WTB black hofner violin bass (shortscale). can be missing bits or needing work.

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valevale Frets: 948
edited June 16 in Basses £
am feeling super-wired about playing bass atm but not at all happy with my sound & gear. so have my heart set on one of these.

i know a lot of serious bass players say they are crapboxes & (superlimited tone & no sustain) but i just kinda like em.
& maybe i'm getting shallow as i age, but i think one would look good on me. ('there's nothing skin deep about my superficiality' oscar wilde).

it does have to be black. i'm not into classic sunbursts generally (the browny-orange thing), & sunburst on a violin bass just screams 'twist & shout' (which isn't me).

i think the cheapest hofner is the ignition at about £250 new. the affinity squier first step of the hofner range. but that's my level. i'm a basic bitch & good enough is good enough.

i know there are cheap tributes & knock offs on ebay etc but i want to try a first rung hofner (if i can) rather than go the copy route. quality probably more consitent.

re condition, i can live with general wear & tear, or missing (replaceable) bits. try me. thanks!

re price. probs somewhere between £150 to £200 from scuffed/bumped/incomplete to mint?
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14522
    Epiphone do one of these too and it’s pretty good.. 
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    edited June 2
    Epiphone do one of these too and it’s pretty good.. 
    thanks for the suggestion Bridgehouse.

    of all the copies i have seen online (haven't played any) it's the one i think looks most decent (finish & detail). but they don't make them in black, only a golden-orange sunburst.

    I saw and let pass an epi for £150 bin on fleabay this week, which was a test of will & patience i survived. so my commitment to hofner blackness is unshakeable!
    what she said.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14522
    vale said:
    Epiphone do one of these too and it’s pretty good.. 
    thanks for the suggestion Bridgehouse.

    of all the copies i have seen online (haven't played any) it's the one i think looks most decent (finish & detail). but they don't make them in black, only a golden-orange sunburst.

    I saw and let pass an epi for £150 bin on fleabay this week, which was a test of will & patience i survived. so my commitment to hofner blackness is unshakeable!
    Haha! Good for you. I wasn't sure about the Epi colours. I have played one tho and it was more than acceptable for the money. 

    I do think that the right strings make these style of basses tho. A really good set of flats like Thomastiks really do bring them to life and you get dull thud but with more sustain than you would imagine. 

    As an alternate suggestion, I've tried one of these and personally thought it was a much better bass than the hofner or epiphone...



    Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet - also hollow body but no holes (and short scale the same too..)
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    edited June 3
    ahh... i think we must be sharing a pyschic plane tonight, Bridgehouse, but that very Gretsch model is my next port of call if the hofner doesn't do it for me. they are supposed to be most excellent basses & probably far more 'useable' in the conventional 'versatile & many-toned' sense.

    i even posted a 'sound like royal blood' gear vid in fx yesterday (in reply to the 'octave up' thread). http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/comment/1905958/#Comment_1905958
    i'm not a royal blood fan in partic, just into pushing bass into wider territory (hook & severin are my fav bassists, & hooky famous-infamous for being a 'guitary' bassist).

    i actually think i will bond in a big way with the violin bass though. i just feel it. i've really liked the semi acoustic guitars i've had but they were just too damn big & bulky. but these are very wee & toyish.
    & i am not a tonewood believer, so it not being mahog or something posh not a concern. & the snobbery some players hold about them having a 'limited sound' just makes me want one more, strangely.

    sometimes i think limitations can be quite inspiring. they push you out of your habit zone into uncharted territory. for better or worse. we shall see...
    what she said.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14522
    vale said:
    ahh... i think we must be sharing a pyschic plane tonight, Bridgehouse, but that very Gretsch model is my next port of call if the hofner doesn't do it for me. they are supposed to be most excellent basses & probably far more 'useable' in the conventional 'versatile & many-toned' sense.

    i even posted a 'sound like royal blood' gear vid in fx yesterday (in reply to the 'octave up' thread). http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/comment/1905958/#Comment_1905958
    i'm not a royal blood fan in partic, just into pushing bass into wider territory (hook & severin are my fav bassists, & hooky famous-infamous for being a 'guitary' bassist).

    i actually think i will bond in a big way with the violin bass though. i just feel it. i've really liked the semi acoustic guitars i've had but they were just too damn big & bulky. but these are very wee & toyish.
    & i am not a tonewood believer, so it not being mahog or something posh not a concern. & the snobbery some players hold about them having a 'limited sound' just makes me want one more, strangely.

    sometimes i think limitations can be quite inspiring. they push you out of your habit zone into uncharted territory. for better or worse. we shall see...
    The Gretsch's are smaller bodied than you think. My view is they are better built, more usable tone wise, play nicer with a wider range of amps in a wider set of circumstances, have more sustain, generally feel better in the hand, and don't have any of the image connotations of the violin basses. 

