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Hofner Icon bass setup / strings

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by InnerLoop, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. InnerLoop


    Jan 10, 2012
    Hi, I just recently received a Hofner Icon Club Bass as a gift and it came with roundwounds. All was great except the first fret had a buzz mostly just on the Eb on the D string. I tried raising the action since it was set pretty low, but the buzz was still there on that Eb just slightly more delayed so it came in about a second or too after the attack. I could avoid it by cutting the note short or palm muting the string. The other notes on that fret on the other strings would buzz if i attacked harder, but mostly behaved. I was gonna switch to flatwounds anyway so I hoped that would eliminate the buzz, and it did. The problem now is the G string has a tiny buzz down at the bridge right past where it makes contact with the bridge saddle. I think you can only really here it acoustically and not really when running through the amp but i need to analyze that a little bit more lol. Anyway, does anybody know what would cause this? I have the action set pretty high now, as I jacked it up to where the screws for the bridge height are flush with the top surface of the bridge. I am gonna try lowering it now to reduce the tension. These strings seem even tighter than the round wounds.

    Which also brings up another question as to whether or not high action is bad for the neck on this particular bass? I have no idea how one goes about setting up the intonation on a bass like this. I'm used to fenders and other similar setups when it comes to electrics. Thanks for any information. Been lurking for a little while trying to read up as much as i can on whatever info is available here and elsewhere.
  2. InnerLoop


    Jan 10, 2012
    Tried lowering the strings but the buzz came back on the first fret notes, again mostly the Eb. Any tips on how I should set this bass up? Does the buzz on the first fret mean I need to get the fret polished (or whatever you call it when you sand the fret down) or should i try bowing the neck a little more?. Any idea why this G string would have this small buzz down near the bridge saddle now? This bass is so foreign to me.
  3. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    I had a similar problem when I first retsrung my Icon with Pyramid flats. However, I was getting avery weird overtone on my G string rather than a buzz. I asked around several Icon users and we traced the problem to the fact that the string was contacting the wood part of the bridge after it passed over the brass "saddle" on its way to the tailpiece. Several users suggetsed that I file down the wood to eliminate contact, but instead I tried a TI flat on the G string and the problemn went away. Later, I replaced all the stings with LaBella Beatle Bass Flats and have had no recurrence of the problem. I don't think you should have to file a bridge to eliminate a problem the factory should have caught.

    You might try looking at the G to see if it's contacting the wood.
  4. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    It sounds from your description that 1) the nuts slots are a bit low, and 2) you come from the "Ready! Fire! Aim!" camp.

    Try a piece of business card or the like, in the nut slot, to raise the string very slightly; this will tell you if it's a low nut problem.
    My suggestion would be that you then have a pro remove the nut and shim it, when you have a complete setup done, by the aforementioned pro.

    Intonation is set by moving the small lengths of fretwire that are used as saddles; I suspect the buzzing you're hearing is the G string sitaring in the slot in the saddle that was cut too deep and without a good witness point.

    A *little* bit of added forward bow may help to alleviate these problems.

    I'd very strongly suggest that you use a low tension flatwound set on this bass; Thomastik-Infeld and Pyramid come to mind. La Bella recently came out with a set of strings specifically for Hofners, but I don't know about the tension of this set.

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