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#2616497 - 08/03/14 11:32 AM Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
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http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_eb_pa...&color=CL01

I tried to try one at GC yesterday but there were too many noisy guitarists pumping up the bottom end to the max, so I couldn't judge it properly.

I had tried some other Ibanez models earlier and hated them all, in terms of neck feel, how they responded acoustically, and how they sounded. But this model is entirely different from any I've tried before. Ibanez changes their line-up so fast, I can never keep up with them. This one gets great reviews though.

I was hoping to compare to one of the new Gretsch G5400-series hollow bodies, but GC only carries the GC-only model which isn't of the same quality (G5123B) and the one in Concord had an electrical fault so I couldn't hear its PUP's. Yet it played and resonated quite well acoustically. I'll try Emeryville later this week as they also have both models in stock.

Spec-wise, the Ibanez probably has the better pickups for the job (the Gretsch non-GC models have Blacktop Filter'Tron PUP's; whereas the Ibanez has bass-specific humbuckers in a vintage winding). It's also a good bit deeper (almost an inch). Not quite as wide, but just barely shy of 16" lower bout. The Gretsch might be slightly more responsive acoustically and might have a bit more comfortable neck, but it was hard to tell when I could barely hear myself think. Saturday is the worst day to go into a GC store as it brings out the worst players (also the loudest).

Just curious if anyone is experienced with this model, or other recent hollow body arch top basses. I've only had hollow body flat top basses and they're ALWAYS too boomy, no matter the brand or the price tag. Also, too much fret noise. That didn't seem to be a problem on these models, yet a few years ago I had tried Gretsch's high end models and they were awful (too boomy and too much fret noise plus not very acoustically responsive). Not too surprising as I am currently finding their Electromatic models better than their high-end models.
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#2616509 - 08/03/14 01:04 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
kenfxj Offline
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I had the AGB140 when they first came out.



Different bass I know. I liked it well enough although I felt it was barely more resonant than a solid body.
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#2616515 - 08/03/14 01:23 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: kenfxj]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Yeah, I'm not sure about this (as I tried that model and didn't like it at all) but I'm starting to think a wood bridge is key on an arch top. Also I think arch top basses desperately need two pickups.

I took a look at Ibanez's arch top jazz models at their site today and it's more confusing than ever. That's partly why I'm moving towards The Loar for my jazz guitar (I have a Guild X-175B Manhattan but that isn't really a jazz guitar even though it's an arch top). Anyway, the point is that they have a bunch with wood bridges and far fewer with metal bridges. The George Benson and Pat Metheny models have wood bridges, but the John Scofield is a thin body with a metal bridge.

All three of the current Gretsch Electromatic arch top basses models have wood bridges.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (08/03/14 01:24 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification
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#2616525 - 08/03/14 02:08 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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I forgot to mention a major problem with trying hollow body bass guitars in stores, which is that they all ship with round wound strings for some reason. I guess it's still possible to extrapolate how they'd be with flat wound strings, but not necessarily which are the best ones to try first (especially on a short scale or medium scale bass).


Edited by Mark Schmieder (08/03/14 02:09 PM)
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#2616546 - 08/03/14 04:33 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
J. Dan Offline
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I'm not sure if this will help. A number of years ago I was in the market for an AEB. I had played some I banes that I liked before, so I went to Guitar center to check out the acoustic basses. To their credit, they had a separate sealed room with a few amps top audition AEB's. I played a bunch of Ibanez's, fenders, Dean's, etc. What struck me the most was how different they were from bass OT bass even within the same model. They were all over the place in setup in particular, and even sound and response. I surprisingly (to me) ended up getting the Michael Kelly.

But again, that was AEB. I guess my point is that there's no substitute to spending some quality time and pick the specific instrument (not just model) that feels and sounds right in your hands.
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#2616588 - 08/03/14 11:53 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: J. Dan]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Yep, exactly. They had two of the AFB200 and the first one sucked -- might be one I had tried before. I couldn't believe how different the two of the same model sounded!

