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1990s Hofner H500/1-61 Cavern Club '61 Vintage Reissue Violin Beatle Bass w/ Case, 500/1


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Up for sale, a 1990's Hofner H500/1-61 "Cavern Club" '61 vintage reissue model in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. An early example of this reissue model that's now vintage in its own right, the H500/1-61 features all the hallmarks of Hofner's early violin bass design, as seen played by Paul McCartney in the Beatle's formative days.

With a highly figured flat two-piece flame maple back, maple sides, and an arched spruce top, this fully hollow Hofner has a distinctive acoustic thud and pluck which translates well through the pair of closely spaced embossed nickel-covered pickups. The bass delivers the round, pillowy thump and definition of the Beatles sound and is strung with a set of groundwound strings. Individual Volume controls for each pickup as well as a two-way Rhythm/Solo tone switch allow the player to dial in more broad or focused tonalities, with a nice slightly nasally midrange with the bridge pickup favored, and a soft mellow sound at the neck. Featherweight at 4lbs 13oz, this fully hollow instrument has a distinctive dry sound with limited sustain, and the tone does mimic an upright bass in some respects. We've had this Hofner professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation.

The three-piece maple and mahogany neck has a full and round C profile shape with lots of shoulder, measuring .830" at the 1st fret and .985" at the 12th. The neck profile is flawless, with no palm wear and a silky smooth feel, and the bound rosewood fretboard has been freshly refretted with slender vintage-spec fretwire. The scale length measures 30" and the fretboard width at the zero fret is 1 9/16". On the headstock, the vertical Hofner logo is clean as can be, and the stock strip tuners turn smoothly with pearloid buttons. The neck has just been professionally reset, meeting the body at the ideal angle.

The electronics function flawlessly, and a vintage mustard tone capacitor is used in the circuit. The Hofner-embossed diamond nickel-plated pickup covers show uniform surface patina, while the trapeze tailpiece is notably brighter in its presentation. The teacup knobs and small white pearloid control plate match vintage spec, and the original white pearloid pickguard shows significant downward curvature (away from the pick path) with some oxidation on the nickel bracket.

The Sunburst finish is darker than most H500/1 reissues, highlighting the broad, deep curly flame figuring which extends across the two-piece flat back. The bass is exceedingly clean, showing some stabilized (and very localized) minor binding deterioration adjacent to the heel and also on the inside edges at the body waist. Cosmetic wear on the gloss finish is limited to a few extremely faint finish scratches and tiny marks on the body as a whole, mostly relegated to the back and where the forearm crosses the top.

The original hardshell case is included.