The pages where other people's Hofners are featured.
HOFNER CUSTOM BUILT,
PROTOTYPES, MODIFIED, AND ODDBALLS GALLERY
Alan Cramp's Jazz
Over the years, countless Hofners
have been modified or repaired in an attempt to improve their
appearance or performance. Many of these instruments remain fine
guitars; even in some cases being an improvement on how they originally
left the factory! In addition, Hofner themselves have produced
prototype models and special-orders in the normal course of
their business. The purpose of
this page is to display the best examples of these non-standard
MODEL 128 (CLUB 60) SEMI-ACOUSTIC GUITAR
This very unusual guitar is owned by Case van der Linden, who bought it
brand new in The Hague, Holland in 1960. When he purchased it, he
requested that it be fitted with an additional pickup........ and that is how it was supplied to him a few weeks later!
Whether the third pickup was fitted in the Hofner factory, by Van Wouw
the distributors, or the retail store is not known, although my guess
is that it was probably modified by Van Wouw. Case now lives in California, USA.
- HOFNER 185 SIX-STRING BASS
To the best of my knowledge, Hofner have never offered a
6-string bass guitar using the 185 model as a basis. (Excuse the pun.) Here
one is though, and it looks to have been put together very professionally to
me! Was it made as a Hofner prototype, assembled from Hofner parts by an
employee in his spare time, or was it made-up by a un-connected luthier as
an interesting exercise? Who knows? It has a 30" scale length, looks
great, and apparently sounds good too. It is owned by Rob Francis in the UK.
- 1962 MODIFIED HOFNER 126
A guitar owned by Paul Gorter of the
Netherlands, whose late father was a director and partner in the Van Wouw
Company back in the 1950's and 60's when Van Wouw were Hofner's sole
distributor in the Netherlands. The story of how he acquired the guitar and
its subsequent modification is fascinating.
- LEFT-HANDED BASS GUITAR MADE UTILISING
Made by Clement Cachot-Coulom around ten years ago
(c2001) as a change from the standard Violin Bass. The double cutaway body
has a solid carved spruce top, with a flat maple back. Although an original
design, Clement has captured the true Hofner style in his bass.
- 2010 HOFNER US CUSTOM SHOP
Produced by the Custom Shop in Chicago, USA, using a
Hofner Verythin Classic as the basis but with the body front finished in a
beautiful surf green and fitted with chrome hardware. This particular guitar
was sold by J. Hale Music in
Hartland, Wiscosin. Surfs up!
- c1964 HOFNER
"PÖHLERT" THINLINE ARCHTOP
A guitar discovered by Alan
Cramp of the "Just Jazz Guitars" website. Werner Pöhlert was a
famous German jazz guitarist who died in 2000 at the age of 73. During the
early-mid 1960's, he approached Hofner with the request that they made a
small number of guitars for his students and also for his own use. This is
one of those guitars. It has the Pöhlert logo inscribed onto the escutcheon
tailpiece, but no Hofner logo anywhere on the guitar. The body has an
18" lower bout width, with a 55mm body depth.
1969, Hofner used the Pöhlert name to market three already existing Hofner
models - the 497 Classical, the 4578 twin-cutaway thinline archtop, and the
500/8 bass guitar. This initiative lasted only for a very short period, but
examples of these Hofner guitars fitted with tailpieces with the Pöhlert logo do appear from
time to time.
- 2010 HOFNER JAZZICA
ARCHTOP - SPECIAL ORDER
This is a one-off
special order Jazzica that has two body-mounted pickups, and is finished in
the non-standard violin varnish which makes the white binding look gorgeous! Otherwise, it has all
the features of the Jazzica model, including a solid carved spruce top and
those soundhole plugs of course!
- c1970/71 HOFNER 4600
SEMI-ACOUSTIC - SPECIAL OR PROTOTYPE
I believe that this guitar was
made to this unusual specification by Hofner. It is basically a 4600 model,
but it has been given binding around the body top edge. It also has the Type
513 "Blade" pickups fitted, which is unusual for a 4600, together
with a rectangular neck fixing plate instead of the usual trapezoidal type.