I didn't know Michael Kelley makes a hollow body arch top bass. Their stuff seems well priced for what it is. The Gretsch is more expensive than the Ibanez, and the latter cuts some corners for sure, but I'm not convinced the Gretsch is overall better built and/or more conscious of the needs of bassists (Ibanez has been doing basses continually for a long time so has a large cast of hard-to-please clients that keep them honest).
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#2619513 - 08/14/14 12:05 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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They had two of these at GC in Emeryville yesterday and I compared them to each other and to the Gretsch G5123B (GC-only).

I hated all three of them, but the two AFB200's sounded and felt quite different from each other, so I'll re-try the flamed one in Concord tomorrow (their black one was awful). It's amazing how much variance there is in QC for this model!

It doesn't help that these hollow body basses all ship with round wound strings, but I'm hoping I can still make good judgments on tone, versatility, and feel.

I really didn't like how any of them felt; I was so uninspired I could barely think of anything to play, whether on-the-fly, original, or covers. Not a good start! None of them felt like basses to me, due to the necks and also the super-slick finish. Posture-wise I had to hold them more like a Guitarron and play them more that way as well (reaching from above and sort of grabbing the strings gave the best sound vs. plucking or using any standard solid body bass techniques).

The Ibanez sounded too dark to me, probably due to the pickups -- although I tried an Artcore AG95 Bubinga jazz guitar with similar ACH-series pickups and liked it surprisingly well, finding it had a bit of Pat Metheny chime to it without being too harsh or too bright. That warmth and balance didn't seem to translate to the lower registers, where things get muddy (though this is also a trait of hollow body basses).

I found the Gretsch 32" unwieldy in size, so would probably actually prefer the 30.3" short scale model vs. the 34" model. They're the same price, but in the 5400 series so way more professional than this GC special in the 5100 series. They also have Blacktop Filtertrons, which I love in my new 5400 series 12-string, and I didn't care for the TV Jones Thundertrons in the GC special 5123B.

The Gretsch is on sale for a bit over $500 right now vs. its usual $800 price tag, so at the moment is cheaper than the other two models. Of the audio demos I found on-line, the 30" G5422 double-cutaway had a more pleasing tone to me and seemed to cover a wider range, even though it looks to be a thinner body than the 34" G5440 single-cutaway model. It sounded warmer, fuller, more balanced, and also covering a wider range of tones overall and being perhaps a bit more 60's traditional.

Interestingly though, my favorite audio demos of any hollow body bass so far are of the Eastwood Classic 4 model, which uses Gretsch-like pickups but also has coil-tap mode IIRC. It's a short-scale double-cutaway model and a thin body like a 335 Bass.

The funny thing is, I chose the Gretsch 12-string over the Eastwood Classic 12 and have no regrets, so it leads me to think the Gretsch Electromatics in general are better built and more reactive to playing nuances and have better pickups overall. The basses from each company are based on the same model as the respective 12-string models, and I have also compared the 6-string guitars that are in the same series and prefer Gretsch for those as well.

I revisited the Duessenberg Eagles Gold Anniversary Bass but it's a semi-hollow body with center block and really doesn't compare in purpose or tone. A great and versatile bass, feels great, has awesome pickups, but isn't really in the same category as these others and wouldn't serve the same purpose. More of an all-rounder to substitute for a standard solid body with a bit more growl and personality and attitude.

Having compared once again to yet another copy of the Epiphone Jack Casady yesterday, I still dislike that bass immensely in sound and feel, as much as I want to love it because of its design conceit and the special choke switch that alters the impedance. It doesn't feel like a bass to me, but then none of Gibsons do (even my Thunderbird, alas, so it might get sold).

The Lakland Skyline is also a semi-hollow body with a center block and doesn't really sound like a traditional hollow body bass. The newer Hofners are supposed to be nice (e.g. the Ignition or the Contemporary series) but I want a true hollow body and have never felt comfortable with those small-body basses ergonomically.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (08/14/14 12:05 AM)
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#2619514 - 08/14/14 12:46 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
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Loc: St. Louis, MO
Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder

I didn't know Michael Kelley makes a hollow body arch top bass. Their stuff seems well priced for what it is.


