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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / unusual Hofner Beatle bass, any info?

digiboy

New York City

Sep 5th, 2016 07:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hope the link works.
It's a publicity shot of the Beatles. In the foreground is what looks like a lefty Hofner except the pickups are both up near the neck about an inch apart.

Maybe I just never noticed but I don't recall ever seeing one like that before. Anyone know more about it? Is it a Hofner?

A Hofner? What model?

RhinoBass
Contributing Member
**********
***

Really?

Seriously?
Sep 5th, 2016 08:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's called a "cavern".

More here.

digiboy

New York City

Sep 5th, 2016 08:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah I started looking around, never noticed Paul's original Hofner was that design.

They have re-issued it since then in that style but I don't know if it's still available, and in a lefty. I kinda like it.

Danny Nader

usa

You should have been there!
Sep 5th, 2016 10:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hofner basses, especially the violin basses, are usually available as left handed models. At almost $3k retail, Hofner wants to appeal to all McCartney fans. The import models also feature 'Cavern' type spacing. These are significantly less.

Danny

super400
Contributing Member
*********

Snohomish WA USA

Look at Them Beans!
Sep 7th, 2016 05:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I recall seeing Paul with his now iconic bass along with John holding Paul's Cavern. Couldn't find it, but a very cool pic.

windmill
Contributing Member
**********
***

Australia

older,better
Sep 7th, 2016 07:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Why would the pickups be so close together ?

Danny Nader

usa

You should have been there!
Sep 8th, 2016 08:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Why would the pickups be so close together ?" Who knows why Hofner did this. Not a big deal. Macca must have liked it.

Danny

digiboy

New York City

Sep 8th, 2016 07:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Macca must have liked it."

From what I have read it was more a matter of the price, Hofners were cheap and that was the current model. Just part of the amazing perfect storm of events that Paul's first bass would be the Hofner and its unique sound would become part of the Beatles' legacy.

The pickups were relocated in the following model.

Danny Nader

usa

You should have been there!
Sep 9th, 2016 06:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Macca must have liked it."

Refers mostly to him liking the bass & not having a problem w/ the pickup placement. He wouldn't have cared. It's what was available. And you are correct. It was a cheap option for him.

Danny

6G6

Texas

Fender power to the people!
Sep 9th, 2016 07:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think I remember an interveiw where they asked him why he bought a Hofner.
His answer was pretty straightforward;
'because I couldn't afford a Fender'.

super400
Contributing Member
*********

Snohomish WA USA

Look at Them Beans!
Sep 9th, 2016 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I recall Paul indicating he liked the symmetry of the bass as it looked the same righty AND lefty.

Maybe he didn't want to stand out. ;}

Danny Nader

usa

You should have been there!
Sep 9th, 2016 09:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have often seen that quote referenced. While I suspect that is true, the availability of Fenders, Rickenbackers & Gibsons might have had as much to do w/ it. They weren't all that available. Post war restrictions were still lingering. A lot of things had to be imported on a piece by piece basis. So cost & scarcity were certainly an issue.

I personally think Macca would have got the Hofner just because of the dollar / pound aspect. He's always been portrayed as tight w/ his coin.

However, once they stopped touring, the Fenders & all sorts of instruments started showing up.

Danny

PS: I've read the 'symmetry' quote as well. We'll never know 100%, will we?

(This message was last edited by Danny Nader at 11:52 AM, Sep 9th, 2016)

wborys
OldFartBassPlayerWalt

Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Sep 9th, 2016 11:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Also weren't there weight issues for the
6 gigs a day grind?
(for the bass, not Paul)


Danny Nader

usa

You should have been there!
Sep 9th, 2016 08:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Also weren't there weight issues for the 6 gigs a day grind?" Always a factor!

And . . . you have to consider that The Beatles spent a lot of time in Germany, home of Hofner. Plus Stu had a Hofner. The reason for choosing might have been that simple. In Germany & it was available.

Danny

RhinoBass
Contributing Member
**********
***

Really?

Seriously?
Sep 10th, 2016 04:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I came very close to buying a '62 Cavern a while back. Nice bass with a great sound, but the narrow string spacing and chunky neck would've taken some getting used to.

bongo122819
Contributing Member

usa

All I need is one more guitar
Sep 28th, 2016 02:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hofner mini-rant..........

I always liked the violin design idea but have ONE MAJOR COMMENT:
After all the thought that went into designing the bass they put the Ugly Rectangular Control panel on it !
It looks completly out of character, It looks like some yutz in the factory just slapped it on wherever it might fit !
A control panel could have been artfully done....look at a Tele!
Anyhoo....that's my 2 cents.

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / unusual Hofner Beatle bass, any info?




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