Contemporary Club Bass review by Hofner

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.4 Good
  • Users' score: 8.9 (15 votes)
Hofner: Contemporary Club Bass
3

Price paid: £ 475

Purchased from: PMT

Sound — 9
We hear a lot about the "tone" of these Hofner basses and Paul McCartney but frankly I think this was simply down to the amps used at that time. It's capable (with the right Switch settings) to produce some pretty bright sounds but one thing is sure it can produce some of the richest bass notes I've heard, almost double bass (with the right strings). This is not a a bass for fast playing or rock, more like bluesy jazz style so I'll have to rate it in this classification.

Overall Impression — 8
I really do love this bass and it's a delight to play, particularly when sitting. I think it looks great, sounds great and is always a conversation piece when people see it and say "what the hell is that?" Then they hear it and shut up. For it's style and tone it does a brilliant job in it's genre, you can't really compare it to anything else as it's not like anything else.

Reliability & Durability — 7
You get the impression this bass is a bit fragile and it possibly is but once you pick it up and play it feels as solid as anything else. The pickguard is a floating arrangement and needs treating with respect. In all, if you treat it well I think it will look after you, this is no Heavy Metal bass. I would certainly depend on it, can't see any reason why not.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
It was pretty much set up straight from the box and needed the usual adjustment for preference. Paintwork was top class although the fretboard wasn't quite as well finished at the body end as I would have expected but I'm nit picking. Frets all well finished and neck perfect.

Features — 7
Don't confuse this bass with the Paul McCartney style violin bass, this has a bigger body and looks like it belongs in an Orchestra! You'll either love or hate its style. The scale length is 30" and the two humbuckers produce plenty of output, the hardware is nickel plated. I believe the top is Spruce with a Maple body and has a real "classic" look and hollow body. It comes in various colours, mines Vintage sunburst. Also black and red is available I believe. The control panel has three switches and two volume controls and takes some getting used to as it's possible to turn the bass "off" if you're not careful, once you've mastered this it's no problem. One interesting feature is the "Zero" fret which is straight after the nut eliminating nut action problems. I'm surprised we don't see this more often. Saddle width is only about 1 3/4" so the strings are almost parallel all the way down. To adjust the intonation you have to move the saddle up or down the body (by hand) to get it right.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    DanelectroKing
    do you think its possible to do a video of it? i'd like to hear it. hey UG start having us be able to do video reviews.
    gndboy
    I obtained a CT Club Bass around a month ago and I like it. It's a much better player than the prettier German example. I got it adjusted locally and restrung with short-scale D'Addario Half Rounds. This is a very nice bass, with a great sound like no other.
    MaggaraMarine
    clw550235 wrote: Nope sorry the fourth one. Not the third.
    Yep, that's maybe a guitar version of this bass.
    Anchr
    Good review, nice looking bass, indeed looks like sex. yummeh
    Davy755
    clw is spot on, picture 4 is indeed a geet. I wonder what the switches do?
    nickstix66
    You sir, you just won the game.
    supersac wrote: Ibeanez wrote: breadstick wrote: Saw the picture on the homepage and came to say that it looks like sex. Can't say that I've seen sex that had a pickguard. youre not having the right kind of sex
    andras67
    that is what I called a beautiful bass, if it was a woman, I would date her, marry her, and love her everyday until she get tired of me and she left me to find a better man.
    supersac
    Ibeanez wrote: breadstick wrote: Saw the picture on the homepage and came to say that it looks like sex. Can't say that I've seen sex that had a pickguard.
    youre not having the right kind of sex
    Ibeanez
    breadstick wrote: Saw the picture on the homepage and came to say that it looks like sex.
    Can't say that I've seen sex that had a pickguard.
    gndboy
    I first saw a Club Bass in use by Hello People in Cleveland in 1968; then Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads a couple years later. I just had to have one. Finally got a MIG version c. 2003. It always had a neck adjustment problem and I believe was just a bad example, particularly after seeking service from Minnesota. Other Club Basses I've played have been very nice. The tone is a bit larger than the "Beatle" bass, and considering the short scale played very well in tune with itself with LaBella flat wounds. Short scale seems to demand the zero fret. The tone is just beautiful, particularly when played with a soft pick and a bit of RH mute on the fly. Gonna try the CT version and see how it goes. When properly adjusted, the Club Bass is great for warmer styles of blues and jazz and less-aggressive old-school rock. I believe it to be the coolest Hofner ever. My opinion.