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"beatle" strap vs regular strap for hofner

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Beatlefreek, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Beatlefreek


    Nov 6, 2010
    I just got a Hofner CT bass — in black! Very cool! And very solid feeling. It does not feel like a toy AT ALL!

    In putting it on with a regular type guitar strap, however, I find the guitar has a slight tendency to roll forward.

    I'm thinking that that's probably because of 1) where the strap buttons are located, and 2) the extreme light weight of the guitar itself.

    So I'm wondering if a vintage "Beatle/Paul"-type strap — the kind that loops under the fretboard — would help eliminate this roll forward thing? I'm thinking that it would because the pivot point with the loop-style strap would be different (ie: more centered OVER the guitar) than the pivot point with the button-style strap (obviously, attaching BEHIND the guitar).

    Has anyone had experience with either or?

  2. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    Interesting! I'd never heard of fixing a strap like that..in fact I think I've seen photos of Paul using a strap fixed to the far end of the neck..and had heard (perhaps wrongly) that it lead to problems with staying tuned.

    Anyway..I don't have a violin bass but I have an Aria Sinsonido which I play without the alloy/foam "shapers", and when I first got it I remember feeling as you do, that because the instrument rolled forward a bit because of the button position it was a bit awkward to play. I must say I don't notice it now! But I experimented just now, and you could do the same easily. Having a loop of string beneath the strings as far up the neck as possible and tying the strap to that does indeed change the way the bass hangs. But it would have to be very thin..say strong fishing-line..if it were not to dampen the strings. Have a go..but in my view you'll soon get used to the strap on the button.
  3. Beatlefreek


    Nov 6, 2010
    Hmmm? Judging by your reply, I'm not sure if you're aware that there is a gap between the fretboard and the body of the Hofner, starting at about the 19th fret and continuing on to the neck pickup. That part of the fretboard does not lie flush with the body, it's suspended above it, like a violin would be. This gap is only on the German-made models and CT series. It is not on the (less expensive) Icon series.

    McCartney — and anyone else who did/does not install a strap button at the neck heel — looped a strap through this gap. So, in fact the looped strap actually ties around the body of the guitar. Obviously you can't do this with a regular strap but a thin vintage-style strap. I can't see, and have never heard of, how that would have any bearing any the guitar staying in tune.

    But I'm not trying to "do a McCartney" down to the strap he used. I'm only interested in a looped strap for balancing reasons. Otherwise, I'd be perfectly happy using a regular strap.
  4. Beatlefreek


    Nov 6, 2010
    Exactly! Thanks, stratovani.

    But my question remains regarding the balancing issue. :bassist:
  5. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I would also be interested in other suggestions. For one thing, I am guessing that the 60s style strap will probably mar the finish over time where it touches the bass when wrapped around the body. For the record, mine is a Contemporary Club.
  6. Jjango


    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    An acoustic guitar style strap would probably balance pretty well.

  7. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Thank you for the suggestion, Jjango. I picked up an acoustic guitar strap (Amazon.com: Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Strap, Black Nylon: Musical Instruments), but instead of putting the lacing around the headstock behind the nut, I wrapped it under the neck pocket--classic Beatle Bass style. It works fine and the bass balances well that way. My only complaint about the Planet Waves strap in particular is that the shoulder pad and length adjustment buckle tend to move around a little too easily.
  8. I've used both types of strap on my 500/1 and the old school strap does NOT help the balance.
    Furthermore, you're right about the leather wrapped around the body under the neck rubbing the finish. But that's not the worse part - the other end of the strap is affixed by removing the strap button at the tailpiece and replacing it with this luggage strap technology which includes several metal parts which scrape against the wood and binding below the tailpiece.
    Is it worth the aesthetic? Up to you.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have a LeCompte VB5 that has a similar issue, since the front strap button is at the 15th fret. I bought a wide, suede-backed strap and that took care of it nicely.
  10. DavyR


    May 29, 2011
    I have a 5000/1 with the strap button in the back of the neck heel and the bass rolls forward, so, I know what you mean. I use the McCartney 'strap around the body and under the neck' setup to counter the forward roll. Since my 5000/1 is a new expensive bass I’m not too crazy about drilling another hole in the neck heel.

    But, the best thing to do is to move the strap button from the back of the heel (if it’s already installed there) to the side of the heel as parallel as possible to the neck and slightly off center towards the player so the bass doesn’t hang forward. I have this setup on two old 500/1 basses and it works fine. (Both basses had strap buttons installed as such when I bought them. One was factory, btw!) Not sure if the weight of the body block in the CT will make a difference with this setup. You can test the location of where to drill the hole to some degree by holding a guitar strap at the drill point while the strap is connected to the tail of the bass and feel the balance.
  11. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I had the old school strap. I didn't like it.
  12. I came to this thread just now, and the original poster has no doubt moved on. But I have that original Hofner strap. It came with my Ignition! Can't use it, obviously. If anyone is in the position of the original poster, and needs this strap for their 500/1 or Contemporary, let me know and I'll gladly send it to you for postage. Forty-eight bucks???? No way.
  13. Hi guys. I found someone close by to give this strap to.
  14. I had this issue too, I sorted it by twisting the strap where it joins the neck strap button so the the outside of the strap is against the guitar. No more problems!

    Hope this helps
    Jhclark likes this.
  15. freshbass


    Jul 17, 2004
    i have same bass. get a beatle bass strap. try attaching the lower end to the tailpiece chrome. works great for me!
  16. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    Got any pic's? Pictures worth a 1000 words
  17. shadven


    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock therefore I am.
    I just picked up a 1965 Hofner 500/1. It came with some information from the owner including a letter authenticating from Gruhn. But, it has no strap buttons at all. I understand how Paul (and others) attached the neck end of strap, but what about the heel end of the bass. It does no look like there was ever a strap button there either. Where the button would be, there is a small flat head screw, that looks original. And the screw whole is a lot smaller than any strap button I have ever seen.

    Any ideas?
  18. Peacefrog35


    Dec 26, 2009
    That bass surely would have come with a strap button factory installed in 65 on the end of the tailpiece. The previous owner likely used the Beatle style strap which commonly used that screw to fasten a leather piece that holds a metal D ring , so the clip of the strap can attach. It really is a nice way to use the strap. It's very secure. Congrats on the bass. We'd love to see pictures.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
    shadven likes this.
  19. shadven


    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock therefore I am.
    Thanks for the info, makes sense.