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#2838331 - 02/26/17 05:52 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Paul K Offline
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I dig the SRH500 from what I saw on line. But, I sure would like a magnetic pickup tossed in there also. Keep it simple....Vol Vol for knobs, like on my Michael Kelly Hybrid guitar (the first one, with only one magnetic pickup) That'd be hip.
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#2840020 - 03/06/17 01:27 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Paul K]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
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Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
The Ibanez SRH500 now shows up in Sweetwater's catalogue, but I still haven't heard any audio demos of it, either fretted or fretless. I prefer ebony for fretless so probably would only consider the fretted model.

Rosewood doesn't work for me with fretless. Nor do synthetics. But wenge is fine. Maybe maple, but I've never seen that.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (03/06/17 01:27 PM)
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#2840087 - 03/06/17 05:47 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Paul K Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder


Rosewood doesn't work for me with fretless.


Indeed, ebony is preferred. But a little tong oil on rosewood hardens it up quite a bit. Ground wounds or flats or nylon, and the board wear is minimal--My #1 is rosewood, and it's been my #1 for over 15 years without a fretboard job. I'd say if the rest of the bass is what you want at the proper price point, don't let rosewood be the deal killer.
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#2840125 - 03/06/17 09:48 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Paul K]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Cool, good to know. I wish I'd known that when I got rid of another rosewood fretless a few years back. All of my other fretless basses have been ebony, except for my first one, which was a converted 70's Jazz Bass (huh, it might have been maple!). Jaco-style, right?
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#2841215 - 03/12/17 05:25 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Today, I tried out the brand-new Verythin reissue by Hofner ($700, 30", 335-style) and like it quite a bit, but it needs a bit more work by the proprietor before I feel safe buying it, as the intonation isn't quite there even after he did a rush job while I was in the store (it was WAY off at first). I compared to a Beatles Bass (the lower-priced Ignition model) and they felt and sounded nothing like each other in spite of similar PUPS.

I am thinking of going for this instead of the new D'angelico EX-Bass, but need to compare specs first as the EX-Bass is a thin body as well and I have concluded that this is what I need/want for my semi-hollow or full hollow bass guitar.

The Hofner Verythin has an assertive tone and a solid feel, unlike a lot of smaller scale basses that feel more like guitars. In fact, it doesn't even feel like a short scale. Also, the string spacing is good enough for finger style playing, even though one would most likely primarily use a plectrum on this bass. The tone is great either way, and the 335-style controls give a wide range of sounds.

I had heard two YouTube demos that impressed me, so was curious to try this out today when the store where I did my Guild acoustic guitar upgrade got one in stock. I may go back in a week after the guy has had time to correct its floating bridge and pickup issues, to reverify the intonation at the twelfth fret and above.

The finish is traditional tobacco burst, which I feel looks nicer on this body shape than on the standard Beatles Bass viola/violin inspired shape.

Of course, it would benefit from flats but ships with rounds. McCartney used Pyramids for the most part, and those are $90/set!

Note that there is also a 34" long scale version available in a nice cherry burst:

http://www.hofner.com/guitars-basses/electric-basses/other-bass/verythin-ct-long-scale-bass.html

Given how well balanced the 30" short scale version seems, I think I would just stick with that if I go for this bass. Hollow and semi-hollow basses tend to have pretty high tension, so 34" can be a bit hard; 32" can be a nice compromise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_-BRD94wEY

I've linked a quality video above, as the guy who does Hofner's own demos is one of the worst bassists I've heard in my entire life. He uses crazy vibrato on every note!


Edited by Mark Schmieder (03/12/17 05:38 PM)
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#2842757 - 03/18/17 07:55 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
My technician highly recommends the Hofner Verythin, and said not to worry about the intonation problems I experienced in the store as it's an easy fix to the bridge and setup. He recommends it far above any other hollow or semi-hollow bass, including the new D'Angelico EX-Bass.

