The page where other people's Hofners are featured.
HOFNER ARCHTOPS AND SEMI-ACOUSTICS
EUROPEAN & US MARKET MODELS: 1949 to 2000
Two Beautiful Hofner Archtops: a 1957 Hofner 456/S and a
1956 Hofner 456/S/E2, courtesy of Guy Audoux.
The following picture-sets of Hofner
archtop and semi-acoustic guitars have been sent to me over the years
by their owners. This has allowed me to present a much greater range of
models and vintages than encompassed by my own collection, and maybe
this will help other visitors to the site to identify and date their
Click on the underlined heading for each guitar to view photographs of
that particular example.
1. "CLUB" TYPE SMALL-BODIED THINLINES:
HOFNER MODELS 125,
126, 127, & 128 "CLUB-STYLE"
Often called "Cluib-Style" or simply "Club" guitars as that was the name given by Selmer to the
equivalent instruments. Small hollow-bodied archtops (17" x 13" x 2") with no
sound-holes. Fitted with either one (Model 125 & 127) or two
(Model 126 & 128)
pickups. The 125 & 126 were the budget Clubs The 127 and 128
the deluxe versions. Made between 1954 and 1970.
c1956/57 HOFNER MODEL 126 This
guitar, and the one below, are probably the earliest actual "Club-Style"
guitars in this section other than those shown in the catalogue scans above.
This is due to them having a
stamped Hofner logo on the body top just below the bridge. They are also
equipped with rosewood "black bar" pickups and oval control panel.
Owned by John Hall in Berkshire, England.
HOFNER MODEL 126
And another example,.....and again in superb near-mint condition. This
one is owned by Frank Allen of the Searchers.
Maybe not quite as old as the 126 above, due to it having the later
decal-type body logo. This lovely old "Club" guitar is however fitted with a metal Fuma
pickup. Hofner did seem to randomly fit these pickups alternating with the
more usual "Black-Bar" pickups during 1956/57. Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
HOFNER MODEL 125
An early 125, fitted with rosewood "black-bar" pickups, and the
circular control console. This particular guitar has a solid carved
spruce top. Owned by Mr Van Plateringen in The Netherlands.
HOFNER MODEL 126
This beautiful example of a Fuma pickup Hofner is on the website run by
Tony Blair. (No, not the one in Downing Street - he is a Fender man!)
to visit Tony's site and have a look at the rest of his Rickenbacker
and Hofner guitars.
HOFNER MODEL 126
Excellent condition, and fitted with the rosewood "black bar" pickups
plus "oval" control consul. Now owned by Guy Audoux, France.
c1957/58 HOFNER MODEL 126
Towards the end of 1957, the headstock of the Club-style guitars was changed
to a black plastic fascia with a horizontal Hofner logo in block capitals, and
three white plastic dots beneath the logo. This headstock fascia was used for
most of 1958. The photos show such a guitar, owned by Simon Adahl in Sweden.
1959/60 HOFNER MODEL 127 - PUBLICITY
PHOTO SCAN The single pickup version of the 128 model was the 127,
and both models were brought out together in 1958 as deluxe guitars, some four years after
their plainer cousins the 125 and 126 models. The twin pickup 128 however
was the most popular by far. This scanned photo shows a 127 prototype fitted with a Fuma-made pickup.
This particular guitar appears to be in mint condition. It is now owned by Alan Cramp in England.
1959 HOFNER MODEL 126 A particularly interesting brunette 126 because it was fitted with Fuma
pickups as late as 1959. Presumably Hofner were out of stock of their own
black-bar pickups at the time and had to use Fumas, or maybe they found a
box of Fuma units in the back of the stock-room, and wanted to use them up.
Owned by Graham Small in Pennsylvania, USA.
1960 HOFNER MODEL 127 - LEFT HANDED The
127 model is pretty rare, but a left-handed one must be unique! This
blonde-finished example is fitted with a black-bar pickup, probably one of
the last Clubs to be fitted with this unit in early 1960.
HOFNER MODEL 126
Another of Harry Sibum's guitars, which makes the perfect partner to
his 125 model above. This one was also originally sold in The
Netherlands and hence has a Van Wouw serial number. Note that now, Hofner has
changed the headstock logo to the "Treble Clef" design.
1960 or 1961 HOFNER MODEL 125
....and just to show that the Early 1960's "Club-Style" 125 and 126 models
were not always fitted with the "Treble Clef" headstock, herte we have one
with a plain black headstock fascia. A small number of similar 1960/61 guitars
have also turned up in the website registrations. This particular guitar is
owned by Shawn Worden in Canada.
HOFNER MODEL 125
A mint example of the 125, which was called the Club 40 for the UK
market. This particular one was distributed by Van Wouw in The
Netherlands, and hence has been given a serial number punched into the
top edge of the headstock. Owned by Harry Sibum in Holland.
MODEL 128 Basically the same guitar as the Selmer UK distributed Club 60, this
128 displays the lavish mother of pearl inlays, ebony fingerboard, and
multi-layer body binding that were features of the top quality "Club".
This particular example also has an unusual inverted-V compensator
tailpiece which is original to the guitar. I have seen one or two
similar tailpieces on early 1960's Hofners, although Hofner must have
used them for only a very short period. Owned by Harry Sibum in The
1963 HOFNER MODEL 125 A superb example, finished in blonde and fitted with a single Type 510
"Diamond Logo" pickup. Owned by Herrie Kanphuis in The Netherlands.
c1963 HOFNER MODEL 126 - ROTARY CONTROL
VERSION A very rare version of the Club-Style guitars that only
appears for a very short time in the
1963 Selmer London
designated as a Club 50. It would seem that immediately after that catalogue
was published, Selmer decided to stop offering Club guitars. It is therefore
possible that Hofner sold off previously made stocks using the 126
designation in Europe. This example is provided by Michael Kammerowski of
the Vintage Music
Store, Mainz, Germany.
Mid-1960's HOFNER MODEL 125 A
guitar that was initially intended to be supplied to Selmer London as a Club
40, but after this model was dropped from Selmer's catalogue was instead sold
by Hofner to the US/Canadian distributor as a Hofner 125. Owned from new by
Rick Ronato in Ontario, Canada.
1965-66 HOFNER MODEL 128 In
keeping with other Hofner electric archtops, from mid-1965 to early 1967, the
Club-style guitars were equipped with Type 511 "Staple" pickups with "wide"
plastic mountings. This guitar is also fitted with the Hofner Vibrato
Tailpiece which was offered as a factory-fitted option. Owned by Steve Ascott
in Ceredigion, Wales.
Mid/Late 1960's HOFNER MODEL 126 This guitar has a plain black headstock fascia and a "wide" control console.
It has been fitted at some stage with two Billy Lorento replacement bass
pickups. Owned by Max Junger of
Pyramid Strings in
Late 1960's HOFNER MODEL 128 VTZ Another very rare guitar. It is in fact the very first
"Club-Style" guitar that I have seen with Hofner-fitted active
electrics. So, it was even more disturbing to hear that the guitar, after
being purchased "on-line", had arrived in pieces and was in very poor
condition. Luckily, the new owner, Bob Cocozza, has employed the services of
James Payze in the UK (Red
Barn Repairs) to restore the guitar, the results of which can be seen on
the linked page. It is interesting to see that this guitar was fitted with a
centre body sustain block, which is very unusual on a "Club-Style"
HOFNER MODEL 1260 "CLUB-STYLE" GUITAR WITH BUILT IN AMPLIFIER AND
This guitar can really only be considered as barely more than an experimental
model. It did actually appear in the "New Guitars" supplementary price
list of Spring 1960 together with the Fledermaus guitar, but not in the main
Hofner price list. I haven't been able to find any reference to it in any Hofner
catalogue. Very few are in existence, and the controls and electrical circuitry
seem to vary between examples. Walter Hofner was very interested in guitar
circuitry, and this was no doubt just one of his projects.
The 1260 was basically a 126 Club-Style guitar fitted with a transistorised
amplifier circuit, a battery, and a small loudspeaker. This all leads to a heavy
guitar with limited sound quality and battery endurance. It would seem that they
were not a success and hence, just as with the Fledermausguitarre, the model had
disappeared within months.
HOFNER MODEL 1260 This
particular guitar was originally in the Hofner/Benker family collection and
is now owned by Max Junger of Pyramid Strings. It is fitted with a Fuma
metal pickup at the neck location and a Hofner black-bar pickup at the
bridge. The Fuma pickup may have been a replacement for another black-bar
pickup. The photos clearly show the loudspeaker grill fitted to the 1260,
which was smaller than that fitted to the Fledermausguitarre. There is an
unusual area of purfling on the back of the guitar adjacent to the neck
HOFNER "THINLINE CLUB" MODEL
This particular version of the Club guitar model is rather a mystery.
When I first saw an example, I assumed that it was either a prototype
or some sort of special order. Now that I have seen several more
identical examples, it is becoming obvious that this was in fact a
production guitar. It differs from the conventional "Club" in that it
has a 1.25" deep body instead of 2". It also has a totally different
type of neck, which seems very similar to that used on the early 1960's
Hofner solids and which is bolted to the body instead of using a glued
joint as is usual with the Club guitars. In addition, the headstock is
of the 6-a-side type. I can find no reference to this model in any of
the old Hofner catalogues that are available to me.
My guess is that it was a model produced by Hofner for a large retailer
(such as Sears in the US) to be sold under the retailer's brand-name.
Evidence of this is provided by the fact that there is no Hofner logo
anywhere on the guitar, apart from on the pickup (Type 510) casings.
Another item of evidence is that all examples that have surfaced to
date have been in the US.
By the way, the name "Thinline Club" is my own designation, as I have
no idea as to the correct model name under which they were retailed.
A very rare guitar that does seem to be an attempt at
recreating the "Club" style of a small single cutaway semi-acoustic.
This model had a body depth of 1.75" (42mm), which was a little thinner
than the earlier Clubs. Introduced
in early 1970, just as the earlier Club-style models were being phased out, it only seems to have been offered for a year or so, with or
without a Hofner vibrato tailpiece. It was then transfigured into the second
version of the 4579, which was a solid body guitar, based even more on the
G...on Les Paul concept. (See Solid Guitars Gallery)
Bottom of the range archtop made between the mid-1950's and the early
1980's. Small body with 15" lower bout dimension and binding only
around the body top. Predominantly made as a fully-acoustic version,
(although some electric versions do exist), and always without a
cutaway. The Hofner Congress is the UK/Selmer equivalent.
HOFNER MODEL 449
Hofner appear to have applied a rather over-size headstock logo to
their Congress and 449 models for a short time around about 1957/58.
This example is owned by Laszlo Dobos of Hungary.
HOFNER MODEL 449
A nice example of the 449 owned by Wolfgang in Germany.
This 449 has been factory-fitted with some unusually good quality
machine heads for such a low-price guitar.
c1959 HOFNER MODEL 449 This
particular guitar is finished in black (!), and it appears to be original.
Before seeing this, I assumed that all 449 were in brunette finish. This
unusual guitar is owned by Guy Audoux in France.
1960 HOFNER MODEL 449
A nice original example, fitted with an early Schaller floating pickup by a
previous owner. This particular guitar has the "Treble Clef"
design on the headstock, that Hofner used, in a rather random manner, on
many of their low/mid-range archtop guitars during the 60's and into the
early 1970's. Owned by Heijo Eck in Germany.
1960's HOFNER MODEL 449
An immaculate example, owned by Alain in France. At this stage in the
449's life, double-dot fret markers as on the Congress were being used,
together with the raised plastic headstock logo.
So.........it would appear that some (later?) 449's were fitted with
electrics! This fine example has two Type 510 pickups and the classic
Hofner rectangular console. Owned by Christian Coutant in France.
HOFNER MODEL 450
Budget full-size (16" lower bout) archtop, with minimum
binding/purfling to body. Manufactured between around 1953 and the
over which time Hofner produced many variations on the theme. Majority
finished in brown tobacco sunburst, but also some in wine red sunburst.
Some versions in the late 50's/early 60's were characterized by the
celluloid rhomboid shape on
the headstock. Early ones just had a plain varnished
headstock without fascia. Most had no
binding to the soundholes and body back, but this did eventually
changed in later models, with binding appearing on the back of the body
at the end of the 1960's.
c1953 HOFNER MODEL 450 ACOUSTIC The flared top
on the headstock of this guitar indicates that it has a very early manufacture
date. Owned by Kield Andersson.
c1954 HOFNER MODEL 450
Another very early 450, but maybe a little later than the one above at
does not have a "flared top" headstock. It does have a very
unusual routing around the front edge of the headstock
with a Hofner neck-mounted pickup by a previous owner. Now owned by
HOFNER MODEL 450 ACOUSTIC
This 450 is from a similar period to the one above, with the plain
headstock but without the routing. Owned by Laszlo
Dobos in Hungary.
c1958 HOFNER MODEL 450 ACOUSTIC
A later guitar, but still with the triple-dot fret markers and a
fascia-less headstock. This example
has recently been restored by its owner, Soren Nyvang in Denmark.