My guess is that Hofner were using up a partially completed 4600 body after
that model had been discontinued in 1970.........but that is only my guess!
A very interesting guitar owned by Gunter Gabriel in Germany.
- RESTORATION OF A LATE 1960'S
HOFNER 500/8M BASS GUITAR
Restored by James Payze Guitar Services in
Suffolk England, and owned by Bob Cocozza in Florida USA, this blonde beauty
has now regained her good looks. Fitted with Hofner Sound Mix active
electronics, she sounds as good as she looks.
- 2010 HOFNER US CUSTOM SHOP
A guitar made for presentation to American guitar
maestro Jennifer Batten, and now owned by Bob Cocozza in Florida, USA.
HOFNER VIOLIN GUITAR SPECIAL ORDER
A 6-string guitar based on the
Hofner 459 model from the late 1960's. This guitar was a one-off specially
commissioned order, with birds-eye maple back & sides and fitted with
- THE "THOMAS
SPECIAL" BASS GUITAR
Thomas in Stockholm, Sweden collected
together a Hofner Bass neck, Hofner parts, and an un-named German archtop
body, and then asked James
Payze Guitar Services to put them all together. The result is a good
looking and very usable medium-scale archtop bass guitar.
- MODIFIED 2009 HOFNER CT GALAXIE
ACTIVE SOLID GUITAR
Olaf Poeter in Germany was
so impressed with his new Hofner CT Galaxie
that he bought another one. In order to obtain a different set of tones, he
has built active circuitry into this second guitar, together with adding
further controls and a new scratchplate. As well as photos of the modified
guitar, Olaf has supplied a comparison report on the performance of the two
- RESTORED HOFNER 182 SOLID BASS
A very tasteful 182 Bass restoration, carried out by Martin
Kunz in Vienna, Austria.
- SPECIAL ORDER 1999/2000 VIOLIN
A special red-finished 500/1 Bass, made for the 2000 NAMM
Show. David Leblanc, the guitar's owner, has researched its history, and
this is provided with the photos.
- c1980 HOFNER 4578
is an interesting guitar. It has the lavish mother of pearl inlays to
the headstock and split fret-marker blocks that one would only associate
with Hofner's top-of-the-range models in the 1970's and 80's, such as the
471/4710 model. It also appears to have
a neck-rake adjuster built into the heel, and the name "Pöhlert"
stamped into the Lyre tailpiece. This can't be how Hofner specified the 4578
at the end of its production run so surely it is a special, or perhaps more
likely a guitar
made up by someone away from the Hofner workshops? A lovely guitar though,
owned by Ollie in Germany.
- MODIFIED c1964 HOFNER 500/1
Now this is what I call a "carved top"
! An owner in the past has obviously not appreciated the smooth
original lines (and potential value!) of his 1964 bass, and decided to add a
little something. I have to say that it rather suits it. Oh....and he obviously preferred a fretless bass! The
current owner is Andy Smith.
- HOFNER COMPOSITE 4578 - 5000/1
During the 1990's, a large number of
un-assembled Hofner bodies, necks, and other parts flooded onto the market
following the closure and clear-out of the old Hofner Bubenreuth factory. It
would seem that this bass was a result of that situation, being made up of a
4578 body and a 5000/1 neck. Was it a coincidence that the bass was
purchased in the Doncaster area, close to the old home of Music Ground, by
its present owner, Andrew Redding?
1960's HOFNER MODEL 177 "EXQUISIT" SOLID GUITAR
177 with a most unusual neck/fingerboard. The fret-markers are unlike
anything that I have seen on a Hofner solid before, and there is a
"zero fret", even though this is a bolt-on neck. The tuners are
the open-gear type, rather than the better quality enclosed type usually
found on the 177. A most interesting guitar, owned by Lucas Winck in Brazil.
- 2009 NEWBUILD HOFNER 500/6
BASS GUITAR PROJECT
This lovely bass was constructed by Andrew Lines
of Lines Guitars using a body and neck from the Bubenreuth factory closure,
together with new Hofner re-pro parts. Andrew has carried out a similar
project on a Hofner 4578 also featured
on this website.