They don't. It was an AEB (Acoustic Electric Bass). That's why I said I wasn't sure it would help. My only point was that there was a ton of variation between multiple basses within the same model, so don't rule a model out because the one you picked up didn't feel/sound right.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2619753 - 08/14/14 10:11 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: J. Dan]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Back to the Concord store tonight and, sure enough, the black AFB200 sucked and the flame one was pretty good. The Gretsch was marked down now like in Emeryville so the new $519 price must be chain-wide. It's a much better replica than the one in Emeryville, in spite of the electronics being futzy and hardly getting a signal for more than one or two notes.

Nevertheless, this told me what I needed to know. The Gretsch neck feels comfortable and like a bass hollow body; the Ibanez isn't bad but is shaped more like a guitar neck and is a bit slick and doesn't feel like a bass. Acoustically, the Gretsch resonates and vibrates and gives full tactile feedback that it is an instrument and not a toy. The Ibanez is pretty good for the money but doesn't hold a candle to the Gretsch in terms of overall quality, workmanship, and appropriateness to the task.

Now I just have to decide which 5400 series is the one to order, as either will be better than the 5100 series. I'll see if I can find out more about body depth because I hate 335 Basses and that's what the short scale one looks like (with the double cutaway) from the one picture I saw at an angle that gave any hint of its depth. I don't think the 34" will feel too long, and probably it will be less likely to neck dive than either other model (especially if the 30.3" model is a thin body design).

On the other hand, I may wait until after I try out the Hagstrom baritone hollow body to see if I want it to replace my Eastwood baritone. The latter is solid and has two P90's and is pretty good, whereas the former balances the P90 with a mini hum bucker in the bridge, which should be a nice balance tonally but I kind of shy away from mixing single-coils with humbuckers (though a P90 and a low-output hum bucker is a pretty close match). I would have to order it as Bananas sent all theirs back a couple of years ago as the brand isn't very well known around here (I wish I had gone into the store during the period when they had several basses and guitars from Hagstrom in stock).
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#2619758 - 08/14/14 11:48 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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I've verified that the Gretsch G5440LSB has the same body specs as the G5123B, meaning a 1.6875" nut, a 16" lower bout, and 1 2.75" body depth.

The 30.3" short scale G5442BDC, on the other hand, has a body depth of 2.25" and a nut width of 1.6" -- though it does maintain a 16" lower body bout. Clearly it is more of a 335 Bass style vs. a traditional Gretsch style.

After relistening to some on-line demos, the G5440LSB seems the most versatile and solidly built of the bunch, with the largest tonal range and quite capable of getting the tic-tac sound that is about all the G5442BDC is capable of (with little low end definition). I don't think its 34" scale length makes it redundant with solid body basses as the bigger difference is from the hollow body, arch top, etc.
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#2642253 - 11/20/14 10:53 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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A local indie store has the short scale Gretsch in stock, and I was blown away at how focused its tone is as well as how deep its bottom. I can't imagine the long scale, but will hopefully get up to Bananas in San Rafael some day this year to compare the two.

At this point, it's a definite buy; I just have to decide which one.

Construction quality is way beyond the GC_only medium scale model, and the pickups sound great as well as being versatile in their selector switch settings.

Playing wise, it's as they say: use your thumb, and preferably closer to the bridge for most (but not all) material. It doesn't sound good played with fingers, and of course thumb-only playing will take some practice.

As I stopped on the way to work, my brain was a blank on songs/parts (I am NOT a morning person!), so I didn't really give it a full go on reggae, unfortunately.
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#2649410 - 12/23/14 02:27 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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I'm pretty close to putting my Gold 50th Anniversary Gibson Thunderbird Bass up for sale, as it doesn't seem to chart unique sonic ground (and I don't think I would like it with flats, which was what I thought I'd do to give it a second lease on life).

I'm hoping to be able to consider the Gretsch hollow body models within the next month, as I'm on the edge of needing that sort of sound on some upcoming sessions (and I still dislike the feel of the Jack Casady model as well as the majority of its sounds, which is why I started looking into other hollow body designs a year or two ago).

