Up for sale, a 1970 Hofner 500/1 Violin "Beatle Bass" in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. The bass indelibly linked with Paul McCartney and the Beatles, this genuine vintage 500/1 captures the round, pillowy thump and definition of the Beatles sound, strung with a set of 45-100 D'addario Chromes flatwound strings.
There's a distinctive pluck, percussive cut, and hollow thud that this bass delivers even unplugged, with a broad sonic range between the two "blade" pickups. There's more nasally upper midrange cut and sweet growl from the bridge pickup and a girthy, broad thump from the neck position. Controls include individual Volume knobs for each pickup as well as a two-way Rhythm/Solo tone switch which adds a tic-tac cut and presence in the “Solo” position. Featherweight at 4lbs 13oz, this fully hollow instrument has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a round, substantial C-shaped profile carve which fills the palm and chords effortlessly, measuring .870" deep at the 1st fret and .950" at the 12th. The dark, tight-grained rosewood fretboard retains the original slender frets, and the frets are practically perfect, playing cleanly in every register. The scale length is 30", and the fretboard width at the zero fret is 1 9/16", forward of the carved bone nut. On the headstock, the Hofner gold silkscreen text is in great shape, and on the back of the headstock the stickered serial and Hofner “Made in Germany” decal is intact. The original sealed back tuners with white hexagonal buttons turn smoothly and hold pitch well.
The electronics work as intended, and the Hofner-embossed blade pickups are wired to the original harness with Preh pots that date to the 7th week of 1970. The harness includes the trio of white switches and stock white teacup knobs. The chrome plating on the Hofner-embossed pickup covers is notably clean, with light patina on the nickel tailpiece. The original ebony floating bridge is intact too, as is the elevated white pearloid pickguard.
The original Sunburst gloss finish has broad, prominent lacquer checking across the body, and the burst frames the straight flame figuring that extends across the two-piece bookmatched maple back. Cosmetic wear is limited to a few small nicks adjacent to the tailpiece on top, and a small amount of buckle wear on the treble-side upper bout on the back. The gloss finish is smooth and clean along the profile length.
The original black hardshell case with red plush interior is included.