1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Thinking about getting a hofner 500/1

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by redeyeflight, Mar 4, 2016.


  1. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Im thinking about buying a hofner 500/1 Beatle bass. McCartney played one, Robbie Shakespeare played one, and Kevin Parker plays one. I don't want to spend over 2K for the Beatles era staple top pickup one. So I've mainly been looking at a later 60s into early 80s blade top pickup model. Anything I should be looking out for? Any era better than any other era? Thanks!
     
  2. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    Be sure to check that the neck has been reset for any 500/1's made between the late 60's through to the mid 80's. If it hasn't, it will probably need to be within a few years if not sooner.

    TD
     
  3. Tim1

    Tim1

    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I too am currently considering an eighties one, looks mint but will not be able to try it. This is the first I have ever heard of neck issues with them, so could you expand further please?
     
  4. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Yes I've heard that they usually need a neck reset, much like an acoustic guitar that's 30 plus years old needs. Other than that issue is there any particular reason why one might want a 70s over an 80s era one?
     
  5. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    They don't all need resets. I have several here that are fine. The newer style low profile neck heel (from '68 up to the end of standard production in '93) are less prone to needing them. Problem was, in the 60's through the 80s, until the re-emergence of Pyramid and Thomastik, there were no low tension strings available for them. You put heavy Fender flats on a Hofner, and you don't need to be a scientist or luthier to figure out what happens next...;-) The reissues ('94 to present) use better glues and hold the neck set better. The thing to look for is making sure there's still some downward adjustability at the bridge, and that the pickups will lower enough to accommodate the strings coming down some if needed. The necks themselves rarely need work, and respond well to truss adjustments. I've owned one or more Hofners since 1973, have 12 now with 2 more on the way, worked on many, and kinda know my way around them. ;-)
     
    ICM likes this.
  6. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    The 80s blade basses, though lacking the key McCartney features, are among the best playing and sounding Hofners out there, and can sometimes be had for $900-1100. A bargain.
     
  7. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Thorntons' been around the block with Hoffies too.... ;-)
     
  8. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Thanks!!! That helps a ton!
     
  9. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Anytime! PM if necessary. And most importantly, come join my FB page, 500/1 Hofner Beatles Bass.... 2,100 crazy members and growing. We're on 24/7!
     
  10. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Will do!! Especially if I end up getting one!
     
  11. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Got an early 80s Hofner headed my way...stoked!!! Will post some pics here when I get her!
     
    gsgbass likes this.
  12. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Well...she has arrived but unfortunately the action is a lot higher than i would have wished so the question now is do i get a neck reset done or try and shave down the bridge base as much as possible...
     
  13. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Not uncommon. Ideally, a reset. If you want to wait on it, then shaving the top section of the bridge assembly is the next step. Get the neck fairly straight first, and try to use a low tension/small gauge string set. Then start removing material from the underside of that top half. You'll probably need to shorten the two height adjustment studs too. All relatively easy to do.
     
  14. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Well i took it into a local shop today and it seems as though the real issue is the truss rod adjustment nut is cracked so no truss rod adjustment can be made. Hoping they can remove the old nut and affix a new one. I know its possible but i wont be the one doing it! Arg.
     
  15. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    That's fairly unusual, but probably easy to repair. Hope they nail it!
     
  16. redeyeflight

    redeyeflight

    Apr 19, 2015
    Thanks keeping my fingers crossed!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.