Purchased one of these a month or two back but returned it as the fretboard was very poor. I wanted to give it another try as I've been itching to try a short scale fretless and really like the idea of the Hofner version but as they're so pricey thought I'd test the water with this budget version to see if a hollow body violin can work as a fretless.
The fretboard on this new one is still a little rough but is much improved over the first, which had scratches through the finish. It only arrived today, so these are first impressions but I'm really pleased with it - the pickups sound remarkably nice - articulate describes them best. The general build quality (for a bass costing 140ukp) is fine and it's easy to play. The flats it ships with are a bit ropey so I'll probably invest in a set of Labella's but they're okay to test it out. It has a surprising amount of sustain for a hollow body violin style. My only criticism at present is that it feels a little lightweight compared to the Epiphone solid body violin I've been playing up to now. Lightweight isn't a bad thing but it feels a little flimsy in play as opposed to the solid response I get from the Epi.
HB seem to have gone part way to resolving the funky Hofner control panel - with both pickups 'On', you now get both pickups on but selecting an individual pickup gives the opposite turned on, so it's still confusing as hell. The D shape neck is broader than I remember the Hofner version being and is comfortable to play, tuners seem to work okay with a nice smooth action. The bridge is the usual Hofner style so critical intonation isn't likely but with a fretless I find that less of an issue, as long as you're aware of the variation, you can allow for it with your fretting.
I'm still uncertain as to whether the Hofner version would be a good buy; it may be that I'm happy to stick with this budget version for the foreseeable future.