I didn't want to break the Gretsch discussion out into its own thread after it has dominated the last page or so of the Ibanez thread, but probably people aren't seeing any of the Gretsch posts as the Ibanez hollow bodies generally induce a yawn. :-)
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#2650203 - 12/27/14 09:08 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Here's a medium scale semi-hollow body bass guitar I didn't know about, from D'Angelico:

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-DAG-EXBASS-LIST

Based on the specs, I doubt I'd be interested (and I find their jazz guitars to be too bright).
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#2650411 - 12/28/14 11:15 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
hurricane hugo Offline
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I don't know what the upper price limit is for people reading this, but this guy's Iso-Tops are supposed to be the s**t as far as acoustic-electrics are concerned: http://jonkammerercustoms.com/

The guitar version is like $2,300, so you know the bass version has to somewhere north of that. Then again, maybe not.
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#2650419 - 12/29/14 01:38 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: hurricane hugo]
Michele C. Offline
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What is the current occupation of the Ex Bass?
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#2654135 - 01/12/15 12:03 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Michele C.]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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I'm on the verge of buying one of these this week. Most likely the long scale Gretsch, even though then short-scale is the one I tried.

I'm not keen on driving over 100 miles round trip to try one first, so am likely buying one used that already has the custom case, as otherwise I'd have a long wait on the custom case order (based on past experience with Gretsch instruments where the case or bag has too be special ordered).

This way, if for any reason I have any regrets, I can compare to the short-scale at the nearby store a few miles away. But I am pretty confident; my only concern is whether going to long-scale means it won't distinguish itself as much from the solid body basses.

It's a bit deeper than the short-scale version though, so I'm pretty sure it will have its own sound. The audio clips I've heard on-line are quite convincing, and this is not the case with other brands (some of which I've tried), so I think they're likely a good indicator.
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#2654789 - 01/13/15 03:40 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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Here's the response I just got from the authorized Gretsch dealer regarding the long scale version of the hollow body bass vs. the short scale version that I've already tried and love:

"The tone with the long scale version is pretty similar to the short scale. I'd say itís a little deeper and more powerful with more sustain, but still has that woody thumpy hollow body vibe."

I prepaid PayPal Credit two days ago but the payment still shows up only as scheduled vs. pending or cleared, so I'm stuck waiting a bit longer to make the purchase. This is why I keep paying cash for everything and thus not recycling my debt enough; short-term sales and sluggishness of on-line banking.
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#2654885 - 01/13/15 11:38 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
EddiePlaysBass Offline
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I think I saw an Artcore (or similar) in a store yesterday. Caught my eye cos it's a pretty good looking bass. I didn't go in to give 'er a try cos I was on lunch break @ work and I am not currently in the market for a new bass anyway smile If anything I'd need to get rid of one or two ...
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#2654894 - 01/14/15 01:30 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: EddiePlaysBass]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
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The deed is done (sort of). PayEnemy once again screwed up its sense of available credit (how is this possible when it's the same company?) so I had to pull out of the payment and will try again after midnight tomorrow. Luckily the vendor didn't demand instant payment, but I ALWAYS do instant payment anyway... except when there's a surprise snag after I've already verified payment clearance and account balance externally from the bay site.

It will be interesting to see how well, and how quickly, I develop my thumb technique on this monstrous hollow body bass. These are roughly the same pickups as on my Gretsch 12-string hollow body, but I'm guessing they're tweaked a bit for bass vs. guitar. I actually prefer the Blacktops to the higher-end Gretsches (which I sold) as they seem closer to Dynasonics than FilterTrons and thus more responsive and more versatile.
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#2657450 - 01/22/15 03:49 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 just finished unpacking, tuning, and trying out the Gretsch G5440LSB Hollow Body bass (acoustically, as I'm at work), and even with round wounds it is quite impressive.

The "E" string buzzes unless you play near or at the bridge pickup, but that is the recommended playing position anyway, and like the short-scale version, this bass sounds best if primarily played with the thumb.

