1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Hofner '62 or '63 reissue?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mastermold, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I've been thinking about picking up a German Hofner. Problem is no one around here carries them, just the Icon or Contemporary models, so I'm stuck ordering online.

    From what I've been reading on North Coast Music's site, the '62 has a slightly thicker neck front to back than the '63 and has the two strip tuning keys. Other than that they're the same apparently.

    Anyone own (or played) both? They said some find the thicker neck on the '62 more comfortable and more stable; opinions? I know the '62 is the replica of Paul's bass but that's not really important to me, I'm just thinking comfort.

    Anyway, thanks for any thoughts or opinions any of you might have on the subject. :bassist:
  2. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member


    There must be someone with an opinion ... ... ... *crickets* ...
  3. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
  4. ^ its true. Vintage Hofners just feel... Warm :)
    I wish I could grab that Hofner, itd be mine right now if i had a job :crying:
  5. I haven't tried the '62. My '63 is beautiful and sounds like a Hofner should, but my local guitar tech had to move the bridge to an angle to get it intonated properly.
  6. correapa


    Jan 24, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Mastermold :
    Perhaps this may help you. I have a 500/1 vintage '62. Purchased from Ebay in 2007 for US$ 1,650 used in mint condition.
    As I live in Chile, the chance to compare both models is limited, so I jumped in and voila !!!!!!
    The sound is awesome, the real deal, if you play Beatles, this is THE BASS.
    Put in the German Pyramid flatwound strings, get a professional setup and no problem with entonation. I can get that deep, warm and woody sound you get from "eight days a week", "penny lane", "here there & everywhere" and so many other Beatles songs. The signal is very strong and plenty of bass, so I use the amplifier EQ and a compressor to shape the sound. In a broad sense, altough it's a German well made instrument, its sound options are limited, if you compare it to a Fender Jazz Bass or a Musicman Sterling.
    I also have a Fender American Jazz Bass for all the other music we play. I play in a cover band, mainly Beatles, Elvis, EricClapton, REM, U-2, etc.
    Hope I did not misunderstand your post
    Kind regards
    ICM likes this.
  7. correapa


    Jan 24, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Mastermold :
    I also had the chance to compare the 500/1 vintage '62 to the Viola Epiphone, the Icon and Contemporary Hofners and also an old Egmond violin bass and Italian Eko bass .
    Although they try to emulate the sound, once you hear the original and compare it side by side, they don't get any close to it.
    Have a nice day
  8. Skeevenmac


    Jan 27, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    The only problem that I have with the '66 are the pickups. The sound is much more "growly" than the regular Hofner pickups. I would go with the '63, personally.
  9. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    More growly than "regular" Hofner pickups? The 1966 has the exact same vintage staple pickups as Macca's bass. No growl there. These are bright and clear as a bell. Not sure I understand your reference, but I must challenge that assumption.

    Mastermold. The German-made reissues are beautiful basses that sound fantastic. You won't go wrong with either one. Forgive me for posting in your thread. I just wanted to make you aware of the options of buying a vintage 500/1 (not necessarily mine) for less than the cost of a new German re-issue.
  10. Spiritfield


    Mar 2, 2004
    I never played a '62 reissue, but I did own a '63 reissue. It was a fantastic bass. I prefer thinner necks so I went with the '63. Carried it to many gigs and never had any neck movement issues. It intonated fine and was a "no-issues" bass for me.
  11. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Yeah, that's basically why I starting thinking about picking up a "real" Hofner. I've been happy enough with the inexpensive Chinese basses but I suspect if I had a German Hofner to compare I'd hear what I'm missing. Thanks for your input!
  12. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    No worries, I'm glad for all the input I can get around here including your link to the '66! :D I had in mind a reissue just because I know they're well made and it's a pretty safe purchase, and I've read the glue used in the vintage basses isn't as good as the stuff they use today. But maybe I should look at some vintage gear, no harm in looking.
  13. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Yeah comfort-wise maybe the difference is too little to matter, but if you had the opportunity to play a '62 I'd be curious to know whether you felt it. North Coast Music's site says it's 1/8th of an inch.
  14. I've never seen a bass be lost due to "glue failure".
  15. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Here's one of the quotes I read in another thread here that discussed it:

  16. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    having owned quite a few vintage german hofners, and a couple of 2000 RI's, i feel that you can't go wrong with either one. and i agree, they are a completely different animal than icons, copys, or any of the offshore versions.

    depends what you want, a 60's with some mojo (which i prefer) or a shiny new one (also great).

    BTW, i believe northcoast, and if he says it's a 1/8th inch, that's a BIG difference.
  17. I know what he's talking about, Hofner used animal sinew in the neck Joint and it is supposed to be very weak compared to other glues out there, you gotta remember Hofners used to be budget model instruments until after P-Mac. I've only seen one case of a vintage Hofner coming apart and that is because the guy supposedly loosened(?) the tension as much as possible for a couple days. I really wouldn't worry about it.

    But there is no denying today's standards of QC are very high at the Hofner factory.
  18. i researched Hofner basses for a good 18 months. i had a 1967 for awhile then tried all of the reissues. as i recall, the 62 does have a fatter neck. i played it back to back for awhile with a 58 and decided i liked the 58 better so i bought that. the 58 is much woodier but the 62 has loads more low end. with all the neck issues on the originals, i would get a reissue. if you can find a 1980ish that's a great route too. besides, i think the reissues are crafted much better than the originals were. i say pull the trigger.
  19. in a blind test i think there's barely a tonal difference between originals and reissues. this is obviously not the case for the vast majority of companies.