Up for sale, a 1979 Hofner 500/1 Violin "Beatle Bass" in excellent 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 50-100 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 14oz, this fully hollow instrument has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with full shoulders, measuring .845" deep at the 1st fret and .935" at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard retains the original slender frets which have their full height, showing only light uniform wear on the crowns of frets 1-3, extending beneath the A and D strings to fret 6. The 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 1/2", forward of the nut. On the headstock, the original Hofner script is in great shape, and the original pearloid button open-gear tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The small stickered foil serial number sticker is also intact.

The electronics work as intended, and the blade pickups are wired to the original harness with CTS pots that date to the 16th week of 1979. The harness includes a trio of black switches and a pair of reissue teacup knobs. The nickel plating on the pickup covers and tailpiece shows light surface patina. The original ebony floating bridge is intact too.

The original two-tone Sunburst gloss finish frames light bookmatched flame figuring on the two-piece back. There is light pick wear framing the treble pickup bezel, buckle rash on the upper bout, and a few additional minor dings and finish scuffs on the body as a whole. There are also two pairs of very closely spaced pickguard mounting holes on top (one perfectly matches the modern included pickguard, currently not installed). The maple neck retains its smooth gloss on the profile, with one shallow ding central to the carve behind fret 4.

A modern form-fit black hardshell case is included, along with a modern white pearloid pickguard that matches the mounting holes on the body.

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Listed2 years ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.Learn more
  • 500/1 Violin Bass
  • Sunburst
  • 1979
Made In
  • Germany
Fretboard Material
  • Rosewood
Color Family
  • Brown
Body Material
  • Maple
Right / Left Handed
  • Right Handed
Active / Passive Pickups
  • Passive Pickups
Neck Material
  • Maple
Wood Top Style
  • Plain
Finish Pattern
  • Sunburst
Active Preamp
  • No Preamp
Finish Style
  • Gloss
Body Shape
  • Violin
Number of Strings
  • 4-String
Pickup Configuration
  • SS
Number of Frets
  • 20

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Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar

Seattle, WA, United States
Joined Reverb:2013

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