Up for sale, a 1974 Hofner 500/1 Violin “Beatle Bass” in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Indelibly linked with Paul McCartney and the Beatles, this genuine vintage 500/1 captures the round, pillowy thump and definition inherent to the iconic Beatles sound, with a fully hollow body and blade pickups.
There’s a distinctive pluck, percussive cut, and hollow thud that this bass delivers even while unplugged, with a broad sonic range between the two pickups. The bridge pickup has a more nasally upper-midrange cut and sweet growl, and the neck position has a warm, broad quality. Versatile 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 punchy presence in the “Solo” position. Featherweight at just 5lbs 2oz, this Horner has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with D’Addario Chromes 45-100 flatwound strings, easy-playing action, and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a round C-shaped profile carve, measuring .855” deep at the 1st fret and .950” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard retains the stock slender fretwire, and the frets only exhibit light wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-10. This bass plays cleanly up the 30” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the width at the zero fret is 1 9/16”, just forward of the nut. On the headstock, the Hofner gold silkscreen text is present on both sides. The original sealed back tuners with white hexagonal buttons turn smoothly and hold pitch as they should.
The electronics function as intended, and the Hofner-embossed blade pickups are wired to the stock harness with Preh pots that date to the 7th week of 1974. Plastics comprise the trio of switches, white teacup knobs, pearloid control plate with pristine text and raised four-ply pearloid pickguard. The chrome plating on the Hofner-embossed pickup covers is bright and clean, and the original nickel trapeze tailpiece exhibits uniform surface patina. The original ebony floating bridge is intact.
The gloss Sunburst finish highlights tight flame figuring on the bookmatched back and sides, and there’s broad finish checking across the top. Cosmetic wear includes a handful of minor dings on the lower bout of the top and along the lower bout perimeter, buckle rash on the treble side of the back, and a number of faint finish scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The neck retains its smooth gloss, with just a few shallow nicks on the profile length that don't distract the palm while fretting.
The original black tolex hardshell case is included.