Hofner bass

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RockerRocker Frets: 3410
Anyone know about Hofner basses?  Do they balance well on a strap?  What 'type' of sound do they produce?  I mean P or J bass sounds or something entirely different?

Thanks.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 11398
    Entirely different sound.

    Don't balance particularly well, but they are light in weight. Lack of an upper horn to have the strap out far enough can't be solved really.

    Hello darkness my old friend.


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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 3367
    Unique sound and feel ime. The necks are very narrow and they have a thud sound with little sustain. On some versions (more expensive German made) the strap can run under the fretboard and around the back of the bass (see pics of Macca to see what I mean). On budget version you just get a strap button on rear of neck heel which makes the bass roll forward and down if not supported by hand on neck. You can improve this somewhat by siting the strap button on body by the neck but you need to be careful as it's a hollow body. They're uncomfortable to play seated after a while as the waist edges dig in to leg. The Club bass has the same sound but is more ergonomically friendly.
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  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 437
    edited October 9
    JezWynd said:
    On some versions (more expensive German made) the strap can run under the fretboard and around the back of the bass (see pics of Macca to see what I mean).
    Well, you live and learn.  Until you pointed it out it had never registered with me that this is what Macca did.  I had a picture of the very early Beatles (with Pete Best) hanging on my studio wall for years and, at that time, Macca had the strap tied at the headstock as you might an acoustic 6 string.  A quick google shows him using the method that you describe throughout the Beatles heyday then, in later life, he seems to have switched to a button on the heel.




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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 41417
    Balance isn't great, but they're so light it doesn't matter that much.

    The sound is not like a Fender bass at all. Listen to any early Beatles record .

    Through modern amplification they have *much* more bottom end than you would expect from something that light too... kind of like a giant flubby upright bass, but in a good way .

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 99
    When I was looking for a bass a while back (I'm a guitarist but wanted to extend my options) I tried a Hofner Ignition bass in a local shop. I absolutely loved it. Easy to play and sounded great - quite a lot like an acoustic upright. I also tried a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass and thought it was OK. Eventually, my head persuaded me that the Squier was going to be more versatile and a more sensible buy even though my heart was screaming "Hofner". 

    Last week I put a WTT post offering to trade my Squier for a Hofner :-).
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 5014
    Another traditional Höfner issue is the limited intonation adjustment. Each string passes over a short piece of fret wire, sitting in one of three pre-cut slots in the upper portion of the wooden bridge. (Visible in the third photograph of Macca posted by Musicwolf.)
    Be seeing you.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 41417
    Another traditional Höfner issue is the limited intonation adjustment. Each string passes over a short piece of fret wire, sitting in one of three pre-cut slots in the upper portion of the wooden bridge.
    True, but the whole bridge moves as well :). I've never found getting good intonation a problem on them with a combination of the two.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 2140
    I did a save on a fairly comprehensively butchered 60's one a few years ago and, based on the lightness and acoustic sound didn't have great expectations.

    But plugged it in and nearly fell off my chair!  Massive sound all of its own.

    Intonation was very achievable - as @ICBM says, you can move the whole bridge as well as the fretlet saddles giving more adjustment than many conventional basses.  Once set, though, easier to change strings one at a time ;)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 41417
    Andyjr1515 said:

    Once set, though, easier to change strings one at a time ;)
    Change bass strings? What is this foolishness of which you speak?

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 5014
    ICBM said:
     What is this foolishness of which you speak?
    That grating sound you might be able to hear is Bridgehouse, gnashing his teeth, in the seclusion of his Modmin bubble. ;)
    Be seeing you.
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  • DarnWeightDarnWeight Frets: 1213
    I've got one of the Ignition series violin basses - the Cavern version, with the bridge pickup pushed up into a middle position far closer to the neck pickup.  Love the way it plays, and how it sounds.  It's got a driving, rubbery thump that's really distinctive, and just encourages you to dig in.  Weighs nothing.  The electronics/switching/pots are absolute bobbins though.  Been meaning to replace them, but haven't got around to it yet.
    New fangled trading feedback link right here!
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