The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Hofner Cavern Bass LH 500/1 1961 Reissue Sunburst, 2015

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Here’s something a little different – a Hofner Cavern Bass LH, the left handed version of the classic 500/1 violin bass!

The Hofner Cavern bass model 500/1 appeared in 1961, though that was not its name – from its first appearance at the 1956 Frankfurt Musikmesse, it was known simply as the Violin Bass. The bass earned its ‘Cavern’ moniker through frequent use in the Liverpool Cavern Club by a young bassist named Paul McCartney in The Beatles.

While the Hofner Cavern Bass LH is based on the Violin bass, there are some differences – the back is flat rather than arched, and the two pickups are mounted in the neck and middle positions, rather than neck and bridge positions. This increases the bass output of the ‘Treble’ pickup and was used from 1957 to 1962. The top on these is Spruce, with laminate Flame Maple for the back and sides, and Flame Maple and Beech for the neck. The fingerboard and bridge are Indian Rosewood.

This example dates to 2015 and is in overall good condition and is completely playable. The finish is in very nice clean condition, with just a couple of very small finish chips on the back edge of the top of the head – always a vulnerable spot.   The bridge-side pickup ring is split about halfway along its length, on the neck side.   Fret wear is light – it is strung with flatwounds and this extends fret life, as well as providing a satisfying ‘thud’.    

As a 30 inch or short scale bass and with its light weight, this is a very comfortable bass to play.

The original Hofner hard shell case is included.

Here is Hofner on the history of the Hofner Cavern bass:

“The Hofner 500/1 Violin Bass was designed by Walter Hofner and launched at the Frankfurt Music Messe in 1956. It has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable electric bass guitars in the music world in terms of both looks and sound.

The Hofner 500/1 ‘Cavern’ Violin Bass takes it’s name from the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. Opened in 1957 this Club was one of the most important small clubs in Europe for bands trying to make it big in the Beatboom era. In 1960 the first beat night session was held featuring Rory Storm and the Hurricanes with Ringo Starr on drums and by mid 1961 the Merseybeat scene was in full flow with the Beatles and the Cavern Club centre stage.

Inspired by the original 1961 model which was purchased by Paul McCartney in Hamburg. Fully hollow body. Original ’61 Neck profile. Also available in left-handed version. “

Price: $3950 CAD
  • Model: Cavern Bass Left Handed 500/1
  • Year: 2015
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: R05083
  • Country of Origin: Germany
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 25/07/2019
  • Left Handed

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 5.3lbs 2.4kg
  • Scale Length: 762mm 30in
  • Nut Width: 41mm 1.61in
Hofner Website

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