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The pages where other people's Hofners are featured.


HOFNER BASS GUITARS
SELMER UK DISTRIBUTED MODELS: c1953 to Mid-1970's

 



Stephane Edy's 1963 Hofner Verithin Bass (Serial No: 294)



The following picture-sets of Hofner bass guitars have been sent to me over the years by their owners. This has allowed me to present a much greater range of models and vintages than encompassed by my own collection, and maybe this will help other visitors to the site to identify and date their own Hofner.

Click on the underlined heading for each guitar to view photographs of that particular example.




VISITORS' OWN HOFNERS:

SEMI-ACOUSTIC BASSES:



HOFNER ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR - SINGLE PICKUP (MODEL 500/3)


Selmer Catalogue No. 530 Blonde & 531 Brunette. Same headstock (plastic Treble Clef fascia) as the Senator thinline but with 2.5" body depth. (Very last examples - 2" depth) Rectangular Hofner control consul. (Very last examples had separate rotary volume & tone controls) 21 Frets. Sold by Selmer between about 1960 and 1963, when it was replaced by the Senator Bass.



HOFNER ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR - TWO PICKUPS (MODEL 500/5)


Selmer Catalogue No. 328 Blonde & 333 Brunette. Based on a 2½" depth version of the 17¼" wide Hofner 4550 model body and with an inlaid mother of pearl flower design headstock facia. 21 Frets, later increased to 22. Single dot fretboard markers. No neck binding. Rectangular Hofner control consul. Sold by Selmer between about 1959 and 1963. A brunette version of this model was used by Stu Sutcliffe in the Beatles' early days.


HOFNER ELECTRIC 6-STRING BASS GUITAR (MODEL 500/10)

Hofner produced the 500/10 between 1960 and 1968 for the European market. However it was also supplied to Selmer for distribution in the UK for a very short period around 1960/61. Less than 200 of these basses appear to have been shipped to Selmer, making this version a rare find.

 

HOFNER SENATOR BASS GUITAR


This single pickup archtop bass appeared in the UK in 1963 and replaced the Hofner Electric Bass Guitar (500/3) as a cheaper alternative to the also new twin pickup President Bass. The major difference between the Senator Base and the 500/3 was the change from the Hofner consul mounted controls to two rotary controls for Volume and Tone, together with a reduced body depth of 2" compared to the 500/3's 2½". The Senator bore little resemblance to the Senator six string archtop, which did not even have a body cutaway at that time. In 1964, the Senator Bass was revised slightly - the headstock decoration was changed from the "Treble Clef" fascia to a "Dagger" motif.

 

HOFNER PRESIDENT BASS GUITAR


Introduced into the Selmer range in 1963 to replace the Hofner Electric Bass Guitar (500/5). The President Bass differed significantly from the earlier bass in that it had the same body as the President Thinline guitar, i.e. a laminated spruce top as opposed to the spruce top of the 500/5, and body dimensions of 16¼" width by 2" depth instead of the 500/5's 17½" width by 2½" depth. Four rotary control electrics were fitted instead of the rectangular consul, and 24 frets as opposed to 22 on the 500/5. Also the triple dot fret markers and fingerboard binding of the President guitar were introduced. A brunette finish only was now offered in the Selmer catalogues, although it would appear that some of the very early examples were finished blonde. The President bass disappeared from the catalogues in about 1967, considerably earlier than its Senator stable-mate.



HOFNER VIOLIN BASS


The 500/1, which had been produced by Hofner for only European consumption since 1956, was finally introduced into the UK by Selmer in 1963 as the Violin Bass, obviously prompted by the Beatles' success. It was identical to the 500/1, except that it had a Selmer serial number stamped onto the rear of the headstock. It appears to have disappeared from the catalogues in about 1972. A few have been brought into the UK after that date, right up to the present day in-fact, but these would have been sold as 500/1's, not as Selmer's "Violin Bass".



HOFNER VERITHIN BASS GUITAR


Based on the Hofner Verithin six string semi, and hence featuring a double-cutaway body with a 1.25" depth. In the UK Selmer catalogues from 1963 until 1971. Single dot fret markers and unbound fingerboard was used initially (according to the catalogue illustrations), followed very soon by a bound neck and bar type fret markers as on the 6 string Verithin. The European/US equivalent was the Model 500/7.

HOFNER COMMITTEE BASS


Introduced in 1963 as the bass version of the Committee 6 string guitar. All the Committee guitar's attributes were incorporated into the bass, including exotic binding/purfling, mother of pearl flower inlays to both headstock and fretmarkers, and the beautiful birdseye maple back and sides. However, unlike the guitar version, only a brunette finish was available for the bass. The Committee Bass had been discontinued by the end of 1965.




SOLID BODY BASSES:



HOFNER SOLID BASS GUITAR (VERSION1)


The first solid bass guitar to appear in the Selmer catalogue - during 1961. Fitted initially with either single or twin toaster pickups closely spaced near the bridge, and later with similarly placed Type 510 Diamond Logo units. This guitar was based initially on the first version of the V3 Solid, and hence had a "set-neck", rather than the bolt-on neck as with all future solid Hofner basses. It appears that for the last few Version 1 basses made, the body was changed to a "Strat" type body (but still with the "set-in" neck and angled-back headstock). All examples seen to date have been finished in translucent dark cherry. It was replaced by the Version 2 bolt-on neck bass in 1962.



HOFNER SOLID BASS GUITAR (VERSION 2)


Introduced simultaneously into the UK by Selmer with the Hofner Model 182 in Europe during 1962. The Selmer Solid Bass had a bolt-on one-piece maple neck and of course serial numbers on the rear of the headstock. The Solid Bass changed to the one pickup Professional Bass in 1963 when the Artist two pickup bass was introduced. The Hofner control consul and either one or two "Diamond Logo" pickups were fitted, although a very few of the last ones seem to have had four rotary controls instead of the consul. Most, if not all, Solid Basses were finished in red cellulose.


HOFNER PROFESSIONAL SOLID BASS GUITAR


Very similar to the single pickup Solid Bass Guitar (Version 2), but fitted with two rotary controls instead of the Hofner rectangular control consul. Staple pickups seem to have been fitted throughout the basses' production period of 1963 to around 1972. Always finished in a bright red lacquer, the Hofner Professional Bass was designated the 182/E1 model for Hofner's general European & World market.



HOFNER ARTIST BASS GUITAR


Introduced in late 1962 into the Selmer UK market, simultaneously with its European cousin, the Model 185. A stylish, "offset-waist" body, and twin pickups made this a very attractive looking bass. The Artist was generally supplied in bright red cellulose paint body finish, but some early models had the red vinyl finish. It differed initially from the 185 in that the 185's two pickup selector slide switches were not fitted. The Artist generally had a clear lacquered neck finish whereas the 185's neck could have either a clear lacquer or a black cellulose. Individual pickup switches were fitted to the Artist from about 1965 onwards. The Artist was discontinued around about 1967.
Have a look at my own 1963 Artist Bass.


 

 

A Selmer Bass String packet from the 1960's - courtesy of Paul Hunter.





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