Hunting down the CT 500/2 and the eventual unboxing.
When I eventually made-up my mind that I was all in on the ownership of a hollow body bass, I have to admit I got a bit crazy! I knew that there was a global shortage of guitars, with all that was going on in the world ATM, I found myself tracking the Russia/Ukraine war to predict potential impacts on Germany and their ability to produce and ship parts. I was tracking the COVID-19 situation in China, as this was the time when major cities were shut down and manufacturing halted, due to self-isolation orders. As I equated delays in Germany and China to direct contributors to shortages of the Hofner CT Club bass and delays to my eventual ownership. So, I was super anxious over those weeks, I was wondering to myself “would I ever get one of these guitars?” As I had seen some videos where the blogger had stated that they’d been hunting around for years before they found what they were looking for, and I didn’t want that to be me. Before the supply shortages, the Club bass was already a low volume product being less popular than the Violin. And as the Contemporary series was a step-up, so again a lower volume run. And I wasn’t holding out much hope that I might be able to get it in the colour which I wanted (black), as who can be picky in these times of scarcity?
So, surfing the web I found one Australian store who at least sold the Hofner CT, but of course they were out of stock. On their product page there was a statement that you could contact them to advance order one, as I just wanted to be guaranteed one. But after emailing them, they just directed me back to a form to leave my email address, so I’d receive a notification when stocks arrive. But I didn’t want to be notified, I wanted to be guaranteed a product, no matter how long it might take!
But one evening as I was randomly browsing the Bass Centre’s web-page for Short Scale basses, there it was! A Hofner CT 500/2 Club bass in black! Of course it had to be the last one in stock. And not only was there a Hofner CT Club, but Bass Centre also had the other bass which I wanted and had already pre-ordered with another store (which I’ll get to in another blog). So that evening without delay we bought them both! *Evil grin*.
I posted both guitars to my parent’s place, as we live in an apartment block and delivering packages to our place is always a nightmare! So, when I got the call from my mum a week later, informing me that they had both arrived safely it was definitely a fist pump moment! I asked her, is one box heavy and the other super light? As watching other unboxing videos, people would say that the Hofner felt feather light, as if there was nothing in the carboard box it came in. But my mum said that they were both pretty heavy. And then I had a sinking feeling, what if I bought the wrong thing? Or if they sent me the wrong thing? As online shopping for a blind person….. Yeah, let’s just say I’m glad that I’m only an occasional online shopper.
So, for several days, I was counting down the hours until we were able to get to my parent’s place to pick them up. There were several unexpected things which popped up along the way which almost derailed the plan, but my wife managed to slip-out from a social function we were at, to hustle over to my parent’s place to pick the pair up. And when she returned, she whispered in my ear, “The Hofner comes in a guitar case!” And that left an ear-to-ear grin on my face for some time. As I hadn’t expected that, in the Bass Centre product page it didn’t state “W/ case”. But this was a very pleasant surprise as the case alone was selling for $230. And this explained why both boxes were weighty.
Although it was almost midnight when we eventually arrived home, but I couldn’t wait for the next day to unbox them. So I made a beeline to our office where we keep all of our musical instruments, and like a kid on Christmas I sat on the floor eagerly taring away wrapping to get at my prize! The one interesting thing about being blind is this, you really don’t know how things look like until you get your hands on them. Literally get your hands on them. So the shopping and unboxing experience is even more suspenseful!
So, although I had my wife describe them to me when they were digital images on a screen, and I had watched many unboxing videos, but it was such a great moment when I was able to actually touch and see ‘my guitar’ for the first time. The guitar case felt pretty sturdy considering it was complementary. Popping the 4 latches which kept it shut, I opened the lid and nestled inside was a foam wrapped Hofner CT, which guaranteed there was no chances of damage in-transit.
The first impressions of the Hofner were that it’s super smooth, so smooth, and perfect that it’s hard to believe it’s wood. It actually feels more like a perfectly moulded piece of plastic. But I’m guessing it’s like a lacquered box, to the touch you couldn’t tell that the source material was organic.
The actual weight isn’t feather light, but it is much lighter than a conventional solid body bass. But it’s still substantial.
The biggest difference is that the body of the bass has some thickness to it, not as thick as an acoustic guitar, but it’s at least double the thickness of a solid body electric guitar. The surfaces of the body is shaped like a violin, so the top and bottom crests towards the centre, which gives it more space to add resonant to the sound.
The neck is raised where it meets the body of the guitar, so it does resemble a violin, rather than a guitar. And the string set-up also resembles a violin configuration, so the strings are relatively close together and remains in-line, rather than a conventional bass guitar where the strings are further from each other as it nears the bridge. And there are all these chrome touches which adds to it’s unique look and feel, and the bridge and where the strings go into the body of the guitar is like nothing I’d come across before.
Although this was a Chinese made Hofner, the workmanship was top-notch. To date I haven’t found any flaws with its construction. Sure, the hovering pick-guard is a bit cheap, as it’s plastic, the softer flexible plastic you’d find with a re-usable food container. But aside from this single complaint, everything feels very premium and high quality. And in the end, I was very happy with it.
After making sure that it actually played when plugged into an amp. I gently replaced it back into its case and I went to sleep, a happy boy. Haaha.
If you too would like to own a Hofner CT 500/2 Club bass, click HERE! When writing this post on 20/08/2022, the Bass Centre got more stock in and currently there’s still one Hofner CT Club bass remaining! In the third and final post, I’ll share my thoughts with you in how it plays and sounds!