If I have the dough, I'll buy it this week, and also will try their Verythin Guitar which I didn't bother trying last week but which my technician says is very well built and has unique settings and sounds.
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#2890159 - 11/13/17 11:52 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
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Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I have confirmed that the Hofner Verythin Bass was discontinued and no longer available to order, unfortunately -- at least in the USA.

Perhaps the structural issues I found with the one I tried (and passed on, as a result) were too common to continue the model. I wasn't given a reason.

I am, however, quite interested in the new Epiphone Masterbilt Century Archtop Acoustic Bass Guitar with f-holes, which may arrive in stores as early as Xmas but more likely not until President's Day.

http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Electrics/Bass/Masterbilt-De-Luxe-Classic-4-String.aspx

I love the highest-end guitar model in that series, which I bought recently. Epiphone is once again using high-end components and construction on their $1000 mark instruments.

Too bad there are still no audio demos of the bass. It does take a 9V battery for its pickup, unlike the guitar in the same family. Understandable, as low frequencies require more energy to boost. It can be played acoustically though.

Interestingly, Epiphone ships it with tape-wound nylon strings, so it may end up being a good stand-in for a stand-up, so to speak. Or it might play like a Guitarron, with a dull thud and extreme discomfort.
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Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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#2893628 - 12/01/17 11:39 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
For some reason, my Sweetwater rep didn't contact me to tell me the Epiphone Masterbilt De Luxe Classic Hollow Body Bass has come in, in limited numbers, even though I stated my interest and put myself on the waiting list.

It's only by chance that I re-checked the website tonight, but it's no big deal because I now know I don't want one, since someone finally posted a video demo, and literally every sound that comes out of this instrument is unusable due to wolf tones, buzz, and other unpleasantries:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWXBh0B9ILg

So, the design of this bass does not do anything to mitigate the usual problems of hollow body acoustic basses. It sounds though like the owner may have switched from the default tape-wound strings that it ships with, so maybe not a valid demo?
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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#2893696 - 12/02/17 04:11 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I'm still sold on the Hofner Verythin Bass, if only I could find one! Sweetwater said they're no longer available, but I'm not 100% sure that means they're no longer made -- they seem to have chosen a different distribution model for this one.

When I think I'm really ready to buy, I'll call the local indie store and see if they can still get one, and whether they stopped carrying them due to setup issues with the one I tried last year (not sure if they sent it back, or if it sold).

I still love most demos of that bass, and the in-person experience was mind-blowingly good across-the-pboard in terms of feel, sound, and versatility.

Someone on eBay split the case from the bass (not cool, as Hofner ships WITH it) and raised the price above the expected $700 for the bass+case deal, under the pretense that the bass on its own is normally $1700 (or something like that). Separate shipping charges, of course. No way would I buy under those conditions; especially knowing of potential neck and bridge problems.
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Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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#2896529 - 12/18/17 02:05 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
The Geoff Offline
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Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 8846
Loc: Near Glasgow
Don't know if this is any help, Mark, but:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/hoefner_verythin_bass_ct.htm?ref=search_rslt_hofner+verithin+bass_245922_18

G.
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#2896688 - 12/18/17 08:32 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: The Geoff]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Yeah, but I don't think they're allowed to sell to the states? I've just always made that assumption. New import fees kick in on 1 JAN too and they're pretty severe. Sometimes though it still pays off due to differentials in price for a source country vs. a downstream distribution.
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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#2896876 - 12/19/17 05:13 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
The Geoff Offline
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Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 8846
Loc: Near Glasgow
I'm sure some on this board have bought from Thomann, but the import fees may indeed change the picture.

G.
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#2905736 - 01/30/18 01:28 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: The Geoff]
Mark Schmieder Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I expect my Hofner Verythin Bass to arrive next week. I suddenly found quite a few of them on-line this week, but it took hours to decide which was the safest one to order. I'm going with Sunburst vs. Red, and the gold round knobs vs. the Strat-like ones (Hofner apparently changed the specs mid-year in 2015, when all of the ones currently for sale were made).

Specs are inconsistent regarding maple vs. spruce top. Pretty sure they're all spruce and that there are simply some cut/paste errors and inconsistencies in some postings vs. different specs by finish. The long scale version (which I don't like) may have used different woods though.