1961 HOFNER MODEL
450/S ACOUSTIC A nice acoustic 450 model with a cutaway body. The
body of this guitar is date-stamped as being made on 1st February 1961.
However its neck does not have an adjustable truss-rod which was generally
fitted to all Hofner archtops from January 1960 onwards. It would therefore
seem that Hofner had a surplus of 450 necks after the end of 1959, and hence
used these up by mating them to post-1959 bodies. An interesting guitar
owned by Martin Groenendaal in The Netherlands.
c1964/65 HOFNER MODEL 450/S/E1
A single pickup example of the 450 from the mid-1960s with triple-dot
fret markers and a raised plastic headstock logo. Owned by Bert Jan Sonnevelt
in The Netherlands.
c1965 HOFNER MODEL
450 ACOUSTIC During this period, the 450 appears to have been given binding
to the soundholes, but still not to the body back. Owned by Dan Seguin in British Columbia, Canada.
1970's HOFNER MODEL
450/S ACOUSTIC During the 1970's, Hofner offered the 450 in a lovely
ruby-red finish and this guitar, owned by Sinisa Mraovic in Croatia, is a
typical example. Note also the one-piece neck now fitted, and also the
HOFNER MODEL 455
Traditional archtop styling, but with
laminated maple tops and (slightly) flamed maple top and sides. The 455
was finished in a brown tobacco sunburst finish, but this was changed
to a red shaded fish for a time during the 1960's. Other than the very early
examples, they have binding to back and
sides of the body, but earlier guitars did not have neck binding. Initially
the rhomboid headstock fascia design was used, but this was changed on
later guitars to the three pearloid/tortoiseshell strip design. Made both with and
without cutaway. Produced between 1949 & 1970. Acoustic
& Electric (one, two, or three pickup) versions available.
c1950-51 HOFNER MODEL 455
One of the first 455 examples produced by the resurrected Hofner company after
becoming established in Bavaria after the 2nd World War. Like other very early
Hofner archtops of this era, there is no binding to the body rims, just
black/white/black purfling to the top and back. Photos supplied by Kield
Another very early 455 in excellent condition. Like the slightly eartlier
one above, this one also has the flared headstock
top, which was a feature of most of the early Hofner archtops up to about
1953. Binding to the body rims has now appeared. Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
c1950-51 HOFNER MODEL 455
Yet another very early example. This guitar does not have
the flared-top headstock, but is does have the early body edge detail - no
binding to the edge of the rims and a small chamfer to the body edges. Another
lovely old guitar owned by Guy Audoux in France.
c1956 HOFNER MODEL
A very special guitar - a 455 fitted with three rosewood pickups! Possibly
one of the first Hofner archtops to be so equipped...........and in lovely
original condition too! Owned by Javier Serra in Buenos Aires,
c1956 HOFNER MODEL 455
This one has had a very neat floating pickup fitted at some stage.
Owned by Giovanni Ghiazza in Italy.
c1958/59 HOFNER MODEL
Over the years, Hofner offered various active electronics options on their
and this one has the early active pre-amp circuit fitted. Thanks to Ramsay McKinnon
for the photo.
1961 HOFNER 455/S/E2
The "classic" 455, fitted with twin pickups. A beautiful example from
Wolfgang's collection in Germany.
It would seem that at some time in the early 1960's, Hofner changed
from the tobacco sunburst to a red shaded finish for the 455 model.
Neck binding also appeared at this time, and the rhomboid headstock
decoration was superseded by the three strip style. This guitar is a more unusual
one: a 455 fitted with three pickups. Hofner offered
most of their European archtop range with the factory option of having
one, two, or three pickups fitted. This one is owned by Umberto
Angelini in Italy.
1963 HOFNER MODEL
455/S/E2 A fine example of an early to mid 1960's 455 model. This one
is fitted with two Type 510 "Diamond Logo" pickups. Owned by Alan
Patrick in Berlin, Germany.
1963 HOFNER MODEL
455 An unusual guitar in that it is fitted with a neck/fingerboard
that would be more appropriate to a 450 model of this period. It also has a
non-cutaway body, which again is unusual because by the 1960's most players
wanted the benefits of a cutaway on their guitars. Finally, the rather nice
red-yellow sunburst is not often seen on a mid-1960's Hofner archtop. Owned
by Richard Fletcher, Tyne & Wear, England, who purchased this guitar new in
Aden during 1964/65.
c1965-69 HOFNER MODEL 455/S
ACOUSTIC Maybe slightly later than the one above as this one has the raised plastic Hofner headstock logo, which places it
from around 1965. A fine looking guitar owned by Chris Graham in the
HOFNER 455/S The plastic bridge saddles and raised plastic Hofner logo on the
headstock point to this guitar being made in the last half of the
1960's. A lovely example owned by Neal Hargis in Louisiana, USA.
HOFNER 455/S A similar version to the 455 above, but retro-fitted with a pickup.
Owned by Jean-Noel Regis in France.
HOFNER MODEL 4550
A large-bodied archtop guitar, very similar
to the Hofner 456 below, but with a 17" lower bout dimension. Fully
bound, all maple laminate body. A light mottled pickguard was usually
fitted. Produced between 1955 and c1970.
Late 1959/Early 1960
HOFNER MODEL 4550/S/E2 - WHITE PICKUPS Hofner would appear to have
had a batch of white pickups made up in 1959, and these were fitted to a
small selection of various archtop models. This is a fine example of a 4550
with these units fitted. The guitar has an adjustable truss rod in the neck,
so it could well have been assembled in very early 1960, although the pot
codes and body date are from late-1959. As it has a Van Wouw serial number
impressed into the top edge of the headstock, it was originally sold in The
Netherlands. Owned by Wolfgang in Germany.
c1960 HOFNER MODEL
4550/S/E1 A lovely example of a single "toaster" pickup
4550, in "redburst" finish. Also fitted to this particular guitar
is an unusual but very artistic tailpiece which was occasionally fitted to
Hofner electric archtops and thinlines in the early 1960's. Owned by Olaf
Poeter in Germany..
HOFNER MODEL 4550/S/E3
Generally, the Hofner electric archtop models were offered with the
options of either one, two, or three pickups. The more expensive
archtops were often ordered with three, but the 4550 E3 versions are
fairly rare. This fine example is owned by Tommy Barton in London,
HOFNER MODEL 4550/S/T3 An even rarer guitar than the one above, this
three-pickup 4550 is also equipped with an active pre-amp circuit. A lovely
blonde finish example. Photos are from the Ramin Hesse
Vintage*Guitar*Collection, Berlin Germany.
When Hofner re-commenced production in Möhrendorf, Bavaria after WW2 in 1949, the 456 was one of the archtop models offered. A very similar archtop had been produced with that model designation before the onset of the war when Hofner were based at
Schönbach in Bohemia.
The 456 was intended to be Hofner's mid-range archtop, utilizing nicely flamed maple for the body back & sides, with a maple top. A good standard of ornamentation was used on the guitar, with binding/multi-purfling around body top & back edges and
soundholes, with the rosewood neck also bound. Pearloid strips were used for the fretmarkers, and on all but the very earliest guitars, a pearloid/tortoishell/pearloid celluloid fascia covered the front of the
There can be problems differentiating between the 455, 456, and 457 models,
particularly as Hofner seems to have continually revised the detail cosmetics of
these models over the years. The main basic difference between the 456 and the
slightly later 457 is that the 456 had a maple body top and the 457 had a spruce
top. Both the 455 and the 456 had maple tops, but the ornamentation on the 456
was of a higher standard than the 455. For example, the 455 was not provided
with binding to the neck initially, though later examples (after the demise of
the 456) did gain this feature.
Initially the 456 was only supplied in brown sunburst finish. Later, a natural blonde finish was available, and some examples even have a red-burst finish.
As with the rest of the Hofner range, the 456 was available from c1954 with the option of factory fitted electrics.
The 456 disappeared from the range in 1962, by which stage the 457 model would seem to have taken over as Hofner's principle mid-range
Late-1940's HOFNER MODEL 456 ACOUSTIC
This guitar appears to be one of the very first archtop guitars made by the
Hofner Company after its resurrection in Bavaria following the second world
war. There is no side binding on the body, no Hofner logo stamped into the
body top, and the guitar sports a very attractive long and slender headstock.
Like many other European-made guitars from this era, the fingerboard is made
from European-sourced pearwood, rather than rosewood which would have been
difficult to obtain in Germany at that time. Aksel a Botni in the Faroe
Islands is the owner of
this very rare and interesting guitar.
c1950-52 HOFNER MODEL 456 ACOUSTIC
Another very early 456 model. Not quite as early as the example above, it
now has a rosewood fingerboard and a flared-top headstock. Still no
mock-tortoiseshell on the headstock however, or a "Hofner" body stamp; two
features that had appeared by the time that the next example below was made.
Excellent detail pictures courtesy of the
"Old Guitar" website from Spain.
1953 HOFNER MODEL 456
ACOUSTIC An early 456, with flared headstock top and no side binding
to the body. This example has been fitted by a previous owner with a
"floating" neck-mounted pickup. Owned by Andrew Gladstone in New
HOFNER MODEL 456/S/E1
A very rare 456, fitted with white-bar pickups and finished in a
stunning red sunburst. Owned by Jerome Karlovsky in The Midlands,
An electric version with a single Type 1 (black bar) pickup, and with a
truss-rod in the neck. That makes it almost certainly a 1960 guitar.
The really interesting feature of this guitar though is the unusual but
original tailpiece - similar to a "Compensator" unit, but not quite!
Owned by Robert Heere in Holland.
1960 HOFNER MODEL
A fine example of one of the first 456's with a cutaway body - this
feature being introduced in 1960 for the 456. One "Toaster" pickup
fitted. Owned by Jim Taylor in Sussex, England.
HOFNER MODEL 456 ACOUSTIC
An acoustic 456 without body cutaway that was purchased new by Chris
Radcliffe at the NAFFI Stores in Aden in the early 1960's when he was
serving there with the British Armed
1962 HOFNER MODEL
This is a blonde 456, fitted with a single "diamond logo" pickup and a
vibrato tailpiece. Blonde 456's are very few and far between. The vast
majority are brunette, as are the other Hofner European/US market full
bodied archtops. A cracking looking guitar owned by Wolfgang in Germany.
Another single pickup blonde 456 in superb condition, but without the
vibrato tailpiece this time. Owned by Giorgio Bertello in Torino, Italy.
mid-range archtop. Similar in
appearance to the 456 model, but with spruce top (solid carved spruce
into the 60's). Nicely flamed maple back and sides. Available with or
without cutaway, and electric (one, two, and even three pickups with or without
active circuits) or acoustic.
Produced from 1952 onwards, and still in the price lists in the 1990's.
c1952 HOFNER MODEL
very early example, with a similar flared-top headstock as the
President #1508 featured
on this website. Also like that President, it does not have conventional
body binding - only multi-layer purfling to the top and back of the body. Unlike
the President however, the exposed body side laminate has been chamfered. This
beauty is owned by Wolfgang in Germany. It has been fitted by Hofner with a
very unusual version of the ABM trapeze tailpiece.
c1952 HOFNER MODEL 457/S
This grand old guitar is owned by Guy Audoux in France. It has the optional
body cutaway, hence the "S" designation.
HOFNER MODEL 457/S
A slightly later guitar to the one above, as this example does have
a symmetrical headstock rather than the flared top of the earliest Hofner
archtops. The body side still doesn't have any binding however, and the
exposed sides are simply chamfered. This very interesting guitar is owned by
Alan Patrick in
1952/53 HOFNER MODEL
Another example of an early 457 model without a body cutaway. This guitar
has the early flared-top headstock, but unlike the above three examples it has
conventional body binding. Owned by Alan Patrick in Berlin, Germany.
1954/55 HOFNER MODEL 457/S/E2 One of Hofner's first electric archtops and fitted with Fuma-made pickups
which pre-dated Hofner's own rosewood bodied "Black Bar" units. Owned by Guy
Audoux in France.
c1955 HOFNER MODEL 457/S Johan Eliasson from Sweden has sent me a photograph of this beautiful
acoustic guitar from the mid-1950s.
c1956 HOFNER MODEL
457/S/E1 This grand old guitar sports a single Fuma pickup and a round control
panel. Owner, Jonathan Dallison from Canada has confirmed that his 457
has a solid carved spruce top also.
HOFNER MODEL 457/S/E1 A slightly later version of the guitar above, after the Fuma pickups
had been replaced by the Type 1 Black-bar rosewood units. It still has
the circular tortoiseshell control console though. Owned by Dino Gallo
in Somerset, England.
c1957 HOFNER MODEL
457/S A very nice looking acoustic version, complete with decal-type body logo
adjacent to the bridge. This dates it sometime around 1957. Owned by Graham
Small in Pennsylvania, USA.
HOFNER 457/S/E1 Fitted with a single rosewood pickup, and now with the rectangular
control consul. Owned by Paul Arne Ronning in Norway.
