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.