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Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

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  • Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

    Anyone ever hear/play/own a Hofner Violin bass guitar?
    They also use 30 inch scales.....some relatively inexpensive on Ebay (not cheap though!). The higher end ones like the one used by McCartney run from over 2k to just under 4k on the net. Can get a decent used one, one of the lower end models, for maybe 300-750. Anyone ever play a Hofner?

    Thanks for any first hand info you can share!

    PS Paul McCartney's bass guitar
    Last edited by Diminished Triad; 09-30-2013, 01:51 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

    I had a real '66 but I had to sell it back in hard times. So I recently got one of those cheap ones. It's just a novelty. Not the same, especially the pickups. But sometimes you wanna pretend....put flatwounds on it if you want to get closer to Paul.


    • #3
      Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

      I have played the cheaper version of Hofner and it felt cheap, sound was not there, my first bass was a "EKO" violin bass made in Itally in the late 60's. At the time I didn't care for it much but, now i wish I had it. It was a short scale, which at age 13 was a good thing, thinking back on it, it sound pretty great. And as said above I think ever kid wanted to play or look like Paul lol.
      Last edited by Bass_Medic_05; 10-01-2013, 01:22 AM.
      BASSES: Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass/Ric 4003 Bass (Blue)
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      • #4
        Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

        Seeming like a real version would sound and play fairly well?


        • #5
          Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

          When I started playing in bands we had a bassist sporting one of those which he found on his parent's attic or something.

          To be honest we were never impressed. It's very hard to make these things contribute to the song as well a run of the mill flatwound P bass. You really need to bubble it so to speak.


          • #6
            Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

            I picked up a reissue Hofner recently. Pretty decent if you're doing older classic rock. Would get you through a bar gig ok. Personally, I like being able to tweak my tone. The Hofner just does "Lead" and "Rhythm". Also a little neck heavy. Doesn't really hang right. You can get one cheap enough and it does get people's attention but I usually just bring it for a back up or for a bar gig with a Beatle-esque type of crowd.


            • #7
              Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

              I've played a Hofner Ignition which was a $300 alternative to the $2k one. I liked it enough that I wouldn't say no to being offered one, but I probably wouldn't buy one myself. It's not really the vibe I go for, but had a decent enough sound. If I ever played in a jazz band, I would get one for it's plinky kind of sound. It was very similar to a double bass, but still had a little bit of tone that made it unique. I can't play double bass, so that would be my go to that sort of sound.
              Schecter ATX Blackjack C7 BKP Painkiller (B) and Abraxas (N)
              Hagstrom Hj800 Jazzbox stock pickups
              Fender Jazz Bass EMG MJ Set
              Music Man SUB Ray5 stock pickups
              Line 6 Helix
              Dunlop Strings and Picks

              The opinions expressed above are my own and do not reflect normal levels of sanity.


              • #8
                Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

                I was looking for an oddball bass and was split between the Epi Thunderbird, Epi EB3 and a Violin bass. The Violin felt like I was playing a tissue box, especially in comparison to the Tbird or the Dean Entwhistle. I wouldn't say the neck is divey, but there isn't a lot of mass in the body to stop the neck from doing what it wants to do anyway.
                The EB3 got some quality oddball vintage bass tones when fooling with the dials, but the violin bass had very little body to the sound. It's be good as a piccolo bass tone or one of those in-betweener Baritone basses, I think.
                I went with the EB3. The EB0's big flabby Sidewinder pickup can be switched out for a DiMarzio, or I think Yamaha has a replacement. Or whatever ya want...there's plenty of room. No Antiquity SD
                Originally posted by Funkfingers
                Music is for life. Without parole.


                • #9
                  Re: Hofner Violin Bass? (30" scale)

                  Originally posted by Diminished Triad View Post
                  Anyone ever hear/play/own a Hofner Violin bass guitar?

                  PS Paul McCartney's bass guitar
                  Yes, I play mine all the time. But this is an actual 1966 and the pickups were rewound by Seymour 20+ years ago, so it certainly sounds like the old records. I've seen a mid-level reissue that has the correct staple pickups in it, but it's made with different ply woods somewhere in Asia. I would imagine that could sound reasonably close. These basses are very idiosyncratic. They have hot spots and dead spots all over the neck, so you totally have to adjust your playing almost per note. But the results sit well in a mix if you can train your hands to work with it. Someone mentioned EB basses as an alternate. EBs have the same scale and narrow string spacing on the neck as the Hofner (they both play like a big guitar), but EBs sound dull to me in a different kind of way. Not bad, they suit certain kinds of music, but just different enough from a Hofner I wouldn't consider them interchangeable on the same song.