1957-59 HOFNER MODEL 457
By the end of the 1950's, most archtop players wanted a guitar with a body
cutaway, so this beautiful non-cutaway example is somewhat of a rarity.
Photos supplied by Tony Hall in Buckinghamshire, England on behalf of his
friend John Hammond who owns the guitar.
1959 HOFNER MODEL
457/S Another nice old acoustic 457 from the late 50s. This one is
finished in a red/yellow sunburst, with black lacquer neck and body rims, a
finish that was not usually used on the 457 model, although popular on the
Club60/128 model. Owned by Stephen out
there on the beach at Bondi, Australia.
HOFNER MODEL 457/S And yet another acoustic 457 that has found its way to a home
far-distant from Germany. Colin McIver in Hawaii owns this nice
example, which has been fitted with a 60's De Armond pickup.
MODEL 457/S/T3 A very rare Hofner, fitted with three white "bar" style pickups and an
active pre-amp circuit. Owned by Bill Heggie in Lanark, Scotland.
1960 HOFNER MODEL 457/S A
lovely blonde example of the 457. As it is a 1960 made guitar, it has an
adjustable truss rod in the neck. Up until very recently, this guitar was
fitted with a Hofner 536 pickup/pickguard assembly. Unfortunately, the
adjustment screws under this unit have marked the body top of what is
otherwise a top-condition instrument. Matteo of Italy, who now owns the
guitar, has every intention of having those two small scars professionally
1960 HOFNER MODEL
457/S/E3 A passive electrics version of the guitar above. This one
was still fitted with the Black Bar pickups, but has a truss rod in the
neck; indicating that it was probably made in early 1960 before the
"Toaster" pickups were fully phased in. Owned by Chris Madsen in
1960 HOFNER MODEL
457/S/E2 At the beginning of 1960, Hofner changed the type of pickups
from the "bar" type to the "toaster" for the majority of
their models. This particular brunette 457 has the toasters and also a
"Treble Clef" design headstock fascia. Owned by Alan Patrick in
1960-61 HOFNER MODEL
457/S/T3 A fine example of a three pickup 457, fitted with an active
pre-amp circuit. The guitar has the "toaster" type pickups from
this period and the "Treble Clef" design headstock fascia. Owned
by Jean-Jacques Guittonneau in France.
c1961 HOFNER MODEL
457/S/E2 An electric 457, also fitted with split trapeze type tailpiece. An
immaculate blonde guitar owned by Ton van Passel of The Netherlands.
1961 HOFNER MODEL 457/S/E1 This guitar is factory-fitted with an unusual pickup which is built
into the end of the fingerboard and disguised under a piece of white
pearloid. The conventional Hofner E1 control console is mounted on the
body however. Owned by Job de Vries in the Netherlands.
1962 HOFNER MODEL
457/S An immaculate blonde acoustic model, with the "Treble Clef" headstock
from that period. Owned by Ricardo Pastor in Spain.
1964/65 HOFNER MODEL 457/S/E2 This Van Wouw-distributed guitar has been fitted with a "Lyre" style
tailpiece and Hofner's Type 511 "Super" twin coil pickups. Owned by H. J.
Kamphuis in The Netherlands
1965 HOFNER MODEL 457/S/E2 Still
with the Treble Clef headstock and the Type 510 pickups, even though by this
time the Type 511 "staple" pickups were being fitted to other
models in the range. A "wide" control console, similar to that
fitted to the 500/1 of the same period now replaces the earlier
"narrow" console. Also, the slotted bridge type fitted with the
individual plastic saddles had just been introduced. Owned by Francesco
Cerra in Italy.
Late 1965 HOFNER MODEL
457/S/E2 This guitar has exactly the same specification as the Selmer
distributed President model, although it was originally sold in Sweden
as a 457 model. In mid-1965, Selmer instructed Hofner to provide the
President with a Florentine cutaway, instead of the previous Venetian
cutaway. I can only assume that Hofner had a stock of the earlier
Presidents in the factory when Selmer requested this change, and that
these were therefore promptly sold off to the Swedish distributor as
457 guitars. A very interesting guitar, owned by Thomas in Stockholm,
MODEL 457/S/E2 This particular guitar is again to all
intents and purposes a Venetian cutaway President, but with the later
three control/pickup selector switch electrics. Perhaps Hofner had not
yet fitted the electrics onto President guitars previously destined for
Selmer, and they therefore used the later electrical layout, and sold
the guitars on to European distributors as the 457 model. Owned by Oren
Luttenberg in Tel Aviv, Israel.
HOFNER MODEL 457/S/E2 This guitar has the Treble Clef plastic headstock fascia and
three-on-a-plate tuners of earlier 457 versions. However, the F-holes have become more elongated.
Owned by Eric Levert in France.
Late 1960's/Early 1970's HOFNER
MODEL 457/S During this period, Hofner introduced a one-piece maple neck and
narrow-depth neck heel for the 457, very much on the same lines as for the new
477 model. The F-hole shape has been revised
again to that used right through to the end of 457 production in the 1990's
and the old-style strip fretmarkers were changed to simple dots.
Three-on-a-plate tuners are still being used, but these were very soon also
changed to Hofner's patent single enclosed "spring" type
units. This lovely brunette example is owned by David Brass of
Americana in Los Angeles, USA.
MODEL 457 An acoustic 457 with a
beautiful brown-red sunburst finish. This demonstrates further changes to the
model, including metal buttoned enclosed tuners. Now owned by Chris Groothoff in
c1984/85 HOFNER MODEL 457/E2 The electric version of the guitar above, still with the "dagger"
headstock inlay, with two Schaller pickups. The guitar was bought new in
early 1986 by Mark Gardiner, who has kept it in lovely condition.
1988 HOFNER MODEL 457/E2 The dagger headstock inlay on the earlier 457 above has now been
replaced with the twin-rhomboid design. This seems to have been used right
up the model's demise in c1994. Two of the large "Hofner '57
Classic" pickups are fitted. An interesting feature is that the
"President" model name is typed on this particular 457's body label.
Maybe Hofner were in the process of resurrecting
that old Selmer name, although current Hofner employees have no recollection
of this occurring during that period. A later generation of archtop guitars
was to be given
the name "New President" a few years after however.
Beauty". Conventional Hofner
archtop with a laminated maple (or sometimes sapele!) body top, back,
and sides, but with a high gloss black lacquer finish which is very
attractive. Basically, the 458 was a deluxe version of the 456 model. Produced from
1954 to 1966.
Alan Cramp in the UK owns this guitar, which appears to have a sapele
body. It is also fitted with a Fuma floating pickup which has the
original retailers name stamped onto it rather than the usual Hofner
This guitar is fitted with an active transistorised circuit. Hofner had
been offering a pre-amp as an option on their archtops from the
mid-1950's - a very advanced feature in those days. This beautiful and
rare guitar is owned by Detlev Goldau in Germany.
MODEL 459 (FIRST SERIES)
to the Model 457, but with
"sickle" shaped soundholes and usually (but not always!) a twin trapeze
tailpiece, similar to the one used on old Epiphones. Solid spruce top
and generally a birds-eye maple sides & back. Introduced in 1952, the 459 remained
in the Hofner price lists until 1960, although strangely at least one or two
seem to have been made in the early/mid 1960s.
1952 HOFNER MODEL
459 One of the first 459 archtops made, this guitar has a flared-top
headstock, as was common with most Hofner archtops made in the early 1950's.
This guitar has beautiful birds-eye maple laminates for the body back & sides.
It also has a very unusual tailpiece which has been engraved in such a manner
as to suggest that it may have been a trade show guitar. Owned by Guy Audoux,
Early-50's HOFNER MODEL 459 Another
early example in excellent condition owned by Aksel a Botni in the Faroe
Islands. Unlike the
earlier flared-top headstock version above though, this guitar
has the symetrical headstock shape.
c1956/57 HOFNER MODEL 459
An excellent example of a typical 459 -
blonde finish with beautiful birdseye maple on the body back and sides,
black finished neck, and "bar" fret markers. This guitar is owned by
Nate Lamy in Canada.
1956 HOFNER MODEL
This 459 has a beautiful factory applied black finish. It also happens
to have a conventional Hofner trapeze tailpiece. Owned by Wolfgang
In the more usual blonde finish this time, the birdseye maple back and
sides is beautiful. Owned by Graham Stockley in the UK.
c1958/59 HOFNER 459 A
guitar of similar period to the one above, but without a body cutaway.
Owned by Guy Audoux in France
HOFNER MODEL 459/E2
Presumably one of the last 459(i)s made. Lovely birds-eye maple used on
the back and sides is shown off by the blonde finish and highlighted by
the black binding. Owned by Sven in Sweden.
MODEL 459 (SECOND SERIES)
number was resurrected for use
with a totally different guitar to the 1950's Model 459. This was a
violin shaped guitar with six strings, based on the 500/1 bass guitar.
Bolt-on neck. Bar type fret markers and vine-style mother of pearl
headstock inlays. Two pickups fitted, with or without active
electronics. A deluxe version called the 459VTZ-Super was made in very
small numbers. The 459(ii) models were produced from 1967 through to the very
1967 HOFNER MODEL
A nice example of the basic 459 model, complete with Type 511
"Staple" pickups. Owned by Gerard Beuzon in France. Photos
courtesy of Marc Sabatier
1967 HOFNER MODEL 459
Another example of the basic model, and in superb condition. Fitted with
Type 511 "Staple" pickups, so probably made in the first half of 1967. Owned
by Max Junger of
Pyramid Strings in
HOFNER MODEL 459
Another nice example of the "basic" guitar, but fitted with the later
Type 513 pickups and hence a little older than the two guitars above. It still
has the open gear tuners however, which were replaced on later guitars by
enclosed units. Owned by Jurgen Joachimsthaler in Berlin, Germany.
c1967/68 HOFNER MODEL 459
VZ The 459 could be ordered with the factory option of active
circuits - a treble boost (T), a "fuzz" distortion circuit (Z), or a
combined treble boost & fuzz (TZ). This guitar has the single Fuzz control
console (which looks almost identical to the treble boost console). It also
has the Hofner vibrato tailpiece (V) fitted. Owned by John Bijl in The
c1969 HOFNER MODEL
459TZ This guitar has the active treble boost and fuzz effect, but
not the vibrato tailpiece. It has enclosed tuners with metal buttons which
indicates that it was made towards the end of the 1960's. Owned by Graham
Forsaith in Sydney, Australia.
c1969 HOFNER MODEL
459/Z - CATALOGUE SCAN Taken from the 1969 Hofner Electric Guitar
Catalogue, this scan shows a 459 fitted with the more simple active console.
The picture caption states the guitar to be a 459/Z with the Fuzz circuit,
but it could equally be a 459/T with the treble boost.
c1970 HOFNER 459
The "deluxe" version of the 459, using a similar formula to the 5000/1
Bass. Blonde finish with beautiful flame maple, ornate
binding/purfling, gold plating, and enough mother of pearl to sink a
battleship! Very few of these VTZ Super versions were produced during
the late 1960's. This very rare instrument is owned by Rick Biron in
This model appears to have been produced only
between 1949 and 1954, and hence there are not many examples
about. It seems to have been the deluxe version of the Model 456.
Finished in glossy black lacquer, and with the "up-market" Lyre
tailpiece. The headstock has a "rocket" inscribed in the usual pearloid
and tortoiseshell headstock fascia. The black-finish, but lower spec
Model 458 took over from the 460 in 1954.
c1951/52 HOFNER MODEL 460 A
very interesting guitar, with the flared headstock top and black lacquer
finish usually associated with the 460, but with fairly complex
"split" fret markers and multi-layer body and F-hole binding. I am
assuming that this guitar is one of the very first 460 models made, in a
period when that type of fret marker and lavish bindings were also fitted to
the 461 model. Photos supplied by Graham Boddy who owned
this guitar up to very recently.
HOFNER MODEL 460
A lovely, complete example of this rare guitar, owned by Harry Sibum in
The one with
two "Seal" soundholes and a
third oval one adjacent to the neck. Many were finished in beautiful
black lacquer, but Hofner seem also to have used the full colour palette on this
model...see below! Good quality guitars, made
between 1951 and 1964.
A lovely example of one of Hofner's "Black Beauties".
Owned by Jim
Kitson of Newcastle, England.
c1961 HOFNER MODEL 461/S
OK.........so maybe not all 461's were finished in black! This one, owned by
Charles Sciandra in California, USA, is the only red sunburst Hofner
461 that I have ever seen.
c1964 HOFNER MODEL
461/S One of the last 461 archtops made. Finished in stunning cherry red, this guitar is owned by Georg Strobel in Germany.
soundholes are usually described
as "cats-eye" type. Spruce body top (carved solid spruce on earlier
guitars) and flame maple back and sides. General fitted with
"two-prong" trapeze tailpiece. Made between 1951 and 1970. Acoustic and
GAGLIANO K-150 ACOUSTIC GUITAR
A Hofner 462/S acoustic with Gagliano logos. A US distributor purchased job-lots of instruments direct from various
manufacturers including Kay, Harmony, and Hopf and sold these under the
Gagliano label - rather like Silvertone in the US and Broadway as well
as Futurama in the UK. From the appearance of this guitar, Hofner
certainly didn't compromise on the quality of those guitars that it
produced for Gagliano. Owned by Chad Coulter.
