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Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst Reviews

4.5 stars based on 17 customer reviews
Questions about the Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst?

Questions about the Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst?

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  • from New Jersey March 27, 2017

    I Love It!

    I have always liked the design of the "Beatle Bass." Since the genuine Hofner model is well out of my price range, I decided to look into the cheaper alternatives. I read a number of reviews online of the various models and I have even viewed some of the video reviews and demonstrations as well. The Epiphone Viola Bass was always somewhere at the top of the list. So I decided to take the risk and I am glad that I did.

    I was surprised at how solid it was. The body had more weight to it than I had expected and it had more sustain as well. The feel is nice and I got the hang of playing it within a day or two. I am mainly a guitar player so obviously a bass has a different feel to it. I practice mainly sitting down and it sits well in my lap. It's a very comfortable bass for me to play. Other people may feel differently as a matter of preference though.

    The finish was flawless and it looks beautiful when polished up. It's a nice looking, stylish instrument that plays well and sounds great. I have no complaints. I also have the Epiphone case for it too. It is a perfect fit, seems durable and it has a pretty big storage compartment. I ordered both the bass and the case from Sweetwater and they were both well packed for shipping. No dings, dents or scratches at all. therefore, no complaints.

  • from St. Louis February 1, 2017Music Background:
    Complete Noob

    I have wanted this since 1964

    Since the first time I laid my eyes on Paul McCartney's bass, I knew this was for me. Music has been such a strong influence on my life, I am at that station in life where I can afford to indulge a passion. As a complete novice, this fits both my budget and my hand perfectly. The build quality and craftsmanship are breathtaking and I find learning on this to be one of life's best pleasures. I foresee many years of practice and never outgrowing this fine instrument.
    Since I too am in the service business, I cannot speak highly enough for the great staff at Sweetwater who have made this buying experience a genuine pleasure.

  • from January 31, 2016

    Ain't she sweet?

    This thing is so pretty. I have no experience with other basses so I don't feel like I can compare it to anything else, but as a Beatles fan I couldn't resist. It sounds great to my untrained ear. I've been playing it for a year--learning with Rocksmith, and I'm having a great time.

  • from Providence, RI January 15, 2016

    Epiphone Viola Bass

    I was looking for a short scale bass due to having a shoulder surgery and 35" scale bass I was using was just too much for me. The workmanship, quality, feel, weight, construction on this bass blew me away. I had strings changed to flat wounds, plugged it in into my TC Electronic amp and just was so happy with the diversity of sound I could get. I wish I had this bass years ago and as soon as I have sold my other 35" bass I will get another Epi Viola for backup bass. Alan Finkbeiner is my sales rep at Sweetwater and you could not get a better guy to handle your needs at Sweetwater he is better than the best. I am thrilled, and been playing almost 40 years, and went to college for music.

  • from Virginia October 1, 2015Music Background:
    Fifty-plus years of playing guitar, forty-some of playing around with bass; also singer/songwriter

    So Good I Traded a Fender for One

    About a year ago I started having to tote my Fender Precision back and forth to church while we were preparing for the Christmas musical. At age 68, I found the weight and just the wear and tear on me to be a real downer. So I bought a Viola bass as a second bass and liked the sound so much I've kept it at church ever since. But practicing this year on a long-scale Precision and at church on the shorter Viola was making things tricky. Plus the weight of the Fender was causing chest muscle pains. (Yes, I went to the doctor about it.) So I did the only reasonable thing: I traded the Fender for a second Viola. If that doesn't tell you how much I like the Viola, nothing will!

  • from June 6, 2015

    The best

    It is the best bass that I have ever played!

  • from Center Point, Texas May 11, 2015Music Background:

    Epiphone viola bass

    We use this to play through our church sound system and it is great! We all love the mellow tones are wonderful. We were going to play through an amp but through the sound system is much better.

  • from Grosse Ile, MI June 19, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Hobbyist

    Nice Bass

    Great instrument..... Great service ! I have been playing a Fender P bass for years. Recently I started playing in an acoustic trio and wanted something that fit in better with a violin and an acoustic guitar. This bass is just what I was looking for. Very sweet sound. I strung it up with medium scale Rotosound monel flats. adjusted the action and intonation. It plays and looks like it cost a lot more than $300 . Sweetwater service is exceptional..... Thanks James Masterson.

  • from Pittsburgh May 21, 2013Music Background:
    Played in many bands spanning decades.

    Unmatched Value.

