Longhorn basses : Hondo or Danelectro? Help resolve a difference of opinion.

MrsFuzzferatu

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TDPRI, I come to you for advice again. TDPRI member Fuzzferatu and I need a bass for recording rock stuff (yes, we've started a husband/wife band). We've both always admired the shape of the Danelectro Longhorn body, but disagree about the Lipstick pick ups. They're reissuing the 1967 Longhorn body this spring. I think the signature pickups would make the bass too specialized and not versatile. Enter our friends at the guitar store, who have a Hondo II Longhorn from the one year (1980) in which they were made. I think it's badass. It's not much more (especially with our trade credit at the store) than the new Danelectro Longhorn. Fuzzferatu isn't sure, but I have already had them put it on layaway for us to pick up later in the week. Instead of the Lipstick pickups, the Hondo Longhorn has a single DiMarzio pickup. I think this is totally rock.

So, basically, take my side! Tell me why the Hondo II Longhorn is much more rocking, collectible and versatile than a new Danelectro Longhorn (or even a vintage one) would be. It's also so much more PRETTY! Our friends have a cream burst one!

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Thanks for any insight you guys have about the difference between the two for recording noisy rock, even if you're not on my side of the matter.
 

Tim Armstrong

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One of my favorite bassists EVER, Joey Spampinato of NRBQ, used a shorthorn Dano with lipstick tube pickups for decades. Sounded great!

I myself gigged with a lipstick tube in a Musicmaster Bass, and had pretty low output from it, but in retrospect I think I had it too low. Tonally, it was pretty good.

They're classic for a reason!

Tim
 

tpaul

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I used to have a cream burst Hondo longhorn with that DiMarzio pickup. It was pretty kick-ass. I also used to have a Danelectro bass with the lipstick pickup. It was also very cool, in a totally different way.

You know, the two are going to have totally different sounds. The Dano will be more on the jazz/blues spectrum, while the Hondo will be more '80s headbanger. You have to figure out what will serve your music the best.
 

Tele295

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Dano is a whole lot lighter than the Hondo, which is basically just a unique looking P-bass. Good friend of mine played one of those Hondos in a progressive rock band for years. I'd rather play the Dano
 

Frontier9

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If you're doing rock covers, I think you should get a bass that will get you close to the sound of the basses in the original recordings. If that is the case then the P-bass set up seems to be the logical choice. However, if you are doing originals or covers with your own spin on them, going for a bass that has a unique sound might be useful in forming part of your signature sound. As Tim stated earlier, it worked for Joey Spampinato.

Can you give us more details about what your goals are for your band?
 

MrsFuzzferatu

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Thanks, everybody. Our goal is to achieve a noise/shoegaze sound. I don't know much about bass pickups, but I know that the Dano we tried sounded tinny and almost like a toy, which is cool in its own way, but I seem to prefer (for better or worse) a lower, growlier sound. Am I right in reasoning that the P-style pickups would be better for a "traditional" shoegaze sound?
 

MrsFuzzferatu

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Also, people who came down on the side of the Dano-- would you (at this point) find an one from any specific time period? Have there been any really important changes since the shorthorn was made in the 1950's? Or would you go with a reissue?

Thanks for your help-- these opinions help a lot because I'm really new to electric musical instruments so I can only go by ear and the Dano sounded tinny to me. Maybe it was the wrong amp.
 

Dave W

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My .02:

The Hondo is a long scale solid body P-bass masquerading as a Longhorn. If you're looking for the long scale P sound but like the Longhorn shape, go for the Hondo.

If you want a genuine Danelectro sound, you need a Jerry Jones, a vintage Dano or Dano-made Silvertone, or an early Dano reissue (mid to late 90s). The newer reissues sound awful to me, and the construction is not the same.

Lipstick pickups in the right bass (i.e. not one of the more recent Dano reissues) are certainly capable of very deep sounds, but they aren't growly like a P. And even a P pickup won't sound the same in a short scale hollowbody.
 

Frontier9

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Allow me to use this video to support an argument for a Dano Longhorn:



Not really growl-ly - more of a tuba on steroids kind of sound. I dunno if you'd be staring at your shoes making sounds like that, though...
 

ccrnnr9

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I've never tried a Hondo before but I tried the Dano at someone's house through a nice amp and just couldn't do it. I don't know, sometimes a second go at things leaves me feeling completely different so another try is on my list sometime down the road. I just have to agree with the OP's feelings that it was just plain tinny. The other thing I didn't like about it was the neck. I don't mind short scales but they have to have some chunk to the neck. The one I played was a 90's RI and it just felt fragile. The owner swore by it and loved it saying he would never let it go. I honestly think (and it kills me to say it) to not consider looks when you shop for a bass. I know I did and that's why I was set on a jazz bass. I bought one and found that all I wanted was that p sound. I don't like the looks of em but the neck feels better and the sound is unbeatable for my tastes. I would just try to blind yourself on looks...make your statement in the sound...afterall that's what GOOD MUSIC is all about. I find that artists that try to make statements simply by what they have slung around their necks suck...Just my opinion.

All this being said, try some other model basses. I think basses with MM pickups are cool and tonally different. I saw a guy on talkbass take a Squier VM 70's jazz and swap the bridge pup for a MM pickup. I think that would be a sweet instrument and is something I am thinking about doing to an SX LTD j-bass. That would be less than $300 and would be a sweet tone blaster IMO.

I also liked the feel and sound of the Epi EB-3. It is more versatile as the EB-0 that I have tried and liked but full scale and less of a one trick pony. I think those puppies can put out some noise...granted this is coming from someone who dies for that Jack Bruce tone ala "Sunshine of Your Love" or "Strange Brew".
~Nick

P.S. Take everything I say w/ a grain of salt. I am still a beginner and other than trying out a lot of stuff am still vastly un-knowledgeable.
 

superchicken_VI

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You already know the answer...Sounds like you want the Hondo. I'd forget about "collectibility" and focus on the bass that you like.
 

psychetelec

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Before I got my first(of four) Jerry Jones Longhorn basses I owned a Hondo Longhorn for many years, it was a very nice bass, 2 octave full-scale neck, bass boost switch. Nice.
 

psychetelec

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OK, yep, old thread. But just a follow-up on my previous post from nearly 3 years ago. Last week, the person I'd sold my Hondo Longhorn to many years ago, GAVE it back!!
Here 'tis.
1209111725a.jpg
 

Rod Parsons

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I tried out a Dano reissue Long horn bass back when they first came out.... 1998...... at an open mike. A guy let me play it for the 3 songs we did. I couldn't believe how great it played and sounded, and it was light as a feather, so to speak. Very deep bass sound, even punchy, like a Precision. He told me he paid 160 dollars for it, slightly used, from a friend of his. Two weeks later, I bought a new one from Southworth Guitars for $220.00. It is a Turquoise color...... my favorite. It's the perfect"guitar player's" bass to me. I'll never get rid of it..... They are on ebay...... These, I've read, are better than the new 'fake vintage' ones they are selling today, according to the threads I've read on this forum...R
 




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