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Epiphone Viola Bass VS

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This veteran from the British invasion is back without the vintage price tag! Mod looks and warm, bass tone come together as a result of its hollow l...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A vintage British style bass with a short scale and mini humbucking pickups.

This veteran from the British invasion is back without the vintage price tag! Mod looks and warm, bass tone come together as a result of its hollow laminated maple body with a short-scale 30" maple neck, elegant flamed maple top and dual bass mini-humbucking pickups. Other features include a floating rosewood bridge with trapeze tailpiece, 2 volumes, 1 tone, chrome hardware, and vintage sunburst finish.

FEATURES
  • Style: hollowbody viola shape
  • Body: laminated maple
  • Neck: set maple
  • Finish: Vintage sunburst
  • Fingerboard: rosewood
  • Fingerboard inlays: dot
  • Pickups: NYR & NYT mini humbuckers
  • Controls: 2 volumes, 1 tone
  • Bridge: floating rosewood
  • Tailpiece: trapeze
  • Hardware: chrome
  • Scale length: 30.5"
  • Nut Width: 1.65"
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneViola Bass VS
 
4.7

(based on 55 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (47)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (24)
  • Fun to play (23)
  • Good tone (21)
  • Solid electronics (17)
  • Good pick up (16)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (22)
  • Jamming (19)
  • Recording (17)
  • Small venues (15)
  • Rock concerts (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (14), Professional musician (6), Novice (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Epiphone Fit and Finish...Perfect...

I've looked at and played many hollow and semi-hollow bodied bases in my time, and they all have distinct sound and feel differences. This bass is light, easy to play, looks good and...Read complete review

I've looked at and played many hollow and semi-hollow bodied bases in my time, and they all have distinct sound and feel differences. This bass is light, easy to play, looks good and has a great tonal range. It sounds great when you play early Beatles tunes as well...Maybe that's why Will Lee of the "Fab Faux" uses one with his tribute band.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Epiphone viola bass

I got this bass without ever playing it or hearing it, but I was still really excited to get it. The first thing I noticed was the amazing finish. The bass looks like...Read complete review

I got this bass without ever playing it or hearing it, but I was still really excited to get it. The first thing I noticed was the amazing finish. The bass looks like a champion. But then I put a strap on it, put it on and plugged it in. The bass is extremely neck heavy. To the point that you have to hold it up as you play. The wooden bridge is weak and the strings pop off if you pluck to hard which causes lots of problems. The bass sounds great. Lots of versatility between the neck and bridge pickups. But I never could fully take advantage of them because I was too busy making sure the strings weren't popping off the bridge. It also has significant amounts of fret buzzing, and overall weird fretwork. the neck is extremely thin and I have big hands so that didn't work out to well. The upper frets are impossible to reach because there is no cutaway and the heavy neck falls down when you take you hand off to head to the higher range. There are no contours to this bass. It feels really awkward against your body. But if this is the bass you like, go ahead have at it. Its just not for me. I sold it a few months ago.

Reviewed by 55 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Epiphone Fit and Finish...Perfect...

By Danno

from Frederick, MD

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Beautiful finish
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Light Weight
  • Outstanding Price
  • Solid Electronics
  • Vintage Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Our Beatles Set
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

    I've looked at and played many hollow and semi-hollow bodied bases in my time, and they all have distinct sound and feel differences. This bass is light, easy to play, looks good and has a great tonal range. It sounds great when you play early Beatles tunes as well...Maybe that's why Will Lee of the "Fab Faux" uses one with his tribute band.

    (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great little bass

    By Jerry-R48oT

    from Raleigh, NC

    Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

    I just received mine today - used from this website and rated 2. Without having gone over it with a magnifying glass, I can't find a scratch - still had packing material under the bridge and plastic on the pickups and came in Epi box with cord, manual etc. Have played it for about an hour, and although i intend to put some flat-wound or half-wound strings on it, it sounds quite good with the strings it came with. Setup was pretty good. Had to tweak the truss rod just a bit. I wasn't sure I would like the lack of pickup switches, but after playing with it a bit, I think I am quite satisfied with it. I am not a slap bass kind of guy - more of a Motown sound type of guy and a big Beatles fan. This baby is sweet playing and sweet sounding, even with the stock roundwound strings. No evidence of pickup hum - dead quiet. Finish is nice and neck is easy on my short fingers. I am quite pleased with my purchase and recommend it to anyone who is looking for something similar (I was looking for a short scale and had thought about a hofner icon or rogue for some time. I'm glad I picked this one.). Only wish I had picked up an epi case with it, but couldn't locate one at the time of purchase. I'll find one locally or special order.

