Viola Bass review by Epiphone

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (71 votes)
Epiphone: Viola Bass
1

Price paid: $ 469

Purchased from: Music123

Overall Impression — 10
This bass is awesome. Lightweight, great sounding, and easy to play. I have heard complaints about the, low end of the viola, but I think it has plenty bottom end, but its more of a mellow, acoustic kind of bottom end. For that vintage semi-hollow tone, you can't beat the quality and sound at this price. It's a very comfortable bass to play, light weight, narrow short scale neck. You'll love Viola because she is beatiful to look at and easy on the shoulder, and opens up new musical ideas.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Hardware looks really solid - no junk metal. Finish is solid and should last a lifetime. Definitely an instrument that sings live! This is a bass that you can depend on without having to have a back-up bass. It's Epiphone and has a lifetime warranty. Very sturdy bass. Feels substantial in your hands.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory setup was fine. The strings are nice, the action was high, but not unbearable. The intonation was perfect. The finish is beautiful, nice and shiny. The flame maple tops were all beautiful, even on less than perfect finishes. The necks all felt great. The floating bridge on the other hand needed some work to get the intonation right but when its there you'll know quickly because the notes are clear and tight. Minor flaws: dots on the 12th fret no perfectly aligned, black plastic guard around the top, treble pickup not perfectly square (but very close) and a couple of sanding touches needed before laquering on the edge of the neck with the fret dots. All hardware and fittings excellent, except the strap knobs did not extend out enough.

Features — 10
- Flame Maple Body - Rosewood/Dot Fingerboard - Maple Neck - Set Neck Joint - 1.65" Nut Width - 30.5" Scale - 2 Mini-Humbuckers Controls - Laminated Maple Body Style

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    chinny1991
    This bass combined with, orange crush 50BXT.. i found the sound i was looking for. love it.
    R3dh00d
    I think you can slap on it ok. I have been playing this for several years now in a band where it gets a real work out. Is an excellent bass. Always get lots of comments on it when we play live. Very dependable, rarely loses tune, never need a back up guitar. Very quick action, addictive. Don't understand the comment above that it isn't a great bass if you like to jump around - after playing this one I find other guitars are anchors compared to this. Great bass all round. I recommend it (but would prefer no one else had one so it stayed unique!) You will want strap locks though. I double check the screws are in tight before going on stage - mine need a tighten every four or five shows. Might be due to the depth or density of the wood, I'm not sure, but keep a screwdriver in your case and you'll be right.
    Emilym80
    Oh wow, Hofner rip off much? Mind you, they do play better than a Hofner.
    guyprofessorguy
    I HAVE AN EARNIE BALL FRETLESS STINGRAY AND A FENDER PRECISION AS WELL AS MY NEW VIOLA. THE VIOLA IS FASTER AND SO MUCH LIGHTER TO PLAY. ITS LIGHTER WEIGHT PROVIDES A BOARD ADVANTAGE, ESPECIALLY FOR APPROACHING THE HIGHER FRETS THEN MOVING BACK. IT TUNES-UP QUICKLY AND HOLDS ITS INTEGRITY FOR DAYS. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE THIS LOVELY INSTRUMENT AND RECOMMEND IT WITHOUT RESERVATION. DR. JAMS GUY
    rageahol
    Don't quote me on this, but I think I read somewhere that Epiphone built viola basses before Hofner did.
    stig63
    Gibson built a viola shaped electric bass with an extendable pole in the tail so you could play it upright. It was one of the original EB models.
    fatbassben
    Have this litle bass and it plays nice , it falls into your hands just like butter ;; but sound pups are not the biggest deal .. bass is muddy ; compared to Hofnerbass I own both Hofners too and those are much better on sound but worse in hand .. plus it's always out of balance: topheavy !! and that's anoying you need to keep hands on or it turnsover downwards ! this is not the case with my Hofners Prisewise it is off course a bargain compared to the 500 CT
    mab0009081
    I'm Stuck between this and the Epiphone Thunderbird Bass . Both the same price, but this Viola is rated higher on this website. Help !!!
    AndrogynousMind
    i was considering one,till you told me you cant slap on one.I love the sound but id want more versitility
    eleband
    I played a second hand one of these babies in cashies awhile back f*** I loved it, I think I wanna buy one to compliment my epiphone EB-03 It just felt so right, played so right and looked so f***ing beautiful price tag is quite low too, considering what a beaut you're getting.
    Purnin
    I messed around with one of these babys in the guitar store today, they are so gorgeous and fun to play with!
    volta949
    Ok, I bought this bass not to long ago maybe 3 or 4 years ago and I must say its worth the buy. If you like playing fast and straight to the point then please pick up this bass. The electronics on it are decent for the price and the neck gets a bit sticky due to sweaty palms ( If you get that). It looks great on stage, but if your in to moving alot on stage please get a solid body and dont waste your time. Its perfect for the price and its really light weight.
    nightguy101
    I have both the Epiphone and Hofner.But the Epiphone wins Hand down on stage for playability.the controls are simple and responsive whereas the Hofner contols are fiddly and idiosyncratic with no separate tone control.For gigs I always use the Epi.