    Very well-built, sweet sounding instrument. The tone has the hollow bodied mellowness I was looking for. Buy it; at the price you will not be disappointed.

  • from Baytown, Texas August 9, 2016


    I bought this bass as an upgrade. I read many reviews from different sites and decided to go and play it in the local guitar store. I was extremely please at the deep resonating tones and length of sustain. It is so easy to play and fret. I am a female and went from a solid body bass to this semi-hollow and it feels so natural. It didn't take any time to get use to it, it is a natural fit. I played it at church and the following Sunday morning, I got many compliments on how the bass sounded....(makes me wonder what I sounded like before). Besides the beauty of it, even the sound guy commented on how well it sounds. I bought the case that is a fit for this, Epiphone EVBCS, and am amazed at the quality of the case from the construction to the latches; very solid. Our salesman made us a deal that we could not pass up! I am so very pleased with my new bass!

    Definitely recommend this for anyone, beginner to an advanced player.

  • from Marshall, TX July 12, 2013Music Background:
    playing guitar over 40 years/mostly as a hobby

    great value

    Always wanted to learn to play bass, have been playing guitar over 40 years. Have played a little but never owned a bass. This is an exceptional bass for the price. Have really enjoyed learning on this one so far.

  • from Alabama January 14, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Pleasantly surprised

    I bought one of these second-hand, looked like brand new. I normally play a jazz bass, but over the years the weight is getting to my shoulder. I was looking for something lighter and short-scale, so I could change out for a few songs and go back to jazz bass. Well, after 3 months, I hardly play my jazz bass anymore. I play rock, blues, and a little country, and play flat-wounds ( I like LaBella, but ymmv). I never did do much slap on my jazz, and don't on this either. What little I have done on this bass doesn't sound great, but probably has more to do with the strings. What this bass does do, and does well, is deliver a nice, clean tone, on any fret on any string. There are no dead spots, and after tweaking the bridge/neck a little, no buzzes. If you are a melodic bass player and want a clear-as-a-bell sound (best I've heard without active electronics), you need to check this out. Mine had no case, and I don't like hard shells much, but found a nice RoadRunner case for it.

  • from texas May 14, 2014Music Background:
    40 plus years of music


    Be aware that even though this is a short scale bass it will need medium scale strings. Bought a set of short scale flats and they were far to short. Love the bass. Deep sound when strings changed to flats.

  • from Mt. Pleasant WI USA March 31, 2014Music Background:
    Professional musician

    Epiphone viola bass

    Great bass for the money much better build quality than hofner Icon. As always service is the best. This was my fourth bass purchase from Sweetwater.

  • from Summersville, WV April 25, 2013Music Background:

    Very Good!

    I was looking for a bass with a deep, woody tone and this is it! This bass will give you this characteristic tone best with flatwound strings, the round wound stings on in were a bit to bright for me and yes they are really more designed as placeholders until you can put on good strings. The build was perfect with no defects found. I was able to get a good range of tones from various pickup combinations and the tone control was pretty good, too. As well, the pickups were quite strong and allowed for responsive play. I normally don't buy instruments that I have not played first but this is my second from Sweetwater and still no complaints! Their service is top notch!

  • from Kansas City, Mo December 26, 2012Music Background:

    Big change

    What I hear and feel from a bass guitar track has been greatly enhanced by the introduction of this instrument, in comparison to the solid, flat, electric bass I had been using.....the sound coming from this guitar is a much more acoustic, viola sound.....I'm really glad I got it....

  • from Columbus, OH February 14, 2012Music Background:

    Good with a few issues

    This is my second bass and the first of this type.
    When it arrived I played it immediately but the action seemed high, especially for the E and A strings. I adjusted the neck some and lowered one side of the bridge to where is played better but the A string had a buzz while the E didn't. Since I was short on time I put a little material under the A string at the nut and the buzzing stopped. Not very professional but plays and sounds pretty good now. I've gotten some compliments on its sound and people love its looks. When I have some time I will probably do some more adjustments since the intonation doesn't seem to be true all the way up the neck for some strings. It sits pretty good on my lap when I'm sitting down but the placement of the strap button on the neck side causes the top of the bass' body to move away from my body. A different placement of the button may help it lay flatter against my body when I'm standing. That would be my preference. Instruments have their individual characteristics that take a little time to get to know and you have to adapt yourself and/or the instrument. That's where I'm at currently. For the price a pretty good deal.

Questions about the Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst?

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