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Dating Höfner/Hofner 500/1

Model year product changes of the standard-500/1 series during the 'most interesting' years (rectangular control panel) from 1960 to 1990

The common and well known Potentiometer Code* is neither the only hint nor is it unerring. All hardware items like potentiometers or contol panels can be changed...



19601961-621963-641965-6619671968-7119721973197419751976-781979-861987-891990 =>
logoHeadstock logo vertical (capitals)
'raised' plastic
lacquered decal gold
lacquered decal silver
tuner2+2 strip, open

single open
axis through wing
single closed (Kolb),
plastic wings

single closed
(Kolb)
metal wings
closed
MIJ
remake of the open tuners
nut3 layer white/black/white
all white
pickup'Toaster'

510 (diamond)

later '62:  510B
511
small frame
511
large frame
513 (blade) with engraved Hofner logo

    
513 (blade) no logo
control
panel
tortoise
cream pearl small, 32 x 105mm
cream pearl large, 40 x 104mm
pearl white
white pearl
fits small switches
potsbottom made of paper based plastic - engraved '250K' and date code*
    
pots have full metal housing
knobs'teacup' cream with concave brass inlay

black
alu top
black
(pure plastic)

swit-
ches
cream slides
black
black, small
white small
tail-
piece
long with KH-logo
long
short
long
lacquernitro cellulose
polyurethane
strap
conn.
'doglead'
metal or plastic button on neck heel
cream plastic button on neck heel
metal button
heel
end
no cover
pearl cover
cream cover stamped:
'Made in Western Germany'
short heel, rounded wood
pick-
guard
tortoise

pearl cream

white pearl with 'Höfner' Logo
white, no logo
lower end connected with a nail-like wire to a hole in  the ebony bridge
screwed on top
some early models had an
additional logo on the body
'67 model also built in
the first half of '68

Notice:

As there were many variations over the years, abovementioned data can only be indications, especially since the limits of the model-years were not very sharp. Depending on the hardware in stock, even a new model could get an item of an older one which causes an overlapping here and there.
In the old days people simply could give Hofner a phone call and they easily made custom changes. In 1967 they produced for a short time a model without a control panel (similar to the 459 violin guitar), models without headstock logo or with a longscale neck have been reported as well. Still in the eighties people could order e.g. a lefthand version of the 'shorty'-bass guitar, so it is impossible for me to cover all model variations roaming on the market.

Please be aware that many people altered their instrument, sometimes to adapt it to their belongings, sometimes simply to 'pimp' it according to the ideals of the particular time. Not less important is the fact that neither the year of purchase needs to be necessarily the year of the production nor does the pot-code* guarantee that the instrument was built in exactly the same month or year!

*The 'Preh' potentiometers used until the seventies had a two- or three-digit number following the 250K resitance value. The first one or two digits were indicating the production week (of the pot), the last digit stood for the year. e.g: 250K28=2. week 1968, 250K355=35.week 1965   For more information about that topic look here.