds on guitar for many decades, so the whole “cheese grater” reference some cite is foreign in my experience. That said, I’ve played several brands of flats as I searched for the ones for my Cutlass, the most recent before the TI Jazz being D’Addario Chromes.

The Chromes were OK-ish, but they didn’t wow me with either their tone or feel. They weren’t grippy, but they weren’t entirely smooth, either.

Finally going with TI Jazz Flats was a Hail Mary pass, but, man, is there a difference, to me. They are smoooooth-feeling and the string tension hits a sweet spot I hadn’t known existed before.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have a dog in the hunt of what might feel good to someone else. Another player could try my TIs and hate 'em. Such is life. But to me/for me, these Jazz Flats spend the night and make breakfast, to boot.


fully agree with @howard - i tried flats and they just feel, for lack of a better word, “yucky” to me. not sure it matters but they were the EB slinky flat wounds so i am sure there are much better flats out there.

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Yes, there very definitely are. With La Bellas and TIs at the top of the heap.

I very much dig EBMM basses, but I’m not impressed with any Ernie Ball strings.

Again, just a sampling of one, but that’s my experience.

Lol. So right. I used to joke with a lot of the folks I played with about calluses. One buddy of mine that was a real metal-oriented player would say “if you’re complainin’ about the strings, you haven’t been practicing and playing enough!” He was kinda right–I found that the more I played; the less I noticed the roundwound “cheese grater” thing. Today, I don’t really notice the cheese grater feel of any bass I play. Occasionally I notice the string noise–which will then drive me up a wall; but, the roundwounds don’t register as much in my head as before.

OH! and! Grimy flats make me wanna go all “chlorox bleach and paper towels” on the strings within like 5 minutes. Which is WAY less productive for everyone BUT ME!

Wait, what were we talking about? Maybe that’s the real reason for gloves on the fretting hand?! (kidding) :rofl: :crazy_face: