Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Body of a Hofner 500/1 LH with sunburst finish

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars 2023 – An Iconic Classic

by Chris

March 3, 2023

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Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by Chris

Does Hofner Make Left Handed Guitars or Basses?

At the time of writing, there are no left handed Hofner guitars. There are, however, eight left handed Hofner bass guitars available.

Well-known lefty Hofner players include Paul McCartney (The Beatles) and Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats). Other players include Johanna Söderberg (First Aid Kit), Uli Jon Roth (The Scorpions), and Paul Weller.

Find out more below, or go straight to the bass guitars.

Who is Hofner?

Hofner is a German guitar brand that was established in 1887 by luthier Karl Höfner in Schönbach, Bohemia (now Luby, Czech Republic). Initially, Hofner manufactured a wide range of stringed instruments, including mandolins, violins, and cellos. However, in the 1950s, the company shifted its focus to electric guitars and basses, which would become its signature products.

In 1956, Hofner introduced the 500/1 Violin Bass, a violin-shaped bass guitar that was popularized by lefty guitar player Paul McCartney (The Beatles). This bass, which later became known as the”Beatle Bass”, became an iconic instrument in the early years of rock and roll and remains so to this day.

A page from Music Player Magazine (December 1982) featuring an article on The Beatles.
Image from the Hofner digital archive

The years between 1965 and 1970 saw a decline in sales for Hofner, due to American guitar manufacturers taking away some of their market share, due to the lifting of import restrictions to the UK. During this time, Hofner began to focus on orchestral stringed instruments to bring in more sales for the company.

The 1970s and 1980s were a difficult time for Hofner, as competition from Japanese, and later Chinese, manufacturers entered the market, producing lower-costing instruments, ultimately causing the company to be sold to British music company Boosey & Hawkes in 1994.

In 2003 Boosey & Hawkes sold off several of their music instrument manufacturers, which included Hofner, to a British investment consortium named The Music Group (TMG), but they soon decided to sell off the individual companies they’d bought.

By the end of 2004, Hofner was bought by Klaus Schöller and his wife Ulrike Schrimpff. Schöller was the former general manager at Hofner, and his wife had been Finance Director at Hofner since 1995.

Hofner workshop in China, Image from the Hofner digital archive

Hofner then invested in its overseas manufacturing operations, opening a branch office in Beijing. Nowadays, Hofner’s student-level instruments are built there, while the medium-priced and master-built instruments are made in Hagenau, Germany.

Hofner has a rich history in the world of guitar-making. From their iconic violin-shaped basses to their versatile electric and acoustic guitars, Hofner today focuses on their Green Line range, using native tonewoods and environmentally friendly finishes.

What Do I Think of Hofner Basses?

There’s no doubt that Hofner has cemented its place in history, especially with lefty-playing Paul McCartney being famous for using their basses. McCartney is also known for playing Yamaha, Fender, and Rickenbacker basses, among others, as well as Epiphone, Gibson, and Martin guitars, among others.

In fact, my only point of reference to Hofner is McCartney! I’m a big fan of The Beatles though, and consequently, I’m a fan of the Violin Bass. Sir Paul has played his 500/1 on countless songs in the ’60s and in doing so, Hofner has made an indelible contribution to rock and pop history!

Different Types of Hofner Guitars & Basses

Electric Basses

  • Violin Bass
  • Club Bass
  • Shorty Bass
  • Shorty Violin Bass
  • Verythin Bass

Electric Guitars

  • Leader Guitars
  • Verythin Guitars
  • Shorty Guitars

Classical & Acoustic Guitars

  • Carmencita
  • Classic Series
  • Green Line Series
  • Master Series
  • Acoustic
  • Limited Edition

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars

Hofner Violin Bass 500/1 LH

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Hofner Violin Bass 500/1

Handmade in Germany

The Hofner 500/1 violin bass, designed by Walter Hofner, was launched at the Frankfurt Music Messe in 1956. It’s one of the most recognizable electric bass guitars ever!

Specs:

  • TOP: Spruce
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: 3-Piece Set Neck – Flamed Maple / Beech / Flamed Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 21 mm at 1st fret, 24 mm at 12th fret.
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with White binding, and Pearl Dot inlays.
  • NUT TYPE: Plastic
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Single Nickel with plastic buttons
  • BRIDGE: Ebony with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • WEIGHT: 2.1 KG (4.6 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Hofner Violin Bass ‘Artist’ LH

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Violin Bass 'Artist' LH with a Sunburst finish

Handade in Germany

Based on the 500/1 model, made in 1963, with twin “Staple” pickups, 2-on-a-strip tuners, a fully hollow body, and a slim unbound short-scale 2-piece neck.

The flame maple back and sides with spruce top, along with its flatwound strings help to provide the authentic tone of a traditional 500/1 bass. Relive the 1960s with this fantastic bass!

Specs:

  • TOP: Spruce
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • BODY FINISH: Sunburst
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: Set Neck – 2-piece Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 21 mm at 1st fret, 24 mm at 12th fret.
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with Pearl Dot inlays.
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Strip Nickel with plastic buttons
  • BRIDGE: Ebony with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • WEIGHT: 2.1 KG (4.6 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Hofner Violin Bass ‘Mersey’ LH

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Violin Bass Mersey

Handmade in Germany

A re-issue of the hollow body bass made in 1963 for Paul McCartney, which features a two-piece neck, with two-on-a-strip tuners with a ’63 Hofner neck profile. This bass is fitted with flatwound strings for a fully authentic look and sound of the early 1960s.

Specs:

  • TOP: Spruce
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: Violin Bass Set Neck 2-piece Flamed Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 22 mm at 1st fret, 26 mm at 12th fret.
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with Pearl Dot inlays.
  • NUT TYPE: Plastic
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Strip Nickel with plastic buttons
  • BRIDGE: Ebony with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • WEIGHT: 2.1 KG (4.6 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Hofner Violin Bass 61 LH – Vintage Finish

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Violin Bass - 61 with a Vintage Finish

Handmade in Germany

A special Vintage Violin Bass created by Hofner’s violin lacquer master! It’s beautifully aged to look authentically vintage using secret special varnishes.

Inspired by the bass made for Paul McCartney in 1961, each of these basses is totally unique, due to the detailed aging process done by hand.

Made to Order only. Contact your dealer.

Specs:

  • TOP: Spruce (Arched)
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • BODY FINISH: Vintage
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: Set Neck – 3-piece Flamed Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 21 mm at 1st fret, 24 mm at 12th fret.
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with Pearl Dot inlays.
  • NUT TYPE: Plastic
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Single Nickel with plastic buttons
  • BRIDGE: Ebony with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Cavern Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Cavern Nickel
  • WEIGHT: 2.1 KG (4.6 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Hofner Violin Bass Vintage Finish – 63 LH

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Violin Bass - 63 with a Vintage Finish

Handmade in Germany

Inspired by the bass made in 1963 for Paul McCartney featuring the beautifully aged vintage finish created by Hofner’s violin lacquer master, using secret special varnishes.

Every bass is unique, due to the hand-finished aging process.

Made to Order only. Contact your dealer.

Specs:

  • TOP: Spruce
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • BODY FINISH: Vintage
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: Set Neck – 2-piece Flamed Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 21 mm at 1st fret, 24 mm at 12th fret.
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with Pearl Dot inlays.
  • NUT TYPE: Plastic
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Strip Nickel with plastic buttons
  • BRIDGE: Ebony with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel
  • WEIGHT: 2.1 KG (4.6 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Violin Bass 61 ‘Cavern’ LH

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Violin Bass - 61 Cavern

The Hofner 500/1 ‘Cavern’ Violin Bass takes its name from the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

It opened in 1957 and was one of the most important small clubs in Europe, famously introducing the world to the magic of The Beatles!

This bass is inspired by the original 1961 model purchased by Paul McCartney in Hamburg.

Specs:

  • TOP: Spruce
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: Set Neck – 3-piece Flamed Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 21 mm at 1st fret, 24 mm at 12th fret.
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with Pearl Dot inlays.
  • NUT TYPE: Plastic
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Single Nickel with plastic buttons
  • BRIDGE: Ebony with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Cavern Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Cavern Nickel
  • WEIGHT: 2.1 KG (4.6 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Hofner Violin Bass – Ignition PRO LH – Sunburst

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Violin Bass - Ignition PRO with a Sunburst Finish

Made in Germany

The Ignition Pro Edition is based on the Höfner violin basses from the 1970s. Hollow-bodied, with the classic Hofner control panel, and a wooden bridge with a trapeze tailpiece, these basses are fitted with Hofner flatwound strings for a unique 60s sound.

Get that distinctive deep and resonant Hofner bass tone with this modestly priced bass.

Available in the USA only.

Specs:

  • TOP: Spruce
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • BODY FINISH: Sunburst
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: Set Neck 1-piece Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 21 mm at 1st fret, 22 mm near heel.
  • FINGERBOARD: Thermo-modified Jatoba with White binding, and Dot inlays.
  • NUT TYPE: Plastic
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Single Nickel with Pearl finish buttons
  • BRIDGE: Rosewood with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Ignition Staple Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Ignition Staple Nickel
  • WEIGHT: 2.3 KG (5.1 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Hofner Club Bass 500/2 Sunburst LH

Left Handed Hofner Bass Guitars - Club Bass 500/2 with a Sunburst finish

Handmade in Germany

Inspired by the original Hofner 500/2 model first introduced in 1965. Its short scale 30″ neck and lightweight hollow body help this bass deliver full, deep, vintage bass tones.

Specs:

  • TOP: Flamed Maple
  • BACK: Flamed Maple
  • SIDES: Flamed Maple
  • BODY FINISH: Sunburst
  • SCALE: 30″ (760 mm)
  • NECK: Set Neck – Flame Maple / Beech / Flame Maple
  • JOINT AT: 16th fret
  • NECK THICKNESS: 21 mm at 1st fret, 24 mm at 12th fret.
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with White or Cream binding, and Pearl Dot inlays.
  • NUT TYPE: Plastic
  • NUT WIDTH: 42 mm
  • FRETS: 22
  • TUNERS: Single Nickel with plastic buttons
  • BRIDGE: Ebony with Hofner Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
  • NECK PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel or Hofner Diamond Nickel
  • MIDDLE PICKUP: Hofner Diamond Nickel (CV & W Version)
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Hofner Staple Nickel (Regular Version)
  • WEIGHT: 2.1 KG (4.6 lb)

Check price/availability at:

Left Handed Hofner Electric Guitars

Hofner makes a number of right handed electric guitars. However, at the time of writing, there aren’t any available to left handed players.

Left Handed Hofner Concert & Western Guitars

Although there are several Hofner concert and western guitar models available to right handed players, unfortunately, none are available in a left handed version.

Final Thoughts

At the time I write this, there are 8 Hofner basses available to left handed musicians, and although Hofner makes numerous electric, classical, and acoustic guitars, none are available in lefty versions.

These Hofner basses are iconic instruments, famous for their cool distinctive sound, with the Violin basses becoming known for their warm, earthy tone.

It’s great that a number of these are available in left handed versions, and they’re perfect for anyone wanting to recapture the sound and vibe of The Beatles and the early 60s.

What do you think of Hofner basses? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credits: hofner.com and Hofner-Archive

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