- 1980's HOFNER
"SG" STYLE SOLID GUITAR
Er no, I don't think that this is a
Hofner 174 model, even though it has a similar shaped body. This guitar has
two output channels, and some very unusual but good looking visual features.
It looks like a 1980's Hofner to me, but I've never seen one like it before.
Owned by Detlev Goldau in Germany.
- 1970's HOFNER
This very interesting guitar is owned by Marc
Moris in Belgium. At first glance, it appears to be a 4578/E3 model.
However, closer examination shows it to have a 40mm deep body rather than
the 50mm on a 4578. Also, Marc's guitar has a bolt-on neck ! The guitar is a
true semi-acoustic as it is fitted with a sustain block inside the body. If
anyone has a similar guitar or information about this unusual semi, please
get in touch !!
OLIVEWOOD VIOLIN BASS
This beautiful copy of a Hofner 500/1 bass has been handcrafted by
Malcolm Weaver in Nottinghamshire, England. It was
modelled on Malcolm's own 1962 Hofner 500/1, and it features a solid
spruce carved top and a superb carved sycamore back.
This guitar the body from an Otwin Melodie archtop and a Hofner neck of
the type fitted to the 465 and 468 models. It is finished in a
red/orange finish. A unique and very attractive guitar combination,
owned by Michael Valentin in
c1967 HOFNER PRESIDENT THINLINE
After having been painted first blue and then white, this originally
brunette guitar has now been restored to a blonde finish by its owner,
Rolf Carlsson in Sweden. In order to achieve a good clean finish, the
top layer of the body laminate has been removed. However, the
cross-grain of the laminate's core timber has produced a very
attractive appearance, resulting in a very successful restoration.
1960's/1970's HOFNER 500/7 "SPECIAL" BASS GUITAR - THREE PICKUPS
This very unusual bass was possibly made as a special order, or maybe
for a trade show. It has the three pickups and electrical circuits of
the Hofner 4575 6-string semi. I have never seen another like
neither in "the flesh" nor in a catalogue. It is owned by Silas in
Germany, who has restored the bass back to its original red body finish.
- Mid-1950's HOFNER-MADE
GAGLIANO K-150 ACOUSTIC GUITAR
Hofner Model 462 acoustic with Gagliano logos. Gagliano were a US
who 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.
MODEL 125 CLUB UPGRADED TO A MODEL 126
This guitar almost certainly started life as a single
pickup 125 Club model with a "Selmer Distributed" logo applied in error
to its Treble
Clef headstock. It was supplied by Hofner to Van Wouw, the Netherlands
distributor. Somtime before being delivered to its first (and only)
owner, it had a
second pickup together with selector switches added, and the "Selmer
Distributed" logo removed. Even more bizarly, the second pickup was
fitted directly adjacent to the original bridge position, just as on a
"Cavern" bass! Many thanks to Harry Sibum of The
House for supplying photos of this strange guitar.
HOFNER COLORAMA / MODEL 164 SOLID GUITAR
Probably the nicest looking Colorama that I have seen. A real hot-rod
of a player too apparently ! Modified and owned by Alan Patrick in
HOFNER MODEL 182 BASS GUITAR
A superb restoration carried out on Hofner's standard soliod bass
model. Now why didn't Hofner make them look like that in the first
place? Restoration work and photos by Martin Kunz, Austria.
1958 HOFNER COMMITTEE ACOUSTIC
A Committee that has been fitted with the pickups and
from a Gibson Les Paul, and also has had an active treble boost added.
Richard Newton, the guitar's owner, explains the background to this
conversion. Oh and by the way, it is believed that this Committee was
once owned by a member of 1960's iconic band, Johnny Kidd and the
HOFNER MODEL 457 "RUBY SPECIAL"
A very attractive guitar, due to it's lovely ruby red sunburst
finish.......and an interesting one too! This guitar appears to have
been factory made during possibly the mid to late 1960's using a
pre-1956 non-cutaway body, and high quality, non-standard neck and
tailpiece. Owned by Alan Cramp in England.
