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Hoffner double bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Peck_Time, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. Hi, I'm new to the forum (and double bass), and have been looking round for an affordable first instrument.
    As i'm in New Zealand, the selection is not wide. However i've found a 30 year old Hoffner laminated bass for sale here:


    Any comments?


  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    You should probably fill out your profile before you get yelled at ;).

    I'm guessing the selection is pretty slim in NZ- that seems somewhat high for laminate that isn't particularly reputable, but I don't knwo exactly how much teh NZ dollar commands right now. How does it compare with the US dollar?
  3. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    It's $2,800 USD.

    Currency Conversion Site
  4. I visited the link and noticed he had a few other basses, some with carved tops in the same general price range. Are you close enough to the shop to check those out as well? Do you have a teacher, does the shop owner give lessons?

    That would be a plus. There's another New Zealander, (maybe more than one) that contributes to the forum? Marty, can you talk to Peck about this shop and the basses there?

    Marty Forrer of Napier is a frequent participant in this forum, and has some experience. The basses are in Aukland, of course. If he is closer than you are, you might want to see if he can help you evaluate them or offer some input. If it really is the only New Zealand bass shop, he might know of the shop. (search the forum for his name and you can e-mail or PM him.)

    The bass looks nice, and coming from a shop that services what they sell is a plus. If Pete is the best source, it might be worth a visit to try out all the basses in that price range.
  5. Thanks for the advice everyone!

    I'm trying to go slow on this purchase, i've read enough of the 'horror story' threads on this forum to know that I need to try before I buy.

    The bass shop is about 8 hours away from me, definitely close enough for a weekend jaunt!

    Slightly off topic- why is it that double basses are so variable, even among the same brand? I mean, every factory/ workshop has their off days, but with upright basses it seems this is magnified.
  6. If we thoroughly could answer that question, we wood (not steel, aluminum, nylon, or synthetics;- they do not work anyway) be theoretically creating the longest thread in this forum.

    When I visited Pete's web site, I noticed that he says his basses have been set up for "optimum sound". While I've read that terminology before, you may want him to describe specifically what he means by that. Personally, (others may disagree) I think that is a good sign. :)
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I dunno, rather than have him describe the sound, I'd probably just go play them.

    Plywood bass with an ebony board for $2800 seems a little on the high side, but market price is market price. If you got a lot of basses and nobody looking to buy, basses are cheap. You don't got a lot of basses and a buncha people looking to buy, you got $2800 plywood basses. If it actually IS an ebony board, that's a good thing.
  8. Silversorcerer:
    Ed Fuqua:
    Sorry that confused you, Ed. What I meant was for Peck to ask Pete to decribe what an "optimum sound" setup included, not what the basses sound like.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I'll try to keep my thumb next to my place in the script from now on...
  10. That usually works for me. :smug:
  11. Peck, how sure are you about this playin' the DB? Sometimes it's a good idea to just rent one for a while, just to be sure.
    An option.
  12. Here's my DB story...

    I was 18, and had been listening to jazz for two years. I had no musical training, and music never really apealled to me before jazz. I was listening to Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, Coltrane etc.
    Anyway my brother had been away on an AFS scholarship to Honduras for a year, and came back wanting to play the piano. I thought "Hey cool idea, i'd love to play DB like Ray or PC or Milt". However, I couldn't get hold of one. So I went to my 2nd choice: Saxophone.
    Now, i'm 30 and have been gigging on saxophone (alto, tenor, bari & sop) for 10 years, but the DB still calls out to me. I have been playing Electric bass for a month (already done gigs on it!), but find myself wishing for that DB sound.
    I figure I may as well give it a go. :hyper:
  13. He's got the GAS, Paul, I think? Waddaya think? He wants to drive 8 hrs. to spend about 3K? Waddaya think? ;) He's brave enough to post on this forum? Waddaya think? Huh, Huh?
  14. You bet!

    me-> :bassist: :bassist: :hyper: :hyper:

    Paul W -> :rolleyes: :eyebrow: :rollno: :scowl:

  15. Sorry....That's too much bread for a bass like that. I think you should hold off, but stick around on TBDB....Thanks for doing your profile.
  16. Thanks for the reality check Paul, hopefully i'll be able to cash it soon!
    I've emailed Bob G (All Hail), and it looks like I might be able to get one of his Bulgarian DBs shipped to me for around US$2500.
  17. My teacher, former student an NTSU (UNT), has a 30yr Hoffner ply and a carved bass.

    He uses the Hoffner ply to play classical, it has a better sound, and his carved bass to play jazz.

    He's sold on the Hoffners. The pictures look alot like his bass.

    Also check out www.bassesonline.com in their specials section. They have an old Hoffner ply for sale also.
  18. Update on my bass buying:

    After 4 months of waiting, my new Christopher 400 should arrive tomorrow!
    It's a Gamba shape, fully carved and flat-back. I've had it set up with Velvet Animas.
    I've been getting lessons for the last month (pizz and arco), and it'll be great to have a bass to practice on, rather than just waving my bow in the air!

    Pictures will follow.

    -Daniel Y
  19. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Waaaay cool. A new bass for Spring (almost) in Kiwi land!

  20. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    I have a few of these basses and I also have the original invoices from Hofner so the $2800 USD price seems about right given the original price and freight from Germany to NZ.

    One thing I find interesting is that in speaking to my mom who actually visited the Hofner workshop back in the 1970's with my dad and knows the Hofner family pretty well - she tells me she never actually saw any bass making on the premises ... she saw violin, viola and cellos being made but no basses. No one's sure but it was always rumoured that Wilfer was making the Hofner basses but who knows ?