Hofner contemporary hollowbodies

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ripper75, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. I used to play a 60s Vox hollowbody and really liked how I could play it without plugging it in just messing around at home and it sounded descent without an amp. I even recorded like that sometimes since it had such a cool sound. I'm thinking about getting a Hofner HCT bass, not sure which one and wondering if they all have that similar acoustic quality since they are hollow...can you hear them good even if you aren't plugged in? I notice the 500/1 is a good bit cheaper than the 500/7 or 500/8 and I'm wondering if they all have a descent acoustic sound quality. If not, any suggestions on affordable/inexpensive basses that would work well for that? Part of me wonders if a 60s hollowbody would be louder than a newer contemporary one but maybe thats silly... On a side note I'm assuming all the Hofner HCT basses have the same pickups but I'm curious how different the necks are besides some being long vs short, are some necks thinner than others..? Any feedback is helpful. Thanks
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  2. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    EA-260.JPG '94  Gretsch    G6119B.JPG DSCN0349.JPG Dano DC bass-1.jpg If I remember correctly, the Hofner CT basses have a center tone block - unlike the Ignition/Icon series, or the German models. If so, then they are actually semi-hollow body basses. And, as a general rule, semi-hollows aren't nearly as loud, acoustically, as hollow body basses are. That's one of the reasons that block is in there, in the first place. However...
    Yes, a hollow body bass can be reasonably loud; just depends on the bass. And, yes, even a semi-hollow body can be loud enough, unplugged, to practice on. Again, it depends on the bass. This first bass, a '71 Epi EA-260, is a true hollow body, and it's loud enough by itself that, if I lived in an apartment, I could annoy the bejeezus out of the neighbors with it. The next one is a Gretsch Broadkster. It's a hollow body, too, but even though the body is huge, it isn't nearly as loud as the Epi. I think the "waffle" bracing on the top's underside is the reason for that... Still adequate for practicing, but only just, IMO.. The Rogue VB-100 is also just barely adequate. I have a Chinese Starfire violin bass that's made like a German Hofner (not nearly as well, of course, but the method's the same) that's louder than the Rogue, which has a plywood body perimeter. The last bass is a Danelectro DC59 - a semi-hollow bass. Surprisingly enough, it, too, is.. adequate for unplugged practice. Probably the Masonite and alder construction..;) I'd say that the only way to tell for sure if a bass would satisfy your curiosity, would be to actually try it and see. I'd be willing to bet that a Hofner Ignition would be louder, acoustically, than a CT, though...:whistle:
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  3. The HCT500/1 is a great bass when plugged into an amp, but it sucks acoustically if you're wanting to noodle around playing it without an amp. As GiBrat51 mentioned in his post above, the center block eliminates the resonance of the body acoustically. Here's a photo of the HCT500/1 body before the front and back are installed.

    Contemporary frame.jpg

  4. Thornton Davis:
    Wow! How did you get that picture of the inside of the HTC 500/1? A coffin shaped center block - I never would have guessed. That explains so much about the bass, including why it's more stable than the fully hollow versions. I agree that the HTC versions isn't great for practicing while unplugged - though I do it. The Ignition version is, inexpensive, fully hollow and more resonant while unplugged. But, the HTC is a great bass when amplified, and to play.
  5. jimtone


    Feb 23, 2012
    The sustain block in both my HCT 500/1' are shaped like a Coke bottle on the outer edges and the center is solid. The outer edges can be seen thru the control panel route. The solid ceners can be seen thru the pup wire access.
  6. l own three Beatle Basses, two Hofner Ignitions and a Rogue VB100 ...(the Sunburst) they are all great sounding basses and l have to say the $175 Rogue is very close to the same construction as the Ignitions. Once you put flat wounds on these basses you have that wonderful 60s thump that is why l got them in the first place ...

    lf you are looking for a low-cost alternative to the German Hofners or the mid-priced HCTs then the Ignition is the bass to get. the Rogue isn't bad either. in fact, the Rogue is well worth the price but you will have to do some set-up on it before you can get the sound... like the HCT these basses are made in China, not Germany. The Ignitions and Rogue do not have that center block and only weigh less than 7 pounds each.

    they look great oo :) [​IMG]
  7. dramatwist


    Sep 27, 2019
    The Ignition and Icon will meet your requirements, and are a good bang for the buck.
  8. Primary

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