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Hofner President bass - Anyone familiar with it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Las Olas, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK

    I'm quite attracted to a Hofner President 1960s bass. Can anyone give me any info on them? It seems quite scarce online, no reviews or anything. I've found a 2nd hand one - does anyone know what sorta price I'm looking at? I'm in the UK, if that helps. All I know is that Stu Sutcliffe played one!

    Help appreciated, I havent been let down yet!


  2. Paraphrased out of the Beatles' Gear Book:

    Sutcliffe's bass was the Hofner 500/4 model bass, the Selmer catalog number was 333, and it was later known as the President bass.

    Sutcliffe bought the bass for around $165 ($1,130 in today's money).

    That's the best I can help you.
  3. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    Cheers. Selmer....they make amps, right? Are they linked to the Hofner company?

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Those older Hofner basses come up on ebay often, i would highly recommend checking the bass out first before buying, Hofners from that time period where prone to many problems.You know they have reissued the club bass now, you might want to check it out if you cant get a President. I like hofners too, best of luck.
  5. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    Thanks !
  6. Slaphead Bass

    Slaphead Bass

    Jul 31, 2012
    Hi, I've just stumbled across this site and was interested in some of the comments. I bought a Hofner 505/5 No 424 (before it was called a President)in about Feb/march 1960 in Charing Cross Road. It's a blonde model and used it heavily throughout the 1960s (down the 2is etc) in Rock groups Blues groups and dance bands. I still use it playing mainly modern jazz. It has a superb sound (with Rotosound black nylon wound strings The ones on it date back to the 1960s and are still in use) It's a good looking bass but showing signs of many years use. - Highly recommended if you can find one in good condition.
  7. If I am not mistaken, I believe Hofner recently issued a CT version of this bass, made in Asia, for a very reasonable price. Around $700 I believe.
  8. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
  9. meursault42


    Jun 21, 2006
    Selmer makes Saxophones, Clarinets, Trumpets, etc. as well as all of the related accessories.

    Hofners are quirky instruments. I own a German Cavern Club (earlier pickup spacing) that I purchased new from the guys at Rock'n'Roll Vintage. It's very cool, but if you're accustomed to Fenders and the like, it may take some considerable adjustment with regard to technique and amp/EQ/cabinet.
  10. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
  11. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    I played one of the prototypes of this Hofner reissue while I was in Europe. Kicking myself for not buying it...didn't know what it was, all I know was that I liked it. Had pretty good acoustic volume too.

    Anyway, Rock and Roll Vintage in Chicago is taking pre-orders on the third batch to be imported into the US. The first batch were prototypes and I have no idea how many were made and how many made it to the US. You can tell a prototype because it doesn't have the Hofner logo on the body top.

    The second batch was delivered sometime earlier this year. No idea how many were in this batch. The first two batches did not include a case.

    The third batch is due soon and it is about $100.00 more than the previous two batches BUT includes a case. Also I was told that Hofners were in short supply currently becuase Hofner changed their US distributor.

    That's what I know....here is the link to Rock and Roll Vintage, if your interested: http://www.rocknrollvintage.com/proddetail.asp?prod=HCT-500/5-SB
  12. Are these CT President basses true hollow body basses like the originals or do they have the wood block down the center?
  13. Las Olas, Selmer sold bass and guitar amps in the 1960s. I purchased the all-tube guitar combo with 2X12s in 1966 in Heidelberg for about $175. It had pre-set sounds with push-buttons to change the sound, not unlike the Line6 combos today. I purchased it after seeing them used onstage by the Kinks and Herman's Hermits. About a year later I saw the Vox amps and traded for a Buckingham amp. Loved the sound of the Selmer for guitar. They also sold a bass amp but I was not impressed with it. It sounded very boomy. I think it had one 18" speaker and was not ported.

    Attached Files:

  14. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
  15. meursault42


    Jun 21, 2006
    The "Black Bar" pickups are VERY different from the "Staple" pickups that we all know and love. They aren't nearly as aggressive sounding. I played a violin bass with these installed (German made) and didn't care for it at all. They seemed to accentuate the oddities of the instrument (wolf tones, etc.). But then again, that was a violin bass, not a President with the huge hollowbody.
  16. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    I too love Hofners, and have had quite a few German made - vintage and modern. Though I've not owned any asian made copies (of any brand), I would not recommend them, unless you can get a super cheap deal! I doubt the Chinese made versions will endure any better, and they will likely not retain their value... Just my guess, however...

    The German made instruments will spoil you too. They just "feel" good.

    The German made President has many models from many years - mostly late 50s and 60s... The price can range from low teens to low 20s (US dollars - roughly 2/3s less for Pound Sterling). Stu Sutcliffe played one with the "black bar" p'ups, placed in the neck and "middle" positions... One of these in good condition will obviously fetch a higher price, just because! However, I recommend looking for a 60s model with more of a flamed top, and the "staple" p'ups in neck/bridge position as a great sounding bass you'll enjoy playing!

    The price range is quite large though... You will likely find more Hofners in the UK and Europe than the states as well (IME).

    Good hunting!

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