Sweetwater is delighted to welcome Hofner to the fold. With a proud heritage dating back to the 1880s, Hofner will forever be associated with the “Beatle bass,” Paul McCartney’s violin-shaped instrument of choice during the band’s formative years. Paul actually had two 500/1 basses (made in 1961 and 1963) and still uses the ’63 to this day — a fitting testimony to this German company’s outstanding build quality.
Hofner started out making violins in 1887. This family company’s brand recognition grew throughout Europe, and after the first World War, it expanded into export markets and soon developed a worldwide reputation as a maker of high-quality stringed instruments. In the 1930s, Hofner began to make guitars, and after weathering the hardships of World War II, it found itself well positioned for the birth of rock ’n’ roll.
With American instruments expensive and hard to come by, Hofner’s reputation for well-made, affordable guitars caught the attention of the artists of the burgeoning 1960s European music scene. It’s said that Keith Richards’s and John Lennon’s first electric guitars were Hofners, and that Eric Clapton learned to play guitar on a Hofner acoustic. ’Nuff said.
From classical to jazz to rock, Hofner has you covered!