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Product 515654

Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar   

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A year after celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walter Hofner's original violin bass, made famous by a certain Beatle who shall remain nameless, the...Read More

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OVERVIEW

A classic with modern refinements.

A year after celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walter Hofner's original violin bass, made famous by a certain Beatle who shall remain nameless, they have decided to produce a contemporary version. It has a vintage look that will produce many "oohs", and an internal sustain block that creates a more modern, deep-resonating sound that will produce many "aahs." It's the kind of bass guitar people love to see, play, and hear.


Aesthetically, this model features a maple-beech-maple set neck with rosewood fretboard accentuated by mother-of-pearl dot inlays, the signature Hofner violin bass headstock, a brass trapeze tailpiece, and glossy spruce top with glossy flamed maple back and sides. An ebony bridge with movable metal saddles maintains intonation and string spacing. The nickel-plated hardware and floating celluloid pearl pickguard give it an extra little pop for the eyes.

On the electronics side, you're working with two original Hofner 511B 'Staple' humbucking pickups, as well as a control panel with 2 volume controls, 2 on/off switches, and a rhythm/solo switch for volume boost. The overall sound is warm like the original model, but with a little more sonic kick for a more "now" sound. Includes case.

FEATURES
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • 22 frets
  • Maple-beech-maple set neck
  • Neck width at nut 1-5/8"
  • 4 individual machine heads
  • Ebony bridge with movable metal saddles for perfect intonation and string spacing
  • Brass trapeze tailpiece
  • Selected German spruce top
  • Flamed maple back and sides
  • 2 Hofner 511B 'Staple' humbucking pickups
  • Control panel with boost and individual on and off switches and boost
  • Nickel-plated hardware
  • Floating celluloid pickguard, pearl designed
  • Mother of pearl inlay dots
  • Includes case

Order today and play a thoroughly enjoyable bass.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
HofnerH500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar
 
4.8

(based on 34 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (29)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (13)
  • Good feel (13)
  • Good tone (12)
  • Good pick up (10)
  • Solid electronics (9)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (8)
  • Practicing (8)
  • Recording (8)
  • Small venues (6)
  • Rock concerts (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Give it a lot of thought...

I rate this fairly high as it is a fine instrument and plays and sounds great. But, it should be advertised as a solid body Asian replica of the German instrument.
I...Read complete review

I rate this fairly high as it is a fine instrument and plays and sounds great. But, it should be advertised as a solid body Asian replica of the German instrument.
I bought the Icon/Ignition bass and it is great. They all need intonation adjustment and decent strings. If you really compare, I think you will see that the Icon/Ignition is a far better value. I'm very glad that I couldn't find a new one in stock, because I probably would have bought it without realizing what it was, and been dissappointed when I got home.
To start, this is a georgous bass. The three piece neck and coloring are fantastic. It looks like a perfect replica of the German model. The bass has a volume control for both the neck and bridge pickups, as well as individual pickup on/off switches, and a rythm/solo switch.
The strings that come on it are horrible, and, most prefer to replace them with flatwounds. I prefer the response of round wounds and get the tones I want from the controls and the amp.
The pickups sound great. But, you might as well stretch your strings over a railroad tie with pickups. as this is a solid body bass. Get yourself a poster of a German Hofner and buy an Icon/Ignition for half the price. You won't be dissapointed!
The quality of construction and fit and finish of these has greatly improved in the last couple of years.
All that said, I owned 2 German Hofners back in the 60's and 70's, and they were great. I have had a Rogue VB100 for about ten years, and it has been quite good. This last Christmas I decided to get a Contemporary and called all over the San Francisco Bay area to find one. Noone had one in stock. Then I remembered that a friend's bass player bought one on line recently. I asked if I could come over and play it for a half hour, and wound up taking it home for a couple days to set up the intonation and neck relief. The operation of the controls was a little confusing as well. So, after setup, I pulled the control plate off to make sure the wiring was ok and was quite shocked to see that the "tone block", was almost a completely solid body with just a small amount of space under the controls. This troubles me as Hofners are accoustic. You cannot play this bass without an amp. I would have been greatly disappointed if I had located one new and traveled a distance to buy it and got it home and realized that you couldn't sit and just play it without pluging it into an amp. This bass weighs 6 lbs, exactly the same as the VB100.
What I'd really like to point out, is, that the Icon/Ignition is actually hollow, with a 3/4 in. sound block and asian pickups, and sounds great. It doesn't have a zero fret! Big Deal! I have 14 guitars and basses, including a Martin, Gibson, Fenders and Epiphones. None of them have a zero fret.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great sound, questinable price-quality

I thought I was getting a pretty bass with a bit lack of sound.

But far from that, the sound is great for my taste. The bright pickup is nice for...Read complete review

I thought I was getting a pretty bass with a bit lack of sound.

But far from that, the sound is great for my taste. The bright pickup is nice for classic Rock, the other one is good for music like big bands (very clean). But together they have a really complete sound.

