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Hofner or Birdsong?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zenspector, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. zenspector


    Sep 7, 2006
    For years been a Fender J player. I've owned and played all the others, but it was always back to the J. I recently talked to a player friend who had just bought a German Hofner and he couldn't say enough good things about it. It played well and sounded great.
    Next thing I know I run into a killer deal on a Hofner Icon, so I bought it thinking that if I liked it, I'd buy a German one. The thing is, I do actually like it and, and so does my band.
    Then I go see an old friend who's played for 50 years and owns about every bass there is. I'm there looking to buy, since he's selling off some gear. He has a Birdsong that was made for him a few years back. When I played it, well, I couldn't believe it. Great guitar.
    Maybe I'm answering my own question, but I like to hear opinions. Any body got any on the German Hofner or the Birdsong?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    You already have the ICON? Buying a German Hofner will give you bragging rights and some cool points but it's not going to add much more to your sound. Now, a Birdsong opens up all kinds of new options (especially with the Varitone). And a Birdsong has its own cool points

    So, keep your Icon, get the Birdsong, and you've got all the bases covered - or should I say basses covered? :smug:
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The way I look at it is if Paul McCartney were starting out today, would he buy a German Hofner or an Icon? I say he'd get an Icon, so I'd probably get the Birdsong to have a more unfamiliar situation-friendly short scale, and stick with the Icon for now.
  4. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    Having owned a Hofner Icon (and a Contemporary) and currently owning a Birdsong, I would say go for the Birdsong. It's 100 times better than a Hofner (even a German Hofner) in terms of versatility, build and tone. Plus, you'd be supporting a U.S. small business (and a hell of a nice guy in Scott Beckwith).
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    100 times better? Prove it.

  6. I've never owned a Hofner so I can't comment on them.

    I own 2 Birdsongs. I play one or the other nearly exclusively when I have a gig. They balance well on the shoulder and I can get pretty much any sound I want out of them.

    I do have some cheaper basses that I play at some of the dive type bars, or for outdoor shows. I don't want my Birdsongs to get rained on, or baked in the sun!
  7. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    I've owned a couple of German Hofners and currently own a few Birdsongs. Hofners are great. Love the sound. Super light. Balance kind of funny but you can get used to it. To me the German Hofners feel much, MUCH nicer than the Icon series. Just my opinion, but I'd say there's a huge difference. Birdsongs are going to balance better and not have feedback issues because they're solid body. You also have a choice of different sounds with the Birdsongs, but the Hofner sound is a great one. To me the Birdsongs are much more comforable to play and designed better.
  8. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I agree there is a difference. To me the Icons feel much, MUCH nicer than the German Hofners. To me the Icons have a much better feeling neck profile and easier playability.
  9. Well, an $1800 bass (Germna made Hofner) BETTER feel nicer than a $300 bass (Hofner Icon)!;)

    I can't imagine a German Hofner serving my purposes better than my Icon does.
  10. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
    I've never owned or played a Hofner. It's on my "bucket list" FWIW. I have a Birdsong being built, a Sadhana. Since I live in Texas, I drove to Scott's shop and met him and all the other guys at the shop, even chose my own wood for the bass. He is the nicest guy you'll ever meet, and then some.

    His guitars are among the best in the business, bar none. How good? Marciano Cantero, bass player for Los Enanitos Verdes has two of his basses. Scott hand delivered his first one to a concert, and Marciano played it right then and there, all night long. Mind you, he had a whole other stand full of basses to choose from, including some VERY high profile "boutique" basses, yet he chose to stick with the Birdsong. He's since commisioned a second one, and his son has commisioned a left handed guitar from Scott.

    Get the Birdsong, you won't be dissapointed.
  11. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    Which two Birdsong bass models does Senor Cantero own?
  12. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
    Cortobass, you can see the second one at Scott's "Clients Build" page, it's the "Marciano Especial No 2". Mine's 12S-055.
  13. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    Cool, I have been eyeing Birdsong stuff for awhile now. Thanks jbossolo! Looking forward to seeing the progress of your bass. The wood certainly looks great.
  14. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
    Thanks bro! That bocote fretboard will be SICK! I can't wait for it to take shape.
    Scott is the Jedi Master of shortscales.

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