15 minutes with a Hofner Beatle Bass and a Rogue copy at GC: a comparison...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    ...but first a short story.:)

    I go into GC at about 11 am and it's really slow. there are two salespeople on the floor and both are on the phone. After I wrestled one of them away, I asked to look at "The Hofner and the Hofner copy". We walk toward the basses and stop. The guy looks up at the hanging instruments (too high for me to reach) and asks "Which ones do you want to see again"? I say "The Hofner and the Hofner copy", pointing to the basses. He still looks a bit confused, so I say "The Beatle basses".

    He looks like he got the message, reaches up confidently and hands me a Precision.:rolleyes:

    After I finally got the right basses down, I could A/B them. I plugged the Hofner ($2100 used) first. It was just like Macca's famous Hofner and quite nice looking. The Pearloid pickguard and control cavity cover looked gave it that extra 60s touch. The string spacing was *quite* narrow and the scale is short, but I played some measures of "I saw her standing there" and it felt as beatley as it could through a GK head and cab.

    The tone was nice and round and quite usable, but I didn't care for the G string tone at all. Playing the A on the second fret had a open guitar A vibe I think the flatwound strings helped the vibe a lot. Intonation past the 12th fret? Decent but suspect. Funnily enough, one of the switches on the is an on/off switch and engaging it cuts the signal. There are two other switches, which I assume affect the tone of the neck and bridge pickups respectively, but I could be wrong. It is very nice, but a it also is a specialty bass with a "main bass" price. For $2100, I'd keep an eye out for someone desperate to unload a Sadowsky.

    How does the Korean Rogue($179 used) compare? Well, cosmetically, the pickguard and the control cavity cover look quite cheap (duh), the tuners are Gotoh style and the string spacing is a bit wider. Instear of Hofner's "staple" pickups, the Rogue has smooth silver soapbars and a similar control layout which was not that well wired, I think. It's also slightly bigger and heavier than the Hofner and with a slightly wider string spacing, although still short scale. I had to do some considerable doublethink to convince myself that it felt just as good as the original. The bass was strung with fresh roundwounds and even had a decent slap tone. Again, this bass had a less than great G string but It was no worse than the Hofner's really.

    I almost walked out with the Rogue with a good mind to play it on a gig (and a rehearsal later today) but resisted it. for 1/10 of the price of the original, I think it was pretty darn good and a great alternative to a Squier Bronco bass for younger kids. It is definitely young shoulder friendly.

    Questions? Comments?
  2. yeah... you'll never get a job at a music store! :D
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
  4. nevermind.. it was just a bad attempt at being humorous :rolleyes:

    saying that the cheap one is as good as the expensive one.. :)
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I did mention that I took the cost in consideration, did I not?:confused:

    But yeah, I should be careful. GC might raise the price of the Rogue to $2100:rolleyes:
  6. thumber


    Jan 5, 2001
    I don't know but it's better to be careful with those. I tried an Epi kind of imitation and it was horrible.
    short scale, good price (about 180$) but a terrible guitar sound.
    It seemed to be playing an octave guitar or that kind of danelectro thing.
    didn't have the famous booommm.
  7. :D

    you never know.
  8. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I've had a Rogue violin bass for about a month now, and I really like it. I''ve never played a Hofner, but once I put flats on the Rogue and did some adjustment, it sounded great. It has way more output than my heavily-modded Carvin, which has DiMarzio Model One and a stacked Jazz pickups. Mine definitely has a boomy tone, and has a lot of bite with the "solo" switch on. Can't beat it for the bucks.
  9. ive had my rouge for about 3 hours and i love it. never played a hofner so i cant really compare them but the rouge is so amazing i can only imagine what the hofner must be like
  10. has anyone ever researched replacement pickups and/or bridges for the Rogue VB-100?

    i have me an intchy trigger finger

    where i cali? i wana go try both also

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    In my expirence a new properly set up Hofner will out play any Hofner knock off. Thanks for the feedback Will :)
    El Pelusa likes this.
  12. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    I played a hofner at the hollywood GC... it wasn't anything to write home about.