    (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Fantastic

    By PS5188

    from Undisclosed

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

    When I first saw this bass, I thought it had to be about $800 or higher. Turns out it was 3. It is a stunning instrument--the picture doesn't do it justice. The finish resembles that of $3000 Gibson Les Pauls. On top of that it sounds excellent, has a nice feel to it, and has solid pickups. The other bonus is this: because the body is fairly hollow, playing without an amp is better than with a normal electric bass--you almost get an acoustic bass and an electric in one package. Overall, no complaints whatsoever. It's a great bass, great deal, and a lot of fun.

    (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Awesome Bass!

    By PS5188

    from Undisclosed

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

    Great bass. I definitely recommend it. I tried the Hofners and this Epiphone and liked the Epi much better. It feels substantial and is a dream to play. There is a slight neck dive but it's not anything that should keep anyone from buying this instrument.
    Great tone, look, playability, and value. This instrument is beautiful to see and hear and plays like a dream.
    I give quality a 9 because I didn't find any problems with mine except that the strap buttons were loose. It was a quick fix though.
    Great value for a bass that looks and plays like it should be in the more expensive price range.

    (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A Unique Take on a Classic Design

    By Ultimate Warrior

    from Parts Unknown

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

    • Fret Buzz

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

    This is a very nice bass for the price. Epiphone seems to build very good instruments for reasonable prices. They and Musician's Friend could (and should) update the stock photos for this instrument, as the actual guitar is nothing in color like the one in the pictures. It's very beautiful in person, much more like traditional vintage sunburst, and very glossy. You won't be dissapointed if you have any good taste in asethetics.

    That being said, this is such a fun bass to play. It's like the perfect bridge between a guitar and a full scale bass, not only in length (obviously), but also in the size of the neck. Personally, I really like the neck, which is not tiny or flimsy feeling, but is solid and thick. It's not too wide, and the strings are spaced very nicely. The neck is a bit heavy, but nothing you should worry about too much unless you're an incredibly frail person. Mine arrived set up almost perfectly with a little fret buzz that honestly wouldn't be all that noticable if it weren't semihollow.

    One can get a fine array of tones out of the Viola with the two volume and master tone controls. That was the selling point for me as a matter of personal preference over the Hofner, which has the traditional volume knobs with tone control switches--that's just too busy for me.

    A very nice bass all-in-all. If you like the resonance of a semi-hollow bass with the thump of a short scale, and like a vintage tone, but also versatility, you might enjoy the Epi Viola.

    (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Light Weight and Fun to Play

    By philrox

    from West Michigan

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

      Love this bass. The band I play in is an acoustic group and this bass fits the groups look and sounds. I changed the strings to flatwounds which makes it sound much better. Note: It's a short scale bass but you'll need medium scale strings because of the tail piece.

      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      It's an Epi! … no feather weight

      By DON'T ASK AGAIN IF U CAN"T HANDLE TRUTH!

      from DOESN"T REALLY MATTER WHERE I AM

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

          A tough call, Epi vs other violin basses . so many reviews, pros & cons . I decided on the Epi .

          Out of box . was in tune and set up fairly well . slightly heavier than a Hoff . maple top (like a 335) vs spruce on the Hoff is partly reason . not as heavy as the Epi Zenith semi hollow, which is so solid could be used as a tail rudder on a tug boat . hahh! . But the Viola does have a "not gonna shatter" if it falls over, secure appeal . well constructed (I owned a Hoff Club in the 60's, t'was light as a feather and did exactly that when knocked over . neck broke off ) .

          I had a specific use in mind for this bass . I replaced the strings with D'Addario Piccolo's and set it up accordingly . was able to get a very low action, no buzz and a very sweet warm cello effect . zero fret (unique to the Epi) is a plus, allowing for some nice open tuning and chords that sound nice and evenly sustained across the board. and the shorter scale using higher pitched strings works perfectly for intonation. finish is flawless, and beautiful . I like the No pick guard, because I play with fingers, senseless to have one . and it looks better .

          Otherwise it's new, so I can't say how well it will hold up, but I've never had a problem with an Epi . and these are made in Korea . not China . IMHO is also a plus . good luck shopping .

          (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The Liverpool experience

          By Eaomer

          from Ashburn VA

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • School Bands
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

            A very good bass straight from the box, action a little high for my taste but nothing a good tweak won't cure in minutes, the sound is pure 60's Liverpool, ie: you can hear the wood,I am impressed.

            (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Yeah. It is really that good.