The bad side, is almost 1000 usd bass with lots of plastic parts, the details are done by a line craftsman in a bad mood waiting for the bell to ring so he can go home.

I am definitely willing to keep it, since I really loved the sound and I play only for fun. But if I was a professional musician I would go after something more reliable.

Reviewed by 34 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Quite nice - my new go-to bass

By MannyInNewYork

from New York

About Me Experienced

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Anything - playing live or recording
    • Recording

    Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

    Wonderful addition to my group of basses.

    I ordered this thinking that if it didn't meet expectations or was simply a cheap version of a genuine Hofner I'd return it.
    When the bass arrived I was really put off because the neck felt "odd" - not quite right. There was a bowing on the low E
    side that was not there on the high G side - something was wrong with the neck (warped?).
    Really a bummer because it's such a beautiufl bass. I called MF and they gave me a RMA number and postage paid sticker and I returned it the next day.

    A week later the new bass arrived. This was very , very nice. The action was a bit high and the round wound strings do not produce the sound I was looking for,
    but it was in great shape an felt "right".I restrung it with Labella strings, lowered the bridge and started to play. Boom - just what I was hoping for.

    It's really very, very nice. I also have a Squire Pbass with SD Quarterpound pups, a Fender Mustange vintage, an Ibanez and a Rogue VB100. The Hofner sounds
    better than all of them - the pups are a little hotter but it's not just that, the bass itself has a definition or clarity that I do not hear/feel on the other ones.
    I was very surprised to find this out as I'd expected the Pbass to be much more solid and defined - but it isn't .

    With the action lowered, it is also the easiest bass to play. Its has that "punch in the gut" low-end but also retains the clarity of the notes.
    I'm really surprised at how nice this is. I have never played a made in Germany Hofner nor have I played an Ignition but I do know that this is
    a real joy to own and play.

    So:

    Feels solid and sturdy
    Very easy to play
    Sounds awesome - like a round house to the gut
    Intonation was spot on - another surprise as I have read that some found it a bit iffy

    I love it.

    Hope it holds up well because it is now my go-to bass.

     
    5.0

    Yes, I would recomend & buy this product again.

    By Humberto

    from Yuma Az.

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

      Awesome piece of equipment.

       
      5.0

      i play this bass every fri/sat in the clubs...awesome!!!!

      By Hofner guy

      from So Cal.

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Recording
        • Rock Concerts
        • School Bands
        • Small Venues

        Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

        Amazing

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Nice Bass

        By Mike

        from Portland, Or

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Recording

          Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

          I've had this bass for a couple of years now so, I think I can relate my experience so far. For where it was made, it's built pretty good. The quality is on a level that is good, not great, but, acceptable. My main instrument is guitar but, I've never found it difficult to play a bass. I've played many basses over the years but, this is my first purchase and I have to say it was a good choice. If you don't mind it being a 30 inch scale, you won't be disappointed.

          I can find no issues with sound quality, playability or the electronics. The pick ups are outstanding. It does well for recording as well. I have used it on many Beatles songs I have covered in recording. It does them justice. So far, it's held up very well and I've had no issues with durability. One thing I did do was to immediately change the strings. The ones that came on it are not a good match for this instrument so I put a good set of flats on it. As far as I'm concerned, flats are a perfect match for this bass. I highly recommend putting flat wound strings on this bass.

          This is a keeper and will continue to get use for the foreseeable future. Another recommended item to do it, get rid of the Pickard, it just makes it look a lot cleaner and easier to play.

           
          5.0

          Diggin' this bass!

          By Low Brawl

          from Phoenix,AZ

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

          • Not hand crafted in Germany

          Best Uses

          • All the above

          Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

          A very nice facsimile of the real deal!
          Lot's of fun to play!

          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Amazing and addictive to play!

          By Xcorgi

          from Cincinnati, Ohio

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • School Bands
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

            I bought one of these about 2 weeks ago and it is now my favorite bass ever. This thing puts out a unique tone that no other bass is even capable of. It is incredibly light so it's easy on the neck and shoulders and the short scale make it easy for me to play much more professionally than I ever have. It really gives any player from a novice to a pro a HUGE advantage. This may be Chinese made but the German pickups give it the authentic McCartney sound you are looking for. Also, don't think this is just for playing Beatles music. It is a very versatile instrument that's great for rock, pop, blues, jazz and of course classic rock. If all you play is slap bass all day then this is NOT for you. You should probably learn to play some actual songs for a change anyway. The one thing that really blows me away is just how amazingly beautiful the flamed maple back is on this thing. It looks as awesome as any Gibson Les Paul. One last thing. It is so easy to play it is absolutely ADDICTIVE! It really is hard to put this thing down. Get one for yourself and you will see what I mean. You won't regret it.