1956 HOFNER CONGRESS
This guitar has had quite
experience, after being found in a skip! Now owned by Christian
Vydelingum in London, England.
This is probably the most over-the-top example of
ornamentation on a Hofner that I have ever seen !
I understand that it was found in the Bubenreuth factory during the
clearing out process following the move of Hofner production to Hagenau
in the 1990's. Was it produced as an exhibition piece? Did an employee
produce it in his spare time from cast-offs? Who knows.......
It is currently owned by Music Ground in Leeds,
VERYTHIN THREE PICKUP PROTOTYPE
This recent factory prototype is based on the current Verythin Classic
model, but as well as having three pickups it also has a stop-tailpiece.
HOFNER MODEL 172 SOLID GUITAR
This Hofner solid has been recently restored by Kristopher Chandroo in
Canada using a re-issue control panel and two modern Type 514
humbucking pickups that I was able to sell to him. He is now delighted
with the sound from the old Hofner, and has used it on several
MODEL 459(i) ACOUSTIC ARCHTOP GUITAR
A lovely old, and fairly rare guitar, that has had a new fingerboard
fitted in order to rectify neck-related problems. This has resulted in
the guitar now having dot-markers rather than the original "bar" fret
markers used on the 459 model. It is still a lovely guitar though. Take
a look at the birds eye maple back! Owned by Bill Perrett in the
HAYCOCK'S TWO HOFNER NIGHTINGALES; "HEIDI" & "ROSE-MARIE"
Pete (Climax Blues Band / Pete Haycock Band) has had a long association
with the Hofner company, and owns two prototypes which were made by
Hubert Kaa in the Hofner factory during the development stage of the
Nightingale. In fact it was Pete who suggested to Hofner that a master
volume pot should be adopted for the Nightingale model. The two guitars
appear to be the fore-runners to the Nightingale Special model, but
with slightly different hardware. One of the guitars - "Heidi", has a
gloss black finish and gold plated hardware. "Rose-Marie" is finished
in red, with nickel plated hardware.
Alan Cramp's latest project, based on a Hofner Jazzica prototype guitar
but with a very special finish, electrics, and pickguard. This guitar
"SPECIAL" SEMI-ACOUSTIC GUITAR
This guitar has a 40mm deep body, with binding on the top edge of the
body but not on the back! It also has a bolt-on neck. It is pretty
certain that this guitar originated from the Hofner factory, but it
corresponds to no known model specification. The theory is that it was
made up in order to use up surplus body and neck parts. This has
resulted in a very attractive guitar however.
HOFNER CONGRESS ELECTRIC ARCHTOP GUITAR
The Congress was only offered as an acoustic archtop, so this
particular guitar certainly attracted my attention when Detlev Goldau
sent me some pictures of his collection. At first I thought that it
must have been some sort of factory one-off, as the electrics do look
correct for the date of the guitar. However, Detlev assures me that
there is evidence of the "electrification" not having been carried out
by the factory. It certainly is a nice looking guitar though.
A 1964/65 Verithin, complete with Bigsby, that has been nicely restored
and re-finished by Bruce Pitman.
CLUB MYSTERY GUITAR
This guitar seems to have been made up from a late 1960's neck and
body. It has an unusual single pickup, but no controls are fitted. The
tailpiece is a 1950's "KH" logo type. Is it a guitar made up from parts
lying around the factory by a Hofner employee? Owned by Uwe Schmalohr
HOFNER MODEL 176 SOLID GUITAR
This Hofner solid has received additional ornamentation from its owner,
Upendra Laxmeshwar in India. Edging has been provided around the
scratchplate and headstock, plus the "Galaxie" logo provided on the
body. It turns the 176 model into rather a stunning looking guitar.
An acoustic carved-top archtop, which has been made by Alan Cramp using
a 2003 Hofner body and neck obtained from the factory via
Norbert Schnepel. If ever I saw a good reason for Hofner re-commencing
the production of fully-acoustic archtops as in the 1950's,
then this is it. Superb!