            By CzYfOx

            from Perry Ga

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • School Bands
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

              I got this Bass as a gift. I wanted one to play around on. I couldn't be more pleased. Everything is perfect, even the intonation was on. There is a small scuff mark where the tail piece sits on the body and even that is perfect. It is right where it needs to go. I am retired from "The music scene" but I still play around with some local guys doing Country Blue Grass and I do some home recording. Again, this bass is perfect for what I do. I can rave all day but if you want to hear it I did some quick tracks here https://soundcloud.com/lancecarter/beetle-bass

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great

              By 74 Bassman

              from Undisclosed

              See all my reviews

              Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

              This has very little to do with the Gibson Violin bass. Other than it is violin shaped and made by Epiphone. This is, and is meant to be, a more modern take on a Hofner.I have always shied away from this because I'm a vintage "snob" and it didn't look enought like the hofner for my liking. But my old man picked this up for me as a gift and its fantastic. The flame is beautiful and it does the Hofner thinkg very well. This is decidely vintage style unit other than the simplified controls and flamed maple top - the only thing you'll be slapping with this baby is other bass players' hands. But for the kind of music it's meant for - older rock, country, blues - wow! Really great for melodic bass type stuff. Incidentally you don't need flatwounds on this, the short scale and hollow body make the body boomy enough as-is. Plus these and a modern amp make this much more than a retro bass it can do pretty much anything you'd play in a bar or a legion. It would also do a great palm-muted bill-black click bass for older elvis stuff (or tik-tak bass for older country, yummy).

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Bass

              By Michael Foster

              from Colorado

              Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

              Great bass for the money.
              This is a really great bass, nice tone, easy to play and the price is right. I you are looking for semi-hollow body tone this bass will deliver.
              Fit and finish is great.
              The price is right.

              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              It's Fab!!!

              By never too many guitars

              from VA.

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Recording
                • Rock Concerts

                Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                I had seen one of these the first year Epi came out with this style. I didn't like the finish nor the feel so I didn't even bother to see how it sounded. The one I saw was more cherry sunburst rather than the vintage sunburst. In fact the first one I saw had a clownish finish, too red to yellow finish. I have to tell you this vintage sunburst is what made me take a second look and I'm glad I did. What a fun one to play. I'm a guitar player most of the time and this little bass feels, plays and handles like a guitar. The neck feels like a neck on an old Les Paul Deluxe. I have replaced the strings with black taped flat wounds and adjusted the string height and as they say It plays like butter. The tone is that British Invasion sound, full and heavy, yet warm. If you don't want or can't pay out a lot of money but want that "sound" buy one you won't be disappointed.

                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Exceptional value, brilliant re-issue.

                By stubby

                from Tasmania, Australia. The Grim Fontier.

                About Me Novice

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Jamming
                    • Practicing

                    Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                    Okay, my Viola Bass was second hand, had lived a full life since it's birth in 2005, and had been maintained in a semi-decent way. Though not stated by Seller, was likely gigged. Needed a set up after possibly not getting one since it was sold. Bridge was so high to counteract poor-set up iut had issues.

                    Best Buy I've made in a long time. No joke.

                    It may be this isn't as good as full-on German-Made or vintage German-Made Hofner, but This isn't what yopu buy if you want the Full-on Hofner. It's close enough to that perfection you won;t be left wanting.

                    The Shortscale neck is very appealling, especially as I was going for a melodic bass sound with some of my recent style of playing. peterHook and that bassist from Modest Mouse kind of trebly stuff. It can growl like a p-bass with the low turned up, and pop and bounce like a brian Wilson Bassline, it has great tonal range.

                    The cons? Well, owing to it's cheap construction the neck is too heavy, I don't just mean it's neck heavy, I mena the asian wood used to build it is not aslight and hard as noth american or european timbers. On a gohollowbody this a wee bit of an issue. You get over it quickly though. Also, the vintage hofner,copy bridge is not good at coping with poor string action, It was up high when i got it (to overcome some slight E String buzz) that if it had taken a knock it would have broken. Still, vintage does not mean greatest componants, It means feel you just don;t get anymore, and the rosewood floating bidge design has an appeal stop bridges have never had. Tuners, this problem faces the hodfner too, but it needs a better set than the small guitar stle tuners it's got, but, unfortunately, open-gear tuners won't fit, so... I'm going to have to look around for a more stable replacement.

                    All in all, great purchase, will fight off any overpirced sustitute any day.

                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent bass

                    By Ian

                    from Golden, CO

                    About Me Experienced

                    See all my reviews

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Fun To Play
                    • Good Feel

                    Cons

                    • Cheap Pots
                    • Floating Bridge

                    Best Uses

                    • Jamming
                    • Practicing
                    • Recording
                    • Rock Concerts
                    • Small Venues

                    Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                    I bought this bass secondhand on craigslist after getting in a particularly impulsive mood to own a viola shaped bass. I chose this one over the rogue or hofner ignition, because I much prefer the 3 knob control pannel with a tone knob rather than the switchboard w/o a tone control. That being said my main complaint on this bass is that the pots/controls have very little taper; essentially full volume/tone or none. this is pretty typical of cheaper instruments so i was expecting it.

                    another minor complaint is the floating bridge. I can be nudged around if you are playing aggressively and will reckless abandon. When I took it into my luthier for setup he offered to put pins in the body that extend into the bridge to keep it in place, which will come in handly later when I change the strings. My luthier did this free of charge, so it is a very cheap mod.

                    this bass does have great sound though; the humbuckers are extremely noiseless and would be great for in the studio. After adjusting to the short scale this bass is extremely fun to play. Awesome for Beatles (obviously) and any classic rock/older styles of music.