1956/57 HOFNER MODEL 462/S/E2
An electric version fitted with Hofner's oval control console and rosewood
pickups. Owned by Otto Moffat from South Africa.
Another fine example of the electric version of the 462. The rosewood
pickups can be clearly seen on this guitar, which is owned by Thomas
Devantier in Denmark.
1962 HOFNER MODEL
462/S/E2 WITH F-HOLES
It would appear that Hofner produced a very small number of 462 model
guitars with conventional "F" shaped soundholes instead of the
usual "catseyes". This guitar is such an example. It displays all
the usual features of the 462 model, except for the soundholes. Owned by
Gert Overman in The Netherlands.
c1965 HOFNER MODEL 462/S
Another acoustic, with the "treble clef" headstock fascia. A very nice
example owned by James Payze in Suffolk, England.
The one with
the mahogany back and sides.
Early models had a solid carved spruce top, plus very ornate binding/purfling around the body
sides. Produced over a very long period from 1949 into the
MODEL 463/S ACOUSTIC This guitar would appear to be one of the first
Walter Hofner Model 463 versions. The exact date of its construction is
unknown. It could well have been made whilst Walter was working with Fred
Wilfer during the setting up of Framus in 1947/48, or by the new Hofner
company when it was still based in Moehrendorf. Any definite information on
this rare old guitar would be very much appreciated! It is owned by Kield
MODEL 463 ACOUSTIC
This example has a flared-top headstock, which indicates that it is one of the
early 463's made.
The fact that it doesn't have a body cutaway also points towards it
being an early example. Owned by Sam Neirynck from Belgium.
1954 HOFNER MODEL 463
By 1954, the headstocks used on most Hofner archtops had been changed from
the flared top to the more traditional symmetrical design. This particular
463 is a beautiful example and is owned by David Brass of Fretted
Americana, Los Angeles, USA.
A very early Hofner electric. Fitted with two Fuma pickups, four rotary
controls grouped together but not on a consul plate, and two pickup
selectors on the top treble bout. A very rare old guitar. Pictures
supplied by Michael Zylka, Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 463/S/E1
The single pickup version of the above very early Hofner electric
archtop. Owned by Grover Stewart in Kentucky, USA.
1959 HOFNER MODEL
This guitar is fitted with the three individual pickup selector switches, as
seems to have been Hofner's policy up to around 1960. After that date,
three-pickup archtops were provided with a single four-way selector switch.
Owned by Paul in Norway.
c1961 HOFNER MODEL 463/S/E3
Fitted with three toaster pickups, and the single four-way selector switch
referred to above. Owned by Alan Hodges in the UK.
Early 1960's HOFNER
This guitar shows that Hofner were still producing non-cutaway acoustic
versions of the 463 model in the early 1960's. Owned by Trevor Croucher in
North Yorkshire, England.
One of the Scott Chinery Collection, and now owned by Thomas Cray of
Michigan, USA. Note that Hofner have now replaced the earlier pearloid
strip headstock fascia with the Treble Clef motif,
c1963 HOFNER MODEL
Another example with the Treble Clef headstock motif, but this one is
also fitted with a vibrato tailpiece, offered by Hofner on all their
electric archtop and semi-acoustic models as a factory-fitted option -
hence the "V" designation. A beautiful and original guitar owned by
Jules Peters in The Netherlands.
1965 HOFNER MODEL 463/S/E3
Owned by Giovanni Ghiazza in Italy. Note how by this time, the
headstock fascia has changed to an inlaid rose and leaf pattern similar
Selmer distributed President and Verithin.
This is a very nice example, but strangely it does not have the inlaid
Hofner logo on the headstock. Owned by Ari Toivanen in Stockholm,
Type 513 pickups, enclosed metal button tuners, triple dot fret markers, and a "Les Paul" style
pickup selector switch identify this 463 as coming from the late
1960's. Owned by Matthias Rumoeller from Hamburg, Germany.
c1983 HOFNER MODEL 463/S/E2
By the 1980's the 463 model had experienced several further changes, including
the use of Schaller "Gibson-style" humbucking pickups, an escutcheon
tailpiece, and a notched headstock, The body timbers and ornamentation still
remained the same however. Photos courtesy of Norbert Schnepel of Musikkeller,
1950's HOFNER MODEL
A very rare and interesting instrument, owned by J. L. Myers in
Nashville, Tennessee. This is a plectrum guitar which Hofner have
produced using the 463 as a basis. The plectrum guitar is the
equivalent of the plectrum banjo, and has four strings usually tuned as
CGBD or DGBD. It has a long 26" to 27" scale length and always 22
frets. So far I haven't been able to find the plectrum guitar referred to in any Hofner catalogue or price list. So......was this a special
order, or are there more of Hofner plectrum guitars about?
HOFNER MODEL 463 PLECTRUM GUITAR Well, another "Plectrum" guitar has
now turned up. This one has a Swedish date stamp on the top of the
headstock, so at least that fixes the period that these very rare Hofners
were made - 1955. This one is owned by Cameron Brown in Surrey, England.
soundholes get cooler! Two "sickle"
shaped soundholes plus a single ornamented rhomboid hole adjacent to
the neck. Usually deep red
lacquer sunburst finish. My guess is that Hofner originally intended
to be an acoustic only, due to the rhomboid sound hole causing problems
fitting of a neck pickup. However, 464's do exist which have been
with a single pickup located mid way between the neck and bridge. Made
between 1954 to 1968.
1956 HOFNER MODEL 464/S An
early 464 owned by
Guy Audoux in France. This is fitted with an unusual owner-fitted floating
pickup attached to the end of the fingerboard.
1950's HOFNER MODEL 464/S
A typical acoustic 464 that has also been
retro-fitted with a single Hofner "floating" bridge pickup. Owned by
Ian Murray in Surrey, England.
1960 HOFNER MODEL 464/S
With a body date of September 1960, one would have expected this guitar to
have an adjustable truss rod in the neck. It doesn't though, which probably
means that Hofner were using up some 464 necks made prior to the end of
1959. Owned by Georg Strobel in Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 464/S/E1
An original electric 464 with its single Type 511 pickup and Hofner
rectangular control consul. A fine example of a very rare archtop,
owned by Jim Auckland in Virginia, USA.
1966 HOFNER MODEL 464/S
A lovely example of one of the later 464s which appear to have been
fitted with the gold outlined clear plastic pickguard with the Hofner
logo, as fitted to the post-63 Committees. Owned by Thomas in
The 465 was the "Master Class" model of the five
archtop models offered by Hofner when they first re-commenced production in 1949
after WWII. A high quality archtop guitar, usually with a carved spruce top
and, offered with either rosewood or birds-eye maple back
and sides. Very classy herring-bone body purfling, and ebony fretboard plus
mother of pearl headstock & fingerboard inlays. In the price list between 1949 and 1970, although most
seem to have been made in the 1950's.
1951 HOFNER MODEL 465
ACOUSTIC A very early example from the first year of Hofner's
production at Bubenreuth. This guitar has been in the same family since 1951
when it was purchased new in Germany. I understand that it is soon to be
restored back to its original condition by "Riova" who lives in
c1952 HOFNER MODEL 465
ACOUSTIC A stunning example with the optional birds-eye maple back
& sides. Fitted with an
tailpiece now used for the 465 as opposed to the "Lyre" tailpiece
on the very first examples.
A few very tasteful modifications have been made to this
guitar, which allow it to still perform to present-day standards. Owned by
Konstantinos Zarifopoulos of the German
Jazz Guitars Website.
HOFNER MODEL 465 WITH GAGLIANO BRAND NAME
Another very early example, indicated by the flared headstock top. This
guitar was produced as a "jobbing lot" by Hofner to be sold in the US
under the brand name "Gagliano". Owned by Mike Law.
1953 HOFNER MODEL
A slightly later 465, this time with the symmetrical headstock. The
body cutaway now seems to be on offer for the Hofner 465 model.
Owned by Johan Eliasson in Sweden.
MODEL 465/S ACOUSTIC
Beautifully restored, and now fitted with a Hofner "toaster" pickup and volume pot
on a new pickguard by a previous owner. The photos show off the rosewood and
heavy body purfling of the 465 model perfectly. Now owned by Richard Grist in
Christchurch, New Zealand.
1955 HOFNER MODEL 465/S
ACOUSTIC This is an excellent example of a 465 with the birds-eye
maple back & sides which Hofner offered as an option (at no additional
cost) on this model. It seems that this variation is considerably rarer than
the rosewood backed 465. A real stunner, owned by Carsten Ertsaas in Sweden.
1961 HOFNER MODEL
465/S ACOUSTIC An early 1960's example with birdseye maple back &
rims. A very fine guitar indeed, and fitted with a contemporary
Schaller pickup/pickguard unit. Owned by Georg Strobel in Germany.
1967-68 HOFNER MODEL
465/S ACOUSTIC One of the last ones made, with a rosewood back &
rims. Some of the usual Hofner late-1960's features have appeared on this
particular guitar, including the steel Type 72-25 bridge and the
"Bell"-shaped truss rod cover. The older style 3-on-a-plate tuners have been
retained however. Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
Late 1960's HOFNER MODEL 465/S/E2
ELECTRIC There don't seem to have been too many electric versions of
the 465 made, but this is one that was made at the end of the model's
production. Fitted with conventional electrics for the period, including the
Type 513 "Blade" pickups. Owned by
Cameron Brown in London, England.
Cousin to the
Committee model. Top quality
flame (but occasional birds-eye) maple back and sides, and heavy
mother-of-pearl inlays to neck and headstock. Introduced at Frankfurt in 1953 and
produced through to 1968 in both acoustic and electric versions. It appears to have been
replaced by the Model 471 which appeared in 1969.
main differences between the
UK distributed Committee and the European/US market 468 are: the
Committee invariably had a birds-eye maple back and sides; the 468
never had the large "frondose" headstock; the inlays on the 468 are the "bell-flowers" for the headstock, and "bow-tie" on the
fingerboard. The Committee has "rose" and "rose & leaf" inlays.
c1953/54 HOFNER MODEL 468
One of the first 468s and therefore made in the rare
non-cutaway version. The body logo incorporates the word
"Meisterklasse", and the very unusual "square clover-leaf"
inlayed into the back of the body was only used for the first year or so of the
468's production period. This
lovely old guitar is owned by
Konstantinos Zarifopoulos of the German
Jazz Guitars Website.
1954/56 HOFNER MODEL
An early cutaway-body version, just a year or so older than the two examples
above but enough to mean that it doesn't have the "square clover-leaf" on
the back of the body - just the Fleur-de-Lys inlay. A Framus combined
pickup/pickguard unit has been fitted. It has been owned since 1960 by Mr
Wierspecker of Hamilton, Canada.
MODEL 468/S/E3 A rare and very beautiful instrument owned by Bengt Ericsson of Sweden.
Three Fuma pickups, circular control consul, and three pickup flick
switches all mounted on solid carved spruce! What a guitar!
HOFNER MODEL 468/S/E3 "SPECIAL DE LUXE" This superb example has had the logo "Special De Luxe" factory applied
onto the body top. Was this considered to be special by Hofner due to
its three pickups? I don't know....maybe because this is the first
guitar that I have ever encountered with this logo. Owned by
Siri in Norway.
MODEL 468/S ACOUSTIC ARCHTOP A very lovely guitar, but an unusual one. This 468 has a body date of
February 1961, and yet its neck does not have an adjustable truss-rod.
Owned by Dan Holden.
Top-of-the-range archtop with large body
(Committee size - 21" x 17"/17.5" x 3"). Almost in the same league as
the Golden Hofner, which had an 18" body..........but not quite! Fitted
with a smaller
headstock inlaid with "lilies of the valley" rather than the Golden's
frondose headstock and more delicate "rose" style inlay. Also "bow tie"
fret position markers instead of the Golden/Committee's "rose and
leaf". Nothing like as rare as the Golden, possibly because it was
produced over a much longer period - late 1950's into the early 1990's, but a
very classy and beautiful guitar nonetheless.
1958 HOFNER MODEL
The earliest 470 that I have come across so far. It has the old black
pickups and an un-reinforced neck. A beautiful guitar from the
collection of Mr Wenzel Dashington, a gentleman who has been known to
dabble in Teutonic archtop arcana!
A stunning guitar owned by Michael Stanley Pedersen of Copenhagen,
Denmark. Again, an early example of this top of the range guitar fitted
with black-bar pickups which were typical for that period.
