This vintage Hofner 500/1 (Beatle) violin bass guitar is a '66 model, as can be identified by the highly-regarded 'staple' pickups and their raised surrounds, the original open-back tuners, and the Hofner badge on the headstock and the 'short' tailpiece.
As is the case with almost all vintage Hofner basses, a previous owner has long since removed the scratchplate. On this one, the volume control knobs have also been changed, probably when the original plastic items became brittle and cracked. If the buyer wishes, correct repro knobs and scratchplate can be supplied at cost from Australia's foremost authority on vintage Hofners. For now, I have left the instrument as-is, as I think it has a vibe all its own, and the knobs are actually extremely functional (they're aluminium knobs of approximately 1970s vintage which don't look out of place at all to my eye).
The instrument had a long-term previous owner who did not play for a long time (how common is that - family comes along and music goes out the window!), so the bass actually displays very little playing wear. Original frets are perfect, as is the fingerboard, and even the back displays only the barest evidence of 'buckle rash', none of which is through the finish. Neck set is great, neck straightness is great, electrics are great.
Furthermore, even the original Australian-made Stamford case (all imported instruments were sold new in Aust with locally-made cases to avoid the huge duty that applied to 'luggage' at the time) is in remarkably good condition. These cases, essentially made from a thick cardboard, usually fell to bits within a few years of typical gigging use, and are not often seen these days. Not only is the case complete and usable - check out the cool vintage stickers in the 'more pictures' link below!
The factory sunburst on this example is a lot less "American" than the '68 we have for sale, and is extremely violin-like (and German!) in character. Bloody beautiful, actually! A very natural look that has aged beautifully over the past 40-something years.
All in all a very original, low-mileage, original mid-'60s Hofner 'Beatle Bass' that is totally usable (and cool!), and will also doubtless be a rock-solid investment. Oh yes, and at only 2kg in weight (I kid you not!) you need never even take the bass off!
Sold to Chris