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TYPES OF PICKUPS SUPPLIED BY HOFNER AS ACCESSORIES 

PART 1 - INDIVIDUAL PICKUPS

(From the Early 1950's up to the 1970's)

 

 

    

    

Thanks to Christian Benker for supplying the above pickup, and to Nick Wass for taking the photos. 

 

Hofner has always sold pickups as "stand-alone" accessories, i.e. for owners of Hofner and other manufacture guitars to amplify their acoustic guitars or for the replacement of existing pickups. The practice of "electrifying" archtops in particular reached a height in the mid-late 1950's and early 1960's, when owners were attracted to amplify their acoustic guitars, in line with a general increase in volume demanded from bands and groups during that period. The majority of pickups listed below therefore were intended for use on archtop guitars, and were usually fixed to the ends of fingerboards by means of screwing two tongues which were supplied attached to the pickup unit onto the side edges of the fingerboard where it overhung the guitar's body top. These "floating" pickups were raised above the body top and hence did not effect the vibrations of the body and the acoustic sound quality of the guitar. As flattop acoustic guitars increased in popularity in the 1960's, pickup types were supplied with fixings in order to clamp the unit across the soundhole, although in this case the pickup was in direct contact with the body top.

(I receive a lot of queries from owners of old archtops who are convinced that they own a Hofner because that is the name that they have found on the pickup. This is sometimes not the case as many Hofner pickups were purchased to electrify other manufacturer's archtops and flattops.)

Hofner seem to have commenced offering pickups as accessories in 1953, at approximately the same time as they started offering factory-fitted electric options on some of their archtop guitars and all their Hawaiian guitars. As a matter of policy, the types of pickup offered as accessories corresponded to a large degree with the types being fitted to electric guitars in the factory. However, the Fuma "star" type of pickup was offered as an accessory long after this type had been displaced by newer types on the factory-fitted electric guitars. 

Some models were built with micro-volume controls incorporated into the pickup unit. However, these were never very satisfactory and so larger assemblies were designed, usually incorporating a replacement metal pickguard from which the pickup(s) were suspended and which provided a mounting for full-size volume and tone potentiometers. Examples of this type of unit are featured in PART 2 of this Fact File.

Particularly during the 1950's, design development of pickup units was rapid and Hofner frequently changed the range on offer, but unfortunately tended to use the same model number from superseded pickups. This confusing situation will be very obvious from the table below!

The following suffixes were added to model numbers in order to differentiate various differences in details for a particular base model:

"K" - Fitted with socket for a detachable cable.

"A" - Fitted with 400mm long cable without plug for connection into the guitar's existing electrics or to an owner-installed jack socket. 

Very early pickups were also suffixed with "Gr" which indicated that mountings were supplied for fitting the unit to the end of the fingerboard, and "Sch" which indicated a fixing for round sound-hole guitars.

 

The majority of the following pickups types have been extracted from old Hofner and Selmer catalogues. and the illustrations used are Hofner's own. The dates quoted are my best interpretation of in-complete catalogues and price lists, and cannot therefore be guaranteed to be totally accurate. They do serve as a guide however! 


CLICK HERE TO VIEW PART 2 - PICKUP ASSEMBLIES

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW INTERNAL PHOTOS OF SOME OF THESE OLD PICKUPS
(Provided by Alan Exley of Project Guitar Parts)



CATALOGUE ILLUSTRATION

HOFNER TYPE NUMBER & APPROX YEARS OF AVAILABILITY

COMMENTS

TYPE 101

1956

For attaching to end of fingerboard, "floating" above body top.

Only offered for about a year.

TYPE 202 K

1956

For attaching to end of fingerboard, "floating" above body top. The "K" indicates a detachable cable.

Later re-designated as 502 pickup in 1957.

Selmer Catalogue No. 320 ("Hofner Popular")

TYPE 303 Sch

1956

For clamping into the soundhole of flattop acoustics. The "Sch" indicates this type of fixing

Later re-designated as 503 pickup in 1957.