                    I highly recommend this bass! just make sure you put flatwound strings on it and it really sings!

                    (Mine was manufactured in 2010)

                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Greatest Bass I've Played!

                    By Jimma aka BIGinJAPAN

                    from Missoula, MT

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Fun To Play
                    • Good Feel
                    • Good Pick Up
                    • Good Tone
                    • Solid Electronics

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Jamming
                      • Practicing
                      • Recording
                      • Rock Concerts
                      • Small Venues

                      Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                      Don't let the picture fool you! This bass is beautiful! It feels as great as your favorite guitar! That was the first thing I noticed. The second was the sound. Such a strong punch at a low level; only have to turn my amp to 3 as compared to 5+ with my J-bass. Great lows/highs & tone control. Absolutely love this bass; chosen over a Hofner of similar price. If you want a Hof, pay the $800+ for a 'real' one. If your just looking for an inexpensive semi-hollow that has the power as well as looks, go with the Viola. My favorite.

                      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      marvelous buy!

                      By casey

                      from va

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Ask me a question

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Fun To Play
                      • Good Feel
                      • Good Pick Up
                      • Good Tone
                      • Solid Electronics

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                          im not a bass player by trade..play guitar,accordion,ukelele for various festival gigs around the area...got tired of tracking down bass players for gigs so have decided to learn myself and teach my daughter...what a beautiful instrument! stays in tune good...plays nice and sounds great! been practicing with folk rock and country and even though im just learning i can tell it can handle any level of playing...a real heirloom...thanks again

                          (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Very Good-Looking and well built

                          By Donald Schaeffer

                          from Illinois

                          Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                          First, I am NOT a Bass player, so this review is strictly about cosmetics. I bought this as a gift for my son who wants to learn the Bass and is a big Beatle fan. I considered a cheaper (Rogue) and a more expensive (Hofner) model, but based on their reviews am very glad I chose the Epi. Beautiful finish and just feels like a truly solid instrument. I am convinced he will get a long life from this Bass as he is probably going to be a light user and takes care of his items. Very happy with the price, looks, sound (although I don't have a Bass amp) and MF service. Couldn't give it a "10" because of my limited knowledge of the instrument, but from a guitar-players perspective...it seems like a great rig. Maybe I'll pick it up and learn on it too.

                          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Yes. Yes Yes Yes.

                          By Doot

                          from Charlotte, NC

                          About Me Experienced

                          See all my reviews

                          Ask me a question

                          Pros

                          • Fun To Play
                          • Good Feel
                          • Short scale

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Jamming
                            • Practicing
                            • Recording
                            • Small Venues

                            Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                            Slap some D'Addario Chromes on this thing and you're so set. It will most likely need a setup but once you got her how you want her you'll fall in love. THE easiest bass to play. The short scale is perfecto, you can get that mellow, warm tone but also get some punch by rolling off the neck and boosting that bridge pickup. I would reccomend it without a doubt, I'll never get rid of it.

                            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            These are the bass you are looking for.

                            By BassOrBust

                            from Midwest, USA

                            About Me Professional Musician

                            Pros

                            • Fun To Play
                            • Good Feel
                            • Good Pick Up
                            • Good Tone
                            • Good Tuners
                            • Solid Electronics

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Anything
                              • Jamming
                              • Practicing
                              • Recording
                              • Rock Concerts
                              • School Bands
                              • Small Venues

                              Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                              This bass came set up from Epiphone bang on at the 12th fret harmonic and with the strings perfectly set. A quick tune and I was jamming. The amount of tonal control is rather astounding with the stock strings, the neck is fast, the tuners good (I had a bit of drift but I'm attributing it to brand new strings) and the playability is pretty much bind-blowing.

                              Stop trying to decide which "McBass" to get. THIS is it.

                              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Love it!!!

                              By Tumbleweed

                              from Orangeburg, SC

                              About Me Novice

                              See all my reviews

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Fun To Play
                              • Good Feel
                              • Good Pick Up
                              • Good Tone
                              • Solid Electronics

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Jamming
                                • Practicing
                                • Recording
                                • Rock Concerts
                                • School Bands
                                • Small Venues

                                Comments about Epiphone Viola Bass VS:

                                Iam glad I invested the extra money over the cheaper brand. This little Bass is awesome. Iam sure Hofner is jealous. If you need the pick guard, you have to make one.

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