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Klira beatle-ish bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Frenchy_22, May 22, 2002.


  1. Hi, I purchased a Klira violin-shaped bass, great condition, unfortunatly I don't have it's history. I've looked everywhere on the internet, but I can't seem to find anything about them... does anyone have any information about them. It doesn't seem to have a serial or make number... help!
     
  2. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    Have seen these both with set necks and bolt on necks. I have two of these with the bolt on necks. Cool looking with the sort of "cat's eye" sound holes. While you can't blend the pickups, as you can on a Hofner, the addition of a real tone knob is nice. From the little information I have been able to find, these are from the 60's, German made.

    Steve
     
  3. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    Your Klira "Beatle Bass" is Klira's Model 356. Also known as "Twen Star". Klira introduced it in 1966 and discontinued making them a year later in 67.
    Klira guitars and basses were made in the same town as Hofner in Germany called Bubenreuth. Hofner has since move a couple of miles down the road to the next small town of Haganeau.
    Klira's Twen Star was a copy of Hofners 500/1 Beatle Bass. They saw the great success Hofner was having and decided to try to get a piece of the action.
    Unfortunately for Klira, they didn't have a distribution channel in to North America like Hofner did. The Twen Star was not successful and was discontinued.
    Klira also made the "Super Star" version of the bass, model 357 in 1967. It was a deluxe version of the Twen Star. It had better pickups on it and a very ornate tailpiece. Its blond body had deluxe black binding on it.
    I don't believe that many of the Super Star model 357 were made. I have yet to see one other than in catalogs.
    Many of the parts that Klira and Hofner used on their guitars and basses came from the same local suppliers.
    For instance, the tailpiece on your Twen Star is the same one Hofner used on many of their semi-acoustic basses like the 500/1.
    The pickups were from the same source as well, but Klira put different covers on theirs.
    The Klira is a great bass that sounds identical to a Hofner 500/1 at a fraction of the price. They are hand made instruments that were well built by skilled German craftsmen.
    One final note, Klira did not use or stamp their instruments with serial numbers before 1970. All their instruments were given names and a 3 digit model number.
    Take good care of yours.
    Cheers,
     
  4. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    WOW!!!

    Thanks for the info!

    Steve
     
  5. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    You guys are welcome. Enjoy your Klira's.
    Cheers,
     
  6. bstargill

    bstargill

    Nov 30, 2007
    i have a Paul McCartney style Klira bass like the one mentioned above i was curious if you knew it's retail price and how much it's worth now because i'm looking to sell it. It has the two cat-eye hole in it, hollowbody, sunburst design, tone knob, volume knob, toggle switch (1, 1+2, 2), and a bolt neck. all it says on it is Klira at the end of the tailpeice. get back to me when you get a chance please.
     
  7. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    PM sent.

    TD
     
  8. Mati

    Mati

    Apr 29, 2008
    I am also looking to buy this bass. If anyone have chance to get it away please send me a PM.
     
  9. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
  10. Raifecadwell

    Raifecadwell

    Sep 10, 2008
    I just purchased a Klira violin bass with a bolt on neck. I'm still waiting to rec. it from the shipper. The great thing about it is that I have had both shoulders broken at different times and have a medically bad back. This one should be great as the weight issue.....I might be able to make it through a gig without having to sit or go into traction after the gig is through. I'm trying to find pickups for the thing, as in it's present state, it has none. Additionally, someone has removed all the fretts, so, it needs a little TLC and repair. I think it came stock from the factory with Rowe Ind. pickups, please correct me if I'm wrong. I have found several pickups on ebay that I' bidding on and hopefully am doing the right thing. I'm really pumped and eager to get this one up and running. I presently play a 51 Fender P Bass reissue and an American P Bass in Sunset Orange Finish. Does anyone know if this will fit in a Hofner Icon Bass Case or does anyone have any wisdom on any area of this bass....any suggestions, comments or statements? Thanks and looking forward to any coorespondence either on the site or in a PM. Thanks and keep thumpin'.
     
  11. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Better then most Hofners produced after 1975.

    g
     
  12. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    The Klira you bought is a Twen Star 356. I meant to buy it myself, but not to repair it. I was going to use it for parts because of it's extremely poor condition.