1960 HOFNER MODEL 470/S/E2V - WITH
ELECTRONIC TREMOLO EFFECT
In 1960, Hofner commenced offering an electronically generated tremolo
effect as an option on their archtop models. This particular 470 is
therefore one of the very first so fitted with this option. The tremolo
option was discontinued by Hofner after around two years and after only a
small number had been sold, possibly due to the high cost. Therefore this is
a very rare guitar. Dieter Serowy in Germany is the lucky owner.
1960/61 HOFNER MODEL
470/S/T3 Another rare guitar - a 470 fitted with three
"toaster" pickups and an active pre-amp circuit. The "T"
in the model designation stands for "transistor". Owned by Mr
Pries Conradie in South Africa.
c1962 HOFNER MODEL
This 470 seems to have a wider strip of dark brown staining in-between the
body edge purfling, which together with a superb flame maple back, makes it
a stunning looker. Photos are from the Ramin Hesse
Vintage*Guitar*Collection, Berlin Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 470/S/E2
An example fitted with the Type 511 "Staple" pickups, and the same
controls as those used on the Committee of that period. It also has
birdseye maple back and sides rather than the more usual flame maple.
An immaculate and beautiful guitar owned by Detlev Goldau in Germany.
1965 HOFNER MODEL
470/S/E2 - CATALOGUE SCAN From the 1965 Hofner catalogue, this shows
a 470 with different electrics to the above - i.e. a three slide switch
pickup/solo-rhythm selector console on the body top bout and three rotary
c1966 HOFNER MODEL 470/S/E2
A slightly later model (?) fitted with a conventional single selector switch on
the top bout, but still with the three rotary controls. Owned by Rolf
Johansson of Sweden.
c1966 HOFNER MODEL
470/S Acoustic versions of the 470 seem to be a lot rarer than the
electrics. This one is a stunner! Owned by Tony Schwan in the USA.
Early 1970's HOFNER
MODEL 470/S/E2 It would seem that during the early 1970's, the 470 acquired
a new headstock fascia
and fingerboard inlays. Also the eleven-piece neck was changed to a
five-piece for a very short period around this time. A beautiful example owned by Neal
Hargis Louisiana, USA.
1974/75 HOFNER MODEL 470/S/E2
From around 1973/74, a one piece maple neck with a longer and more
slender-looking headstock was finally fitted to the 470 and 4700 models. The
pot codes of this lovely guitar suggest 1974 or perhaps 1975 construction.
Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
1989/91 HOFNER MODEL
In 1989, Hofner introduced a set of various options for the
"traditional" archtop models that still remained in the catalogue.
As well as single and twin Attila Zoller pickup combinations, there was also
the option of a single AZ pickup being fitted in combination with a Barcus-Berry
piezo unit in the bridge. This option was defined as the "E1
Plus". Photos of such a guitar have been donated by
Konstantinos Zarifopoulos of the German
Jazz Guitars Website.
From 1988 onwards, the 470 was fitted with a carved solid
1992 HOFNER MODEL 470/E2
Another one of the last examples to be made, and hence this is one of the
few 470s fitted with a carved solid spruce top. Photos kindly donated by
Konstantinos Zarifopoulos of the German
Jazz Guitars Website.
HOFNER MODEL 471
Introduced in 1969, this model seems on the face of it to have been the
replacement for the Hofner 468 which was phased-out at about that time. However,
was of a higher quality than the 468, and in fact was a more expensive guitar
than the 470. It would seem that Hofner were trying to produce a more modern
top-of-the-range guitar than the old models. The 471 had a large body (17" lower bout,
3.5" deep) and was available
in acoustic or electric formats. One difference to the 468 & 470 models was
that the 471 had a Florentine body cutaway. Other distinctive features were the
one-piece very slim and flat maple neck, the
slender elongated F-holes, the large mother of pearl block fret markers set in
the ebony fingerboard, and the
double fleur-de-lys headstock inlay. It was in the catalogue up to 1977,
and a thinline version with similar features, designated the 4710, was also
produced over the same period.
1969 HOFNER MODEL 471/E2
ELECTRIC ARCHTOP - CATALOGUE SCAN A scan from Hofner's 1969 new
models catalogue. It shows that initially the 471 had a tone selector
switch/booster control located on the body cutaway. The 471 & 4710
guitars were the first Hofner models to be fitted with the new Type 513
"Staple" pickup, which was itself introduced in early 1969,
initially with a cream plastic surround to the staple. Over the next year or
two, the Type 513 replaced the Type 512 "Staple" on most of
Hofner's other models, but with the more familiar black plastic staple
Early 1970's HOFNER MODEL 471/E2
ELECTRIC ARCHTOP A
beautiful brunette example, owned by Dieter Serowy. By the time that this
guitar was made, Hofner appear to have reverted back to using a conventional
2 x Volume, 2x Tone arrangement on the 471.
to the Selmer distributed
President, but with elongated F-holes and a wider (17") body. Produced in both fully acoustic
or electric-acoustic versions and all with a Florentine cutaway.
Generally red/yellow sunburst, but also in natural finish as can be
seen below. The bodies were very deep compared to other archtops.
Hofner's mid-range archtop for the 1970's. Made between 1969 and 1994.
HOFNER MODEL 477 ACOUSTIC
An immaculate blonde finish example of the 477 acoustic version. The
deep body and shallow neck heel is well illustrated by the photos.
Pictures taken courtesy of Music
Ground, Leeds, England
c1970 HOFNER MODEL 477
A really lovely acoustic model that has been given a "floating"
neck pickup at some stage. The guitar still has the triple dot fretmarkers,
but also has the later silver script Hofner headstock logo. Owned by Klaas
van der Ploeg in Holland.
1980's HOFNER MODEL 477
This particular blonde finish guitar is one of the latter ones with the
Schaller pickups and the single fingerboard marker dots, as opposed to
the triple dots on the earlier guitars. Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
MODEL 477 ELECTRIC
This near-mint example has the more usual red/yellow sunburst finish.
It is slightly different in detail to the one above. Hofner tended to
make many changes to their archtop specs throughout this period. Owned
by Ron Melotte in The Netherlands.
HOFNER MODEL 478
A large bodied guitar
(17¼" lower bout), only
made for a short period around 1977, in both fully acoustic and
electric versions and aimed presumably at the Jazz market. The electric
version was fitted with a single
floating pickup mounted on the end of the fingerboard.
This lovely archtop was
presumably intended to take over as
Hofner's top-of-the-range archtop from the 470 model, who's retail
price was very similar. However, the 470 continued in the catalogue
after the A2L had been introduced in 1978......and was still there well
into the 1990's, nearly ten years after production of the A2L ceased in
The A2L was a little different to the 470 however, in that it was
fitted with a single "floating pickup" mounted on the end of the
fingerboard, as opposed to the pickups of the 470 being fitted directly
body top. Also, the A2L didn't have the
gold plated hardware of the 470, although the beautiful flame maple,
mother of pearl, and rich purflings were still there. It was intended
to be more of a guitar for the purist jazz player. A thinline
version called the A2HL (see below in the Semi's & Thinline
Section) was also produced during the same period.
Designed in conjunction with the late Attila Zoller,
possibly to take over the role of the A2L, this
small range of guitars was very much Hofner's pinnacle of archtop
construction, overshadowing even the 470 model. (In fact the price of
the AZ "Award" version was 50% higher than that of the 470!) The
Standard model (later supplemented by the AZ Special) was pretty luxurious,
with solid spruce top, flamed maple back and sides, rosewood
fingerboard, and large ornate mother of pearl block fret-markers. The
Award model was blonde finished, had gold-plated metalwork, ebony
fingerboard, and was of strictly limited production. The "AZ" was
produced between 1982 and 1991.
The AZ Special seems to have been produced in small numbers in parallel with the
Standard model from 1989. This was fitted with a "lyre" tailpiece
instead of the Standard's special AZ unit.
In 1989, Hofner introduced a higher-spec AZ model called the
AZ Collection. This had a Bordeaux Red finish and gold-plated hardware. This is
a very rare model indeed, as only one or two were actually produced. A high quality thin-line semi-acoustic called the AZ Fusion was also
produced between 1989 and 1991.
One of the
great designs which resulted
from the employment of Klaus Schöller in the Hofner factory
from 1986 onwards. (Herr Schöller is now Chief Executive of the Hofner Company.)
This guitar was a revolution in archtop design when it first appeared
in 1989. A highly tapered body width provided ease of playing the
guitar, the joining of the neck to the body at the 16th fret aided
access to the fingerboard, and the "slash" type soundholes and stunning finishes
on offer certainly caught the eye! A laminated spruce top
was used and this, together with the mounting of the Shadow Attila Zoller
pickup off the body top by attaching it to the end of the fingerboard
(floating pickup), provided the correct acoustic properties for a Jazz
guitar. The Jazzica, later called the Jazzica Standard, remained in the
catalogue up to 1998.
A year or so later, in 1991, a Jazzica Special model was introduced which, being
a blonde finish, was provided with binding around the rear body edge.
(The original Jazzica had no binding on the body back, presumably as
this would not have fitted in aesthetically with the dark gloss
finishes chosen for it and the overall style of the guitar.) The earlier
versions of the Special still had a laminated body top, but by 1997 this had
been changed to solid carved spruce.
The final and longest lasting version, called the Jazzica Custom model, appeared
in 2000 and was a development of the Jazzica
Special, with rear body binding, floating Hofner pickup, ornate
headstock design, and blonde, occasionally brown sunburst, and violin
varnish finishes on offer. The Jazzica disappeared from the Hofner
Catalogue at the end of 2008.
A very special example, as
this one has been signed-off
on the body label by Klaus Schöller himself. It was made to
special order for Toni Denjer in Germany, and this again is recorded on
the body label. The finish is turquoise sunburst, which really does
suit the original flamboyant Jazzica design concept. Another design
feature evident on the first Jazzica version is the heavily rounded
neck heel, which is demonstrated on this particular guitar. I have to
say that the early Jazzica design is a great personal favourite of
mine! Owned by Alan Cramp in
HOFNER JAZZICA SPECIAL
The differences between the Special and the original Jazzica are pretty
obvious with regard to the body and neck heel treatment. However, the
Special still retains the nice gold plated tailpiece and the Shadow
The current version of the Jazzica, by way of comparison with the early
versions above. This one has the less common sunburst finish, and is
owned by Les Piggin in Yorkshire, England.
Bottom of the range Hofner Thinline Archtop, produced between 1965 and
1984. Based on the 450 archtop, but always with cutaway to body. Brown
sunburst finish usually, but there are red sunburst examples. Fitted
with either one or two pickups.
This example, with slightly modified electrics, is owned by Soren Koch
of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Hofner retained the rectangular control consul and Type 510 pickups on
the 4500 until into the early 1970's. This fine example, owned by
Giorgio Richiardi from Italy, is also equipped with the factory-option
A fine example of a later 4500, with its triple dot fret-markers and
plastic Hofner headstock logo. This guitar has a body date that is four
years earlier than its assembly date! Now owned by Denis Kuhl in
Another nice example of the late 1960's 4500. The plastic headstock
logo had been superceeded by a gold decal type. This one is owned by
Desmond Abbott of Essex, England, and has been signed by Martin Taylor.
1970's HOFNER MODEL
This 4500 has a mother of pearl dagger inlaid into the headstock. It
also has the Type 511(iii) pickups that were fitted to some of
Hofner's lower-priced semis during the 1970's.
1970's HOFNER MODEL 4500
The 4500 was made between 1965 and 1984, which was a very long
production period by Hofner's standards. Features on the model, such as
headstock fascias, fret markers, and electric controls seem to have
been frequently changed over the period. This guitar, owned by Heike of
Germany, has the single pole Type 511(iii) pickups, double dot markers
as on the 449 model, and three rotary controls.
Thinline (2" body depth) version of the Hofner 456, produced between 1959 and
1970. Maple top and
moderately flamed maple back and sides. One or two pickups. A vibrato
tailpiece was fitted to many of the 4560s made.
HOFNER MODEL 4560
Finished in Hofner's beautiful "redburst". This guitar has a vibrato
tailpiece and, being originally sold in Holland, a Van Wouw serial
number. Owned by Mr Job de Vries in The Netherlands.
The thinline version of the Hofner 457, produced from 1958 into the early 90's. Mid-quality guitars, with spruce tops and
nicely flamed back and sides. For the first 3 or 4 years, the 4570 had a 60mm
(2.4") deep body, with Natural or Red/Yellow Sunburst finish on offer. The
body depth then dropped down to50mm (2") in the early/mid 1960's and the
beautiful red sunburst was replaced by Hofner's traditional brown sunburst
There was a similar guitar called the
4572, with 1.25" body sides, which is generally finished in red.
HOFNER MODEL 4570/E2
One of the first 4570's made, and in outstanding condition! Originally
supplied through the Van Wouw Company, who gave it the serial number
1882. A blonde finish, fitted with a truss-rod but with the black-bar
pickups. Owned by Harry Sibum in The Netherlands.
