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If Leo had died before 51 would Hofner produce the world's favorite bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Doctor Intrepid, May 25, 2019.


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  1. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    Given the thread on Hofner and Macca the other day I know people love to speculate on TB. So the question is if Leo had died before making the Precision would the 500/1 be the world's favorite bass?

    Why would it be? Well Macca for one. Two, if you hold the Rickenbacker 4000 to be distinct from the 4001 and 4003, then the 500/1 is the only bass, alongside the Precision, that has been consistently manufactured since the 50s. Finally, despite the anecdotal perception of folks on TB Hofner is one of the largest guitar manufacturers in the world. Google it!

    Now some may argue that there have been no 500/1 with the Precision, but I disagree. Other companies were experimenting with electric basses so there is no reason to think that the existence of the electric bass depends on Leo. Also, the Hofner has some novel design elements. For example, it was the first electric bass to be produced with two pickups.

    Feel free to post pics of your 500!1s! IMG_20190224_1309026.
     
  2. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    No. Somebody else would have come up with a bass that you can play 8 consecutive notes at the same volume. Hofners have a very unique sound, but you have to learn how to play a Hofner evenly.
     
  3. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    That's not been my experience. How strange.
     
    Hand slap and Beej like this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    If Leo had died before 51 would Hofner produce the world's favorite bass?
    indubitably. and if he had died at childbirth: hofnercaster, hofnermaster, yada yada. it's fairly clear, right? ;)
    00 images2b3.
    mccartney would go on to play a Phofner: black, unlined fretless with PJ config, a strap-button extender, yada yada. i'm pretty sure about that much. :D
     
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  5. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Ya, because a Hofner bass would even exist. What if CF Martin was never born would Orville Gibson have made cars instead of Henry Ford and would Les Paul have worked on the railroad all the live long day?
     
    MartLou, GreyEagle, Manxman and 4 others like this.
  6. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Fender didn't make the first electric bass.
     
  7. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Yes, I am well aware.
     
  8. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    No.
     
  9. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    Thank you for the detailed and thoughtful response!
     
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Unlikely. Hofners have personality, but have numerous issues, especially for modern music. Likely Gibson, Epiphone, or another larger American company would have filled the void.
     
    D-G, davidprice, bobyoung53 and 4 others like this.
  11. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    But Gibson has not had a bass model in production as long as the 500/1. So you may think the 500/1 has numerous issues, but it's long production history attests otherwise.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    As the other thread has gone through, Horner likely owes as much to Sir Paul as it does the quality/practicality of its instruments. Also, of Fender wasn't making basses (the topic of this thread), Gibson likely would have been a LOT bigger in the bass market.
     
    B-Mac, jackn1202, bobyoung53 and 2 others like this.
  13. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    A guy named Phil Starsky would have filled that void. But what wouldn’t have been commonly known, is that most of Phil’s iconic design elements he culled from his mother’s sister, aunt Sylvia, an Idiot Savant who mastered pizzicato technique on the Cello.
    They were a happy, if somewhat benignly disfunctional family.
     
    Cutter8 and Doctor Intrepid like this.
  14. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    For sure. Macca is a reason I sight, but keep in mind that the 500/1 seems more successful than any Gibson bass design. Maybe only the SG/EB3 is close.
     
  15. bassstrangler

    bassstrangler

    Mar 2, 2015
    Thankfully he didn't die before 51.
     
  16. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    Lol. That's not in the spirit of the thread!
     
    Glenn Mac likes this.
  17. After Leo, if Macca had died in 1966, then would Gibson have produced the world's favorite bass?
     
    B-Mac and Need Gigs like this.
  18. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    Oh no! The equation is too complicated now!
     
    Glenn Mac likes this.
  19. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    Glad you liked it.
     
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If your parents would have never met, who would ask meaningless theoretical questions on Talkbass instead?

    Just kidding....there's plenty of people who would.

    :D
     

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