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1978 Hofner 500/1 Beatle Bass Vintage Violin Bass '60s Spec w/ Staple Pickups, Case


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Up for sale, a 1978 Hofner 500/1 Violin “Beatle Bass” in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. This Hofner has a unique feature set replicating circa 1964 spec, yet it is unquestionably a late '70s example given the stickered serial, 1978 dated CTS pots, untouched solder, and "Made in Germany" text on the back. Unique to this particular instrument and distinct from regular production 500/1s in '78 are the staple pickups, teacup knobs, raised headstock logo, and white pickup switches.

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 "staple" pickups. The bridge pickup has more nasally upper-midrange cut and sweet growl, and the neck has a girthy, broad thump. 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 one-piece maple neck has a medium depth C-shaped profile carve with full shoulders in every register and a bit more overall heft further up the fretboard, measuring .825" deep at the 1st fret and .945" at the 12th. The slab rosewood fretboard retains the original slender frets, which have well-rounded crowns and only show a hint of wear on frets 1-6. This bass plays cleanly up the 30" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The fretboard width at the zero fret is 1 9/16", forward of the nut. On the headstock, the original Hofner raised logo is intact, and the original closed-back tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch well, with white pearloid buttons. The small stickered foil serial number sticker is intact on the back of the headstock, along with the “Made in Germany” Hofner text.

The electronics work as intended, with untouched solder joints and CTS pots that date to the 47th week of 1978. Plastics comprise the white pearloid control plate complete with teacup knobs, as well as the elevated white pearloid pickguard. The nickel plating on the staple pickup covers and tailpiece shows light, uniform surface patina, and the original ebony floating bridge is present.

The warm Sunburst gloss finish is a unique burst gradient for this year of production, much lighter and more "Ice Tea" in its appearance than a typical late '70s Hofner burst, also faithful to '60s spec and highlighting tight curly flame figuring extending across the back and sides. This is an exceptionally well-kept Hofner, with cosmetic wear limited to a small scuff on the lower bout rim adjacent to the rear strap button and just a scant few faint finish scratches and microscopic marks on the body as a whole, also largely relegated to the rims. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is practically pristine.

The original form-fit black molded hardshell case is included.