I didn't want to wait any longer on this, as some sellers have already raised prices due to scarcity. And those are the used ones! Mine is new, and cheaper than many listed as used. Also, mine comes with an excellent Hofner arch-top hardshell case. Many sellers scavenge that, and won't even ship the bass in the case if you order both!

This bass was pulled from the US market about a year or so ago due to poor sales. Americans only want the Beatle Bass, which sucks big time in my view. Apparently this bass has done better in European and Asian markets. The guitar in the Verythin series has fared a bit better here.

TB members seem to recommend TI Jazz Flats in 32" Medium scale. It ships with rounds from Hofner for some reason; at one point it did ship with flats. The Pyramid Golds that are associated with the Viola Bass may not work as well on this bass due to different tension, further trapeze bridge connections to the body, etc. I used Jazz Flats for years when I still had my Godin Fretless Acoustibass A4 Rev 1. Love those strings.
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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#2906953 - 02/03/18 07:41 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Leaning towards Rotosound 88 TruBass strings instead of the other options, but some say their gauge is too light. Tension matters more though, and the TI strings are super-low tension.

It makes more sense to try the Rotos before spending close to $100 on a Pyramid Gold set, which many feel is not as well-balanced tonally anyway.

A lot of people prefer standard D'addario Chromes, but I feel it's time to try something new again rather than have those on three basses.
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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#2906954 - 02/03/18 07:45 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Wish I could find the old thread where I discussed a bass I bought 2nd hand that came with awful ribbon/tape strings.

Surely those weren't TruBass as the guy who brought a bass strung up with those later on, let me try his bass and I loved the feel -- nothing like what I remember of those mystery strings that I eventually threw away as no one here wanted them.

I talked to some other bassists (in person) last night at a show that I did, and they said the Roto tapes feel and sound the best of any, by a long shot, and are completely different from any of the others on the market.

Presumably the 32" scale is the right set to buy for the VeryThin, but there's some ambiguity as Hofner has changed the bridge tailpiece a few times without revving the model number, and this can happen mid-year vs. during a highly publicized annual catalogue refresh.



Edited by Mark Schmieder (02/03/18 07:45 PM)
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager

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#2906985 - 02/03/18 11:15 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I've decided to go with the D'addario Tape Wound strings, if they are compatible with the Hofner Verythin bass.

These strings are continuously wound with no overlap, which distinguishes them from most, if not all, of the other tape wound strings on the market (especially the more established sets).

I have been so impressed with that company in recent years, that this decision is also a matter of confidence in their engineering.

The Rotosound TruBass strings seem a bit boomier to me, which can be more "exciting", but I suspect the D'addario's will record and blend better -- especially on a 30" short scale hollow body bass.

I'm sure I'd be happy with either set. Not so sure about Pyramid, and they cost a lot so can be a backup if unhappy with the two "standard price" brands. LaBella tape wounds are affordable, surprisingly, but might be the ones I hated that came on a used bass a few years back (more likely those were GHS or DR though).

In shootouts and individual demos, both the Rotos and the D'addarios have their strengths. Both are really great string sets. It's just that I suspect the Rotos aren't quite as good a match specifically on the Hofner Verythin model. Maybe better on the Viola Bass (which is very different).
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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#2908245 - 02/09/18 01:51 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 8686
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
It will need some bridge and nut work, when my techie has time, but he did enough adjustments tonight that I can use it at gigs if not in the studio. The tape wounds from D'addario arrived too, but I may feel I should wait for the setup work to put them on.

Beautiful instrument, and quite well-made, plus a supe-high-end arch-top hardshell case that would probably sell for $160 or more on its own. Well done!

It really doesn't FEEL like a short scale when playing it, which is good. It ships with rounds, which is why I may get impatient and throw the tape wound strings on this weekend.

If I don't like these brand-new D'addario tape wound designs, I'll just switch to what I already know I like, which is the Rotosound black nylons.
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Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, RS520T, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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