Details about 1965 Vintage Hofner Bass Guitar with case (Not A Reissue!)1965 Vintage Hofner Bass Guitar with case (Not A Reissue!) See original listing
Oct 31, 2013 19:10:49 PDT
San Jacinto, California, United States
Used: An item that has been used previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully ... Read moreabout the condition
You are looking at a vintage 1965 Hofner 500/1 violin bass. I bought it in late 2008 here on eBay. When I bought it, I did not just take the seller's word for its authenticity. I have done quite a bit of research to verify the year of this guitar and it is the real deal. Not only that, it sounds and feels awesome. It has that classic, unmistakable fat Hofner tone. Ironically the only reason I must sell it is because of the Taxman.
If you are familiar with Hofner basses like this, you know that they feel almost like they are made of balsa wood. In terms of actual weight, the best I can determine (on my home digital bath scale) is just under 6 pounds.
Condition: Please check the pictures carefully. The body has a few dings, a few mars and some light scratches. However, the lack of buckle rash on the back and the lack of checking makes this rather exceptional in my opinion. I think it has been subject to temperature control and a lack of humidity over the years. I mention humidity because the metal parts lack pitting and rust that I often see on guitars of this age. A few places on the body and neck also have what appear to be some small, white paint scuffs, but I don't know what that could be from. I could be wrong but maybe something rubbed against the guitar(?). Not a big deal. I'm sure that it could easily be removed by a luthier. This may indicate a little bit of gigging in its past.
The guitar has a black nut in place of the original white nut. I have no idea why. A white (or cream) nut that I presume to be the original is included.
Being mostly a collector I have rarely ever played the guitar. In fact, it still has the same strings as when I bought it. I would highly recommend getting some new strings and having it professionally set up. This was something I always intended to do, but never got around to. The "Volume 1" pot, which controls the bridge pickup, is scratchy and needs cleaning / lube. (I avoid fiddling with things like this myself.)
Unusual: There is a round rubber part located next to the white plastic button on the neck heel. (Shown in one of the pictures.) I think that this serves as a plug. The plug may cover either the original location of the strap button, or it covers a custom strap button location. Either way, the current strap button is solid and the rubber cover is secure. I don't like it when people customize things but it is the only such modification that I see on this guitar.
This guitar will ship FREE with a Hofner aluminum "Bullet" hard case. This is a fantastic case for which I paid $300 new. The guitar fits snugly inside and is well protected by the gray foam. Condition: The case has a ding on one corner. (see picture) I think my movers made the ding on the case a year ago and didn't tell me. That's exactly what cases are for, though. I love these Bullet cases but they are very hard to find now. A still-sealed vintage style strap is in the case well, along with the keys and the guitar's original nut.
Before I forget, this guitar has MADE IN WEST GERMANY stamped into the wood on the reverse of the headstock. This may not show up so well in the pictures.
About dating this guitar... Or, How do I know that this is vintage 1965?
Hofner's standard models distributed to Europe, the USA and elsewhere did not have serial numbers until 1976. I have seen Hofner basses with a silver strip on the rear of the headstock but these were added by importers and dealers, most of which went out of business long ago. Therefore, to date a vintage Hofner like this - which never had a silver numbered strip when I got it - we start with a look at the potentiometers.
The circuit boards for the potentiometers in this guitar have "250K" and "435" stamped into them. The "435" part is the date code. (250K is of course the resistance of the pot.) The third digit indicates the year of manufacture and the first two digits indicate the week. Therefore this date code translates to the 43rd week of the year 1965.
However, I have also learned that the Hofner date code repeated every ten years. So this same date code could be from 1975 or 1985.
Therefore to ascertain what other features could make this guitar period correct, we look at the following:
"Raised" plastic Hofner logo on the headstock, with gold finish lettering (1963-1967)
Single open axis through-wing tuners (1963-1966)
Model 511 pickups with large frame mounts (1965-1966)
Large cream pearl control surface (40mm x 104mm) (1965-1966)
"Teacup" cream knobs with concave brass inlay (1960-1971)
Cream colored slider switches (1960-1971)
"Short" version tailpiece (1965-1974)
Metal or plastic strap button on neck heel (in this case plastic, but metal on the bridge end of the guitar) (1963-1967)
Pearl cover over the neck bolt (1961-1966)
Pearl cream pickguard with no Hofner name on it (1961-1971)
Based on all of the above, together with the date code stamped on the pot boards and the overall appearance, I have determined that this is indeed a 1965. Plus I have previously owned three other Hofner 500/1 basses (including a 1966 and a 1967).
Immediate PayPal is required. This guitar will ship FREE to the Lower 48 United States only. No overseas shipping so please do not even ask. : )
Thanks for looking!