Hofner basses

deejayen

Member
Messages
768
It would be for recording, mainly old-style country. I came across some videos of the violin basses, and wondered if it might be a good option. I won't be buying for a few months, but would probably go for a German version if I did buy one. Would I be better sticking to a Fender bass, or something else...?
 

tommygunn1986

Member
Messages
2,843
I mean, a Fender bass can really do anything, but if you like the Hofner, I'm sure it would be a fine choice. To my ear they sorta have a squashed, compressed sound and that tone suits old style country.
 

roswell

Member
Messages
492
It would be for recording, mainly old-style country. I came across some videos of the violin basses, and wondered if it might be a good option. I won't be buying for a few months, but would probably go for a German version if I did buy one. Would I be better sticking to a Fender bass, or something else...?
I have an Epiphone Viola. Playing it on a strap while standing is not a pleasant experience. I've tried 3 different upper strap button locations and of course scores of strap lengths; the body edge digging into my forearm and the extended reach to the first position (with a short scale, go figure) just doesn't work for me. YMMV.
 

I R P

Member
Messages
574
The Hofner Club is pretty much the same bass but more ergonomic. Great choice for old school country.
 

deejayen

Member
Messages
768
Thanks very much. It seems like it might be a good choice. The Club might be even better - I presume it's easier to play while seated.
 

deejayen

Member
Messages
768
By the way, are the models with the 'close space' pickups (with the two pickups near the neck) recommended?
 

Needs Coffee

Member
Messages
37
By the way, are the models with the 'close space' pickups (with the two pickups near the neck) recommended?
It really comes down to personal preference, but my personal preference is for those with the closer spacing. IMO, the bridge position isn't very useful on a Hofner whereas having a pickup at the neck and one close to the "sweet spot" is more versatile. That's just me and, having said that, I'll add that I believe the models with the wider spacing are both more common and more popular.

Hofners are a bit of an acquired taste; They're ergonomically weird, they balance kinda funny, the necks are really narrow and don't get much wider as they approach the body and the sound is sort of a woody 'thonk'. ...and then there's that guy from Liverpool who seems to have done okay with them!

I've been tempted by several good deals on old, '60s Hofner 500/1s and in every case I opted out in the end. They're really cool but I just couldn't see myself using them all that much. I still can't. If I were to have a change of heart I'd probably seek out a Hofner President for it's better ergonomics but, to be honest, I've always played classic country on a P-bass.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,137
It really comes down to personal preference, but my personal preference is for those with the closer spacing. IMO, the bridge position isn't very useful on a Hofner whereas having a pickup at the neck and one close to the "sweet spot" is more versatile. That's just me and, having said that, I'll add that I believe the models with the wider spacing are both more common and more popular.

Hofners are a bit of an acquired taste; They're ergonomically weird, they balance kinda funny, the necks are really narrow and don't get much wider as they approach the body and the sound is sort of a woody 'thonk'. ...and then there's that guy from Liverpool who seems to have done okay with them!

I've been tempted by several good deals on old, '60s Hofner 500/1s and in every case I opted out in the end. They're really cool but I just couldn't see myself using them all that much. I still can't. If I were to have a change of heart I'd probably seek out a Hofner President for it's better ergonomics but, to be honest, I've always played classic country on a P-bass.
I agree.

While I appreciate their place in history and the sound they get, I never felt comfortable with one and find J or P basses cover most applications I ever find myself in.

OP, is there any place you can try one out to see what you think?
 

deejayen

Member
Messages
768
That's very helpful, thanks. I suspect I'd get okay with them, but it would make sense to try one, so I'll try to do that when circumstances allow.
 

msb

Member
Messages
78
The "Cavern" spacing is quite unique . You'll also find it on the Epiphone Rumblekat , but the later style is more versatile .
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,383
I've always liked them, but they are quirky and unique. Definitely a love it or hate it kind of thing.

The necks are very narrow, and the tone is woody and dark with a lot of thud to it and not much sustain. It's a sound that works well for some things, not as well for other things.
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,904
My music partner swears by Hofners. I don't think they're great for everything but they sound amazing on roots styles; kind of like a stand-up bass in some ways if you dial it in right. Very cool! The German-made ones are really cool. I especially like the Club bass as others have mentioned.
 

art_z

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,466
My kid is a big Beatles fan and got the Ignition Series Hofner a few years back. I was a bassist in my previous life mainly playing Ric 4001s and this thing seems like a toy compared to them.
I have tracked some demos at home with it, and it can be made to sound good but it’s not a bass I’d ever want to play live.
 




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