    One thing to consider - if you are a fingers player rather than a pick player, the shape of the top of the violin bass is a little more awkward than something with a bit more substance and a bit 'flatter'.

    If I were you I'd be finding a nearby shop and trying one first..!
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    edited June 4

    One thing to consider - if you are a fingers player rather than a pick player, the shape of the top of the violin bass is a little more awkward than something with a bit more substance and a bit 'flatter'.

    If I were you I'd be finding a nearby shop and trying one first..!
    finger style is hard. pick is easier. like having one big pointed finger. clumsy bitch style.

    alas 'shop trying' never works for me really. i'm too ponderous & indecisive. & i also get brain-freeze in shops where i actually don't know what i'm thinking about things. autism-overload a factor. i'm playing but my brain just stops giving me feedback about what i'm doing. weird.

    i need to spend a while with things to work out what they can do, what they can't, how they click with my other gear, and then whether what they can do with my gear is enough to justify their staying. it's a protracted and intensive process & i often learn something from it.

    so i buy decent used (to avoid that initial steep new-used deprecation curve if i have to resell not long after) then settle down to get to know this curious new member of the household.
    it's like pet sitting for a friend while they are on holiday. except that if i click with their pet, they don't get it back.

    like jason of the argonauts, i have made my decision, set my course & now cast myself before the mercy of the fretboard classified fates!
    what she said.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14522
    What are you bassing on at the moment?
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    edited June 6
    a black sparkle westone spectrum gt. it looks like a cross between an early 1980s aria and a burns bison. very 1980s gothic!

    the neck is great up to the twelfth. very jazz bass skinny, actually even skinnier. but then broadens out post-12th & it's an achy stretch for hours at a time. though it is probably still skinny & shallow compared to a precision (which i find totally unplayable). my hands are smallish & i wrap rather than play spider-style.

    i had a squier jaguar short scale which had the perfect neck, but found the pj placement too bright & clippy for my needs.

    anyway, the squier went (funds set aside for the hofner) & i keep the westone as it has a nice almost 'out of phase' ring that certain jap basses of the new romantic era seem to have; flangey but not. chorusy but not.
    i think the westones are 'tuned' to suit the spanky-slappy playing the durannies & spandaus used to do.
    i use a plucker but i like that slap-tuned phasey bass tone because it gives the flanger something to grab onto. some basses flub-out & die when you flange them because there's no grit in the mix. that whole early 1980s soundscape is my universe really.

    anyway, want a skinny shortscale neck & sound to give me all bass & no top (the opposite of & complement to the westone). so the violin seems perfect.
    what she said.
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2267
    Check out the Hofner Club Bass. Part of the same Ignition series as the Violin and is almost identical except for shape. Comes in black too! The one drawback of the Hofner Ignition Violin Bass is the placement of strap anchor point. It's on the rear of the bass and as it has a slightly oval back, it makes it roll away and down from the body. It's so light that you can hoist it up with your fretting hand but its not ideal to have to do that. I resited the stap button on my Ignition Violin to the top of the body which improved matters somewhat. (The original full spec Hofner Violin had a raised fretboard at the body which allowed the strap to run under the neck, thus pulling it to the player's body).

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  • valevale Frets: 948
    edited June 6
    the clubs remind me a bit of the black semi-acoustic bass douglas hart (mary chain) used to play in the psychocandy days. i think that was maybe bigger, possibly a hofner. i know jim liked the hofner verithins because they were easy to smash up.

    too big for me alas. it's quite big & deep around the bridge half. i want something no bigger than a cat that i can neatly tuck under my arm, witches' familiar fashion.

    thanks for the info on the strap. i will look to relocate if it bugs me. i read about the old basses with the dog-on-a-string set up & wondered why, but the convex back reason makes sense.
    if it's so bad i may think about attaching a little hook like a sax, or even drilling a superfine hole through the neck near the body and threading a string-wire through. could use a guitar string 'shielded' in a black round nylon shoe lace? strong & neat.

    just listened to a demo of the club. like the violin it has that same dead flat boom then nothing. kind of what electric guitars sounded like before electric guitar music really caught on & companies decided to put in the effort to make them sound good.

    i'm looking forward to the perverse pleasure of fighting with that. i think i want it because it is everything every other bass i have ever had isn't. i like a challenge.
    what she said.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14522
    Sadly, the perfect bass for the sound you are looking for is a Harmony H22. 

