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Hofner Pickup Height

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jblock, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. jblock


    Mar 20, 2004
    Would someone mind posting the pickup height for a Hofner beatle bass if you've got one? I just picked up a new Contemporary 500/1 and the pickups were very high (1/32"). No problems with the strings hitting the pickups but the G string above the 12th fret was sounding really bad. I've lowered them a bit (3/32") and the sound overall is a lot more open and airy with no real loss of volume, just less slightly in-your-face. These pickups seem more sensitive than any other's I've encountered; even a 1/32" change makes a difference.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. soulfool


    Dec 28, 2009
    That's a good question and one I was wondering about myself. I got a Hofner Ignition for Christmas and plan on putting on new strings (Chromes Flatwound) and adjusting the pickup height this week. The back pickup seems really high now and I'm getting some static from my amp when the strings are pressed down lightly from the fifth fret on. So if someone could post an average pickup height for a Hofner with low action that would be extremely helpful.
  3. jblock


    Mar 20, 2004
    That was my issue as well. The bridge pickup was very high and angled. The neck pickup was too high as well. I've lowered them both to about 3/32" from the bottom of the strings fretted at the last fret and it's a lot better now. The signal was very hot and claustrophobic.
  4. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I have two Contemporary 500/1's and they are really nice basses. If you need to get the answer fast and accurate then just call Hofner at 1-888-942-2642. That is the number for their office in the U.S.. I have had to call them in the past and they are very helpful.
  5. jblock


    Mar 20, 2004
    Just bumping this to see if anyone with a Hofner bass can let me know what their pickup height is. The word from Hofner is that they are setup at the factory to their specification. If that's true than it's 2/32" which seems and sounds too low to me.
  6. pjn


    Jan 18, 2010
    Hello, it's my first time here in this forum, and I did my registration here because there is people talking about the poor response of the Hofner ignition pickups. In theory this should not happen because the pickups used in this model are the same as for the other 500/1 models (the type is the 511B). But if you look carefully to the position of the bridge pickup you'll see that it is in a opposite position comparing with the other; the other 500/1 models have the pickup with the same orientation. What I did was rounding the pickup 180º to have the two with the same position and the sound bacem MUCH better, Try it and give some feedback.


    chuffington_2319 and Rnb4003 like this.
  7. jblock


    Mar 20, 2004
    I believe the pickups in the Ignition are actually chinese copies whereas the Contemporary and the German-made Hofners use the same German-made pickups.
    rockinrayduke likes this.
  8. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    The pickup height on my Hofner Ignition was off --- neck pickukp tilted too high on the G string. I evened it out and then raised the neck pickkup a bit and lowered the bridge pickup. Don't know what height Hofner recommends but the reason I bought this bass was I wanted bass -- lots of it -- so I boosted the influence of the neck pickup a bit.
  9. odysseios


    Jan 18, 2007
    Sardinia, Italy
    After i changed the height regulation Phillips screws with slotted ones i raised much the bridge pickup because his volume was very low in comparison with the neck p.u., even if i don't use the bridge p.u. yet... The neck p.u. was quite powerful at a inferior height, and to approach it too much to the strings could get worse his tone.
  10. onestring


    Aug 25, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Bumping this old thread for the lack of definitive answers. Just got a CT and the pickup height is a real challenge--they are VERY sensitive and I'm having a hard time getting the neck and bridge balanced for output.

    I'll keep going with trial and error, but they are not the easiest pickups to fiddle with (four tiny set screws that I don't want to strip). I'd like to hear some real numbers for where Contemporary/German owners set their pickup height.
  11. radrack


    Nov 10, 2012
    Portland OR
    The numbers don't matter ! Adjust them so they sound the best. Variations in strings, age of pups (magnetic strength) etc. make them all different. What works on one instrument doesn't necessarily work on another. I have one of the first Club Bass re-issues & they are adjusted about 3/16 clearance & way too loud but due to them sitting ON the body (no cavity) I cant
    't lower them any more. Like I said, they are all different....
  12. bill reed

    bill reed

    Apr 2, 2012
    the height on mine from the top of the neck pick up to the plastic pickup surround on the bass is 5.5mm and from the neck pickup top to the G string is 5,0mm.
    from the bridge pick up to the plastic surround is 12.4mm and from the top of the pickup to the string is 5mm
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm going to have to measure mine because they seem perfect to me
  14. rfslick


    Dec 31, 2008
    Benicia, CA. USA
    I have a 500/2 Ignition Club, which is basically the same as the 500/1 Ignition Beatle bass, and at the factory settings, the pickups were way too hot and distorted. I simply lowered them to the point where the sound was clear and free from distortion. I wouldn't worry about exactly what the measurement is, rather take them to a clear sound.
  15. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Be careful that your strings are designed for the Hofner bass. They have very delicate necks and the strings must be very light to be sure the neck doesn't twist. Most of the string makers have models that are expressly for the Hofners - this is highly recommended, from experience.
  16. bill reed

    bill reed

    Apr 2, 2012
    I use tru-bass 88s on my beatles bass, the were used on the the "let it be" and on part of the "abbey road" albums. they are ultra low tension but are 65,75,90. and 115.
    relly like the sound of the black strings on my beatles bass.
  17. chuffington_2319


    Jun 23, 2015
    On my Hofner Ignition as soon as I got it I threw on Rotsound Tru Bass 88's (65-115) and the neck doesn't seem to have been affected at all. I've had it for around 7 months.
  18. chuffington_2319


    Jun 23, 2015
    Just did it and it works completely 100%. Thanks for the advice!