HOFNER MODEL 4570/T1
This example, owned by Guy Audoux in France, is fitted with one "toaster" pickup and built-in
transistorised preamp circuit. It is finished in the lovely red/yellow
sunburst finish, with a black lacquer finish to the body sides and neck. This
very attractive finish combination was unique to the 4570 and Club 60/167/168 models during
the early 1960's.
Another single pickup active-electrics version of the
4570, in the red/yellow sunburst finish with black body sides and neck. Owned
by Max Junger of of Pyramid Strings in Bubenreuth,
For some reason, Hofner have put a "treble clef" headstock fascia onto
this guitar, instead of the more usual three-piece pearloid/tortoishell
fascia. It serves to demonstrate that Hofner were not always consistent
with model specifications in the 1960's! This 4570 is owned by Harry
Sibum in The Netherlands.
Early/Mid 1960's HOFNER 4570/E2
Another 4570 with the Treble Clef Headstock. This blonde example was made a
little while after the one above, as it is fitted with Type 510 Diamond Logo
pickups and small pickup surrounds. The "wide" rectangular control is either
a replacement for a "narrow" console, or the guitar was assembled in the
transition year of 1965 when Hofner was changing over from narrow consoles
and small pickup surrounds to "wide" consoles and the Gibson-like large
pickup surrounds. Owned by Max Junger of Pyramid Strings in Bubenreuth,
MODEL 4570/E3 WHITE PICKUP
It would seem that in the early 1960's, Hofner produced a small number
of 4570's fitted with white bar pickups, even though the black pickups
of this style had been superseded by both the "toaster" and Type 510
pickup units. These guitars were finished in a cherry-red sunburst,
which is unusual for the 4570. The result however is stunning! This
three pickup example is owned by Jurgen Joachimsthaler in Berlin,
1963/64 HOFNER MODEL
4570/S/E1 A nice blonde-finished guitar that has a body date of March
1961, but pot codes of mid-1963. The "Dagger" style headstock
decoration confirms that the guitar was assembled at the earliest in 1963,
hence providing yet another example of why one cannot assume that the body
date (or pot codes!) always provides an accurate method of dating a Hofner
guitar. Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
c1966 HOFNER MODEL
457/S/E2 This guitar has the "wide" pickup surrounds
and the "wide" control console, indicating that it was made at
sometime after mid-1965 when those features were introduced by Hofner on all
applicable models. Owned by Claes
Carlberg of Sweden.
c1966 HOFNER MODEL
During this period, the 4570 looked very much like a thinline
President. The only difference being the location of the selector
switch and also in the latter half of the 60's, the President had a
Florentine body cutaway. This example of the 4570 is owned by Leif
Berglund in Sweden.
Late 1960's HOFNER MODEL 4570 A
fine example of the 4570 dating between 1967 and 1970. During this period,
the strip fret-markers were re-introduced, and the Hofner "Treble
Clef" plastic headstock fascia was fitted. Two Type 512 "Blade
" pickups are fitted, together with the three-rotary control plus
pickup selector switch that was also typical for this period. Owned by Simon
Late 1960's HOFNER MODEL
4570 VTZ Around this time, the F-holes on the 4570 became more
elongated. As well as exhibiting that feature, this particular guitar is
fitted with active electrics for Treble Boost (T) and distortion/fuzz (Z).
It is also fitted with Hofner's own vibrato tailpiece (V). The active
electrics were offered as options throughout Hofner's archtop and thinline
archtop range, but very few 4570 examples seem to have been so fitted, hence
making this guitar fairly rare.
The 1973 Hofner catalogue describes the 4570 as being fitted with the
then newly introduced Type 511(ii) pickups. This particular guitar,
owned by Alan Cramp, is an example of this variation on the 4570 theme.
I suspect that this version was produced for only a short period.
A later version than the one above, with very interesting combined
scratchplate and pickup surrounds. Owned by Tony Thompson in South
1980's HOFNER 4570 E2
A very typical example of a mid-1980's Hofner thinline archtop, with a one-piece
maple neck, small neck heel, and large "Hofner 57 Classic" twin-coil
pickups. Owned by Bob Cocozza in Florida, USA.
HOFNER MODEL 457-12 TWELVE-STRING
This 12-string version of the 4570 thinline archtop was
introduced in 1966 and produced for around four years up to 1970. With its
2" deep body, it followed the 4570 in style and development. The very first
examples made appear to have had a vertical Hofner logo on the headstock. This
was soon followed by an inlaid "dagger" design with a conventional
horizontally orientated logo. A Gagliano
version of the 457-12 was produced which allowed importation into the US without
contravening the Hofner trade-name registered with US customs by the Wm. Gratz
MODEL 457-12 TWELVE STRING GUITAR
This example is slightly different to the above two guitars. It has the earlier
vertical Hofner headstock logo, and the pickup selector switch is located on
the treble side of the guitar. Owned by Soren Jonsson in Sweden.
Late 1960's HOFNER MODEL 457-12 TWELVE
STRING GUITAR A later example fitted with Type 513 "Blade"
pickups instead of the previously fitted Type 511 "Blades". This
guitar has had some items of hardware changed to non-Hofner units, but it is
still a great looking guitar. Owned by Georg Strobel of Munich, Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 4571
This model seems to have been produced for a short period in
1965, 1966, and apparently on towards 1968. It was
a twin cutaway semi, with a 2" deep body...........really a twin
cutaway Hofner 4570, (or a 2" deep bodies Hofner 4574). It is rather a mystery
model, as there is virtually no marketing documentation for the 4571.
1965/66 HOFNER MODEL
4571/E2/V A beautiful example, fitted with twin pickups and
the optional Hofner vibrato tailpiece. Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
MODEL 4571/E2/V A slightly later version of the guitar above, fitted
with one volume and two tone rotary controls plus pickup selector switch
instead of the simple four rotary controls above. Owned by
Max Junger of Pyramid
Strings in Bubenreuth, Germany.
1965/66 HOFNER MODEL 4571/E3/V
anther 4571 with 50mm deep body, but this one is equipped with three pickups
and the Hofner vibrato tailpiece. It also has lovely white pearloid binding,
which is very unusual for the mid-range Hofner thinlines. Owned by Marc
Morris in The Netherlands.
It would seem that some later 4571 guitars were produced with
Type 513 pickups which would date this guitar as being made sometime from
early 1967 onwards. This particular example is finished in red. Owned by Alan Cramp, England.
c1968 HOFNER MODEL
4571 This rare and beautiful guitar is also owned by Alan Cramp,
England. It shows significant changes to the one above, having triple-dot
fret markers, a simple trapeze tailpiece, and the unusual Type 511(iii)
single coil pickups. Was it a "special", made up to use surplus 2" deep
This is another variation on the Verithin/Model 4574. It is basically a
single cutaway Verithin, i.e. it has the 1.25" body depth, usually the
beautiful rich red finish, but only one Venetian cutaway. Generally
fitted with a very stylish tailpiece by ABM called the "Jazz" model. Produced
between 1960 and 1965. Early models have pearloid body and neck binding
rather than plain white as with the Verithin, together with gold stripes
around the body sides. There was actually a
Model 4572(ii) produced in the
1970's and 80's with two "Micky Mouse" cutaways, but that was a totally
different guitar - see below.
HOFNER MODEL 4572(i) WHITE PICKUPS A very interesting guitar, and not just because it
the first 4572 guitars made. It is fitted with the rare and attractive
white bar pickups, and...........it has the twin gold stripes around the body
sides which is how this model was first introduced. Even more
interesting is that there is evidence of a model label having been
stuck inside the body, as with the Selmer distributed
guitars........particularly significant as Dave Wright, the owner,
bought the 4572 second-hand from Selmer in London.
MODEL 4572(i) This lovely guitar is fitted with the "Toaster" pickups
which are typical for 1960 and the first half of 1961. Instead of the twin
gold stripes painted on the body rims as on the very first examples of the 4572,
this now has a single thin gold stripe. As can be seen from the examples below,
the gold stripe on the 4572 seem to have disappeared entirely by late 1961.
Owned by Arnstein Nielsen in Norway.
HOFNER MODEL 4572(i)
The definitive 4572, complete with rectangular control console and
ABM "Jazz-style" tailpiece. Owned by Giovanni Ghiazza in Italy.
c1962 HOFNER MODEL 4572/V(i) An example with the later four rotary control knobs instead of the rectangular
console, which was discontinued in early 1962. The Hofner vibrato tailpiece
was factory-fitted to this guitar, probably one of the first to be so
equipped. Owned by Jean-Claude Dagues in Nievre, France.
HOFNER MODEL 4572(i)
A single pickup version finished in brown sunburst from the end of the
production run in 1965. This unusual example is owned by Glynne Morgan
in South Wales.
HOFNER MODEL 4572/V(i)
A more typical 1965 4572, with its red finish and twin Type 511
pickups. An immaculate example now owned by Geoff Walton in Australia.
The second Hofner model to carry the 4572 number, produced between
about 1968/69 to 1988. This guitar emulated the Gibson 330 in
configuration, electrics, and in body size - the body depth of the 4572
was 2". However a bolt-on neck was used. Finished in sunburst as
standard, early versions of the 4572 had two new style Type 511(iii)
single coil pickups and the usual two volumes/two tones/three way
pickup selector switch. Later versions seem to have reverted back to
513 pickups. It is easily recognised because of its two pronounced
"Micky Mouse" body cutaways.
It would seem that Hofner supplied completed 4572 bodies to
the US Ovation company from 1966 through to 1969 for use on the Ovation
"Storm" and "Hurricane" semi-acoustic models. That being the
case, the Model 4572(ii) took its roots from the Ovation Storm design, but
appears to have lasted in production for much longer than the Ovation product.
1969/1970 HOFNER MODEL 4572 (ii)
In 1969, Hofner seem to have produced the 4572 with three rotary controls (1
x volume; 2 x tone) instead of the usual four (2 x volume; 2 x tone). This
is a good example, owned by Andreas in Malaysia.
1960's/Early 1970's HOFNER MODEL 4572 (ii) "HiFi"
Another early one, but this time factory-fitted with the Hofner Type
514 "HiFi" pickups which makes this a very rare guitar. I have yet to
see a HiFi 4572 model in an catalogue, so perhaps this one was a
factory prototype? It is owned by Alan Patrick of Berlin, Germany.
1970 HOFNER MODEL
4572 V (ii)
This guitar has pickups that at first glance appear to be Type 513 "Blades"
but actually don't have the set of screw polepieces, just the single blade.
Presumably they are a form of single coil Type 511(iii) units, probably made
by Schaller. The (original) tuners are also unusual for a Höfner
guitar. Owned by Wolfgang in Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 4572 WZM
The model 4572 is rarely seen fitted with the optional active effect
electronics, but this one is even more unusual because it has the rare
Wah-Wah/Fuzz/Sound-Mix combination. The Wah is actually controlled
using one's little finger operating a lever on the pickguard! This
example in excellent condition is owned by Mac Halliwell in
Cambridgeshire, England, and it is for sale (April 2008).
1980's HOFNER MODEL
A slightly modified example, owned by Rizvan Mehmedbasiae. This guitar
has the large pickguard that envelopes the pickups - found on the later
1970's HOFNER MODEL
An example with bar style fret markers instead of the dot markers of
the above 4572's. Thanks to Christopher Troster of Germany for the
1980's HOFNER MODEL
4572/E2/V Hofner still kept the 4572 in their "General Price List"
well into the 1980's, although by that time I suspect they were concentrating
more on their new higher quality "T-Series" semi-acoustics and making very few
of the old models such as the 4572. This particular example is fitted with the
Hofner vibrato tailpiece and Schaller pickups which Hofner started using on
other models during the 80's. Owned by Karl Gormanns in Germany.
outline shape the same as the 4574/Verithin, but with a deeper 40mm body
(compared to the Verithin's 30mm body depth) and also a bolt-on neck. White
binding was provided to the body top and F-holes, but not to the back. Produced in
it is a comparatively rare guitar. The
4573 seems to have been developed on similar principles as the thinner-bodied
4600, i.e. as a cheaper version of the highly successful 4574 guitar.
1968 HOFNER MODEL
4573/VT - CATALOGUE SCAN The German Hofner
Electric Guitars Catalogue of c1968 shows a 4573 fitted with a treble boost,
as well as the Hofner vibrato tailpiece. Note that the guitar is
described as having a 40mm deep body.
HOFNER MODEL 4573 A
lovely red-burst example of the standard version - a trapeze tailpiece
fitted instead of a vibrato unit. Owned by Max Junger of Pyramid Strings in Bubenreuth,
1967/68 HOFNER MODEL
4573/V This one is finished in Brown sunburst and is fitted
with a factory-fitted vibrato tailpiece. It was probably made a little later
than the one above as it has the decal-type headstock logo rather than the
plastic type. Owned by Gérard Beuzon in France.
This guitar is often called the "Verithin" in error, as strictly speaking,
that name was only applied to the 4574's Selmer distributed twin-brother. (The
only difference between the two models was the model/serial # label inside the
body of the Selmer guitars!) Thin body depth of 1.25" (30mm) and twin Venetian (rounded) cutaways.
