60ies Höfner Beatles Violin Bass; restored to former glory!

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by GuitarIV, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    What's up everyone,

    my grandpa used to be a musician, first guitar player and later bassist, he passed a Framus Hollywood and a Höfner Violin Bass from the 60ies on to me.

    The instruments were both in a pretty rough shape, the Framus had no fret life left in it and grandpa cut a hole through the headstock so he could thread a shoestring for the strap through it. He also cut off the top horn on the Höfner bass in order to be able to fit it in the Framus guitar case, the Höfner has a shorter scale, he butchered the inside of the case and cut the horn until it would fit inside. :'D

    Now some people might cry out "sacrilege" but you gotta understand that back in the day, especially in the former communist federal republic of Yugoslavia, these things didn't have any value to them. They had to be practical and do the job and since people didn't have the luxury of getting their hands on gear easily (you had to have someone working abroad that could import instruments and amplifiers for you) you had to be creative.

    He still earned enough money as a member of a top 40 cover band playing popular music on the terraces in summer to build our house in Croatia. As a matter of fact he made more money with the gigs than from his monthly salary as a woodworker.

    Anyway, my luthier just sent me these pics:

    IMG-20191219-WA0001.jpg IMG-20191219-WA0002.jpg IMG-20191219-WA0003.jpg IMG-20191219-WA0004.jpg IMG-20191219-WA0005.jpg IMG-20191219-WA0006.jpg

    Looks as if it never had anything done to it.

    Unfortunately I can't get my hands on it right now as money is tight and I had no ETA on when it would be finished, he messaged me out of surprise so I can't give you any more details right now, the pics will have to do.

    Here's the Framus:

    20170621_200018.jpg 20170621_175705.jpg 20170621_180207.jpg 20170621_210740.jpg


    I am happy that both instruments are playable again. I also have a Vox Solid State Foundation Bass amp gramps left me, we restored that years ago. I need to find a proper bass cab for it.

    I will play these and make music with them. They might not be rare collectors items but just the fact that these instruments are almost 60 years old and helped to build a house and feed a family, they have lots of sentimental value.

    Last time I was in Croatia I played a few tunes on an acoustic for my grandpa and we sang together, he cried tears. It was beautiful.

    Just wanted to share,

    cheers!
     
  2. scott-colorado2016

    scott-colorado2016 Active Member

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    That is a cool story. I sure hope the happy ending finances come your way soon. :applause:
     
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  3. mcblink

    mcblink Well-Known Member

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    Once again, here's to grandpa: :cheers:
     
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  4. axe4me

    axe4me Well-Known Member

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    About 25 years ago, I had a chance to buy a used Hofner Beatle bass through CL.

    The seller told me it was in great shape.

    It was $200.00:applause:

    Well, it was a late Sunday night and I drove to Ocean, NJ.

    When I saw the bass, it was nowhere near great shape.

    The checking was so severe that the finish looked like a parched desert sand.

    It was cracked and resembled an alligator skin.

    I passed.

    On my way home, I was speeding and went through a traffic light and a cop was right there.

    He stopped me and asked, "why are you speeding and going through a light in my town?"

    "I told him that I was checking out a bass and it wasn't right and I had to get home in a hurry."

    He asked, "what kind of bass was it?" as I gave him my license.

    "It's a Hofner and it was in terrible condition."
    He checked out my license, came back to my car and told me. "go home and drive safe.":applause:
    Moral, be careful; don't buy crap on a whim and tell the truth.:agreed:
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
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  5. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any pics from before the restorations? They're so nice now it's impossible to tell what they were like before.

    I'm glad you kept the added headstock hole. I'd be tempted to get an acoustic strap for that old rockabilly feeling.
    ---------------------
    One of my grandfathers died before I was born, but I have his violin and sort of feel a connection to him through it.
     
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  6. custom53

    custom53 Well-Known Member

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    I had a early Hofner back in the early 1970's when I was in the Military.. But it wasn't a Bass.. It was A 6 string Guitar..

    Hofner and Me.jpg
     
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  7. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    That is one funky guitar one of a kind . Who has the guts to design a guitar that looks like a violin . Do not sell it a real work of art
     
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  8. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    The baby is home! :D

    Unfortunately I can't find any pics from before the restoration right now, I'll have to dig around my external harddrive, if I find em I'll post em :)

    Looks sweet man!

    Never ever selling this thing. Neither is the Framus going. Both will be played and stay in the family :)


    Anyway guys, bass is home:

    IMG-20191224-WA0028.jpg IMG-20191224-WA0029.jpg IMG-20191224-WA0032.jpg

    I really really like the way it plays. I am actually able to properly jam on it for the first time, the neck joint with the body had come loose cause the glue had given up after almost 60 years, that is fixed now, action is nice and low.

    It's strung with Höfner roundwounds, I never played these strings before but they feel nice and are apparently original to these basses. Acoustically the thing is quite loud, amplified it has a defined tone with some edge to it.

    The shorter scale makes it amazing to play easy if you're a guitar player. I had full scale basses in hands before and man I had a bad time. With this one it's super easy.

    Light as a feather too. Who knows, maybe I go find a second band that needs a bassist now that I have this baby back and in working condition :D

    To all unfamiliar, McCartney played one of these:

    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
     
  9. stringtree

    stringtree Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful history, family, instruments and share! :dude:

    I've had the pleasure of owning a Hofner violin bass as well as the Hofner Club bass.
    Fantastic instruments to play. Easy on the shoulders too!
     
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  10. scott-colorado2016

    scott-colorado2016 Active Member

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    "She sure is a beauty, Clark."
    Very nice!
     
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  11. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    Those tuners look vicious
     
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  12. Trumpet Rider

    Trumpet Rider Well-Known Member

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    Glad to see the Hofner is home. That is a beautiful bass and it looks like it would be a blast to play.
     
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  13. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Very cool. Looks incredible and neat story!!

    Hey he was from Yugoslavia? So was my gram on mom's side. Came here in 1912 about 6 months after Titanic sank. On the Carpathia, the ship that rescued some Titanic passengers.
     
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  14. Drinkingdeath01

    Drinkingdeath01 Well-Known Member

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    Great story and great history on some fine instruments. Enjoy those forever !!!
     
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  15. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    It is so rare you have a link to your past . Most people don’t .
     
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  16. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, from Croatia to be precise. Lots of people left in the 19th and 20th century. They went to the US, Kanada, Australia, Irland etc. There was a lot of work and money to be made. I have relatives in Australia :)

    I myself ended up in Austria. The war in the 90ies forced my parents to leave. My dad was fighting for a year until he realized he was just cannon fodder, luckily we had a friend in Vienna who could provide him and my mum with a job so he could get out. I pretty much grew up in Austria. My grandparents still live in Croatia, I hope I can return one day!

    And I'm really loving the Höfner. So lightweight and comfortable with the shorter scale, definitely a guitar players bass. Sounds great too!
     
  17. custom53

    custom53 Well-Known Member

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    But I did have to sell mine. Being in the Military back then and being broke went hand in hand. I needed some cash so I sold it. Way to chaep. $60 with the Hofner Case and Hofner Strap. I sold it back in 1972.. I really wish I could have kept it. It was cool to play and it is worth Way More than what I sold it for to a Pawn Shop..
     

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