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The pages where other people's Hofners are featured.


HOFNER BASS GUITARS
EUROPEAN & US MARKET MODELS: 1956 to 2000



                   




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:

HOFNER MODEL 500/1 BASS GUITAR

(See also the Hofner Violin Basses in the Selmer Distributed Bass Gallery, including Joe Baiardi's 1964 Lefty.)

Two Excel spreadsheets containing details of all the 500/1 bass guitars registered on this website can be found HERE (500/1) and HERE (Selmer Violin Bass). To register your own 500/1, click HERE.

Otherwise known as the Violin Bass or Beatle Bass. Produced from 1956 up to the present day. Used, then and now, by a gentleman called Sir Paul McCartney.



HOFNER MODEL 5000/1 BASS GUITAR


The deluxe version of the 500/1 Bass, with blonde finish as standard, beautiful flame maple back and sides, fancy body binding, and on later versions, gold-plated hardware. Most 5000/1's up to the 1990's seem to have been fitted with active electronics - either a "bass booster" (B) or occasionally a "sound mixer" (M) circuit being incorporated. Also marketed in the US during the late 60's/early 70's as the "Model G500/1 Super Beatle". Introduced in 1968/69, and still being produced by Hofner in standard (non-active electrics) 5000/1 format.



HOFNER MODEL 500/2 BASS GUITAR


The bass version of the Hofner Club Semi Acoustic guitars (Model 125/126/128). Really a 500/1 with a "Club" single cutaway body. Produced between late 1964 and 1970, but Hofner have recently been marketing a re-issue.


HOFNER MODEL 500/3 BASS GUITAR

 

Produced from around 1960 through to 1964 as a single pickup version of Hofner's longer lasting 500/5 model which is described below. Both these large bodied basses were not initially marketed at all strongly by Hofner in Europe, unlike Selmer in the UK who had the 500/5 in their catalogues from around 1958 onwards and the single pickup 500/3 from 1960. They were not even included in the main Hofner European price list until 1961.

The 500/3 followed the general trend of most of Hofner's archtops, with a rectangular console fitted up to mid-1962, and simple volume and tone rotary controls from then on.  

 

HOFNER MODEL 500/4 BASS GUITAR

The bass version of the Hofner 4572 6-string model. Fitted with a bass version of the Type 511(iii) single coil pickup, and Schaller bass tuners. Produced from 1969 through to 1988.


HOFNER MODEL 500/5 BASS GUITAR


Developed from the Hofner mid-range 6 string archtop Model 4550 with its 17" wide but slimmer body (2.5"), this is the bass, which in Selmer "Electric Bass Guitar" guise, was made famous by Stu Sutcliffe in the Beatles' formative years. Produced between c1957 and the late 1970's, (although it was replaced in the UK by the President Bass in the UK Selmer catalogue from 1963).The European/US market 500/5 is often incorrectly called the President Bass.
The 500/3 was the single pickup version.



HOFNER MODEL 500/6


Based on the Hofner Model 4600 6-string semi, and therefore featuring a very thin 1.25" depth body with twin double cutaways. Unlike the true Verithin models however, this guitar has curved body edges, and hence no body binding. Usual finish is a striking black/red two tone sunburst, but a three tone black/red/yellow sunburst option was also available. Bolt-on neck. Two pickups with either four rotary controls and no pickup selector switch, or later three rotary controls and a three way pickup selector switch on the top bout. Produced between 1966 and 1970.



HOFNER MODEL 500/7 BASS GUITAR


Based on the Hofner Model 4574 six-string thinline, and featuring a double-cutaway body with a 1.25" depth. The similar "Verithin Bass" was produced for Selmer from 1963. Hofner must have then decided to market a similar bass for the European and US markets, which they did as the 500/7 model from about 1966 onwards. Production ended in 1971.
Don't get the 500/7 confused with the 500/6, which was based on the Hofner 4600 six string semi. The 500/6 has a similar very thin (1.25") and double cutaway body as the Verithin and 500/7 models, but the body sides are curved, and the neck is a bolt-on.



HOFNER MODEL 500/8 BASS GUITAR


The bass version of the Hofner Model 4578/Ambassador. Hofner's only bass featuring a double Florentine cutaway. Factory option of either passive twin pickup electrics, active "M" Sound Mix, or active "B" Bass Boost. Produced between 1969 and 1977, but not for the UK market.

