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Would Hofner be still in business today if not for McCartney?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lesfunk, May 23, 2019.

  1. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    as it states.
    Would Hofner still be in business producing basses (or anything really) in 2019 if McCartney had played something different 55 years ago?
  2. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    Probably not
  3. Usidore T Blue

    Usidore T Blue

    Jun 28, 2017
    They would be even more fetishized than they are now, but by fewer people, and the 60's copies would not exist since there was no Beatles to create the market. There is no doubt that the experience and sound is unique. So I am going to say no longer manufactured by Hofner regularly, but perhaps revived occasionally by Hofner and other manufacturers, just like some of the other "affordable" weirdo basses of yesteryear?
    Lesfunk likes this.
  4. And I'll go as far to say that the Japanese wouldn't have made nearly as many Hofner copies as they did. If Paul had played a Danelectro Longhorn copies of those would be everywhere.
  5. Doubtful.
    lizardking837 likes this.
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I mean, I’m aware that Hofner produces a full line of basses and guitars, bot acoustic and electric but it seems to me that their entire legacy is pretty much based on the fact that the bass player for the Beatles found one in a pawn shop in 1963
    wmmj, SirMjac28, Fretless55 and 6 others like this.
  7. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    Hagstrom is still in business , so why would hofner not be ?
  8. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Without the recognition factor of Sir Paul , I cant imagine much of a market for what is essentially a $2900.00 novelty instrument.

    At least Hagstrom produces what is recognizable as a modern bass guitar
  9. In all honesty I'm not sure, maybe one of the other models might have got popular. I started learning on my mates verithin, 1976ish.
  10. I think they would be much less likely to be around today. I think Paul had a similar but smaller effect on Rickenbacker, who if you also cut out Geddy and Squire would have been more likely to have been bought by Gibson in the '90s and dead by now.
    mattbass6945, Sixgunn and Coolhandjjl like this.
  11. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    The very thought makes me shudder.
    TrustRod and Picton like this.
  12. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    Hofner make a whole range of instruments, including violins and acoustic/classical guitars. They'd still be around but less well-known.
    SirMjac28, Fialka, dan1952 and 3 others like this.
  13. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    Got to disagree here, I play a Hofner club bass and it is a quality instrument definitely not a novelty, I love the light weight, the big tone I get from it and it is surprisingly versatile, whenever I use it at gigs people tell me how great it sounds. FWIW I don't dial in a Mccartney tone on the bass, I use both pickups on full, low and high mids boosted slightly on my amp, always cuts through great, I have other basses this one just has such a great tone that the others stay in their cases.
  14. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    Jakarta, ID
    Subbed, interesting subject
    dalkowski likes this.
  15. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin Estimator Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    May 13, 2015
    Greenville, NC
    That's a good question. I'm thinking that Hofner would still be around based on how many 500 models they actually sold. I don't think it was a huge number. Reverb has 84 Hofner 500-1 basses listed. That may sound like a lot but there are thousands of Fender Jazz basses listed. I'm sure that there was a surge in sales back in the early 60's but that popularity died out long ago.
  16. tom-g


    Oct 2, 2007
    bassdude51 likes this.
  17. howlin


    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm Not There
    I think there's an argument to be made that neither Höfner, Ric or Gretsch for that matter would be around today if it hadn't been that they were played by the Beatles. Imagine a world where they had a contract to only play Fenders or Gibsons, who else would have be able to compete with that? Chet Atkins was definitely driving some sales for Gretsch but the other two? You could actually say that Toots Thielmans was the driving force for Ric in that John Lennon saw him playing one and wanted one too. But, Höfner...?
    instrumentlevel and Coolhandjjl like this.
  18. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
  19. Would Rock & Roll still be in business if not for The Beatles ?

    I think Hofners would be pretty rare these days if not for McCartney.
  20. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    They are the last of the old school dinosaurs as far as instrument construction, this process can’t have changed much since 1964, the tools look that old! It has a charming hand made quality, which probably has a lot to do with the insane overpricing for a full blown German Hofner. Full Employment and generous benefits for German workers. Imagine that? I’ve played all the Hofner variants, and most of the clones. The price range has almost nothing to do with actual build quality or tone. CNC works, but it’s not too “charming”. Nice little basses, but if Paul hadn’t played one, they’d be an Indonesian built curiosity.

    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    DaDo625, DJ Bebop, tyohars and 3 others like this.

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