            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Nothing compares to a Hofner

            By Chrispy

            from Sydney

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

            • Nothing

            Best Uses

            • Everywhere

            Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

            Beautifully crafted instrument. Supreme playability and tone.

            I have a couple of basses, but I always return to my Hofner. In all of my experiences, nothing compares to the tone and feel of their violin bass guitars. They sound especially exquisite with flatwound strings - I would recommend La Bella's. I love the pick up selectors, and the solo boost. The bass too is very versatile, applicable to most genres. Get this if you want that beautiful deep - yet subtly sweet bass tone, with wonderful overtones. I love how the bass doesn't loose it's 'bassiness' and power with notes in the higher registers. With flatwound strings, you can achieve really nice vintage sounds from the 60's and 70's, yet with a modern twist. Cuts through the mix nicely in both recording and live situations as well.

            Musicians Friend were also excellent, as they delivered the instrument to Australia in perfect condition and communicated to me when the instrument would arrive.

            I could go on forever talking about this bass, but seriously if you are unsure about this... just remember that Paul McCartney still plays his original Hofner.

            Overall, I am really happy with this purchase, I will definitely hold on to this bass for the rest of my life - just like Paul.

            (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Very Enjoyable Bass to Play

            By Bass Thumper

            from Lexington Park, MD.

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

            • Neck Dive

            Best Uses

            • Church Bands
            • Festivals
            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Small Venues
            • Travel Instrument

            Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

            This is one of the most enjoyable basses I ever played. It is light, short-scaled, and gives a great tone. (I changed out the round wounds with Hofner Flats).

            I have been playing bass on and off for nearly ten years. Being a Beatles fan, my first bass I owned was the Rogue violin bass which gave a slight buzz on the E and the G strings when played open. (The nut must have been slotted too deep.) Well, I lent it to my nephew who was picking up the bass, and went back to guitar for a few years until this Hofner CT Bass caught my eye. Yes, the Icon Bass was half the price, but the Contemporary has the zero fret, cantilevered-mounted neck, and actual Hofner Humbucking pickups just like he German-made instruments. I ordered the actual Hofner shoulder strap which could wrapped around the body under the cantilevered neck just as Paul McCartney did with his 1962 model. I ended up letting my nephew keep the Rogue bass after ordered my Hofner.

            Even with a three-pound sustain block in it, this instrument is still light, easy on the shoulders, and small enough to take wherever I go. Since it is a short-scale, it means less work for my fingers to play. The sustain block became a blessing when I needed to hold a note. (I do not use pedals). The control panel is easy to use once you figure out that turning "ON" both pickups actually turns them both off. And, turning both "OFF" would actually turn them both on. Got that? Actual German-made Hofners do the same thing. Authentic but odd.

            I've had and constantly played this bass for about five years now and nothing had failed, structurally or electronically. I once though the bass was "quitting" on me when it was really an instrument cable. The only fault I could see on this bass is its tendency to "neck dive". Even with the sustain block, the body is still small and light compared to the weight of the solid, maple neck.

            I use a Fender Rumble 15 for practice and church services, a Rumble 75 that the church provides me if I need it for the church hall. And, I use an Acoustic B100 for outdoor festivals, fairs, and small auditoriums. This bass works well with each of these amps, and I get the tone that I want without pedals. (But suspect I can get more if I do use them). But beside the point this CT Hofner bass sounds great!

            It is worth your time and consideration to see if it is worth your money to own one. It is for me.

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great size for a lady

            By SilverLady

            from Asheville, NC

            About Me Novice

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Tone
            • Right Size

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Smaller Person

              Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

              I started playing bass on a full-sized model but I quickly became frustrated and discouraged when I couldn't stretch my fingers between frets. My bass teacher suggested the Hofner and I have been a happy over 60 yrs old student ever since. The round wound strings were too hard on my fingers so I decided to put on flat wounds. After trying two different sets, I finally found LaBella strings which fit perfectly (the others were a bit too long) and made the bass even easier to play. (And my bass teacher says that it also sounds like the original Beatles bass.) It really makes no difference to me that it was the "Beatles bass," even though I've been playing some Beatles music lately. It's about the ease of playing. One other addition was a leather Hofner strap which I had shortened for my size (5'7"). I think I'll have this bass for the rest of my bass playing career.

              (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Great sound, questinable price-quality

              By QQm

              from Mexico

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Tone

              Cons

              • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing

              Comments about Hofner H500/1-CT Contemporary Series Violin Bass Guitar:

              I thought I was getting a pretty bass with a bit lack of sound.

              But far from that, the sound is great for my taste. The bright pickup is nice for classic Rock, the other one is good for music like big bands (very clean). But together they have a really complete sound.

              The bad side, is almost 1000 usd bass with lots of plastic parts, the details are done by a line craftsman in a bad mood waiting for the bell to ring so he can go home.

              I am definitely willing to keep it, since I really loved the sound and I play only for fun. But if I was a professional musician I would go after something more reliable.

              Displaying reviews 1-10

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