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Beatles Hofner Copy-Buying Decision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Starburst, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. Starburst


    Aug 18, 2007
    Thinking of buying one of the many Hofner Beatle Bass copys that are offered out there. Been doing searches and I am amazed that there are so many being made including Hofner, Jay Turser, Epiphone, Rogue, Etc. I found a seller on Ebay called musiansdiscountwarehouse that sells a Davison copy for $200.00 that does not look too bad, they state that this one is pretty well made, plays good, and is set up by their techs before they are shipped. Ebay feedback is 100% for them so I may go with this one. I know that what I want will not be a $1,800.00 instrument and I have a Fender American Jazz Bass that I use that was bought in 2001. Just want the Hofner copy for fun playing and nostalgia but dont want something thats going to fall apart either. Thoughts on this appreciated. This is my first post here and looks like a great forum.:bassist:
  2. Don't believe the online hype. Nobody actually does any in house setup work on a $200 mail order bass. You get whatever they send you, usually exactly as it came from the factory. Rondomusic.net has a good reputation as a vendor here in terms of taking returns etc. They currently have a couple of versions of this type of bass in stock including left handed models. IMO buy from someone who is known to take returns without hassle, either a major retailer or someone with a good rep.

  3. Starburst


    Aug 18, 2007
    Thanks so very much TheSuzie on the tip for Rondo. They have a Douglas Beatles bass that fits the bill and its price of $149.95 makes my wallet happy. I am going to order this one thanks for your help on this.;)
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I haven't tried the Douglas, but I've heard it's pretty good. I opted for the Jay Turser at $250, though, and I love it so much that I play it as much or more than my Fenders.
  5. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    I got a Brice version for $200.00 and I believe it was worth every penny, so $149.00 should be a great deal.

    Saw the Douglas on Rondo's site last night and I would have gone for one at that price point. Just stumbled across the Brice in a GC a few months ago and fell in love so bought it. No regrets.

    Most reviewers say to put flatwounds on for a better sound. Mine had them on it when I bought it and it really does reproduce the Beatles early sound.
  6. 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
    Just remember, at $150 it's disposable.
  7. rfclef


    Jan 19, 2007
    Woodburn, Oregon
    I have the Epiphone Viola.... and I love it. Mine was $250 at GC.
  8. Starburst


    Aug 18, 2007
    In this price range and from the responses and reviews that I have seen they seem like a good value for the money spent. Nobody who buys one of these expects it compare with a $1,800.00 original Hofner but how many of us can afford one, certainly not myself and I think if you are careful with it you should get a lot of miles out of it. Being disposable, I agree but thats the nice part, you dont have to sell a kidney to get a replacement. Now for a few questions, Any links of online sellers for medium scale flat strings for these that you could recommend? Also noticed a few sellers are offering Hofner trapeze tailpieces, would these replace the ones that are on the copies with no trouble or are the German made ones strictly for the German Hofners only. Sir Paul acquired his because it was the only affordable bass he could get at that time. I based my purchase with that thought in mind myself.;)
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Actually, since the Hofner itself was a cheap budget bass up until about 1990, I DO expect these $200 copies to perform as well. And most of them do.
  10. I have the Rogue version and it is an outstanding value. I used to hang out on the Fender forum and more than a half-dozen of the guys there have bought the Rogue. They are ALL extremely happy with them. The secret is to dump the awful strings that come on them and install Labella Hofner Flats. They turn tha Rogue into a tone machine.

    I know that the other brands aren't all that different, but I can absolutely vouch for the Rogue. If you feel like it, visit Fenderforum.com and so a search for "Rogue VB-100" or "Rogue Beatle Bass" in the Bass forum. You'll get a lot of info if you search back a year or more.
  11. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon

    I, too, have a Rogue violin bass, and it's great. I have Pyramid Gold flatwounds on it, and it's the sound of the 60s.

    Check the Harmony Central site for reviews of the various models you're considering. There's no shortage of reviews there—at least for the Rogue (about 60).

    Good luck.
  12. rfclef


    Jan 19, 2007
    Woodburn, Oregon

    I gots TI flats on my Epi...
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I guess I'm an oddball. I tried flats on my Turser, but everyone else said they liked it better with roundwounds because you can get McCartney tone plus a whole lot more, whereas with the flats it was nothing but Paul-tone.
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I play bass in a Beatles trib band, I play a Hofner but also own a Brice violin bass from Rondo for gigs we have to fly to. Keeps the Hofner out of baggage handlers' hands. The Brice is a very good bass and sounds pretty close.
  15. BobWestbrook

    BobWestbrook Mr.

    Mar 13, 2006
    Philly suburb
    I have the Douglas, and recommend it. I used it for a blues tune in a recent recording, and it sounds great!
  16. FireArm


    May 17, 2007
    Starbust, I love the way you put it

    "Nobody who buys one of these expects it compare with a $1,800.00 original Hofner but how many of us can afford one, certainly not myself"

    my thoughts exactly (also if I had a hofner for that price i would probabaly never dare play it!) , I played an epiphone viola some time back it seemed very well made and solid i think it was only 200 pounds - nice fat tone aswell.
  17. I've been playing a Turser as my main bass for about a year now (alternating with my Ric 4003, Ibanez Ergodyne & a Dano Longhorn) & decided that I wanted one that looked more 'correct'. So I ordered Hofner's own copy, the Icon, from North Coast Music, for $418 w/case, + $38 for teacup knobs. (NCM really DOES set them up!)

    I've been playing the Icon for about a month now & I think it plays & sounds a lot better than the Turser & is worth the difference.

    btw... I'm keeping roundwounds on it too.

    The Turser is for sale, if anyone's interested.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I say go with one of the Hofner Asain Imports.
  19. I own and can vouch for the Epiphone Viola. A very well made instruments that has some great tones. Sounds especially sweet with flats. I usually play mine like an upright.
    My first bass (early 70's) was a Hofner Beatle. Couldn't do a thing with it...constant feed back when I moved up to a bigger amp.
    Hofner would be just another budget bass if hadn't been associated with Sir Paul. But the heart will want what it wants; and some folks want (and can afford) a Hofner.
    Good Luck To You!
  20. Starburst


    Aug 18, 2007
    Just received the Douglas WVEB Violin Bass VS from Rondomusic and I must say I am pretty impressed. They are great to deal with and it arrived double boxed and perfect. I do not see any imperfections or blems on the one that I received. The only amp that I have is a Peavey Basic 112 so I tried it through that and was really suprised at the tones I got and that was with the strings that came on it. Next to pick up some flats and see how they work. Certainly a lot of difference than my Fender Jazz Bass. For $145.00 this one seems hard to beat.:bassist:

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