The tone is very solid and focused, but unlike a P-Bass so not redundant. It's loud enough unplugged to accompany quieter instruments and singers.

I can't wait to get this home tonight and plug it in to see how it sounds amplified and through the BlackTop FilterTron pickups!

I should have spun this off to its own thread ages ago, as people not interested in Ibanez ArtCore Hollow Body Basses are unlikely to see any of this discussion of other hollow body basses, but it would break the continuity of the discussion.

All in all, I can say that I have no regrets ordering the long scale version blind vs. the short scale version that I had actually tried. It actually feels LESS awkward than the short scale, even though the neck is wider and chunkier and the frets are further apart.

I suspect it will be OK with a strap, standing, as the thumb-at-the-bridge playing style should help prevent neck dive.
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#2658216 - 01/24/15 01:45 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 7896
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Hmm, I'm torn on the Gretsch hollow body.

The tonal range is almost nil with the treble cut and the pickup switches and independent pickup volume controls, surprisingly, but you can get a wide variety of sounds through finger position and playing style. I just think it's strange, is all, that the electronics seem wired that way.

The big surprise is that it almost sounds like a Chapman Stick when plugged in, and is a great tapper! In fact, this is why I'm torn, because I know it should probably get flats, but it may need rounds for that one duty.

No guarantee I'm keeping this bass; it's my "last gasp" at hollow body basses, just like my Warmoth is my final shot at fretless basses (not sure I'll keep it long term). With flats, this hollow body bass may start serving the purpose that the fretless P-Bass would otherwise serve. I have to think more about its distinct role, as right now it is NOT sounding like the tic-tac 50's/60's bass that the short scale version lender itself to. OTOH the P-bass with flats is fine for that sort of job.

This may indeed become my "tapper" as the only bass that I own currently that is at all good for that role is the Dingwall Afterburner (which also is likely to get sold sometime this year as I am moving away from boutique manufacturers altogether now that I have a lot more studio experience behind me).

If anyone who taps a lot has experience with flats vs. rounds for that role, I'll enjoy hearing some feedback. My guess is that tapping would work even better on flats, and that a hollow body can really bring out a lot more character vs. a solid body.

I didn't care for how this bass sounds with a pick, but that could change with flats.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (01/24/15 01:47 PM)
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#2663977 - 02/09/15 03:07 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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I'm getting my Gretsch hollow body worked on this WED, and will replace the round wounds with Thomastik flats after my guitar tech talk me into those (and I've used them before, many times over the years, on different basses) vs. my extra LaBella set.

I spent a few hours on it yesterday. It takes a LOT of strength to play, but I began to adapt my style to it. For good solid tone and a strong focused fundamental, it is necessary to hit the string harder than on most basses; otherwise you get a wimpy tone with less focus and definition.

Initially I thought only thumb-style at the bridge would work. Finger-style tends to be less focused and round, but maybe that will change with flats. The nice surprise, however, was that it takes really well to traditional thick felt picks. And with these, you can get a range of tones, from plucky to sustainy (if desired).

The bass sounds great on vintage material such as Beatles (all eras). Better than a P-Bass for such stuff, but not necessarily essential -- especially given how much harder still it is to play it primarily near the nut. Not sure I want to lower the action, however. The Thomastiks will likely make this a bit easier, and also may help accentuate its utility as a tap bass (though I forgot to try this technique yesterday).

I have no idea whether I'll keep this bass; only if it distinguishes itself as completely unique and essential for covering stuff not otherwise well-covered (from a studio perspective) by my other basses. It sure looks great, and if the flats make it a great jazz bass, I may try it in that role (first at rehearsal, to avoid the evil eye :-)).
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#2665375 - 02/14/15 09:12 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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It's getting its setup work done now. Not too much to be done overall, but I'm having Thomastik flats put on it and it will need to be adjusted for that.

Other than that, the nut needs to be recut for the "A" string, but otherwise it passed inspection with nothing glaring.
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#2670762 - 03/07/15 04:30 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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Picked it up WED; $200 worth of setup work (including somewhat expensive Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Bass flat wound strings), and I think it's as good as it's going to get.