 

HOFNER 500/10 SIX STRING SEMI-ACOUSTIC BASS GUITAR


Produced for the European market between 1960 and 1968. A few actually found themselves sold in the UK by Selmer, but only around 1961/62. Basically a 500/5 with a thicker neck and two extra strings.
 

 

HOFNER MODEL 182 SOLID BASS GUITAR

The first version of Model 182 was initially introduced as the bass version of the 173 solid guitar, with a less-than-inspired body shape and a three-piece neck set (glued) into the body. The option of one or two pickups was provided. It appears to have been supplied predominantly to Selmer London from 1960, who marketed it as the Hofner "Solid Bass Guitar". However, a few also were supplied in Europe, but of course without the usual Selmer serial number on the headstock rear. This appears to have occurred a little later than its introduction in the UK, as the 182 only began to feature in Hofner's general price list in mid-1961.

Introduced simultaneously with Hofner Solid Bass (Version 2) in the UK Selmer market in 1962, Version 2 of the 182 model had a bolt-on neck which was often painted in black lacquer. The Selmer bass always had a clear varnished neck and of course serial numbers on the rear of the headstock, which the European/US market bass did not. The Selmer solid bass changed to the one-pickup Professional Bass in 1963 when the Artist two pickup bass was introduced. However, the 182 continued in the European and US markets as a two-pickup model into the 1980's. All 182's were fitted with the Hofner rectangular control consul, regardless of production date.


HOFNER MODEL 183 SOLID BASS GUITAR


The bass version of a Hofner range which also included the conventional 6 string solids designated the Model 165 (2 pickup) and the Model 167 (3 pickup). The 183 was made between c1975 and c1983.



THE HOFNER 184 SOLID BASS GUITAR


Produced between 1974 and 1980, when Hofner were in copying mode. The 184 was very obviously based on the Fender product, although it did have the short 30" scale in common with most other Hofner basses. Unlike the 185 model, it had dot fret-markers instead of "bar" type markers, and also a chrome combined bridge/tailpiece.



HOFNER MODEL 185 SOLID BASS GUITAR


Hofner's answer to the Fender Jazz Bass was the very stylish looking Model 185, with its offset-waist. Introduced in late 1962 in the European market together with a version called the Artist Bass for Selmer customers. (The Artist differed from the 185 in that the majority of Artists do not have the two pickup selector slide switches, and they invariably have a clear lacquered neck finish. The 185 had either a black cellulose or clear lacquer neck finish, and only some very early examples were not fitted with the pickup selector switches. Of course, being a Selmer distributed guitar, the Artist has a serial number stamped into the back of the headstock.) The 185 was often finished in vinyl covering as well as the conventional cellulose. Production lasted into the mid-1980's.



HOFNER MODEL 186 SOLID BASS GUITAR


A bass guitar fitted with a "Telecaster" style body. The six string guitar version was the Model 175. The 186 was produced between 1971 and 1973.



HOFNER MODEL 187(i) BASS GUITAR

A fairly close copy of the Gibson EB3 bass guitar, with 30" scale length. Introduced in late 1970, this bass lasted for only a year or so. It's place seems to have been taken by the Hofner 190 model in 1972, which also relied on the famous Gibson SG shape for its design.



HOFNER MODEL 187(ii) "SHORTY" BASS GUITAR


Hofner's unique "travel and backstage" bass guitar. Produced between 1982 and 1986, this instrument promised the ultimate in portability. Coming complete with padded leatherette carrying bag, this was the bass version of the 6-string Model 181 Shorty. Short 28" Scale, with strings being fixed through the body. Equipped with a single humbucking pickup. Finished in cute colours of yellow, red, white, or blue, plus a natural mahogany finish for the more conservative traveller! This model was the second to carry the 187 designation. An SG bodied medium-scale bass was the first, produced in the early 1970's.



HOFNER MODEL 188 SIX STRING SOLID BASS GUITAR


This guitar was produced between 1963 and 1970 when 6-string bass guitars were very much in fashion. Initially, the body and electrics were based on the 175 conventional 6 string guitar, and marketed as having four machine heads on top of the headstock and two beneath. After about a year however from 1964, a six-in-line machine head layout was shown in the catalogues, and very soon afterwards the electrics changed to those used on the Model 176. Interestingly, the 188 had a 28" scale length - somewhat shorter than the 30" scale of the Fender Bass VI.