Initially a "russett-red" finish was offered, which was quickly
replaced by cherry red and brown sunburst finishes. Generally two
pickups, but very occasionally three. Many 4574's had Hofner's own
vibrato tailpiece factory fitted. A stereo version was available.
Produced between 1960 and 1976. A Florentine (pointed) cutaway similar
guitar called the 4576 was produced between 1967 and 1970.
1961 HOFNER MODEL 4574 An
early example, with the "russett-red finish, the "toaster"
pickups, and the rectangular control console. Pearloid binding was used on
the first examples of the 4574, and this guitar appears to have that type of
body and neck binding rather than the plain white used from around 1961
onwards on the 4574 and on all Selmer-distributed Verithins. Owned by Peter van Ingen in
1961/62 HOFNER MODEL
4574 A slightly later 4574/E2, again in "russett-red"
finish, but fitted with the Type 510 "Diamond Logo" pickups which
were introduced towards the end of 1961. A very beautiful and desirable
guitar, owned by Marco Sacchi in Milan, Italy.
HOFNER MODEL 4574
The definitive 4574, with Type 511 pickups, four rotary controls,
vibrato tailpiece option, and cherry red finish. Owned by Robert
Hepburn in Toronto, Canada.
HOFNER MODEL 4574
.......and one without a vibrato unit. The attractive tailpiece on this
example was occasionally fitted by Hofner to the mid-range thinlines in the
early to mid 1960s. Now owned by Aksel a Botni, in the Faroe Isalnds.
A 4574 with THREE factory fitted pickups? Sure is, and it comes
courtesy of Southern Music, Cape Town, South Africa.
1965/66 HOFNER MODEL
4574 Hofner started putting the wide plastic pickup surrounds onto
their guitars from mid-1965 onwards, and this guitar demonstrates this
feature. It still has the four rotary controls, which were changed to three
plus a selector switch shortly after during 1966. Owned by Gil Graham.
HOFNER MODEL 4574 STEREO
An example of the rare stereo version of the 4574, owned by Carl Kaye
in Austria. Carl
has also supplied detailed information, diagrams, and photos regarding the
stereo wiring for this model.
HOFNER MODEL 4574
This example has the three rotary control plus selector switch electrics
layout introduced in 1966. It also has the heavy chrome Type 72/25 bridge
which was introduced for use on semis
fitted with vibrato tailpieces, and which tended to replace the Type 72/20 &
72/23 bridges previously fitted to the 4574. Owned by David Nielsen in Denmark.
1960's/EARLY 1970's HOFNER MODEL 4574
This one is fitted with the Hofner tremolo tailpiece, the "Blade"
Type 513 pickups, and the three rotary control/selector switch
electrics. Yet another classy guitar owned by Giovanni Ghiazza in Italy.
1970'S HOFNER MODEL
A nice example of the Stereo version of the 4574, fitted with Type 513
pickups, a one-piece neck, and hence probably dating from the early
1970's. Owned by Anthony Moreno in Florida, USA.ThTh
HOFNER MODEL 4574 VTZ This is a fairly rare 4574 which has been fitted with
active electrics - similar to the 4575 model below, but with only two
pickups. Owned by Kerry Laws in the US.
A 4574 with three pickups and more complex passive electronics,
including a solo/rhythm switch with adjustable level difference. Some 4575's
were also produced with active electronics (including fuzz or treble
boost circuits) in the 1970's, and the vast majority seem to have had the Hofner factory
fitted vibrato tailpiece. Those 4575's fitted with active electronics
have a slightly deeper 1½" body. The 4575 was produced from the mid
1960's to the mid 1970's.
1966/67 HOFNER MODEL 4575
A lovely red-burst finished guitar with a black lacquer neck. Owned by Max
Junger of Pyramid Strings in Bubenreuth,
Late 1960's HOFNER MODEL
4575/V Brown sunburst finish, and fitted with
the factory-fitted Hofner vibrato tailpiece. This one also has a black
lacquered neck. Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
c1970 HOFNER MODEL
4575/V A beautiful three-shade sunburst finish on an immaculate
example of the 4575. Fitted with Type 513 "Blade" pickups and
owned by Detlev Goldau in Germany.
c1970 HOFNER MODEL 4575/V A
similar guitar to the one above, but finished in stunning cherry red. Owned by
Max Junger of Pyramid Strings in Bubenreuth, Germany
This model was identical to the Model 4574, with the 3cm deep
"Verithin" body, but had Florentine cutaways instead of Venetian as on
the 4574. Produced for only three years or so between 1967 and c1970
or 1971, it seems
to have been fitted with every different combination of electrics!
HOFNER MODEL 4576
An early example with the open geared tuners, three rotary controls and
a pickup selector switch. Owned by Gerard Beuzon in France.
HOFNER MODEL 4576
A similar guitar to the one above, but this one is finished in a
beautiful sunburst. Owned by Florian Berger in Austria.
1967 HOFNER MODEL 4576
This one still has the Type 511 "staple" pickups, but has just two
volume and two tone controls without a pickup selector switch. It also has a
conventional "Lyre" tailpiece.
Another immaculate example, also with four rotary control knobs and no
pickup selector but it is fitted with the Type 512 "Blade" pickups and also enclosed metal buttoned tuners.
These features would date it slightly later than the
three guitars above. Owned from new
in December 1967 by Olaf Poeter in Germany.
To read a comparison between the two guitars immediately
above, written by Olaf Poeter, CLICK HERE.
c1968 HOFNER MODEL 4576 E3 An
unusual guitar in that it has the three-pickup electrics configuration of
the 4575 model, but with a slightly deeper version of the 4576 twin-cutaway
Florentine body. The body depth of this particular guitar is 35mm instead of
the usual 30mm for the 4576.
A thin-bodied archtop with all the features of the Selmer-distributed
Hofner President Florentine Thinline. This model appeared in the catalogue in
1967, at a time when the President's sales were in steep decline in the UK. It
is likely therefore that this model was Hofner's attempt to sell off stock
Presidents to the rest of the world. As with the President version, the 4577 had
a 16" wide and 50mm deep body with brown sunburst finish. The guitar was
supplied with a conventional Lyre-style tailpiece (4577) or with Hofner's own
vibrato tailpiece (4577V). It only seems to have been available for a couple of
years or so, when it was then replaced by the larger bodied version below.
thin-bodied version of the
Hofner 477 archtop, with a 17" wide and 60mm deep body with a single Florentine cutaway.
The standard finish appears to be red/yellow sunburst. Some examples are fitted
with Hofner's own patented neck-rake adjuster. Produced from c1969 at around the
same time as its 477 cousin appeared, and then on into the early 1990's.
Beautiful red sunburst finish, and the short-heeled neck as used by
Hofner for a short period in the 1970's. Owned by Alan Cramp.
Early 1970's HOFNER MODEL
red/yellow sunburst example, but this one has been fitted with Hofner's
neck-rake adjustment mechanism. Owned by Wolfgang in Germany.
Twin Florentine cutaways, and a thinline 2" thick body. Triple dot
fretboard markers and "vine" headstock inlays. Full glued joint construction
between body and neck. This guitar is very similar to the Hofner
Ambassador. Two pickups and often active electronics, including fuzz
and treble boost. The 4578 was made between 1967 and 1981.
1966 HOFNER MODEL 4578 V / AMBASSADOR
This guitar would appear to be actually an Ambassador, even though it was
supplied by Hofner to the Dutch Van Wouw company rather than to Selmer London.
Being sold within Europe rather than in the UK, it must therefore be
considered as a 4578 model, particularly as it does not have a Selmer body
label. It is fitted with a Hofner vibrato tailpiece rather than a Bigsby unit
as it would have had if it were to be supplied to Selmer.
My guess is that it may have been supplied to Van Wouw in order to obtain
their feedback on the new 4578 model which was actually introduced in Spring
1967. This very interesting guitar is owned by Gerard Buter in The
1967 HOFNER MODEL 4578 VTZ - POSSIBLE
PROTOTYPE This guitar has strip fret-position markers instead of the
triple-dot markers usually fitted to the 4578. I have only seen a photo of
one other 4578 that has strip-markers, and that is the one shown in Hofner's
pre-show publicity for the guitars to be introduced at the Spring 1967
Frankfurt Trade Show. There is therefore a good chance that this is either
that actual guitar, or another pre-production prototype. It has been owned
since 1968 by George Smith of West Sussex, England.
1967/68 HOFNER MODEL
A rare and interesting semi - a Hofner 4578 fitted with a Wah-Wah, Fuzz, and Sound
controls! The Wah finger-lever is mounted through the pickguard. These Wah circuits were only
factory-fitted to special
order, and hence this type of active electronics is rarely seen on a
Hofner. Owned by James Culverwell in South Africa.
c1968 HOFNER MODEL 4578 V WZM
....and another 4578 with WZM active circuits, but this has also a
factory-fitted Hofner vibrato tailpiece. A lovely guitar, owned by Karl
Gormanns in Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 4578 VTZ
And a 4578 with the more usual active electrics - i.e. the Treble Boost
and Fuzz Tone. The small pickup selector switch dates this as a late
1960's guitar. Owned by Graham Forsaith in Australia.
1969 HOFNER POHLERT
MODEL 4578 TZ In 1969, Hofner carried out a marketing exercise using
the name of a then well known German jazz guitarist and music teacher called
Werner Pohlert. Hofner had produced several special orders for this
musician, for the use of himself and by some of his pupils. As an extension
to this, three standard model guitars, the Hofner 497 Classical Concert
Guitar, the Hofner 4578 Thinline Electric, and the Hofner 500/8 Bass Guitar,
were selected for endorsement by Herr Pohlert. Special "Lyre"
tailpieces were ordered for the 4578 with the name "Pohlert"
engraved on, and the three guitars were marketed by means of an individual
advertising "flyer". The guitar shown here is
such a guitar, owned by Joe Clark in Wisconsin, USA.
It would seem that this endorsement arrangement was very short lived, maybe
a year or even less, which makes these Pohlert guitars fairly rare.
Individual Pohlert tailpieces do occasionally turn up for sale as
accessories, indicating that Hofner purchased more tailpieces than they
actually used on the guitars.
HOFNER MODEL 4578
This example is fitted with the standard non-active electrics. It has
the original three black rotary controls and "Les-Paul" type pickup
selector switch that Hofner fitted to some of their electric archtops
and semi's for a short period in the late 1960's. This 4578 is a little
unusual, being fitted with a simple trapeze tailpiece instead of the
more usual "Lyre" style. Owned by Andrew Gorringe in Wiltshire, England.
Late=60's/Early-70's HOFNER MODEL 4578 TZ
Finished in an unusual (for a 4578) cherry red, and without a vibrato
tailpiece being fitted, this guitar is owned by Bob Cocozza in Florida,
USA. It had a very interesting life with its previous original owner,
who worked as a professional roadie back in the 1970's. Hence, the
guitar has been played by many famous guitarists back in those wild
HOFNER MODEL 4578 V
Another 4578, this time from the early 1970's, fitted with the standard passive electrics.
Owned by Guy Audoux in France.
HOFNER MODEL 4578/T
Another 4578 with active electronics, but this one is fitted with
Treble-Boost only. It has the fairly rare Hofner treble-boost control
consul, together with vibrato tailpiece and Type 513 twin-coil pickups.
Owned by Johan van Wallenburg in France.
A very rare guitar - a 4578 fitted with three pickup and those
electronics usually only found on the Hofner 4575 model. Owned from new
by Luiz Ribeiro in Brazil.
Mid to Late 1970's HOFNER 4578V/E3
Another three pickup version, and probably one of the last 4578's
made. By this stage, the model had single fret-board dot markers and the
simple "dagger" inlay on the headstock. Owned by Max Junger of Pyramid
Strings in Bubenreuth, Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 4579(i)
SEMI-ACOUSTIC (See also "Club" Section
A very rare guitar that does seem to be an attempt at
recreating the "Club" style of a small single cutaway semi-acoustic.
This model had a body depth of 1.75" (42mm), which was a little thinner
than the earlier Clubs. Introduced
in early 1970, it only seems to have been offered for a year or so,
before being transfigured into the second version of the 4579 - a solid-body
version which looked and sounded even closer to the G...on Les Paul.
Offered with or
without a Hofner vibrato tailpiece.
1970-71 HOFNER MODEL 4579(i)
At last, an example of this rare model has turned up. This one required
major restoration work by
James Payze, but
it is now almost finished and the photos are available! The center tone
block is clearly visible. Owned by Bob Cocozza of Florida, USA.
This model seems to have been a
development from the 4572(ii) model, with the 2" deep body, twin
"Mickey Mouse" body cutaways, and a bolt on neck. However, it was initially fitted with the Type 515 "Studio" pickups
but later seems to have had the 513 and 516 units. The 4580 had a dark brown
finished laminated spruce top with walnut finish maple back and sides.
It was produced from 1971 to 1982.
