The Bass-ment

Building the Hofner Beatle Bass


This may be old news, but I was watching the Beatles' First US Visit cd the other night with friends who hadn't seen it before and one of them found this very cool 16 minute video of building the 500/1 bass. Gretsch should make a video like this.

Edit: this links to a different version as the one I saw had Beatles cover versions as a soundtrack; this has weird stately piano music. I'd listen to it playing "Live at the BBC" instead.


Love videos like this



Makes me want a real one !!



Makes me want a real one !!

– RustyG

Same here! Great video, thanks for posting.


This was great! I imagine making a Gretsch guitar is a very similar process. I was surprised that most of it was handmade without the use of current technology.


And I was surprised to see that the guy cut the fret slots and drilled the holes for the fret markers free hand. I guess the wooden plank he pressed against the fretboard gave him some guidelines, but still ...


I think the guy doing the slots and dots is Dieter Fischer, who's been there at least 50 years, and was making archtops and violin basses when they were just 'what Hofner made', rather than retro or reissue stuff.

Nice to see a hand-finished neck-pocket - some have 'match numbers' on the heel and socket when you take them apart to re-make the hide glue joint. No big woodscrew required here, or bits of cardboard, or glue-and-sawdust.

Great to see some nice flamed maple too.


Nut slots freehanded too! Impressive...


And to think that Paul McCartney chose a Hofner because it was "cheaper" than a Fender....That and you could flip it over and set it up for left handed playing easier.


Wow. That's was great! Thanks for posting, lx.



I wonder if they have that very same music playing in the background at the shop . . .


Wow - first string it up, then install the pickups and electronics. And yeah, surprising that the frets and nut are cut freehand.

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