HOFNER MODEL 189 SOLID BASS GUITAR


Hofner's take on the F...er Jazz Bass, produced from 1971 until 1983. Unusually for Hofner, it had the long 34" scale. It was fitted with two "Hi Fi" pickups, each with eight polepieces, instead of the standard Hofner units of the day.



HOFNER MODEL 190 SOLID BASS GUITAR

Another fairly obvious copy, but this time using the Gibson SB 400 Bass as the pattern. As with the 189 model, it had the long 34" scale, and in fact it was produced in parallel with the 189 from 1972 until 1981. Did Schaller's supply Hofner with exactly the same hardware as they had been supplying to Gibson for the SB 400?? It does look rather like it!



HOFNER MODEL 191 DOUBLENECK


Produced between 1961 and c1964, this was a semi-solid instrument with two necks for normal 6-string and bass. The 191(i) was finished in tobacco sunburst, and initially had a set-neck joint. Later examples have a bolt-on neck. It had a single pickup for the bass and twin pickups for the normal guitar. There was a later (1964 - 70) version of the 191 which had a fully solid body and strat-type cutaways. This had two pickups for the bass and three pickups for the normal 6-string guitar.

The simpler version of the 191(i), named the 190, was produced around 1961. Apparently it had a red finish and less body binding than the 191(i).

 

HOFNER MODEL 192 SOLID BASS GUITAR

The twin pickup Hofner 189 model introduced in 1971 had more than a passing resemblance to the Fe...r Jazz Bass, so I suppose that it was inevitable that Hofner would produce a single pickup solid bass that looked rather like a Precision Bass and had the long 34" scale length. The Hofner Model 192 was that bass, and it appeared the year after the 189 in 1972. It couldn't have been too popular however, because by 1974 it had disappeared from the price list.

 

 

 

HOFNER MODEL S7B SOLID BASS GUITAR


The wind of change blew over Hofner in the later half of the 1970's, and some very up-to-date, top quality guitars and bass guitars were produced. The Model S7B was one such instrument included in Hofner's "Professional-Line". It was the brother of the S7L & S7N six string solid guitars and the S7-12 twelve string. With a solid mahogany body, full scale neck, and active electrics, this really was the business. A single humbucking pickup was fitted, with a selection switch for twin, single coil, or out of phase operation, plus a volume control, acoustic filter, and bass booster tone control. The S7B was manufactured between 1978 and 1984.

 

HOFNER MODEL S9B SOLID BASS GUITAR

The next "S" model solid bass to come along was the S9B in 1982. This was the bass version of the already existing S9C six-string guitar that had been introduced two years earlier in 1980. It had a three piece maple/bubinga/maple through-neck running into a bubinga body, making it a very striking instrument. Gold-plated Shaller fittings could only add to the overall luxurious effect. The scale length was Hofner's favourite "Medium" 30inch, and twin humbucking pickups were fitted. The S9B was discontinued in 1985.

 

 

 

HOFNER MODEL S2B SOLID BASS GUITAR

The final model in the "S" Bass series appeared in 1984 at the same time as the S2 and S2A six-string guitars were brought out. The S2B was very much a no-frills bass guitar, with a single Fender-stryle split single coil pickup and a "Long" string scale of 34". The body was mahogany with a conventional bolt-on maple neck. Production of the S2B ceased in 1990.

 

 


HOFNER "SLAP-BASS" BASS GUITAR


Another highly inovative bass produced byHofner for a very short period around 1987. This rare beast, rather than using conventional pickups, featured a piezo pickup for each string. Its sinister all-black finish suited its radical style perfectly.
For those players of a more conservative/cautious nature, the Slap-Bass was also offered with with a conventional humbucking pickup, in addition to the piezos. This was called the Slap-Bass Plus.



HOFNER "JAZZ" STAND-UP SOLID BASS


Other manufacturers, particularly in Czechoslovakia, had produced solid stand-up basses back in the early 1960's. Selmer sold such a Czech-made bass under the Futurama label during 1960/61. Hofner started making the much higher quality "Jazz" in the very early 1980's and offered them in the catalogue for around ten years. These were expensive instruments - back in 1982, the UK distributor Barratts were offering the Jazz for sale at £759. That was over £200 more than they were asking for the Hofner A2L Memphis Award!








BASSES MADE IN SPAIN UNDER LICENCE FROM HOFNER


It seems that during the 1960's, Hofner components were supplied to the Keller company in Spain, where these were assembled into complete guitars and basses and then sold to the Spanish market. See the Fact File about the Spanish-Built Hofners



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