How to Adjust a Hofner Bass

Written by kirk maltbee
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Hofner's iconic 500/1 Violin guitar was the go-to bass for Paul McCartney when the Beatles led the British Invasion in the 1960s, and has won over legions of followers since. The woody short-scale bass is still in production, and if you happen to be in recent possession of one, then you may need to make a few adjustments.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Blanket
  • Screwdriver
  • Cloths
  • Small pillow
  • Lemon oil (optional)
  • New strings

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lay out your Hofner on a flat work surface with the blanket underneath, both for support and to protect the finish on the back of the bass. Position the small pillow underneath the headstock for the same reason. Remove the old strings and discard.

  2. 2

    Wipe the fingerboard with lemon oil (if desired) to remove debris and add lustre to the wood. Allow to dry. Open the new pack of strings and thread each through its respective hole on the rear tailpiece and over the notches on the bridge. Wind the strings into the tuners (make sure they stay snug in position in the nut) and tune to pitch.

  3. 3

    Plug the bass in and play a few notes. If you find the action (the height of the strings from the fingerboard) too high (or too low), then use the screwdriver to adjust the bridge. Turn both the treble side screws and bass side screws by the same amount to ensure even string height.

  4. 4

    Listen to the bass sound. If you find the lows are overly defined or your signal is louder than desired, then use the screwdriver to lower (or raise) the tops and bottoms of each pickup until you achieve the desired sound.

Tips and warnings

  • You may need to retune the bass once the neck tension has settled.

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