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Real Beatle bass or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Herm, Nov 5, 2000.


  1. So I see this ad in one of the local papers that says "really old bass $135". I call the number in the ad and this 80 year old man tells me that he thinks it's called a beatle bass, and he's had it for 35 years. I go over ther to look at it, and sure enough it's a beatle bass style, but no decal that has the brand name. I know quite a bit about basses, but not beatle basses. The neck had a serious bow to it, not a problem, and it had a two tone sunburst finish. I was hoping to get one of those "finds" - you know, when you get somebody that has an instrument of value - but doesn't know squat about it. I found a 1958 Gibson Flying "V" that way for $1,000, kept it for 10 years, and sold it for $50,000, so I always keep my eyes open for that kind of stuff.
    What are good identifying characteristics of a true Hofner beatle bass that would help me to determine if it is in fact one? I know some of you guys out there know because I've sold some strings to some of you. I need to know kind of fast, because I'm sure he won't have it too much longer.
     
  2. Here's a picture of a Real 1964 Hofner- Take a Close Look- It went for $145,000 at auction. The most defining features are the Headstock, the binding, and how can you miss those far-out tone controls?
    [​IMG]

    [Edited by reedo35 on 11-05-2000 at 01:07 AM]
     
  3. reedo35,

    Thanks man, the bass I looked at was no where near what the bass in your picture looks like. I finally offered the guy $50 for his bass. He probably thought I was crazy, but then he sold me his Gibson archtop guitar for $100. A guitar he said was something he played in a army band during World war 2. Whatever. I'm sure it's not that old, but it is a 50's Gibson, and I'm sure I'll make money from it. My problem is that when I get a hold of a guitar like that - I can't sell it, that's when the wife steps in - well we know who wears the pants in the family.

    Thanks!


    Herm
     
  4. Why would anyone pay good money for a Hofner Beatle bass? I had one in the 60's and it was a dog by todays standards. Recently I played a brand new one. Yep, STILL a dog! The neck is too narrow, the strings too close together, the intonation is OK so long as you stay down on the first five frets, etc, etc. McCartney only picked it cos it was the only thing available to him in Germany that could be restrung lefty, without looking ridiculous.
     
  5. maxoges

    maxoges

    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hey hey hey watch you mouth there man! :)
    You know if you're gonna play those old sixties tunes you have to have the right sound.
    By the way you can fix the intonation if you let a pro handle the bass. I had my bridge filed down(!) and the action is now smooth and very easy to play, even above the 12th fret.
    Of course if im gonna play funk or modern music i use my Stingray 5 or my active Fernandes.
    Take it easy

    [Edited by maxoges on 11-05-2000 at 04:44 AM]
     
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Actually, I have a hankering for a Hofner. I'd probably be satisfied with a copy, though. It's in the same height in my wish list as an ashbory bass...

    Will C.:cool:
     
  7. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Every so often...the mood to buy a "Beatle bass" comes over me....
    but then...it passes....:)
     
  8. Bernie

    Bernie

    Dec 12, 1999
    FWIW Anyone interested in a "Beatle" bass should try the Epi Viola version.Ive not been able to find/try one yet but they're supposed to be real nice basses.Folks that have played both prefer it over the Hofner.
     
  9. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Of all the Hohner clones out there....The Rogue...is actually supposed to be the most faithful copy. I have also heard that ALL the copies, regardless of brand, come from the same factory......"Samick".
     
  10. Maxoges, I was there in the sixties, why would I still want to be playing that stuff?
     
  11. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Just a guess...:)....but maybe because, it is still good music that people enjoy...:)
     
  12. maxoges

    maxoges

    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    It's up to indvidual taste I guess. I like playing those beatles covers. Some call out for that hofner tone some don't. Like I said I use three different basses for lot's of diffrent music ( I only play the sixties stuff in one band). I just wanted everybody to know that the intonation on a hofner bass can be close to perfect or perfect if you let a pro do the work.
     
  13. Big wheel said in an earlier post

    <<Actually, I have a hankering for a Hofner. I'd probably be satisfied with a copy, though.>>

    Hey Big Wheel,

    If you want, I'll see if the guy still has it. I mean, it's in really good shape and I can fix the bow in the neck. It's probably just a matter of a truss rod adjusment. The most it would cost is $135 plus shipping if you want it.


    Herm
     
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Thanks, Herm, but no. I said that the Hofner copy is as high on my list an an ashbory. What I ommitted to say is that they're not as high on my list as other things. I appreciate the thought, though.

    Will C.:cool: