500/1 Contemporary Beatle Bass Review

manufacturer: Hofner date: 10/23/2013 category: Bass Guitars
Hofner: 500/1 Contemporary Beatle Bass
My favorite feature has to be the rhythm/solo switch, how you can boost the bass. It's a very nice bass, you won't regret it.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (1) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
500/1 Contemporary Beatle Bass Reviewed by: afzoomie67, on september 05, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 770

Purchased from: Guitarcenter.com

Features: My Hofner was made in 2011 (2012 model), made in China. These (the CT Hofners) are made up to Hofners standards. It has 22 thin frets, on a 30 inch-scale neck, with a rosewood fretboard. It also has a maple-beech-maple set neck. It is equipped with a German spruce top (which may have dried out, in Germany, for 20+ years). The back and sides of the body are flame maple. The finish on my Hofner is amazing. I got it in a sunburst finish and with the classic Violin style, it looks very much like McCartney's. It has an ebony bridge, which is easy to adjust for intonation and tuning. With the nice intonation and the German Staple pickups (511B), like in Pauls', the bass can get the classic Hofner sound. It came with a nice Hofner case. // 10

Sound: It has a center block running down the middle of the body, which improves sustain. It also makes it more versatile. The controls on the control panel are different then most other basses. It comes with a 2 knobs, one for each pick up, a rhythm/solo switch (it boosts the bass, basically), a bass on/off switch (turns the bridge pick up on and off), and a treble on/off switch (turns neck pick up on and off). You can turn the pickups off, by turning both pick ups off. So, when you turn the bass switch down, turning the bridge pick up off, you get a very deep and bassy sound. When you turn the neck pick up off, you get a sound similar to a Rickenbacker, with it's trebly sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up on this bass was amazing, it went from China to Germany, to GuitarCenter (wherever that was) to my house, with amazing action. I haven't had to set it up or anything. The action was very low, how I like it. The pickups were perfectly adjusted, about the same height. The bridge was routed properly. The only flaw this bass had was when I was practicing in my room, I sat on my bed, and the chord pushed the input jack into the bass, and the washer and nut on the input jack fell out, an easy fix. It's cool seeing the inside of the body. Smells nice, too. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitely withstand playing live. It's an amazing bass. The hardware is amazing, and very easy to use. The strap buttons are fairly solid, but I'm going to replace them with strap locks, to be sure. I use this bass without a backup, and it's amazing. The finish will last forever. I've touched every place of that bass, and none of it comes off or anything. // 10

Overall Impression: I play punk and classic rock, with a bit of some modern heavy rock (like STP or Velvet Revolver). I've been playing for 3 years and I have a Squier P bass, and a Hartke A100 (recently renamed the Kickback 15, I believe). I researched a lot about this bass before buying (and even played a Vintage one from the '70's. Besides the block, this is exactly the same). If it were stolen, I would buy it again, hands down. My favorite bass ever. I love the pickups on this bass, very nice and the control plate makes it easy to use. My favorite feature has to be the rhythm/solo switch, how you can boost the bass. It's a very nice bass, you won't regret it. // 10

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overall: 10
500/1 Contemporary Beatle Bass Reviewed by: TeleNikon, on october 23, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Steve's Music Center, Rick Hill, NY

Features: Hofner 500/1 CT Contemporary Series Beatle Violin Bass. 1964 model. This amazing bass was made in China with some parts from Germany. I believe the wood was supplied by Germany and assembled with metal, plastic and electronic parts from China. It doesn't matter much because this bass is superb in every way. Don't know why Hofner made the choice to produce this bass stock with black knobs instead of the classic ivory teacups. I do like the black switches though, instead of the ivory ones as on McCartney's classic versions. // 10

Sound: Used to play a German Hofner Beatle Bass from the early 1970's. This new Hofner 500/1 CT Contemporary Series Beatle Violin Bass sounds astoundingly similar and even better than the German original in my opinion. The deep thump that I love about the Hofner Violin Bass is so solidly made by this new version. It's so much better than the original. The addition of the wooden slab down the middle of the body makes all the difference. The instrument now has balance when you're holding it. The German version is neck heavy and will always fall because the body was so light. Now with the addition of the slab the body has weight to it. This not only increases sustain and tightens the thump but increases balance. Fantastic. This bass can also be used to play a style more associated with guitar or baritone guitar - classic spaghetti western, Hugh Montenegro kind of music. Just reduce the lower frequencies (bass control), crank up your amp's spring reverb. The Hofner Violin Bass does this quite beautifully. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: My Hofner 500/1 CT Contemporary Series Beatle Violin Bass came out of the box nearly perfect. Action was just right. Had to adjust the intonation a little by sliding the bridge around but this is part of the fun of this bass for me. Frets are smooth, neck is elegant, tuners work easily and electronics work just like the original. I removed the pickguard for looks and replaced the black volume knobs with ivory teacups like McCartney's. Looks better that way to my eye. The finish is so exquisite. It really has a special kind of allure. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This Hofner 500/1 CT Contemporary Series Beatle Violin Bass 1964 model is an elegant instrument and should be treated as such in my opinion. It's somewhat delicate and requires care. The sound that it produces should inspire one to want to care for it appropriately. This instrument will last literally decades if cared for responsibly. Some instruments look good when they're beat up. The Hofner 500/1 CT Contemporary Series Beatle Violin Bass 1964 is like sculpture and is easily appreciated in that context. Treat her right and she'll reward you for decades to come. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is an actual improvement on the original which is one of the most iconic instruments ever. No other instrument really sounds like it or feels like it. The palm mute sound is something that can truly inspire a person to rethink their sound and individual approach to playing. Additionally, the 3/4 three quarter short scale of the Hofner 500/1 CT Contemporary Series Beatle Violin Bass 1964 is a much easier transition for guitarists who move from guitar to bass during recording or gigs because of the easier finger reach. Much more comfortable than full scale in my opinion. // 10

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