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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kevin Gordon, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. I have heard lots of good things about these instuments and am thinking of saving up for one of them. What have been other people's experiences with them?
  2. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Good, bad and indifferent. Like anything, reactions will be varied. I was "stuck" with one in high school in the late sixties/early seventies. For the most part, I despised it. Others will soon tell you how wonderful they are. Play one through your rig or a rig like yours and decide it they're for you.
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    You can do much better. I know of no one (ok, maybe like, TWO) that likes hofners. they are not ,,,,very good tone machines. just kinda.... there.

    You can do much better.
  4. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    The Hofner is good for a fairly limited tone. I owned a '65 and played it as my no. 1 bass for about 10 years. I bought it right out of high school (used) because I was such a MaCartney fanatic.

    The neck is easy on the hands, the scale is short. I found it took some time to get used to finger-picking it, as the strings were pretty close together and they are fairly high off the body, and the pick-ups were not very good thumb rests.

    The bass didn't have a great deal of ring or sustain, but that didn't stop McCartney from making it his sound.

    All in all, though, I liked the Hofner, but didn't love it. It is what it is.

    So there you go.
  5. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    Oh, and one other thing. If you get it, be careful. They are pretty fragile. The neck is glued, and it doesn't take much to knock it loose -- at least in my experience. Also, the bridge is not set, it's held in place by string tension. Not too hard to accidently move. At best, it's somewhat of a pain to re-intonate, at worst, you're headed for your local music store.
  6. let me clarify something, I am curious about its tone and the quality of the instrument not about how much everyone likes them (and if you play metal I dont even want to hear from you, no offence, just seems like thats not what this bass is designed for) I really would like to try one out but I have yet to find anywhere that carries them thats not online.
  7. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Right, everyone knows ibanez 5 strings are for metal.

    a bass is not made for anything. and a metal bassists idea of a good tone varies, bass tone is bass tone.:rolleyes:
  8. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    Uhh . . . hmmm . . . I thought my post was, for the most part, focussed on the instrument and not how much I liked or disliked it.
  9. DaBassman


    Mar 25, 2002
    Oneonta, NY
    I've owned the same one for over 30 years, got it for my birthday as a kid. (I'm a lefty and switched it over)
    Always loved it, the feel, tone etc....I played only that bass for 20 years......
    Until I had enough money to buy another bass...then realized how bland the sound is.
    They're beautiful and fun to own....but probably not worth the moola....but I'd still buy it again!!!!
  10. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I think they Hofners are cool basses, but definitely a one-trick pony. If you like like that fat, tubby tone and are willing to put up with the fragility and difficult intonation, I would say go for it.

    It seems that there are a lot of decent copies available now. I bought a Rogue Violin bass for cheap, and it is great. I carved a new bridge for it, but otherwise it sounds like.....well, a Hofner, for about 1/4 the price. There is no way that I would pay for a new Hofner, but I like having a cheap copy.
  11. Martha01


    Sep 20, 2002
    If i hard to get sound of it how can mccartney make great songs with it??
  12. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654 Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    If you read up a little bit you will find that Paul realy didn't like the bass at all, and only baught it because it was all he could afford at the time. As for his tone, It's all in the way he plays. I don't know what amps and eq he used but I would think his tone mostly came from him;)
  13. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    I've owned just about every model Hofner bass ever made at one point or another. I love the look of them as well as the tone of them. I could never figure out a comfortable right hand fingerstyle technique on one though so always had to play them with a pick (resting palm on bridge saddle).

    They are fragile as someone else said above. Some real downsides to them including fragile neck joints, difficult intonation, small tuning posts.

    The pre 1967 "staple pole" pickup design is flawed in that if you attempt any string bending the output drops like a hot rock. I prefer the '67 and later "Sharkfin" stle pickups with blade style pickups which corrected this problem.

    You're in the SF Bay area and there are several dealers within short driving distance where you can try one yourself as follows:

    Guitar Showcase in San Jose
    Blue Note Music in Berkeley
    Tall Toad Music in Petaluma (my buddy Charlie Cowles rules!)
  14. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I don't know, everybody always rags on Hofners and how fragile they are, but meanwhile there are plenty of 60's Hofners still in service and certyinly commanding top dollar (3 to 4 times it's contemprary competotors command. Speaking of European basses like Vox, Framus, Burns). Thye are very light basses and one finds oneself moving nimbly around the neck. it doesn't fight you, that's for sure. In fact, they feel rather like they might float away.

    Intonation is tricky, but certainly possible. I will tell you that if you walk into a recording session with an intonated Hofner with good flatwound strings, the engineer will quickly become your very best friend. They record just beautifully. The very limited tonal range means that they occupy their own spot in a mix as opposed to a lot of modern full range basses which are somehow supposed to sit in a mix with two full range guitars, 18 mics on the drumset, keys and quadrupled vocals.

    I suppose the high cost of Hofner's could be just misguided nostalgia. Or there's a high demand for them because they are really cool basses with a unique voice- certainly valuable in this day and age when so many high end basses sound so generic.
  15. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654 Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
  16. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Man did I misspell a lot of words in that post! I'm actually a lot more intelligent than that would indicate.

    By the way, played a lovely Hofner Club bass today througha B-15 and that's simply the way a bass is supposed to sound.
  17. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
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  18. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I think there one trick poney's.
    A lot of money, 1300.00 new.
    Vintage $1700-$2000.
    I found a Apollo copy of a Hofner late sixty's.
    Get's a great Hofner sound for $300.00.