'64 HOFNER VIOLIN BASS 500/1 Model, Sunburst, EX+ code BA222
The neck gets white binding. The decal logo is replaced by a 3D white and gold plastic logo, "Staple" type Pickups as 1963, Two piece necks,
The Hofner Violin Bass has become one of the most iconic
musical instrument ever designed
thanks to its most famous user, Paul McCartney.
So strong is the association that the bass is also affectionately known as the “Beatle Bass”.
A few months after the birth of Beatlemania, the Selmer London company decided to start importing
the 500/1 in the UK
A beautiful example of the classic Selmer bass, this bass is fully original and in stunning condition.
Selmer Serial Number 1462
Staple Top Pick-Ups
2 Piece Neck
Individual Catshead Tuners
Narrow Control Panel
Pot Codes - 1964
Nel 1961 Stuart Sutcliffe, primo bassista dei Beatles, abbandonò definitivamente il gruppo e Paul, già chitarrista ritmico, assunse questo nuovo ruolo dopo il rifiuto di John e George. Poco prima del secondo viaggio ad Amburgo (o ad Amburgo stessa, secondo altre fonti) Paul comprò il suo nuovo basso a forma di violino. Si tratta di uno strumento hollowbody, finitura marrone, a scala scorta, con due pickup, uno vicino alla tastiera e l'altro in posizione centrale, tra il ponte e la tastiera stessa.
Nel 1963 Paul prese una nuova versione del 500/1 che era fondamentalmente uguale alla precedente ma con il pickup centrale spostato al ponte. Infine nella primavera del 1964 la Selmer, casa distributrice in Inghilterra della Hofner, diede a McCartney un altro modello con le parti dorate. L'Hofner 500/1 fu il basso principale di Paul dal 1961 al 1965, e successivamente lo alternò al basso Rickenbacker. Questo particolare strumento, insieme alla 325 e alle due prime Gretsch di George, fu uno dei simboli del look dei Beatles nei turbolenti ed entusiasmanti anni della beatlemania.
The bass was designed by Walter Höfner in 1955 and first
shown to the public at the Frankfurt Musikmesse in the spring of 1956. It seems
that Walter's intention was to produce a bass guitar that would be appealing to
players of the upright bass (double bass) who no longer wanted to carry such a
big heavy instrument around to play in beat and jazz groups. He also designed
the bass so that the construction method would be familiar to the workers at
Höfner who had been making violins for decades. So we got a bass that has the
style and shape not unlike a classical stringed instrument and built in much the
same way, hollow bodied, arched topped and a set in neck. Walter used components
from the Höfner electric guitar line and adpated these for the bass, so it got
the familiar ebony bridge, the wire tailpiece, the oval control panel, the black
bar pickups. He had used all of these on his Club guitars the year before. The
prototype Violin Bass in 1955. It differs slightly from production models as it
has a black scrachplate and control panel and the logo on the body is on the
upper bass bout, not under the tailpiece. The headstock shape also appears to be
slightly different to the final production design.The Violin Bass gets its
public debut at Frankfurt Musikmesse in 1956. It is on the end of the front row
with a Höfner 126 (Club) guitar to its right. At the table is Wanda Höfner
(Walter Höfner's wife) with, presumably, a customer.
Today we don't know if anyone paid any attention to the new little bass. Perhaps they did as an electric bass guitar was, in 1956, quite a new thing!
From its birth in 1956 the 500/1 Violin Bass has undergone many changes. These have almost all concerned hardware changes, the body remaining virtually the same, while the neck has became slimmer.