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MIJ Hofner Replica Repair Thread

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ANCIENTSOCIETY, Nov 24, 2017.



    May 18, 2016
    Las Vegas
    Hello world of Talkbass,

    This is my first repair thread here, a restoration of a vintage Hofner replica.
    This bass was not taken care of very well over the years and still, the neck is very straight, just what you'd expect from vintage MIJ. I won the bass in a goodwill auction in Orange County, for $72. I want to keep the repair under $200, but my goal is to get it fixed for less than $150 including the $72 for the bass itself. The construction is "violin" style according to violinbasses.com, a more preferred lightweight design for MIJ basses. Not sure what brand or even what factory this was made in.

    The repairs needed so far are:
    -re-fret (frets were sanded down flat) :(
    -crack in neck near headstock probably from a fall
    -fill in various holes in headstock and body
    -possible re-bind to go with new frets
    -fix chip on back of headstock
    -new pickups/electronics
    -new tuners
    -new strap buttons
    -re-glue top layer of body near neck pocket

    I'm still deciding the extent of the restoration, but the bass will be repaired back to playable spec, and set up properly. This thread will serve as a way to mark my progress. The body hasn't sunk, which is a plus among lots of negatives lol.
    This will be a fun project.

    main body.JPG
    pickup holes.JPG top layers.JPG tuners.JPG
    photo 1.JPG

    Attached Files:

  2. Looks like fun or “fun,” if you prefer. :D Keep us updated.

    By the frets being flat, do you mean level with the fretboard or just filed very low?
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Unless you have the parts that are missing from the picture, you have your work cut out for you meeting that budget.


    May 18, 2016
    Las Vegas
    They have been filed very low, probably an attempt to level out dents in the past. frets.JPG


    May 18, 2016
    Las Vegas
    I've already ordered some tuners that fit the holes drilled in the headstock for $25 so that leaves me at $97. I could go the wish.com route for electronics and make my budget, but that's a last resort. I'll be searching ebay and craigslist for parts.
  6. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I hope I'm wrong, but is that a crack in the neck below the headstock? Maybe just a bad scratch? You may have to lower your sights on parts to stay in budget, but there are plenty of adequate chinese made parts around. Spend your money on decent pups and electronics, most of the cheap chinese pups aren't wax potted. Looks like a full refret and refin, good luck with it! Post photos.


    May 18, 2016
    Las Vegas
    Sadly, it is a crack that runs deep enough to be opened with some pressure. It's fixable, but you're right it will need a refinish. I'm also thinking of repairing the large chip on the headstock rather than just seal it and paint over. Looks like mahogany based on the color of the wood.

    I'll get started on the repairs after the semester is over.

    I already ordered a pair of pickups and a replacement bridge on wish.com. I'm thinking about waxing them myself, as I have another MIJ hollow body guitar that needs the pickups waxed as well. Fortunate are we to have stewmac videos on youtube.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.


    May 18, 2016
    Las Vegas
    $72 for the bass
    $23.76 for pickups and bridge
    $24.99 for tuners
    $31.19 for control plate

    $151.94 for everything so far.

    I've got a set of flats lying around.
    I'm gonna try to recrown the frets anyways, but if it doesn't work out ill have to refret them.


    May 18, 2016
    Las Vegas

    The crack in the neck has been repaired. Didn't wanna go too deep into the grain just wanted it to be smooth.

    neck joint.
    Used wood glue, a paintbrush, and a hairdryer to get it in the crack as far as I could.

    Did what I could with the remaining frets. Got rid of dents and tarnish. Leveled them and re-crowned the best I could without taking away most of it. I might file the sides of the frets away later to make them really thin. Not too sure how it would affect intonation compared to them being more flat, I did it before on an old MIK Les Paul Copy with very little fret left. Got rid of it right away tho, traded it for a broken LTD EC 256, that only needed fretwork and re-soldering. It's way easier to work on jumbo frets.


    The lighting in the pic makes it look like it has more pronounced crown than there really is. They are still pretty low and flat, my crowning tool doesn't get that low. If I can't come up with a solution soon, I guess it's time to take out the frets.
    fret job.

    I have an essay to finish so that's all for today.

    Attached Files:

    Dominic DeCosa likes this.
  10. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    If it plays without buzz, you don’t need a refret just yet. Hope for the best!
  11. If the frets are too low for a concave crowning file and you are adamant about not refretting it’s probably time to go old school with a triangle crowning file.

    Good deal on the headstock repair. Keep us posted.


    May 18, 2016
    Las Vegas
    thanks yall, Ill let u know how the fretwork turns out when I get a nut for it and get everything put together.

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