Hofner Upright basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Joroge, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Joroge

    Joroge Guest

    Oct 16, 2005
    Hi , can anybody tell me about Hofner upright basses ? Are they carved ? just the top ? top half laminated ? Are the owners happy with instrument ? solid ?
    I know ...the best way is to play them , but those ones are in the shop (15 years...) without the bridges , so they won´t let me play it and they are not set too ... So I would like to hear from who knows them ...
    Thanks a lot .
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Moved to Basses.
  3. TeHarr


    Nov 8, 2005
    I own a Hofner bass, and I'm very happy with it, though I am a young musician and it is the first bass I have owned. I got it a little less than a year ago now, second-hand through my teacher. Since then it has opened up really nicely (I guess it was in storage before I bought it), and it sounds great. I've tried other basses that my colleages and friends in the youth orchestra have, and I spent a lot of time looking for a bass to buy before I found it. I've tried some basses made by the Wilfers, Gill, the Asian makers, and Pollman, and I can safely say that I like the sound, feel, and playability of my Hofner more than any of them, and it came for a more reasonable price than the pollmans or wilfers. My hofner has a laminated spruce top and laminated back. She's on the small side of a 3/4 bass, but works great for the orchestral playing I'm doing. Of course I'm a student though, so this sort of bass wouldn't be that great beyond university. On that note, I have several aqquaintences who use Hofner basses at the University of Toronto, and they seem to be happy with them. If you're looking for a good bass to buy for not too much, Hofners are a good place to start, but of course it always depends on the specific instrument you're looking at :D
  4. Joroge

    Joroge Guest

    Oct 16, 2005
    Thanks man ... If you and anybody else could post pics of a Hofner upright , would be great . This way I could have an idea if it´s the same model .
    Peace and good luck always
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've got a Hofner. It's very large for a 3/4. I love the feel and sound. It needs a new nut and I'm gonna get it setup sometime in the next couple weeks.

    I've played a lot of basses since I got my Hofner, and out of all of them, there have only been two that I liked more. One was a Tyrolean, and one was made by a guy here in Ontario named Peter Chandler. Both of these basses far (far, far) outstripped mine in terms of cost.
  6. I also have a Karl Hofner,all carved, 3/4,violin corners, made sometime in the 1920-30's in Czech,town of Schonbach.The label has the letters KH(Karl Hofner) with a symbol of a violin and a picture of the globe. It has moderately flamed wood on the back plate and neck,the top has a round carving below the neck conecting the shoulders, it also has the fancy purfling monogram at the back button.There are two other labels on the inside. One says "Salvadore de Durro", B&J imports New York. That company started out in the early 1900's in New York and then moved to Canada in the 1970's. The other label is a repair label by J Stamps, Fort Worth Texas, 1944.

    The bass was owned by an piano turner I knew who played in the San Diego Symphony,1950-70, and when he passed away his daughter called and I got the bass for $3,000. The bass was standing in the corner of his bedroom and had not been played since 1985. It came with a nice old pernambuco german bow that I love almost as much as the bass!
  7. TeHarr


    Nov 8, 2005
    Here are some pictures of my baby:

    The full-frontal and scroll. The back has the Hofner crest just like the bass in the link Eric Jackson gave us, and the bridge is made by Starker, apparently he experiments with that sorta thing a lot.

    The Chandler basses have mixed reviews, but 3 of the 4 ones that I've seen/heard were very good! Check out his site at www.peterchandler.net


    Attached Files:

    Winoman likes this.
  8. Joroge

    Joroge Guest

    Oct 16, 2005
    Until now , I haven´t heard anything bad about Hofner , and indeed they look cool , solid and good sounding basses . The ones that are there have a look like this one I saw in Lemur web site , but not so dark as this one in the pics I got there .
    But the neck has exacly that same medium flamed wood ...
    I´m shure by now that Hofner is a pretty reliable bass coming from your experiences .
    Again , Thanks you all ...

    Attached Files:

  9. Joroge

    Joroge Guest

    Oct 16, 2005
    more pics

    Attached Files:

  10. Joroge

    Joroge Guest

    Oct 16, 2005
    Could you say this one is full , half carved or laminated by looking at it ..?

    Attached Files:

  11. TeHarr


    Nov 8, 2005
    I can't tell from the picture, though others might have some tricks for doing that? I know that it's easy to tell if you look at the edge of the top and back close-up and look for layers. Makers of plywood basses often put a veneer on top of the plywood, and you can see the layers of the veneer and plywood. The higher-end Hofners should be carved though. Why don't you try asking whoever's selling it?
  12. Joroge

    Joroge Guest

    Oct 16, 2005
    They say at lemur , that it´s a laminated one.... at these days u can´t believe for sure in what you see with your eyes ... Looks like carved or half carved but it isn´t ... Anyway I trust about the good sound you get from yours , carved or not and that´s what matters ...
  13. SebBass


    Jan 7, 2004
    Hey guys,

    Never heard of Hofner before, and thought they were related to the Hofner instrument makers...(Paul McCartney had one...)...But after reading this, i'd definitely think it was a luthier of his own.

    Can anybody confirm this ? :confused:

    Edit: Oh yeah, one more thing - How much are they worth, ballpark ? I got a local dealer that has one, hence my asking...!
  14. Joroge

    Joroge Guest

    Oct 16, 2005
    The Hofner upright bass we were talking about , I guess , is exacly from the same makers of the eletric ones but in an orchestral segment . But , who knows ... might exist others Hofners ...
  15. Peter Thwaites

    Peter Thwaites

    Nov 17, 2019
    What possessed Hofner not to put serial numbers/year of manufacture on their Double Basses? Trying to find information on my Hofner is like trying to find the holy grail. The Hofner company don't respond to any such inquiries either.
  16. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Hofner was the source of a large number of lightly made trade type doublebasses that were sold through catalogues and local distributors under various label names. I know of them as makers of solid woods smaller 3/4 size instruments that went to high schools and colleges, as well as various retailers. The lightly built 7/8 size basses were especially interesting to me as a retailer. They stopped buying wood to store and season for the 7/8 size instruments years ago and I got one of the last of their 7/8 size basses about 4 years ago. I believe that they still have much of 3/4 size wood to go through and I hope that it continues on going forward. Here on the west coast they were distributed under the "Hammig" name from South San Francisco's Sahlein Music and under the "Rauner" name from a distributor in souther California.