    However I played a beatle bass copy at Westwood Music, actually played/felt quite nice. However there was a Parker there for the same price that was lighter. That was way cooler.
  13. I played one and i though it was absolutely horrible, i dont know why anyone would spend that much money on it
  14. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    I play an actual Hofner on a regular basis. Even though the strings are older than I am, the setup is wonderful, great feel once you get used to the narrow body and short scale. And of course -the- sound.

    I tried a Rogue on a lark, and though it felt and sounded foul and evil. I won't be picking one up any time soon.
  15. momo


    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I just said this in the other hofner thread, but these fall under the catagory of crappy for a reason (so don't pay 2k for it) kind of sound. I think they have a cool tone, but not one that takes 2k to get. It is kind of like a fender champ guitar amp. Here is a little practice amp that is supposed to run with the speaker, tubes, and cabinet nearly melting down. A cool sound indeed, but not one that needs to be replicated with a $1500+ boutique amp.

    Long and short, do I like the sound, yes, would I turn down a freebie, no, would I pay 2k for one? Not in a million years.
  16. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I made the same comparison a while back and found pretty much the same thing, didn't like the Hofner one bit. It was too light and felt really flimsy in my hands. However, I made it with the Epiphone copy and really loved it, thought it had a good slap tone, an overall solid feel, and almost walked out with it for $200.
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Thanks, MM. This post is from almost four years ago (and was posted a month before you registered as a TBer).

    Where do people find these old things? :D
  18. predmachine


    Feb 23, 2006
    I bought a Rogue violin bass last Christmas just for something to goof off with on Beatle tunes. I've really liked it. I also played a Hofner at a GC in Nashville and found the same results. I actually preferred the Rogue too. If you're thinking about buying a Hofner---save yourself $1900 and buy the Rogue---or better yet, buy the Rogue and spend the $1900 on a really nice bass.
  19. :cool: Back in the mid 1960's, when I was stationed in Germany, I owned two Hofners, an acoustic arched top guitar, and an electric solid body guitar. Don't remember the specific models, it was a long time ago. The acoustic wasn't much to write home about, but I bought it for goofing around in the barracks. The electric I bought later to play in a band. I really didn't like either one of them. They both felt cheap, sounded cheap, and were cheap. When I joined another band as the bass player, I looked at various basses, including the Hofner violin bass (Beatle bass to some). Compared to my Fender P-Bass, which was still back in the US at that time, it was a total POS. I sent for my P-Bass and my Strat, and sold the electric. Never bought the violin bass. In retrospect, I should have kept the Hofner electric and played it, as my Strat was stolen when I shipped it back a couple of years later. Hofner's are no better today than they were then.

    Danelectro guitars and basses fall into the same category. Cool things to mess around with, but are now WAY, WAY over priced. They were "nice" junk back in the late 50's and early 60's when I played them, and even owned a couple. Now they're totally "over priced" junk. However, much more desireable than a Hofner.

    If you like Hofner's, that's cool. Play 'em and enjoy them. It's kinda' like Yugo's, there are people, not many, but people none the less, that actually like Yugo's. More power to 'em. Hofner's are not now, nor were they ever worth the kind of money that Sir Paul elevated them to. But, you know, if Elvis had walked through a store and picked up a $50 toy guitar, played it, maybe even "sweated" on it, it would then become a $10,000 "Elvis" Special.

    I've played around in stores with Hofners, Rogues, J-Tursers, and Epiphone violin basses over the last year or so. The Hofner reminded of the Hofner of my Germany tour. The Rogues and J-Tursers were, in my opinion, actually a little better overall. The Epi was a LOT better, but harder to find. Should have bought one of the ones I played.
  20. So did I! Was at the GC on Sunset?

    I was recently there and played their wall of Warwicks... they were all pretty bad. I also played their Modulus Flea... uninspiring.

    I also played their Hofner... and you're right.

    In fact, the majority of basses there played pretty bad... maybe it's just the store?