    As for the pickups, Klira installed Schaller p/u's in almost all of their instruments. Unfortunately, finding one Schaller replacement p/u for a Klira is extremely difficult. Finding two is next to impossible. I would suggest that you consider buying two Hofner type 513B blade pickups and surrounds and installing them in the bass. You'll have to add a mini-plug to the end of which ever p/u's you buy for it (unless you find some Schaller's). This is because the p/u's on the Twen Star do not solder onto the control panel. But rather they plug into it via the mini jacks. Carefully remove the control panel when you get the bass and you'll see what I mean.

    The Hofner type 513B p/u's will sound like the original Schaller's that were on the bass when it left the factory.

    Yes to your question, will the 356 fit into a Hofner Icon Hard Shell Case. It fits perfectly. If you're looking for more info in Klira and the TS356 PM me.

    TD
     
  13. Raifecadwell

    Raifecadwell

    Sep 10, 2008
    Hey, thanks for the info. I had considered using the Hofner Pickups but they are expensive to obtain and I don't know if I would be able to afford them. I was hoping to find something cheaper or less expensive. I have owned a total of 7 real Hofner Basses and enjoy them only for a short time.....always to return to the Fenders, for some reason. If anyone knows where I can find some good substitutes for the Klira, Please let me know. The Klira is in poor shape, however, I am presently on a mission to clean the thing and get it running. There may be some bracing issues which I will check into. As far as the fretts being removed, it doesn't bother me and the thing plays like a frettless.......even without having the frett spaces filled in. I may just keep it like that and have the spaces filled in. I have a terriffic Luthier (at a place called Music Folk, in Webster Groves, Missouri) that may have parts and the ability to repair the needed areas. Anyone have a spare violin bass case out there that they want to sell? I will definately keep my eyes peeled for the pickups I need. By the way, I attempted to remove the control panal and unscrewed it but it seems to be hanging up and will not come out of it's cavity...........any suggestions? Thanks
     
  14. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    The control panel on the Klira is different than that of a Hofner from the underside. The Hofner will lift straight out, while the Klira has the pickup input mini jacks attached to the panel on the end closest to the neck which impeeds it's removal.

    You''ll just have to gently twist it to manouver it out of the body cut. Once you've got the hang of it, it''ll be easy the next time you need to remove it. It will take a little practice, but be gentle and it will come right out.

    TD
     
  15. Raifecadwell

    Raifecadwell

    Sep 10, 2008
    I managed to get another klira Violin Bass, only this time it is complete. Thanks for all the info on my other questions. I fully intend to get the first one running as soon as poss, however, I still need the pickups or some that will work that are close to the originals. Any help finding these from anyone out there? Thanks
     
  16. peakdesign

    peakdesign

    Aug 25, 2008
    You know the rules: no pics, no bass. C'mon, guys, some closeups please, how are they built?
     
  17. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Ahh, late to the party, and I was going to recommend Thornton right out of the gate as THE man to ask. Y'all are in good hands. BTW, howdy TD! Hope all's well....
     
  18. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    Unfortunately there are no Klira Twen Star pickups out there. The only way you'll find what you need is to take them off an existing Klira Twen Star 356 that's been beat and is ready to be parted out. I'm always on the look out for them, but they're either hard to find or the seller wants far to much money for it.

    Did you buy the Klira that just sold on Ebay out of Saint Paul?
    Or did you buy one of the other two Twen Star's that recently sold on Ebay? I believe one was located in Michigan and the other in Georgia.

    TD

    PS - Hey Fran, yep all's fine here. Hope the heard of Hofner's are keeping you out of trouble. Take care!
     
  19. Raifecadwell

    Raifecadwell

    Sep 10, 2008
    Hey Thornton,
    Thanks for the great info. Yes, I did purchase the one out of St. Paul. It looked to be pretty complete and in pretty good shape. The first one I purchased was sort of a let down.....no fretts and no pickups. I am having a hard time justifying spending the bucks on the good Hofner pickups and still having to pay someone to frett the neck, aside from the chance that the body may need some re-braceing. I have a great repair guy that is affordable, but as we all are feeling the crunch of the economy.....I just dont know what I will do with it at this point. I have a dearmond pickup that kind of looks like a vintage rickenbacker guitar toaster model that I'm considering trying on the thing and I'm wondering what the icon pu's would sound like and even if they will fit......unless I can find some real hofner ones at an affordable price. Any ideas????? I hate the thing to sit as an untouched project and I have $300.00 bucks in the thing. The control panal and pots are all there, just no pu's. Have a great one.