MODEL 468/HOFNER DELUXE MODEL
This guitar has been made up from a Model 468 body and a Hofner Deluxe
neck, both of which were originally found in a trash can !! How did
they get there? The restoration has been carried out by James Jordan,
who also now owns the guitar.
1954 HOFNER COMMITTEE
Now this really is a rare guitar - a very early Committee with a very
unusual headstock that was almost certainly custom-made by Hofner to
special order. It has also had a Framus pickup/scratchplate unit fitted
by a previous owner. Owned by Andy in Wimbledon, England.
HOFNER MODEL 175 SOLID GUITAR
A "Tele" with a difference - made up using a Hofner body and neck as
the basis, but with Fender, Gibson, and Kent Armstrong hardware. A
beautiful looking guitar owned by Desmond Abbott of Essex,
HOFNER MODEL 462/S/E2
A 462 that has been fitted with up-dated electrics and a new bridge. It
also has been signed by Donna Presley-Early, the cousin of Elvis !! A
real "working" guitar owned by Russell
Marsland in Canada,
HOFNER VIOLIN BASS (500/1) - LEFT HANDED
A superb example of restoration. This bass left the factory as a
"leftie". It was rather crudely converted to a right-handed instrument
by a previous owner, and has now been fully restored back to its
original left-handed glory. Owned by Joe Baiardi in Texas, USA.
This beautiful Committee has had non-standard pickups and control
consul fitted, but in a very neat and tasteful manner. Owned by Simon
Riding in Lancashire, England.
& RESTORED HOFNER MODEL 160 SOLID
An early 160 from c1958 which was given a face-lift by Jim
Greenwood in the UK and is now owned by Guy Audoux in France. A very "cool" looking guitar.
HOFNER MODEL HE-179 SOLID GUITAR PROTOTYPE
This is a design that was considered by Hofner for production in their
Chinese factory from 2004. In the end, it was the
Colorama that went into full production.
(Although a few HE-179's have got out onto the market). Still a nice
looking guitar though. Owned by Bryan Hackett in West Yorkshire,
HOFNER HE-179 SOLID GUITAR PROTOTYPE
A slightly different version of the above HE-179 prototype.
PROTOTYPE HOFNER COLORAMA SOLID GUITAR
A beautiful transparent blue prototype of the New
Owned by Michael Naglav in Grmany.
"V-12" SOLID 12-STRING GUITAR
Rob Van De Plas of The Netherlands has changed his Hofner Galaxie into
a very attractive 12-string guitar.
PROTOTYPE (?) HOFNER PRESIDENT GUITAR
An acoustic guitar based on the current President range, purchased on
Ebay without any fittings, and then completed with a floating neck
pickup by Olaf Poeter in Germany.
& RE-FINISHED HOFNER 185 BASS GUITAR
With a slightly revised body shape, black finish, and chrome fittings,
this old bass looks great! Work carried out by Olaf Poeter in Germany.
HOFNER PROTOTYPE SOLID GUITAR
A guitar that seems to have been put together, possibly in the
Bubenreuth factory, from spare parts from Hofner's mainstream solids -
the body of a Hofner 173/V3, the neck of a Hofner 170, and the pickups
from a Hofner 164iv !! Clark Salisbury from Oregon, USA owns this
1960's/1970's HOFNER PROTOTYPE SEMI-ACOUSTIC
Almost certainly a factory prototype, this semi has similar features to
the Model 4572, but with a 4574 body shape, large F-holes, a 2" deep
body without binding on the back, a bolt-on neck, and active treble
boost/fuzz tone electronics. A very interesting guitar owned by Sascha
Reinsch in Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 170 SOLID GUITAR
The Hofner copy of the Strat, but a little different to the norm. This
one has individual pickup selectors instead of the usual 3 or 5-way
switch, and it is finished in Lake Placid Blue! All the Hofner 170's
that I have seen are in factory-applied sunburst finish. Owned by
Bernhard Zubragel in Germany.
HOFNER CUSTOM MODEL 500/2 BASS
A very striking bass guitar which has a chequered body binding, almost
certainly factory-fitted. In order to complete the effect, Hofner have
fitted a white pickguard and control consul fascia. A unique bass,
owned by Rob Herrick.
