Hi all. I purchased a Hofner bass guitar at a flea market last weekend. Here is some information I found on the internet,
"1984 Hofner Model 500/1 Bass Guitar, assembled from the Hofner Kit
Between late 1983 and early 1988, Hofner offered a kit of parts from which a complete 500/1 bass could be assembled by the purchaser. Kits were also offered during the same period for a classical guitar, the Hofner Shorty model, and two grades of violin. The bolt-on neck identifies this as being a kit bass. Presumably Hofner wanted to make assembly as simple as possible, and so steered away from a set-neck as used on all other types of 500/1".
I have pulled the pick-ups and have taken a look around the inside and I can not find any markings other than the name Allison written in red ink. I have also googled Hofner bass images and I have not seen another with the black pick guard and controll plate. Is there someone here who might know a little more about these Hofner basses? On top of knowing more about a specific date of this guitar, I am interested to know an approximate value. It appears to have been constructed well, and the only issue I have with it at the moment is all of the stickers. I plan to heat them with a hair dryer and peel them off soon. My fingers are crossed for no tan lines. Any information is appreciated and thank you.
Another thing that I find a bit off about this bass is that the images I have found of the kit models all have a thick (rather ugly) circular head stock logo, where this one has the traditional white logo which appears to have been a water slide and then laqured over. This kit (if it did not come finished) was most certainly done by a professional.
I'll only address the value.
I think it's been discussed here many times, but this forum isn't a good place to determine value.
The used guitar market is so volatile right now that last week's estimates may seem overpriced this week. The 'used' market is also considered 'healthy' compared to the true vintage market. It's bleak everywhere unless you own a pre-war Martin or Gibson.
From a "value" perspective, what you have is a kit guitar. Nothing more and nothing less. Regardless of who marketed it or produced the components (most likely they were produced in Asia with '83-88 NOT being a good time for "quality out of Asia) , it was a kit that was assembled by someone of unknown skill. Even though you will tweak it out and have it playing & sounding great, it still will have no value beyond that of a kit guitar.
Here's a good example: A used USA made late model American Standard Strat (standard solid color, & stock everything else) in Ex.condition goes for about $750-$850.
A fully bound Koa bodied Warmoth kit strat w/ a rosewood neck, ebony board, boutique plutonium powered pickups, NASA approved electronics & Callaham hardware [essentially the ultimate Strat kit] that cost $2.5k to assemble will only sell for about $350-$500.
Why? Brand loyalty & marketing. Does the Warmoth have the potential to outshine the Strat in tone, materials & playability? Heck yes. Will it bring a better price in the used market. Sadly, no. It all has to do with public perception.
Unfortunately, the buyers that will be interested in it as a Beatle bass copy (younger players looking for the 'cool' factor) will have very thin wallets. The serious collectors' money will appreciate it for it's "oddity" factor, but won't spend any serious cash on it.
There IS a third type of buyer and that's the one I hope you find. That is: the Beatle Bass collector that only needs the "kit version" to complete his/her collection. I hope you find that one as that's (imo) the only way that bass will crack $200. Realistically, the old cliche' "It's only worth what someone will give you for it" comes into play.
The bolt on neck is a real deal killer as far as desirability & vintage correctness go.
I really hope that my estimates are completely wrong and that someone will chime-in with a counter argument.
Best of luck with your project and I hope its sale price exceeds your wildest expectations (-:
p.s. Try using naptha instead of heat to remove the sticker. It's MUCH safer, faster and better. (:
Thanks Paul. I recall these value questions going on before and you are right. I was a bit sheepish about even posting about the value, but then figured 'why not'. I will most likely throw it to the wolves on ebay and see what happens, I have been both plesantly surprised and very disappointed in the past. It amazes me that I am seeing people asking 1 to 2 K for a 1960's Gibson LG 0. You can certainly never tell what will happen. I appreicate the naptha recommend. I haven't used it before, but I assume testing an area in the neck pocket would be a safe first move.?. Thanks and best to you Paul.
No need to test the naptha Matt. It's an industry standard procedure. I've used Naphtha to clean everything from a pre-war Martins to a '59 burst, '61 335, just about everything.
Just don't light a match when you're using it.(:
Have a GREAT week Matt (-: