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PRODUCED: 1959 – Early Seventies
TYPE: Single cutaway semi hollow archtop, 4-string
BODY: Maple Bound body and f holes, German spruce top
NECK: 3-piece maple ‘Slenda-nek’, glued in, 22 jumbo frets plus zero fret
SCALE LENGTH: 813mm (32-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with pearl dot inlays
HARDWARE: Chrome trapeze tailpiece, guitar sized tuners
PICKUP: Nova-Sonic double pole, double coil unit (Staple)
CONTROLS: Volume & Tone
FEATURES: floating scratchplate, adjustable rosewood bridge with fret wire saddles, distinctive Hofner three-ply nut
FINISHES: Brunette Sunburst, Cherryburst,
COMMENTS: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.