HOFNER 500/1 "LEFTY" BASS GUITAR
This left-handed bass has had some very worthwhile modifications made
to the electronics. Alain Morin of Quebec, Canada describes the mods
that he has made to his 500/1.
HOFNER V2 SOLID GUITAR
A lovely restoration, carried out by Jim Dougans of Bedfordshire,
England. You can also visit Jim's Hofner
V2 Restoration Project website to see how he did it.
MODEL 4578 GUITAR PROJECT
A stunning guitar, made by Andrew Lines using genuine Hofner spare
parts during his guitar building course at Leeds College of Music,
- RESTORED 1958
HOFNER COMMITTEE ACOUSTIC
This one has been a joint effort between John Keys and his father over
the last 20 years! Oh, and Nick Smith has helped by producing some
pretty authentic looking replacement tuners.
1961 HOFNER 500/1 "CAVERN" BASS GUITAR
This rare bass, owned by Stefano Aria of the Fetish
website, Italy, has been modified by a previous owner. The "treble"
pickup has been moved from its original central position to a location
adjacent to the bridge. Stefano intends restoring the "Cavern" back to
its original condition.
MODEL 191 DOUBLE-NECK GUITAR
This guitar has been recently assembled from old Hofner parts. It is
not totally authentic on the original Model 191 specification, but it
definitely has the correct style and build quality about it. A very
interesting instrument owned by John Hall of Berkshire, England.
& MODIFIED HOFNER SENATOR THINLINE
Rescued from a car boot sale in 1990, this guitar now sports twin
pickups and is back in the peak of condition, thanks to its owner,
Peter Stone of Bath, England.
HOFNER MODEL 455 AND CLUB 40
These two guitars have been restored by Barry Potts. They are excellent
examples of how Hofners can be sympathetically restored so as to still
retain the full vintage Hofner flavour without necessarily being 100%
accurate with regard to detail.
& CUSTOMISED HOFNER CONGRESS
Hugo Mairns has brought an old Congress back from the grave, after it
had been butchered by a previous owner in an attempt to change it into
an electric guitar. Hugo lives on Merseyside, England.
MODEL 471 ARCHTOP
A top-quality Hofner acoustic archtop from the 1970's that has had
non-standard electrics fitted by a previous owner. Ty Kelly in Texas,
USA now owns this lovely guitar.
Now fitted with upgraded electrics. Owned by Marc Suski in Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 185 SOLID BASS GUITAR
A very attractive make-over for an old bass. Novel electrics fitted
which incorporate a volume control for each coil of the single
humbucker fitted. Pictures courtesy of Marc Suski, Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 4574
Fernando Lobos from Florida owns this guitar, which has had its
electrics upgraded. It also features a rather nice feather detail on
the scratchplate. This 4574 was actually used by Sherwood Ball for
recording a part of the soundtrack for the film "Rich Girl".
FINISH HOFNER SUPER SOLID III
It could become the fashion! A very attractive re-finish carried out by
Dennis Danielsson of Sweden
HOFNER 162 SEMI-SOLID
Some would say that this guitar has been changed for the better! Owned
by Martijn Klop of The Netherlands.
HOFNER 185 SOLID BASS GUITAR
All the 185 Bass parts, neck, and electrics, but....something has
happened to the body shape! A nice looking guitar, now owned by Matteo
Rorato in Italy.
A present-day Hofner archtop prototype, owned by Steve Sun of
MODEL 177 DERIVATIVE
Probably made up of parts from several Hofner models, this guitar is
particularly impressive due to its carved out body, similar to a F****r
Telecaster Thinline. Owned by Scott Baumer in Florida, USA.
MODEL 185 SOLID BASS
A very classy paint job has been carried out on this bass, owned by
Scott Hager in Ontario, Canada.
CLUB 60 / MODEL 128E2
Seems to be some sort of Hofner Club, but what about those finger board
HOFNER 6 STRING GUITAR-BANJO
Not really an "oddball", as the guitar-banjo featured in the Hofner
catalogue during the 1970's. A nice example owned by Peter Kane, of