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Wylie

Contemporary Series Hofners--high action the norm?

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I owned a Contemporary Series "Club" bass and liked it a lot--except for the very high action. It wasn't a structural or neck problem, but required a substantial reduction of the bridge to bring the strings down. After that, no complaints; it was playable. However, I have read that high action is the norm on Hofner basses. (I have never played a German-made Hofner.) Has anyone found this to be the case, either with the German Hofners or their Contemporary Series basses? Thanks. I need help. I am being tractor-beamed in the direction of a Cavern-style violin bass . . . 

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I have the Verythin long scale bass and the action is pretty normal. I had a pro set up and the nut was re-cut but I wouldn't say the action stands out against my other basses. Big fan of the contemporary series - a lot of bass for the money. 

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My HCT Club has a very comfortable medium/low action and still has some downward adjustment at the bridge. I've had older Hofners with a much higher action (manly due to neck set issues) but I think most HCTs come with a pretty good range of adjustment.

IMG_20190813_090321_resized_20190813_090547266.thumb.jpg.077447608b37b253e381bd54e6eabd7c.jpgIMG_20190813_090341_resized_20190813_090546601.thumb.jpg.0bf4044e062ab889a8b033ee1b5d3151.jpg

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I've owned a few Violin basses, Epiphones, Tokai, Alden and eventually a HCT which is one of my favourite instruments. Everything about it is just right.

I've set some up myself and found they needed tweaking over a period of time to get a medium to low action. My HCT I've had set up by a luthier with Labella Beatle bass strings, (flats), which pass easily through the small tuners. One of the Epiphones needed the bridge shaving to get a low action.

Intonation is never perfect but good enough, set up on the E and G with the floating bridge. They are always a fiddle but you can get them set up to suit.

I really enjoy owning and playing mine, it is to my ears the most hi-fidelity bass I have and having mastered the quirky control panel it makes sense to me now. Love the tones coming from those very powerful PUs.

One question to ask - with or without scratch-plate, which do you prefer?

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On 13/08/2019 at 05:05, grandad said:

I've owned a few Violin basses, Epiphones, Tokai, Alden and eventually a HCT which is one of my favourite instruments. Everything about it is just right.

I've set some up myself and found they needed tweaking over a period of time to get a medium to low action. My HCT I've had set up by a luthier with Labella Beatle bass strings, (flats), which pass easily through the small tuners. One of the Epiphones needed the bridge shaving to get a low action.

Intonation is never perfect but good enough, set up on the E and G with the floating bridge. They are always a fiddle but you can get them set up to suit.

I really enjoy owning and playing mine, it is to my ears the most hi-fidelity bass I have and having mastered the quirky control panel it makes sense to me now. Love the tones coming from those very powerful PUs.

One question to ask - with or without scratch-plate, which do you prefer?

Grandad, thanks to you and all who replied. I agree about the Hofner tone; it does sound distinctive and lively.

About the scratch-plate: definitely without!

I may go ahead with the Cavern model, keeping all advice here in mind.

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On 12/08/2019 at 18:34, Wylie said:

I owned a Contemporary Series "Club" bass and liked it a lot--except for the very high action. It wasn't a structural or neck problem, but required a substantial reduction of the bridge to bring the strings down. After that, no complaints; it was playable. However, I have read that high action is the norm on Hofner basses. (I have never played a German-made Hofner.) Has anyone found this to be the case, either with the German Hofners or their Contemporary Series basses? Thanks. I need help. I am being tractor-beamed in the direction of a Cavern-style violin bass . . . 

You will usually have to sand the bottom of the bridge down if you want low action, the factory setup is really high like 3mm at 12th fret but there is no reason why you have to have high action, I have had the action on mine as low as 1.5m on 17th fret but I have raised it to Fender spec action wise as i think the tone is better that way

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5 hours ago, markdavid said:

You will usually have to sand the bottom of the bridge down if you want low action, the factory setup is really high like 3mm at 12th fret but there is no reason why you have to have high action, I have had the action on mine as low as 1.5m on 17th fret but I have raised it to Fender spec action wise as i think the tone is better that way

Thanks, MD, that's exactly what I did; or rather, I sanded the bottom side of the top piece of the bridge. Worked very well.

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