Hofner Beatle Bass

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Recce, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 3, 2016
    Northern Alabama
    I am not a bass player but think this is a cool bass. What is the similar bass to what Sir Paul played. Actually I am just messing about online.

    I think it is the Hofner HCT-500/1. But, there are others for half that money. Can anyone describe the differences. Or, is it a different bass?

  2. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 1, 2011
    Got any pictures or a link to the bass in question?
    nojazzhere likes this.
  3. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2018
    York County, PA
  4. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    The Contemporary (HCT) model is Chinese, but very well made, looks very close to a German one although they have a block in them so they're a bit heavier. They're good basses.

    The cheap one is the Ignition - basically there was a bunch of cheap violin basses on the market and Hofner wanted in on that, so they sourced one from whatever factory was cranking them out for other budget brands and had it made with Hofner on the headstock. They're ok, lighter than a Contemporary, build quality a bit rough around the edges and the pickups are nowhere near as good. But they're not junk and they'll get you in the ballpark.

    There are also German made basses still available. They're made in a small custom shop at Hofner, who mainly make violins, violas and cellos plus a few classical guitars. There's dozens of them but the 61, 62, 64 Reissues are the main three then there's modern versions like the Gold Label and Greenline.They can be a bit prone to fit and finish issues but they sound and feel just like an old 60s bass so they're the real deal. And hey, it's not like the originals were perfect either.

    I'd say for most people buy the Ignition if it's to scratch an itch and you don't want too much tied up in it, or the Contemporary if you want a quality instrument that you think you'll get a lot of use out of.
  5. mudbelly

    mudbelly Tele-Meister

    May 19, 2012
    United States
  6. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    Later '60's versions are affordable ( as far as vintage guitars go) as player grade instruments, as are used recent production. I have played most of the budget versions and owned a few, there is a difference, and you can end up w/ a fairly hefty bill if you decide to "improve" your clone w/ German parts. ( which IMHO is a fools errand.. the copies are too over built to truly capture the feather light weight which is a big part of the BB experience) there are a number around 1500 but a little looking should turn up one for 800 to 1K which is a decent investment in happiness as its a unique instrument which is a blast to play. If you must have something on a tight budget get the Rogue from MF and put some LaBella medium scale flats on it, the bass goes on sale on a regular basis for less than 2 bills. It's hollow which many of the copies are not..

    Another option if you simply want the shape is the Violin Guitar the Hofner reissued in the Contemporary series a few years back, and they turn up fairly cheap from time to time.
  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Obviously my opinion, ( ;)) but Paul McCartney is probably the only man in the world who doesn't look silly with the violin-shaped Hofner. I love the sound and all, but, well, just looks wimpy. That's why, when I needed a short scale "Beatle" bass, I went with the Hofner Club Bass. Identical sound, but, for my money, looks more "manly". Mine's Chinese.....don't know if it's an Ignition or what, but it feels, plays, and sounds great. I did modify the controls.....standard Hofner are very limiting....I made it with master volume, master tone, and on/off for each pickup. (more intuitive) ;)
    P.S. be sure and use flatwound strings.....mine came with roundwounds, but flats make it RIGHT!
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.