Why no Hofner violin basses?

Stev0Griffin

Trendsetter
Messages
1,830
My dad has a real deal 500/1 from ‘67. Lightweight and shortscale, but plenty of low end and thump. (That really is the best word to describe it)

Even the cheaper import models can get you there about 80% - 90%, but there’s something magical about the real deal.
 

NATHAN WEBB

Member
Messages
2
I'd like to have one for the fact that they're so lightweight, but I dislike the controls on them.
If I ever owned one I'd take out the existing controls panel, complete with the pots & bits, & replace it with a set of V/V/T controls.
Just
I've never considered getting an Ignition model. I may do that now. I've been wanting to get a second bass and keep flats on one and rounds on the other. Short scale basses are my preference and I like Hofners so I may put rounds back on my Contemporary and put flats on an Ignition.

Funny, after I made my above post I was checking Cosmo's site and they've got Hofner's all over it again.
 
Messages
15,815
Even the pros will tell you that a bass with roundwounds can be made to sound like a bass with flats, but not the other way around.
both my basses have roundwounds, but one has coated stainless, it's my alt-tunings bass
that one is only 7 lbs., which is plenty light, and w/o neck-dive
 

kevmac

Member
Messages
49
I've had a few of them, kept finding deals and upgrading into a better bass. Now I have a "free" verythin bass that I love - I'll take a picture later!

The ignition are very nice and pretty much get the sound even with different pickups, etc. If you're going for that vibe, I would find the best deal I could on a club or violin (or very thin!) ignition or contemporary bass and be happy with that.

I really like switching between these and guitar, it is not as much of an adjustment as regular bass, and is easier on the hand/fingers if my bass chops have slipped. Real bassists tend to have the opposite problem!

Mine looks like this and was $500 or so used. https://reverb.com/item/624106-hofner-hct-500-7-verythin-bass-red
I never saw that model but it's a beauty.It's up to almost $900.now.
 

skydog

Senior Member
Messages
12,364
Have had serious gas for a black Hofner violin bass. Just the Ignition series. I know they are cheap but I'm broke and keep hoping to find a used one, but no luck. Do people tend to hang on to them or something? Is that a sign they are good for the price?
 

Rockinrob86

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,751
Mine is one lovingly assembled from a $200 Solo kit.It is the loudest unplugged bass I've ever heard.Strung with flats you absolutely need no amp to practice and it might even stand up to an acoustic six string in a casual jam.Are the originals like this?
Yep!
 

skydog

Senior Member
Messages
12,364
Mine is one lovingly assembled from a $200 Solo kit.It is the loudest unplugged bass I've ever heard.Strung with flats you absolutely need no amp to practice and it might even stand up to an acoustic six string in a casual jam.Are the originals like this?
Yes, in fact when I installed the new controls, I was adjusting pickup heights and several times I had to check if I was getting output through the amp or if it was just the ‘acoustic’ sounds of the bass itself. Double-edged sword though; when my Marshall 18W is turned up, it resonates terribly!
 

RouseTheBoroughs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,644
I have a '67, got the pickups rewound a bit hotter and spent a fair bit of money getting it 'straight'. These things are probably the stupidest purchase I ever made, the sound is too 'round' for modern bass duties and it's just not on par with my JMJ Mustang bass or any other bass I have. It does the Beatles thing and will give you some really good vibes if you're aiming for some Melody Nelson or god knows what else ... but truthfully I have a hard time getting it to record well, string spacing and neck width is 'it's own thing'. Great basses if you're into Macca ... garbage for everything else I've tried it with.

 

RouseTheBoroughs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,644
My uncle let me use his sixties Hofner for a while. I love the woody, old school tone. However, it feels very fragile, like it will explode in my hands if I really rock out on it. Also, the neck is practically a cylinder cut in half with very close string spacing. Feels very weird if you are used to a Fender.
Well said
 

Rockinrob86

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,751
I have a '67, got the pickups rewound a bit hotter and spent a fair bit of money getting it 'straight'. These things are probably the stupidest purchase I ever made, the sound is too 'round' for modern bass duties and it's just not on par with my JMJ Mustang bass or any other bass I have. It does the Beatles thing and will give you some really good vibes if you're aiming for some Melody Nelson or god knows what else ... but truthfully I have a hard time getting it to record well, string spacing and neck width is 'it's own thing'. Great basses if you're into Macca ... garbage for everything else I've tried it with.

My pickups were rewound by brandonwound, he does excellent work, and is way cheaper than he should be. I have one of his p90s in a guitar that may be the best p90 tone I’ve heard.

The flux used in the vintage pickups offgases on the inside and causes them to go dead. It doesn’t happen to all of them, but it happens to a lot of them, so something to keep in mind if you’re in the market.

As for the tone of the hofner, it offers a round woofy tone and is my go to for acoustic music, tubbier sounding classic rock, and more singer songwriter kind of indie rock. These are what you need if you want the bass to be low and rumbly, full and warm. It records just as easily as any bass if it’s right for the track. I’ve used tube di’s and amps with mine, no issues.

if I want growly and aggressive - rickenbacker. If I want low and strong, with growl and rounded highs, pbass. If for some reason I want some clang, jazz bass!

the chinese hofners with a solid middle make the bass closer to the pbass vibe - it looses some of the thump and character. This however does make it more broadly appealing and makes the hofner an option for more territory than just the singer songwriter/country/acoustic/spacey indie/subtle stuff

also, these were designed before basses had been standardized, so it really feels like a different kind of instrument than a standard bass.

finally, mccartney actually barely used his again after help!, since he got the rickenbacker before they started recording Rubber Soul. So if you’re thinking notable beatles bass tones,you’re almost definitely thinking of a rickenbacker!
 
Last edited:

msb

Member
Messages
72
I have a late 60's one with the fin pickups , never really bonded with it but it's found a permanent spot on the living room wall . Funny because I really love shortscale hollow body basses . It does need a neck reset .
 

roverdog

Member
Messages
467
I inherited an EPI “Beatle Bass” earlier this year, from a very good friend. I was with him when he bought it, as learning bass was on his bucket list, and I was going to help him out, by a few lessons.
I learned on a Silvertone Mustang Clone 50 years ago, so I like shorter scale necks(I have normal, medium(32”) and short. My only problem is I find it uncomfortable to play. I guess I just got used to the pickup position on my P and J basses, where I anchor my thumb. I have the same problem with my Gibson SG bass.

Nice to record with though. I like the sound of it!

I
 

Crowonawire

Member
Messages
525
Both are HCT's. A 2007 on the left and a 2015 on the right. And both have had all hardware and electronics changed to German made components.



TD
I’m curious, do those closely spaced pickups have different timber? Could you briefly explain the volume and tone switching?
 




Trending Topics

Top