How the Club bass plays & sounds!
‘A small package, possessing a big punch’, would be the best way to describe the Hofner. Although it’s the lightest bass I own, with the lightest gauge strings, however it has the loudest and deepest bass tone of them all! Go figure?
But the secret sauce is in its hollow body, and no doubt in those German staple and toaster pick-ups, therefore the lightest flick of a finger to start the reverb, the deep bass sound already booms from my simple practice amp. So, in that respects, it makes it super easy to play. As it requires so little effort to get a satisfying sound from your bass.
And there’s so many tonal variations to play with! There are 2 volume nobs, one to adjust the volume of the neck pick-up, the other to adjust the bridge pick-up. And there’s three switches to flick between treble or bass, and the other two essentially switches off one or the other of the pick-ups. Flick them both off, and you essentially stop all electronic feed to your amp (not recommended). So, turning the neck pick-up all the way to 100% and bridge all the way down- results in the loud deep bass tone which I had previously been gushing about. Twist the bridge pick-up to 100% as well and you get a nice, moderated sound, the hollow body tone (in which you bought the Hofner for), immediately comes to the party. And turning the neck pick-up down to 0% while keeping the bridge at 100%, gives you the full hollow body ‘Beatle’ sound. So cool! So cool!
The only downside of the toned down bass sound is that the quieter sound now exposes the fact that I have fret buzz when playing a G on the E-string. Argh! It’s super annoying. And looking at the bridge, to date I haven’t worked out how to adjust and increase the string’s action to eliminate the buzz. So, to date I’ve just been putting up with it. *Grumble, grumble*
The playability of the Hofner is absolutely effortless, the smallest of flicks will make the strings sing! So, you can play for hours without having your fingers start to smart with every pluck and pull. Meanwhile the downsides of the playing experience to date has been the proximity of the strings. As the distance between the strings remain the same distance from each other, from nut to bridge. Therefore, it does require some getting use to, when switching from a conventional electric bass guitar to the Hofner. I honestly can’t see how people with thicker fingers than mine could play the Hofner, as there’s little space between the strings to get in there and do a clean pluck. So, it usually takes me a couple of songs to adjust to the narrow spacing.
And the distance between frets is closer than a conventional Short Scale bass guitar, so again it takes a little while for your muscle memory to adjust to the closer frets. I imagine this would be even more of a shock to the system for those who are accustomed to the Full Scale 34 inch bass, as this is a a SSS (Super Short Scale).
But overall, I’m pleased with the sound and playability of the Hofner CT 500/2, It has super deep bass tones which belies its size; possesses tonal variation which could keep you entertained for ours blending in and out the two pick-ups; that classic hollow body sound which can’t be replicated by a non-hollow body; super light so it’ll never break your back; effortless to play so you can just keep playing for hours and hours; and the finish is perfect as well, hand gliding up and down it’s silky smooth neck.
So, my end verdict, is that I’m super pleased with my Hofner Contemporary 500/2 Club bass, I’ve got the sound that I want, it looks gorgeous, and it’s a lot of fun. If you want to buy your very own Hofner CT 500/2, just click HERE! Happy shopping!