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Binding cracks in body joints of Hofner

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pet Sounds, Feb 2, 2017.


  1. A question for you Hofner experts:
    I'm considering picking up a used (German) Hofner Gold Label 500/1 Bass. One possible issue: It has cracks in the binding in every one of the places where the violin-shaped body is scalloped on the sides, on the points of the body.
    I couldn't get a picture, but the cracks are most visible when you look at the bass from either side, and exist on the edges of both the front and back binding on both sides of the bass where the scallops begin, top and bottom.
    Does this seem like something that would a structural issue, or just normal expansion/contraction of the wood?
    It feels solid, but I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this before. Thoughts?
     
  2. Dbassmon

    Dbassmon

    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    impossible to say with out having a look... but as a hollow body instrument, you have to be concerned about proper humidification in the winter. Just like any hollow body string instrument, dry air will cause the body to crack. Perhaps that is what is going on? If its the binding, probably cosmetic but make sure you get a humidifier and have a luthier give a look.
     
  3. Thanks, @Dbassmon. It's definitely the binding, but it just seems weird that it's cracked at all eight points.
     
  4. Dbassmon

    Dbassmon

    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Low humidity causes the wood the shrink - the binding is plastic, it doesn't shrink so they separate = crack
     
    Pet Sounds and 96tbird like this.
  5. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    The cracks in the binding won't have any effect on the structural stability of the bass. It's just a cosmetic thing which is too bad because the Gold Label series were only introduced 2 years ago. Go to YouTube and watch the Hofner video "The Making of a Violin Bass" or something close to that and you'll see how the body is made and the binding installed.

    TD
     
    Pet Sounds likes this.
  6. icebox

    icebox

    Jul 16, 2009
    Calgary
    I have a 67 that's cracked in all the places you mention. Bass sounds great and has no structural issues AFAIK. But every one is different. Wonderful instruments.
     
  7. Thanks, everybody, for your comments. Thornton Davis, I have seen the Hofner video -- it's amazing how much craftsmanship goes into a German Hofner.
     

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