I want to buy a violin bass, and now I have an offer to buy a Greco VB500 from 1985. But I can’t find much information on these on the internet, so I was hoping that maybe you could help me with some info. First, your gallery says that these were made between 1977-81, but the one I am thinking of buying is made in 1985 according to the serial number (serial number starts with D85.., which is supposed to be April 1985 according to greco serials). Could this be correct? Second, when you say on your site that it is violin construction, does that mean no centerblock? Because this one has a centerblock according to the seller? And lastly, do you have any experience with this model, and if so; how would you say it compares soundwise to a genuine German Hofner (or even to the Contemporary)? I’m sure you’re busy, but any advice would be very helpful and much appreciated. Many thanks in advance! Best regards //Adel
answer from violin basses:
Greco can be regarded as the Company that produced the most different models of Violin Basses and over the longest time period. Perhaps you noticed the entry following the VB500 where I wrote: "Over the years numerous more-or-less Hofner like versions were following, VB50 (1983), VB650 (1990), VB80 (1994), VB90 (2003)" I once could check such a model (not sure which exactly) and personally I wouldn't buy it unless for collecting reasons, not for making music. What 'violin construction' exactly means you can read on my subpage http://www.fuenfhunderteins.de/construction.html Also mentioned there is the 'sustain block' as a variety of the violin body... but sorry, no idea which of the numerous Greco models has one.
If the bass of your desire has a sustain block, it could compare with the Hofner Contemporary (HCT) which has one too, but I have never heard the Greco. But even if I had, my opinion could not be objective enough, that always lies in the eyes ond the ears of every single person. Try to pay not too much, so you can resell it if it is not what you imagined, then it should be worth a try. Best of luck!
re your unknown violin bass #12 "Made in Italy": that one must surely have been made by ZeroSette at Castelfidardo. Looking at http://www.fetishguitars.com/zerosette/zerosette-hollow-bodies/, the headstock shape and construction (front %26 back) is the same; truss rod cover, tuners and control knobs are identical. Being unbranded, it might be a rejected prototype that never reached production - either a ZeroSette or a JG (as U.S. imports by Julio Giulietti were called). Just possibly, maybe even a Goya - there was never a Goya violin bass, but we know ZeroSette built Goya electrics for the American market.
re Liberty: this was reportedly the "house" brand of a chain of music stores in Nagoya, Japan, in the late 1960s. The builder was Teisco Gen Gakki of Matsumoto - not to be confused with the better-known Teisco company in Tokyo that was taken over by Kawai in January, 1967.
anwer from violin basses:
thanks for that precious information! I must agree, the unidentified violin bass #12 has much similarities to the ZeroSette instruments, so I think you're right with your assumption!
Admin remark: Thanks, but they are already included on the bottom under "Violin Shaped Basses (solid)" Look there: http://www.fuenfhunderteins.de/brandpages/odessa.htm http://www.fuenfhunderteins.de/brandpages/orfeus.htm
Wonderful site! Great work on this valuable compilation. I use the site often for reference. Here is a photo of my Klirahof Special. I had acquired two NOS Klira bodies which were undrilled, unfinished, and had no neck pocket cut. The neck is from a 1966-68 Hofner 500/1 with a new fret board added. I have been a Hofner restoration specialist for many years and I have photos of many of the violin basses I have owned and worked on. Thank you for this epic effort!!!
I have a violin Bass which is labeled Jason Lyrebird on the forehead.It has a light timber rod between the head and the tail but still only weighs about three or four pounds. It looks identical to the blackjack on your site. I could send you pictures if you are interested. Love your site. Cheers Brian Needham
answer from violin basses: Thank you Brian, new pictures are always appreciated! You have mail!
About the addition of a "Pyramid" bass: It's still doubtful whether this is a genuine brand. The blue example seems to be repainted, and the logo on the headstock taken from some other product context altogether. It looks like a sticker from a kind of safety windshield glass called Pyramid that was found on many cars in the 1960s.
answer from violin basses: Thanks Bob for this information. I'm going to add this anyhow on the wbsite! Greetz, Uli
Dating your old Hofner. The most important part of this page is in the smallest of print.
*The 'Preh' potentiometers used until the seventies had a two- or three-digit number folliwing the 250K resitance value. The first one or two digits were indicating the production week (of the pot), the last digit stood for the year. e.g: 250K28=2. week 1968, 250K355=35.week 1965
Nice website, but you should make this the largest print.
Vielen Violin Basses and The Most Visible Left-Hander in Human History
Wow! I had no idea there were so many violin-shaped basses. The gallery is simply extrodinary! Nice work!
As a left-handed kid constantly berated by teachers for poor penmanship, I was thrilled on the day that realized that Paul McCartney was left-handed and played his Hofner bass left-handed. He chose the Hofner as his bass in no small part because it would look OK if the strings and controls, etc., could be installed for left-hand use. McCartney's left-handed playing on the left of the state (from the audience's perpective) and the left-handed Hofner bass are an often overlooked factor in the Beatles' very unique look in their early fame years.
I've never seen anyonse else state this before, but I declare that Paul McCartney is the most visible left-hander in human history. No left-handed sports figure's equipment is as an obviously left-handed as a left-handed guitar or bass guitar, nor does any athlete's career last anywhere near as long as McCartney's musical career. Morever, no other left-handed musician's career has lasted as long and as publicly as McCartney's. It dwafts that of Jimi Hendrix, probably he second most famous left-handed musician of the rock era.