Jay Turser Hofner Copy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NJHiggins, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. NJHiggins


    Jun 29, 2020
    I bought my first bass, probably something like 9 years ago in a bout of teenage-angst induced rage. Lucky for me, my father, also a bass player, steered me towards this bass, and as an avid beatles fan, it was perfect. At the time it was something like $180, which in retrospect was an incredibly good price for what you get.
    Its solidly built aside from the pickguard mounting which is a little flimsy, though I assume its more for show anyway. Either way I took it off at some point and promptly lost it. The tuners are pretty darn great, never had any huge issues with them. The bass is hollowbody, and is suprisingly loud unplugged, enough so that I don't find much need to plug it in when just noodling around. The fingerboard is lovely as well. No sharp edges on the frets, no buzz, and aside from a bit of yellowing on the binding, looks just as good as the day I got it.

    As for drawbacks...
    Youre definitely gonna want to play one or two of these in person before buying one. When I bought mine, the store had two and this one was definitely different from the other one.
    The electronics are a little on the cheap side, and Im fairly certain that a few of the screws used to install them were used before in something else. I had to have the input jack replaced maybe 4 years after buying it, and the pots are kinda scratchy. Despite this, the bass sounds great, and its real easy to get that hofner thump out of it.
    The fake mother of pearl furnature (pickguard, volume knob plate and truss rod cover) are rather cheap, and the pearly veneer cracked and peeled off in a few places, but for $180 I can't really complain.

    If youre thinking about getting one of these, I strongly suggest getting labelle flatwound strings. They sound fantastic and are super comfortable to play with. A word to the wise, and some things I learned the hard way:
    A) The bass is 32" scale, so full length strings aren't gonna fit.
    B) If you take the strings off, the floating bridge is gonna fall off with them. I reccommend some masking tape to keep it in place. So long as you don't leave it on there too long it wont damage the finish.

    Overall, I love this bass. Its light, portable, oh so comfortable to play, and easilly the best impulse purchase Ive ever made. Ive played a few of the Hofner el cheapo equivalents (I think its icon or ignition or something, supposed to be their affordable version of the hofner) and as far as I can tell, theyre twice the price for half the quality. Seems like most of the price is just due to the name.
    That's the end of my rant, but Im happy to answer any questions as best I can. Cheers! 00100trPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200629165006548_COVER.jpg 00100trPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200629165006548_COVER.jpg 00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20200629164945986.jpg 00100trPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200629165006548_COVER.jpg 00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20200629164945986.jpg IMG_20200629_164905.jpg 00100trPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200629164923927_COVER.jpg
    Mastermold and leftybass54 like this.
  2. BB Brian

    BB Brian

    Apr 15, 2020
    West Texas
    Would you mind posting a clip of how it sounds? I have always been fascinated by the Violin style basses.
  3. NJHiggins


    Jun 29, 2020

    I thiiiink that oughtta work, let me know if it doesn't
    BB Brian likes this.
  4. BB Brian

    BB Brian

    Apr 15, 2020
    West Texas
    It worked a treat! Thanks for posting that. Nice to know that there are other options out there for violin basses.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I have one I bought new in 05 or 06, and I think it's quite a solid little bass. I quit using it for years when I bought a late 60's Realistic violin bass, but over the past couple of years, I really think the tone has improved. I don't think it's quite at the level of the Realistic sonically, but it's getting better, plus it plays better. And I recently discovered that solo mode sounds a LOT better than normal mode. And while I don't always buy into conventional wisdom, after trying several different sets of strings, LaBellas and violin basses do seem made for each other.

    Violin basses 2020.JPG
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  6. NJHiggins


    Jun 29, 2020
    Oh I agree completely. Putting those flatwounds on this bass really revitalised it for me. That bass on the right is beautiful btw.
    I had interest in hofner's club bass but haven't seen anything mimicing it a reasonable price.
  7. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    I got a Turser knockoff many years ago. I can't date it other than they had just started making colors and I got a black one off ebay. I think the guy might have played it 1/2 dozen times - it was basically new.
    I figured if I go here I go all the way and immediately bought a set of Pyramids for it.

    I must say I was (and am) very impressed with it overall. The neck came with a limited lifetime guarantee to the original owner!! At this price point? Kudos to Turser. Neck remains laser straight. Fretwork was good. I always felt the electronics were squirrely, so once I get it working/sounding best I leave it alone.

    Once I got it set up I haven't touched it. I did gig it early on and was impressed by the pretty "authentic" tones, and it's certainly fun to play. I think I paid $160? Not sure, it wasn't much - better than having $2K sitting around in my closet....

    It has been lolling around for a bunch of years and at last check I think it's time to finally retire the Pyramids. I know there's a "can't have flats too old" contingent, but I have a limit. I have 2 sets of LaBella Hofner flats that have been awaiting their turn. This could be my weekend project, and once revitalized could be back on the regular menu!

    IMO, it's an excellent bang for the buck. I don't know how it stacks up to the Epi (which was my other choice) but overall it is well done and sounds great.

    You just can't beat this with a stick.

    P.S. It still amazes me how instruments like this, and all their components, can be completely fabricated, assembled, put in a case, shipped to us, sold to a retailer and then sold to us for around $200 +/-. There are so many "starters"(say <$400) that are good to go right out of the gate. I've been playing for over 50 years and have watched the growth of the business. My first bass (1967) was a "gold foil pickup" import my Dad got me (he didn't know). I went to my friend guitar player, we plugged it in and...nothing. Wiring checked, then we figured it out. The pickups were too far away from the strings!!! We had to build them up before the magnets kicked in! It was a hunk of firewood and I was glad to get it. Nothing like that now, and I'm happy for all beginners!!!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I’ve been interested in getting a Hofner and this might be the ticket for me.
    JimmyM likes this.
  9. NJHiggins


    Jun 29, 2020
    Can't reccommend it enough! Its a great little bass, great for playing plugged or unplugged. Definitely try it in person though, more than just the floor model.
  10. leftybass54


    May 22, 2020
    NC Triad
    Great discussion, all! My personal experience with violin basses is limited to Rogue VT-100 (MIK) and Hofner Ignition (MIC). So I find it interesting to read about Epi's and Jay Turser's, with all the similarities and differences noted among the four. But I'm in total agreement on LaBella flats for that vintage 'thump'.
    The one suggestion I can add is, if you change only one string at a time, you avoid the floating bridge falling out of position and thus totally throwing off your intonation. Cheers!