    I know - I've been after one for a while. It's short scale and it does that 60's dull thud like nothing else - it makes the Hofner's sound distinctly lacking in every tonal characteristic.

    However, they are very pricey for an original and the nut width is too much for you. Check a few out sound wise and you'll see what I mean.

    They also look like the bastard son of the 60's on a stick
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    Thanks for the tip, Bridgehouse.
    just had a look & listen. they remind me of the old Framus things. agree about the tone. very upright & sweet. but seriously house-sized tit-killers! i don't want to cut off the circulation either there or to my arm as i play, so not really for me.
    but will aim to pimp my violin until i can get that tone. best budget flats & may add another pickup near the bridge, like the cavern hofners.
    i want no tone at all really. just a sub-rumble.
    what she said.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14522
    No tone but rumble = neck mudbucker I think. The bigger and thicker the better. Specially if it’s got the right tone circuit. 
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    minor revision-update to initial WTB;

    just been window-shopping a la Thomann & noticed they do black 'cavern' violin basses now (two neck pickups instead of neck & bridge). they used to just be in sunburst.

    as black cavern ignitions are £50 more than standard black ignitions (£250), i would obvs be willing to pay a 'cavern' premium if anyone is thinking of selling theirs on.

    also, as i talk a lot but don't buy or sell much (don't have much to sell or buy with tbh) i don't have any feedbacks for transactions here yet. but i do have got a decade's worth of positive feedback on ebay if you want to check me out prior to a deal (or even do it there if ebay is doing a cheap listing deal).

    anyway... enjoy your weekend, you badasses!
    what she said.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3145
    Harmony H22 - makes the Hofner's sound distinctly lacking in every tonal characteristic.
    Late Fifties Hofner wot I worked on a couple of years ago.

    Ply, ply, plyyyyyyyyyyy, Delilah.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    Harmony H22 - makes the Hofner's sound distinctly lacking in every tonal characteristic.
    Late Fifties Hofner wot I worked on a couple of years ago.

    Ply, ply, plyyyyyyyyyyy, Delilah.
    but @Funkfingers did no-one tell you? the tone-wood argument only applies to vibrations in solid body guitars. with semi-acoustic basses it's all about the 'resonating space'.

    so while Hofner may indeed use modest & utilitarian ply as the 'container', for the all-important 'resonating' space inside... they use only the finest 'tone-air'.

    they look super-lush, they are shortscale, hofner are german (& i have a major german fetish) & i have lots of noisy pedals to compensate for any shortcomings. quality is besides the point.
    what she said.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3145
    vale said:
    [Hofner] use only the finest 'tone-air'.
    Perhaps.

    You appear to have overlooked the fact that the guitar in the photograph I posted earlier contains Fifties air. The consensus amongst aficionados is that this is vastly superior to the air being used today.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    edited June 16
    vale said:
    [Hofner] use only the finest 'tone-air'.
    Perhaps.

    You appear to have overlooked the fact that the guitar in the photograph I posted earlier contains Fifties air. The consensus amongst aficionados is that this is vastly superior to the air being used today.
    relic'ed tone-air must be a thing. but quite frankly, 'vastly inferior' would please me just as much.
    what she said.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3145
    vale said:
    'vastly inferior' [air] would please me just as much.
    That's handy. I'll wager that this forum's Cambridge Curry Mafia has an infinite supply, available at thirty minutes' notice. ;)
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • valevale Frets: 948
    vale said:
    'vastly inferior' [air] would please me just as much.
    That's handy. I'll wager that this forum's Cambridge Curry Mafia has an infinite supply, available at thirty minutes' notice. ;)
    required reading:

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/54/5d/8c/545d8c1e80a5ece19bbe287e68b438ee.jpg
    what she said.
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