It should be noted that Hofner did not included serial numbers on early 500/1 basses however many distributors added their own serial numbers to the headstock or near the tailpiece.Dating Vintage Hofner basses is always tricky as transitions were often gradual and older parts can appear on newer models depending on parts supplies and other factors.
It's a good thing Mc Cartney visited Steinway's Music otherwise the Beatles might be known for using a Fender or Rickenbacker bass !
The 500/1 was unveiled in 1956 at the Frankfurt Music Fair.
It's ironic but the 500/1 was not available in the UK until 1963.
In 1961 Paul Mc Cartney purchased a left handed Hofner 500/1 Violin Bass from Steinway's Music in Hamburg Germany, an event that would make Hofner a recognized brand word wide.
As the popularity of Mc Cartney's band increased, the 500/1 Hofner violin bass earned it's nick name "the Beatle Bass" forever linked to the most popular band of the 20th century.
500/1 necks were originally quite fat using solid maple but truss rods were added later to allow a smaller stronger neck.
Pickups were originally positioned in traditional neck and bridge locations however in pickups were moved together in late 56 close to the neck however they were moved apart again in 1962 to improve tone.
The 500/1 featured a hollow body, flat back (until 1962), light weight and short 30" scale.
The back and sides were made of laminated flamed maple with a solid spruce top. The fret board was made from Brazilian or Indian rosewood and had 20 frets (the 1957 models had 21 frets). Early Hofner basses used strip style tuners however later models used individual tuning machines.