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Cool and classic basses: Hofner Senator

The sound of the early '60s beat boom

Originally produced as the 500/3 in the late fifties, it took Hofner's London-based distributor, Selmer's of Charing Cross Road, to introduce model names and thus baptise this f-holed beauty.

When the standard control plate was dropped in favour of surface mounted controls and thebody depth was reduced, it was given the name Senator, bringing it in line with the guitar. Most of Hofner's instruments were subjected to many design tweaks in order to keep them as up to date as possible.

Although similar in design to the Club Bass it had a bigger body, and the Nova-Sonic pickup offers the screw and staple design that in hindsight was one of the best pickups Hofner ever produced.

It gave a well-balanced and rich tone, plus plenty of that famous Hofner bass thump that could really shake the room. After constant use, the scratchplate tended to get loose due to the constant vibrations, so many players removed them.

The treble clef on the headstock dates our example as pre-1964, as then the dagger like shape replaced it. Additionally, if you wanted to buy a plush-lined case, it would set you back more than a third of the price of the bass. Nice.

Read our full Hofner Senator profile.


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