15 March 2010
"Eko Electric Violin Bass" 995/2 was manufactured in Recanati, Italy in the year 1966.
This is the natural evolution of the solid body violin bass, after the world success of "The Beatles" and "Paul McCartney"'s "Höfner Bass";
"The Beatles" come to the Teatro Adriano in Rome in 1965 and that is approximately the time of its introduction.
The headstock design recalls the "Framus Electric Double Bass" which is itself inspired to some Renaissance instruments.
The logo with the Gothic 'E', typical attempt of imitation by the Germans, appears for the first time and uniquely on this model.
The scale was short, the frets small and the tuners not always up to standards.
The playability and the comfort of the instrument were (and are) at least equal to the original "Höfner Violin Bass" 500/1.
"Eko Electric Violin Bass" 995/2" had two single coil pick-ups, a selector switch, and volume and tone controls.
The instrument is coloured blonde (so natural colour of the spruce) with transparant lacquer.
The instruments sounds nice without amplification, though it's not loud enough for real use that way.
Amplified it sounds exactly like you'd expect: dry and poppy. Not much sustain, but a deep, dry sound.
It's OK to use it on stage, but it needs good amplification.
An advantage you don't hear much: short scale basses are very, very fast, and this one adds a very nice neck to that.
Very good for playing melodic bass.
As for Höfner the guitar version was also available, the "Höfner Violin-Guitar model 459", with tremolo or not, six and twelve strings.
Definitely rare as would be obvious for a model that is inspiring itself to "The Beatles" bass, but curiously not mentioned in catalogues. Exceptionally rare is the 12 strings model.
"Eko Violin Bass" 995/2"; was the object of the few endorsement experiments by Eko and "LoDuca Bros"< who advertised it through "The Grassroots" group.
Is the instrument that keeps alive the memory of a group, for once.
Among its players "Keith Olsen" in early days with "The Music Machine", "Ken Forssi" during Golden Age of Love era, and "Sky Saxon" with "The Seeds" .