Hofner Contemporary Violin Bass - Sunburst

4-string Semi-hollowbody Electric Bass with Spruce Top, Flame Maple Back and Sides, Spruce Center Block, Maple/Beech/Maple Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard, and 2 Humbucking Pickups - Sunburst
Hofner Contemporary Violin Bass - Sunburst image 1
Hofner Contemporary Violin Bass - Sunburst image 1
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Hofner Contemporary Violin Bass - Sunburst
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A Beatle Bass for the Modern Player!

This Contemporary Violin Bass gives you the classic Hofner sound, style, and playability that formed one of the cornerstones of rock music. It may be one of the most affordable Hofner basses you'll find at Sweetwater, but the Contemporary Violin Bass is the real deal. For starters, you get a spruce-topped semi-hollow flame-maple body with a 3-piece maple and beech neck for a magnificent balance of resonance and sustain. A pair of Hofner Staple humbuckers split the difference between a woody acoustic tone and a warm and rounded sound. And thanks to a full set of traditional 500/1 style tone controls, you can fit the Contemporary Violin Bass to a wide range of musical styles.

Hofner Contemporary Violin Bass at a Glance:
  • Hofner Staple humbuckers deliver classic bass guitar tone
  • Get the legendary look, sound, and feel of a Hofner Violin Bass
  • Hofner - creating fantastic stringed instruments since 1887
Hofner Staple humbuckers deliver classic bass guitar tone

Everyone knows that the biggest contributor to your tone is the set of pickups loaded in your instrument. The Staple humbuckers that come standard on the Contemporary Violin Bass are designed to provide you with the same vintage bass tone that put Hofner on the map, back in the early mid '60s. So, if you're looking for that iconic warm, woody, and almost acoustic tone, then you'll be thrilled with this Contemporary Violin Bass!

Get the legendary look, sound, and feel of a Hofner Violin Bass

First introduced by lifelong violin-maker Walter Hofner at the 1956 Frankfort Musik Messe, the Hofner Violin Bass might have been an all but forgotten footnote in modern music instrument history if a young and nearly broke Paul McCartney hadn't picked one up in 1961. Favoring it for its symmetrical shape (Hofner didn't yet offer a lefty model back then) and woody sound, McCartney and the Beatles by extension made the Violin Bass one of the most iconic bass guitars of all time. And the things that made this instrument such a great choice for Paul - the balance, the tone, and the cool vintage vibe - are all yours when you pick up this Contemporary Violin Bass from Sweetwater.

Hofner - creating fantastic stringed instruments since 1887

Karl Hofner sold his first violins in 1887, and the Hofner company has been hand-building exceptional instruments ever since. When Sir Paul McCartney purchased a 500/1 Violin Bass to use with The Beatles, Hofner became a household name among musicians worldwide. With a focus on top-notch craftsmanship and tone, you'll feel and hear the difference when you get the Contemporary Violin Bass in your hands.

Hofner Contemporary Violin Bass Features:
  • An iconic semi-hollowbody electric bass that delivers the sound, style, and feel of a classic instrument
  • Flame maple back and sides topped with spruce provide plenty of natural acoustic resonance
  • 3-piece maple/beech/maple neck and solid spruce center block deliver amazing natural sustain
  • Hofner Staple humbuckers deliver classic warm, woody, and almost acoustic-style tone
  • Full set of traditional 500/1 style tone controls let you dial the perfect sound for any gig
  • Hardshell case included
Experience iconic Hofner sound and style with this Contemporary Violin Bass!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to select the exact instrument you want to receive, to our in-house guitar techs and our 55-point Evaluation process, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Bass Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Body Shape Violin
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Number of Strings 4
Color Sunburst
Body Material Spruce (Top), Flame Maple (Back, Sides), Spruce Center Block
Neck Material Maple/beech/maple, Set
Fingerboard Material Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlay Dots
Number of Frets 22
Scale Length 30"
Nut Width 1.654"
Bridge/Tailpiece Trapeze, nickel
Tuners Single, nickel
Number of Pickups 2
Neck Pickup Staple Humbucker
Bridge Pickup Staple Humbucker
Controls 2 x volume, 2 x pickup mute sliders, 1 x solo/rhythm tone slider
Strings Hofner HCT Roundwound
Case Included Hardshell
Manufacturer Part Number HCT-500/1-SB-C

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
Write your review

Fantastic Bass!

Hofner continues to create bass guitars that are fine world class examples of quality workmanship; great looking, well-balanced and the sound is fantastic, The Hofner Contemporary Bass in my opinion stands up to the German made basses on every level. I had two V63's and my new 2016 Contemporary bass has all the same German qualities. The sustain block in the guitar body gives a bit more weight to the instrument and makes it feels very solid with a great sound. With the Labella standard flat wound bass strings the guitar gives me the exact sound I'm looking for in a Hofner. Sweetwater set the bass up exactly as I specified. When the instrument arrived in short order I was blown away with it's beauty. It exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to play each day. To top it off the price was great and the nice case was an extra perk. I highly recommend the Hofner Contemporary Bass from Mike D. at Sweetwater. Top notch customer service and care. Go for it!
Music background: Purely for enjoyment

I love it!

I originally started playing bass with a 1964 Hofner Deluxe. Though I am mostly a Fender guy these days I wanted an authentic sounding hollow body bass to record with that had that authentic 60's vibe and this is what I picked. Fit and finish are as fine as anything else I've ever seen from Hofner and whether or not it's the updated design of this bass and it's electronics it actually sound better than the 1964 Deluxe Hofner I used to have. It does take some time to wrap your head around the floating bridge concept but there were a couple of videos on You Tube that helped with that. Once this bridge was correctly positioned and lowered a bit to get the action just right I then set the intonation and I have to say it is pretty spot on. I did not like the round wound strings that came with this bass. They just don't let this bass shine in that authentic Hofner way although I do understand that is not what everyone wants. I purchased some LaBella light flat wounds when I bought this bass. Once I changed to the flat wounds there it was. That unmistakable 60's thump and yet the tone on this is more crisp than I remember. The electronics were dead silent for recording which made me happy and other than tightening down the tuners and the tuning pegs which were fairly loose I have had no issues at all with this bass. It plays like a dream. Sounds fantastic and is easy on your back. The case they send with this bass fits like a glove and affords this bass plenty of protection. I haven't been as happy with a purchase in a long time. Well worth the money!
Music background: Professional musician

Love it!

What a great playing iconic bass. Very different from what I'm used to be easy to adapt to. Playing lots of Beatles tunes of course.


This is my 2nd HCT ,and I also own a 1978 5000/1 Deluxe, I must say the quality of the HCT 's is great ,fit and finish is excellent , have that Hofner sound and have the thinner neck radius of the 5000/1 that I have been used to for all these years . I saw the tobacco burst color on line and was talking with Joe James about the color , my other is more of a yellow sunburst , he checked it out for me and sent me pics and confirmed the color . As always great service from Joe and fast shipping . These are great basses and you can't beat the price to value , of course I did what most Hofner owners do , change to flatwounds and get the gold/cream knobs . Next will be a Cavern HCT .
Music background: Been playing for over 45 years

Killer Tone

Wonderful bass with dynamite electronics! Sounds and plays great. Wasn't sure how I'd like a short scale but it wasn't hard getting used to it at all.
See also: Hofner, Hofner 4-string Bass Guitars