Up for sale, a 1974 Hofner 500/1 Violin "Beatle Bass" in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. 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 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 12oz, this fully hollow instrument has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation.
The two-piece maple neck has light flame figuring along the profile length, with a round chunky C-shaped profile carve which has generous shoulders and a substantial, easy-playing feel, measuring .865" deep at the 1st fret and .970" at the 12th fret. The dark, tight-grained rosewood fretboard retains the original frets. The frets are practically perfect with just a touch of wear on the crowns of frets 1-3, playing cleanly in every register. The scale length is 30", and the fretboard width at the zero fret is 1 1/2", forward of the carved bone nut. On the headstock, the original gold Hofner script is in great shape, and the original tuners 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 5th week of 1974. The harness includes the trio of black switches and stock knobs with silver caps and black ridged surrounds. The chrome plating on the pickup covers is notably clean, with light patina on the nickel tailpiece. The original ebony floating bridge is intact too.
The original Sunburst gloss finish is a particularly rich and dark burst for a Hofner 500/1, and cosmetic wear is limited to light buckle rash central to the back, a few isolated spots of lacquer checking on top, and one spot of finish wear into the gloss at the treble-side waist on top. The gloss finish is smooth and clean along the profile length.
The original black hardshell case with blue interior is included. A previous owner has written "Karl Hofner" on the case lid with gold paint.