A nice example of the 4580, complete with the factory-fitted Type 515
This particular example has been fitted for some unknown reason with the standard Hofner Type
513 pickups instead of the Type 515's generally fitted to the 4580. This particular guitar is owned by James Christie.
c1972 HOFNER MODEL 4580
V A lovely example, this time fitted with the
Hofner Type 516 pickups, which were introduced around 1972. Owned from new
by Scott Calamar in Oregon, USA.
HOFNER MODEL 4581
This guitar seems to have been a development of the 458
above, in that it was fitted with full-size Type 516
humbucking pickups that had a
provision for coil-tapping. As Hofner said at the time....."This makes it
possible to switch the instrument from a hard, sharp sound to a soft, melodic
sound. The new guitar practically combines two instruments into one". The
conventional 2 x rotary volume; 2 x rotary tone; 3-way pickup selector controls
were fitted to the guitar, plus a switch for controlling the coil-tap located on
the treble-side upper bout. It was introduced at the Spring 1976 Frankfurt Show,
but lasted for less than a year. It didn't even make it into the 1977 price
This semi-acoustic guitar was only produced over a very short
period in 1977. It had the familiar Verithin-shaped body, but with a 1.5"
(40mm) body depth. It's main claim to fame was the large rotary selector switch
which allowed various combinations of single or twin-coil tapings on the
1977 HOFNER MODEL 4582 The only
example of a 4582 that I have ever come across. Owned by Sascha Gohel in Berlin,
Germany. The workshop wiring diagram for this guitar is reproduced in the
Fact File HERE.
Very thin 1.25" body with twin Venetian cutaways. Rounded body sides
(no body binding), and with a bolt-on neck. Some guitars were finished in a
two-tone Black/Red sunburst, and others in a Black/Red/Yellow sunburst. The 4600 was made for a
short time between 1966 and 1970. A bass version, the 500/6 model, was produced
during the same period.
An early example in Black/Red/Yellow sunburst, beautifully restored by
Michele Dudine in eternal memory of his Grandad Vincenzo Penso, who owned
this guitar for many years.
Late-1960's HOFNER MODEL 4600/E2
The base model, without vibrato and in the Black/Red Sunburst. This particular example has black
control knobs fitted. These seem to have appeared on several Hofner
semi's around about 1969. Owned by Asbjorn Bonvick in Norway.
c1969 HOFNER MODEL
A very unusual guitar - a 4600 fitted with the Model 4575 electrics. I
have never before seen a 4600 with three factory-fitted pickups. A rare
guitar, owned by Matt Jakobfi in Alberta, Canada.
The thin-line version of the Hofner 468 model. The 4680 had a 2" deep body (with
a 17" width), as
opposed to the 468's conventional 3" body depth. Produced between 1961 and 1968.
1967/68 HOFNER MODEL 4680/S/E2/V A
stunning example of one of the last Hofner 4680 guitars to be produced.
Fitted with Hofner's vibrato tailpiece. Owned by Dr Paul Janowitz in
Germany. Beautiful !!
c1967/68 HOFNER MODEL
4680/E2 With its wider 18" body and birds-eye maple timbers, this
guitar was made as a Committee Thinline for sale in the UK by Selmer.
However, at this period when archtop sales were dropping away in the UK, it
had eventually to be sold as a 4680
model in the European market. Hofner's own vibrato tailpiece has been
factory-fitted instead of a Selmer made-under-license Bigsby unit. Owned by
Pete Honeyman in Perthshire, Scotland.
The thinline semi-acoustic version of the Hofner 470, and sharing this
top-line guitar's inlay work, flame maple, and multi-piece neck
(although the neck did become one-piece during the 1980's and 90's.)
Produced from 1966 into the early 1990's. Usually fitted with
twin pickups and sometimes a Hofner vibrato tailpiece.
1966 HOFNER GOLDEN/4700
PROTOTYPE This guitar is almost certainly the prototype put together
by Hofner in order to be able to photograph it for the marketing of the new
4700 model in 1966. It has an 18" wide Golden Hofner Thinline body
fitted with a Hofner 4680 model neck. Dieter Serowy in Germany owns a guitar
that could be said to be the last of the Golden Hofners and the first of the
Hofner 4700 models.
HOFNER MODEL 4700/E2/V
A 1968 catalogue scan, showing the 4700 fitted with Type
511 "Staple" pickups and the Hofner vibrato tailpiece.
A very rare guitar, having been factory fitted with three pickups. Note the
white plastic surround to the "blade" polepiece in the pickups which Hofner
seemed to have used for a short time c1970. This
beautiful instrument is owned by Rodrigo F. Saldanha in Brazil.
HOFNER MODEL 4700/E2
One of the last 470/4700s made, and by this stage these superb guitars
were fitted with a single-piece neck rather than the 11-piece used
previously. Owned by Carlos Sousa in Portugal.
thinline (2" deep body)
guitar was based on the 471 archtop, which seems to have been Hofner's
replacement for the up-market 468/4680 models. The 468/4680 was
discontinued in 1968 and the 471/4710 models appeared in 1969. Ornate
Fleur de Lys headstock ornamentation in mother of pearl, together with
split fret-marker blocks in the same material were used, together with
ebony fingerboard and ornate body / neck binding. The Florentine
cutaway (which seems to have been popular with Hofner in the late
1960's), the gold plated hardware, and the slender elongated F-holes
help identify these models. The 4710 was produced up to 1977.
c1969/70 HOFNER MODEL 4710 E2 WITH ACTIVE ELECTRICS
Possibly an experimental guitar as it originates from the Benker family
collection. It is a straightforward early 4710 E2 model, but has been fitted
with an active circuit with battery and single rotary control located on the
top body bout. this guitar is now part of Max Junger's Pyramid Strings
Introduced in 1978, presumably to take over from the Verithin/4574
range as Hofner's twin cutaway semi. The "T" Series had the same body
outline as the Verithin but came initially with a slightly deeper 40mm all-maple
body. The T2N (passive electrics and trapeze tailpiece) and the T2S (multi
coil-tapping and stop tailpiece) were offered with the 40mm deep
body. These were
quickly displaced in 1978/79 by the T4S and T4St models, both of which
used active electronics of varying degrees of complexity.
In 1980, a
final version on the theme called the T6S was introduced. This had a
30mm "Verithin" body with central sustain block, and was equipped with active electrics. Various
combinations of pickup options were offered, including the option of a bridge
piezzo unit. The "T" Series was phased out around
1985 to make way for the Nightingale model.
MODEL T2S - ADVERTISEMENT SCAN
An advertisement dating from September 1979 which
in the UK musical press by Barratts of Manchester Ltd. Barratts were
the official distributor for Hofner in the UK at that time.
c1979 HOFNER MODEL T2S At
last....photos of an actual T2S, courtesy of Tony Wilson who owns this
fairly rare guitar.
HOFNER MODEL T4ST
Active 3-band equalisation and "built-in octave divider on the 5th and
6th strings for real bass incidental music" !! Unlike the T4S and the T6S, this
guitar has soundholes. A fascinating and
rare guitar which is owned by Alfred Ruhfass in Germany.
CONTROL FUNCTIONS FOR
HOFNER T2S & T4ST GUITARS Hofner attached tags to these guitars
at the factory which explained what the electrical controls on the guitar
did. In many cases, these tags have now been lost. Hopefully the scans on
this link will assist present day owners get the best out of their guitars!
Similar to the above without the soundholes, but fitted with conventional pickups instead of
the "octave divider" bridge pickup on the T4St. The catalogue stated
that this was "a semi acoustic built to the highest
standard........with Multisound System, and 3 Band EQ". Owned by Anthony
Gillott Smith in the UK.
c1981 HOFNER MODEL T4S Another lovely T4S, but with slightly different controls to the one above.
Owned by Alan Patrick
in Berlin, Germany
HOFNER MODEL T6S
This particular version of the T6S is a little different to the CatScan
above, being fitted with twin Di Marzio humbucking pickups, as well as the active
electronics. Owned by Alan Cramp in England.
c1984 HOFNER MODEL T6S
This version of the T6S is fitted with twin humbucking pickups, active electronics, and a bridge piezzo
unit. Finished all in black, it really does look the business. Owned by
Detlev Goldau in Germany.
HOFNER MODEL A2 HL
As with the "T" series above, the A2 HL was also introduced in 1978.
However, this model was obviously intended to be the "luxury" semi in
Hofner's range at that time. Being based on the A2 L full-bodied jazz guitar
except for its 2" body depth, it featured superb timbers, expensive
ornamentation. It was fitted with Hofner's "multi-Sound" coil tapping
system, together with an acoustic filter on the tone control. Production
continued to around 1984.
Another version of the A2 HL made a brief
appearance at the 1981 Frankfurt Trade Show. This guitar had twin body cutaways,
less ornamentation, and simpler electrics. It was presumably a one-off prototype
as it never appeared in the Hofner catalogue or price list.
HOFNER MODEL A2HL A lovely example, owned by Antonio Ongarello
in Italy. as a companion to his A2L which is featured above.
HOFNER MODEL A2 HL
This guitar was purchased by its original owner direct from the
factory, and in fact Herr Benker, Hofner's Company President at the
time, handled the sale personally. It was actually one of the first
prototypes made. (See the picture page for a short history of the
guitar and an explanation of the electrics). Alan Cramp is now the
owner of the guitar.
One of the first "new-breed" Hofners. Produced from 1986 to c2000,
these are a range of high-quality semi's modelled on the Gibson
335 shape. Although two prototype guitars with what appear to be 40mm and
60mm deep bodies appeared at the Frankfurt Show in 1985, the standard production
Nightingale was first introduced into the price list in 1986. It had a 40mm deep
all-maple body with maple sustain block, and was a stereo guitar with complex
passive electrics incorporating the Hofner "Clear Contour Control" as
fitted to the current Verythin Classic model. It was finished in black lacquer
with gold plated metal parts and its block fret markers were real mother of pearl.
Various "custom" options were available, including abalone off-set
dot fret markers and either chrome or black-chrome hardware for no additional
cost. A Kahler or Floyd Rose vibrato unit and/or a master volume control,
could be specified at extra cost, together with a selection of custom
The Nightingale Anniversary model was available in 1987 to mark the
Hofner Company's 100 Year Anniversary. It featured a beautiful transparent red
The Nightingale Special, introduced in 1990, was an even classier instrument, with birds eye
maple body in antique sunburst and an ebony fingerboard. A master
volume control was fitted as standard.
TWO 1986 HOFNER
NIGHTINGALES Two Nightingales shown at the 1986 Frankfurt Trade Fair.
Both these guitars have the optional dot fret-markers and one has what was
at that period a custom sunburst finish.
Special version of the Nightingale to commemorate the Hofner Company's
100th Anniversary. Stunning red sunburst finish and all hardware gold
plated, pre-dating the Nightingale Special by two or three years. Now
owned by Bob Cocozza.
c1989 HOFNER NIGHTINGALE Black
finish, gold-plated hardware, and block fretmarkers was the standard
specification at this time, but this guitar is also fitted with the
optional Kahler "Stud Mount" vibrato unit and black hardware. Owned by
Bernhard Zubraegel in Germany.
1990 HOFNER NIGHTINGALE CUSTOM
Hofner allowed the customer to choose from a wide-range of options in order to
produce a "custom" Nightingale, and this guitar is a result of that system.
Fitted with master volume, a Bartolini "IC" pickup at the bridge position, a
Schaller FS tailpiece with tuners, together with the black finish, gold
plating, and block fret-markers of the Standard Nightingale version. Owned by
Karl Gormanns in Germany.
HOFNER NIGHTINGALE SPECIAL
The Special version of the Nightingale was only offered in antique gold
sunburst finish, but really that was just right for complimenting the gold
plated hardware and the ebony fingerboard. A very classy guitar, owned by
Guy Audoux in France.
Similar to the one above, but fitted with Hofner branded pickup units,
which seem to have appeared on Hofner archtops and semis in the late
Owned by Bob Cocozza.
NIGHTINGALE CUSTOM This
guitar is apparently one
of a very small number (approx 5No.) made in 1999/2000 as prototypes
when Hofner were considering the format of their next semi-acoustic
model. It has all the features of the Nightingale Special, but has the
"slash" soundholes of the soon to-be-launched Verythin Classic model,
instead of the usual F-holes used on previous Nightingales. Owned by
Bobby Reddin in California, USA.
ATTILA ZOLLER FUSION
Introduced in 1989, shortly after the Nightingale, this guitar
acted as a semi-acoustic version of Hofner's top-of-the-range AZ archtops. It
had a 2" deep body with a centre sustain block and utilised two AZ pickups
rather than the archtops' single unit. A more technically advanced AZ Midi
Fusion was also offered, which had Shadow 1500 MU pickups which could
either be used conventionally or linked up to a Midi set-up. Finishes available
were antique brown sunburst, Bordeaux red sunburst, and black. Both Fusion
were discontinued around 1991/92 after only a handful - perhaps less than ten -
had been made.