Selmer Catalogue No. 345 ("Hofner Round Hole Type")

 

TYPE 303 Gr

1956

As above but with tongues for fixing to the end of the fingerboard. (as indicated by the "Gr" suffix.)

Later re-designated as 503 pickup in 1957.

Selmer Catalogue No. 352 ("Hofner Cello Type")

 

TYPE 502

1955

Presumably the first version of the Type 202/502.

Fitted with tongues for fixing to the end of an archtop guitar's fingerboard. 

TYPE 502

1957

Selmer Catalogue No. 320 ("Hofner Popular")

TYPE 502

1957

As the 1955 Type 502 above, but with a detachable cable.

SELMER CATALOGUE No 320 - 1960's Hofner "Popular" Pickup

The Selmer catalogue states this to be a "Hofner Pickup", but I haven't found any reference to it in the actual German Hofner catalogues.

TYPE 503

1957

The Type 303 with a revised type number. (?)

TYPE 503 K

1957

As above, but fitted with a detachable cable.

TYPE 504

1967

A pickup built into a classical guitar bridge. Equipped with volume control.

TYPE 505

1953

Fuma pickup with adjustable pole-pieces.

Fitted with tongues for fixing to end of archtop guitar's fingerboard.

TYPE 505

1954

Revised version of above.

TYPE 505

1956

Revised version of above.

TYPE 507

1955

A Fuma pickup, similar to those factory-fitted by Hofner to their electric archtops. This one has a clamp for fitting into the soundhole of an acoustic flattop guitar.

TYPE 507

1957

As above, but for screwing directly onto the guitar's body top.

TYPE 508

1954

As 505, but with volume and tone pots built in.

TYPE 508

1963

"Floating" pickup version of the factory fitted 510 unit.

TYPE 509

1967

For fixing into sound-hole of "Western" and other flattop acoustic guitars.

TYPE 509

1971

For fixing into sound-hole of "Western" and other flattop acoustic guitars.

TYPE 510

1955 - c1960

Stated to have an ebony body in the 1955 catalogue.

For mounting directly onto body top of guitar.

TYPE 510

1962

Single coil pickup for "floating" attachment to end of fingerboard. 

TYPE 510

1963

Single coil pickup.

"Narrow" plastic surround for attachment directly onto body top.

TYPE 510

1965

 

Single coil pickup.

"Wide" plastic surround now introduced for attachment directly onto body top.

TYPE 511

1962

Probably same single coil unit as Type 510 above.

TYPE 511

1963

Twin coil pickup.

"Narrow" plastic surround for attachment directly onto body top.

TYPE 511

1965

Twin coil pickup - similar to 1963 Type 511, but with exposed "staples".

"Wide" plastic surround now introduced for attachment directly onto body top.

TYPE 511

1971

Basic Single coil pickup in plastic frame for mounting onto top of guitar.

TYPE 512

1957

Fuma manufactured pickup with integral volume control.

Version illustrated has clamp for fitting onto lower edge of flattop round soundhole.

Selmer Catalogue No 346.

TYPE 512

1967

Single coil pickup with unusual construction utilising two magnets.

TYPE 513

1971

As 1967 Type 512, but with notch in "blade".

TYPE 514 Hi-Fi

1970 - 1971

Single coil pickup in wooden case. Claimed not to hum or produce feedback. 

Low output voltage of 30 to 50mV

TYPE 515

1954

Ebony adjustable bridge incorporating a pickup.

TYPE 515

1955

As 515 above.

TYPE 515

1971

Pickup "intended for studios" with no hum or feedback.

Advertised as having two layerwound magnetic coils and two permanent magnet systems.

TYPE 1505 Gr

1956

Early version of 512 Pickup, with integral volume control.

The "Gr" example is for fitting to end of fingerboard.

TYPE 4000

1956

Similar to Fuma-made 507 pickup. 

For screwing onto body top.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW PART 2 - PICKUP ASSEMBLIES

CLICK HERE TO VIEW INTERNAL PHOTOS OF SOME OF THESE OLD PICKUPS
(Provided by Alan Exley of Project Guitar Parts)

 




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