Höfner 184 bass, 1978

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Instrument: The 184s were built only briefly between 1974 and 1980, at a time when Höfner and... more
Höfner 184 bass, 1978

The 184s were built only briefly between 1974 and 1980, at a time when Höfner and all other German manufacturers were concentrating on copying the successful instruments of American makers to counter the threatening decline in sales. Despite the excellent quality, nobody wanted German instruments at that time, it was almost embarrassing to show up to band practice with such a Höfner bass. In fact, in the end, only Höfner survived the disaster. The numbers were correspondingly low, and to this day not many 184s have made it through in top condition. Ours is from 1978, one of the last built and has a typical history - see below.

The bass is a lightweight with its 3 kg, thanks to the body made of feather-light abachi. A veneer of flamed maple is glued on both the top and bottom. The black lacquered neck is probably made of maple. It has a rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays in eight frets. High quality Schaller encapsulated single tuners, massive hardware, two-ply pickguard.

Basis are two type 513 B single coil pickups with double magnets built by Franz Pix. The "Blades" were perhaps Pix's best and were used for almost 30 years. They are the longest running Höfner pickups of all time. Each has its own on-off switch and tone control, plus there is a master volume control. It's simple, intuitive, and perfectly adequate for a wide variety of bass sounds.

Instruments history:
Very typical for the time: This bass actually lay unsold in a music store in Bad Kreuznach, Western Germany, for almost four years. As described above - no one wanted German instruments... It wasn't until 1982 that the owner's parents bought it for a bargain price. As a gift, because the young man wanted to make a career with his band as part of the "New German Wave" at that time. As almost always, nothing came of it, the band later broke up and the bass was mothballed. In this case, commendably, in his bag, safe, dark and with loosened strings. There it slumbered for almost forty years until we were offered it in 2022 and immediately confirmed to buy it. It remains in unchanged original condition to this day.

Restoration work:
Complete cleaning, all lacquer surfaces have been extensively bale polished. We cleaned and oiled the fingerboard and polished the frets. We also polished the hardware. Finally, the Höfner got a new set of Pyramid roundwounds and a basic setup.

Current condition:
Of course, the 184 impresses with its wonderful original condition with very few playing wear. Micro scratches from plectrum usage on the pickguard, 3-4 minimal quirks on the body, that's about it. Everything else is perfect and nearly flawless. Fingerboard and frets are like new, as is the hardware. The electrics also work flawlessly with no scratching, buzzing or other noise. Both pickups provide full power. A large number of bassists consider the Pix Blades pickups to be the best Höfner has ever built anyway. The handling of the bass is new-ish despite its 44 years, thanks to the slim neck and low string action. This makes it a perfect collector's item, good for the cabinet, or a fantastic player with great sound, eager to make steam in a band again after forty years.

Overall length 42.1”/107 cm, body length 19.3”/49 cm, lower bout width 13.4”/34 cm, waist width 8.8”/22,5 cm, upper bout width 11.4”/29 cm; body depth 1.4”/3,5 cm, scale length 30”/76 cm (nut to saddle), fingerboard width 1.7”/4,3 cm at nut, 2”/5 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 3.050 g, string action on 12th fret 0.08”/2 mm (adjustable).

Purchase and payment:
Just send us an email to info@german-vintage-guitar.com and you will receive your invoice immediately. Or simply order here through the shop.

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