I'm putting it up for sale today, after spending several hours with it today in evaluation mode vs. other basses, finger-style and with plectrums, covering just about every genre.

It's the best hollow body bass I've ever played (except maybe that $4K Duesenberg Eagles model that was at GC/SF before it finally sold). And so, it confirms that I'm just not finding hollow body basses to fit my tastes.

The upper two strings sound almost like an upright. Great! The third string is "most of the way there" but by the time you get to the low "E" string, it's starting to sound a bit like a baritone guitar.

This is an EXTREMELY articulate bass; as much so as my Yamaha BB-Bass. Also a very deep bass tone; not at all trebly or bright like most hollow body basses. The neck is great and feels very comfortable and smooth; almost like ebony though it's rosewood.

On jazz standards, it excels. If you sit on a note very long though, it starts to give itself away as a hollow body guitar. It's easy to mute, and takes especially well to finger style between the pickups or felt pick for Elvis/Beatles/etc.

My bandleader rejected it out of hand THU night without hearing it in context, so that definitely put a damper on things. Ironically, he thought it would get lost in the mix; whereas I was more concerned it would step all over everything else due to its deep bass and its articulateness. At any rate, it didn't quite pass my own personal tests either today, but for different reasons.

I highly recommend this bass to anyone who wants a really good hollow body bass. I only keep what I absolutely need, and sell all sorts of instruments that I like if they don't prove their unique value to specific projects.
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#2670919 - 03/08/15 01:03 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
b5pilot Offline
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It sounds like you like this bass. I hope you aren't getting rid of it simply because your band leader rejected it without really hearing it. I'd save it to use on other gigs.
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#2670922 - 03/08/15 01:15 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: b5pilot]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Liking and needing are two different things. I only keep what I need.
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#2671017 - 03/09/15 06:22 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
b5pilot Offline
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Ah, point taken. Still it's a pretty nice bass.
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#2672315 - 03/13/15 08:24 AM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Michele C.]
Russkull Offline
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Originally Posted By: Michele C.
What is the current occupation of the Ex Bass?

Somehow I missed this gem! Nice one Michele. roll roll roll
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#2838075 - 02/24/17 11:36 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Russkull]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
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Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Hmm, I can't find that original comment, so don't know if it was ONLY a joke, or also talking about the D'angelico Excel EX-Bass, which I don't think I knew about until this week:

http://dangelicoguitars.com/guitars/excel-series/excel-bass/#DAEBASSNATGSPO

I've heard wonderful demos from great players and very good demos from bad players, which is a good sign. :-) Similar specs to the Gretsch that I sold, at twice the price. 15" vs. 16" bout, and 1.75" depth vs. 2.75" depth, and 32.25" scale length vs. 34" scale.

So yeah, a bit closer to 335 territory, but all the other specs (including 1.6875" nut width) are closer to the full-scale Gretsch that was a bit much for me. I'm hoping to find an EX-Bass somewhere to try. I like it best in natural blond finish like my EXL-1 L5-scale arch-top guitar.

Due to the recent death of my bandleader, I'm going through a lot of re-evaluation right now, and a guitarist friend is thinking of forming a mostly-Beatles tribute band. I still don't like even the better Hofners, and am thinking the D'angelico EX-Bass might be a more versatile choice both for vintage rock and for jazz duo gigs.
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#2838076 - 02/24/17 11:40 PM Re: Ibanez Artcore Bass AFB200 Hollow Body [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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BTW, it comes in a fretless version as well (black only), but I don't feel hollow basses work well as fretless models, even with flat wounds.

Piezo-based semi-hollows work well for me as fretless basses though, and the upcoming Ibanez SRH500 looks intriguing (fretted and fretless models, 4-string and 5-string available) but no sound samples yet. It will be $700, 24 frets, exotic woods. Other SR-series basses sound pukey to me though. Maybe this one will be more like the Godin A4 Acoustibass.
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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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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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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
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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
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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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