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The pages where other people's Hofners are featured.

SOLID BODIED HOFNER GUITARS
- EUROPEAN & US MARKET





1962 Hofner 173(i), courtesy of Pyramid Strings. 


The following picture-sets of Hofner solid body 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 own Hofner.

Click on the underlined heading for each guitar to view photographs of that particular example.



VISITORS' OWN HOFNERS:

HOFNER MODEL 158/159 RANGE

 

 

HOFNER MODEL 160/161/162/164 RANGE

 



HOFNER MODEL 165/167 RANGE

 

 

HOFNER MODEL 166(i)

 

 

HOFNER MODEL 166(ii)

 

 

 

HOFNER MODEL 168

 

 

HOFNER MODEL 169




HOFNER MODEL 170

This was Hofner's attempt at a "Strat Copy". Everyone else was doing it at the time, so why not Hofner? Instead of Fender's integral bridge and vibrato unit, Hofner opted for a separate bridge unit. The 170 was produced both with (170V) and without (170) a vibrato unit from 1972 through to 1981.


HOFNER MODEL 171(ii)

Hofner's copy of the Fender Thinline Telecaster, which were produced between 1972 and 1977. The 'H' version introduced in early 1973 was fitted with twin humbucking pickups with split polepieces. These could be switched for phase inversion and put in series - see below. Body colours were flamboyant, with red, orange, violet, azuire blue, dark green, ivory plus sunburst being on offer. A version called the 171V fitted with a Bigsby-style vibrato tailpiece was also available from 1975 through to the end of 1977.


HOFNER MODEL 171/172/173 RANGE

(See also Wolfgang Eggersdorfer's account of the 173 and Super 3 Solid Models between 1962 and 1970.)




HOFNER MODEL 174

The 174 was Hofner's "SG" copy, it was produced between 1970 and 1979. Initially the 174 was fitted with Hofner's Type 513 "Blade" pickups. This was replaced by Hofner's new Type 515 "Studio" humbucking pickups for a short period around 1971/72; the wooden-bodied low impedence HiFi pickups being also available as an option. At the beginning of 1973, the 174 was given improved electrics. These consisted of new humbucking pickups (Type 516) with additional slide switches on the pickguard which allowed the pickups to be switched for phase inversion and/or put in series.

The 174 was optionally available throughout the production period with a vibrato unit in place of the standard stop-tailpiece.

 

HOFNER MODEL 175 (First Type 1963)

 

In late 1962, or very early 1963, Hofner introduced a more advanced guitar than the 172/173 models that had been their flagship solid guitars up to that time. The new 175 model featured an off-set waist body with sharply pointed cutaway curves, three pickups, and a built-in vibrato tailpiece. The bolt-on neck was one-piece maple, with celluloid strip fret-markers, and binding to the edge of the fingerboard. The most radical feature on the guitar however was the controls for the electrics. "Radio-style" pots were used for the master volume and three individual tone controls. The only other controls were a discreet four-way selector for the pickups on the lower bout, and a Solo-Rhythm slide switch. There was not one conventional rotary control on the scratchplate, and this gave the guitar an even more un-cluttered and streamlined look.

The pickups fitted were the new Type 511 "Staple" units which were introduced into the Hofner range at the same time as the 175.

Several different finishes were available for the 175, most of which were vinyl. The most dramatic were heavily embossed in either geometrical patterns or even snakeskin. These were usually complimented with dramatically coloured scratchplates and matching headstock fascias. Others however were lightly patterned in more usual colours such as red and white. Some 175 examples can be found in red or white cellulose lacquer.

Production of the 175 lasted for less than 18 months, before being replaced by the even more revolutionary 176 Model.

The 175 was never supplied to Selmer London's UK market, but a slightly simplified version of the 176 did become Selmer's famous Hofner Galaxie model.


 

 

HOFNER MODEL 175 (Second Type: Telecaster Look-Alike 1970-79)




HOFNER MODEL 176 "SOLID DE LUXE"

The 176 model was an up-rated version of the 175(i), which it replaced during 1964.

It allowed individual switching of each pickup to provide a total of seven pickup combinations compared to the 4-way selector switch on the 175. In addition, an overall tone switch (Treble-0-Bass) was built into the circuit. The Rhythm/Solo switch on the earlier version, like on the 175, was not adjustable. Many of the early versions, again like the 175, had bodies finished in vinyl of various colours and patterns.

The 176 had a long production period, with very few changes other than the dropping of the vinyl coverings and adoption of polyester finishes throughout, and the adoption of a screw pot for the balance adjustment of the Solo/Rythm switch. The guitar finally disappeared from the Hofner price list at the end of 1983.

A similar model called the "Galaxie" was supplied exclusively to Selmer UK, also from 1964. This tended to be finished in either red cellulose or red vinyl, and was not fitted with the Treble-0-Bass tone switch. It remained available into the early 1970's.

Jamie Hince of "The Kills" talks about his own Hofner 176 guitars HERE

 



HOFNER MODEL 177 "EXQUISIT" (1965 - 1970)

An even more advanced solid than the 176/Galaxie, with even more impressive electronics. An "Organ Effect" was added to individual pickup switches, individual tone sliders, the master volume rotary control, and the solo/rhythm switch. Top quality from Hofner, with a bound ebony fingerboard and the deluxe mother of pearl "double arrowhead" fret markers.



HOFNER MODEL 178 "GRANDE SURPRISE" (1966 to 1970)

This model seems to have been developed out of the Model 177, which was introduced one year earlier. The 178 was fitted with two pickups (instead of the 177's three pickups), and debatably improved controls -a master volume control plus a tone control for each pickup, plus six press buttons for tone presets which brought in active circuits. Sliding switches were supplied for pickup selection, and on later guitars a lead/rhythm switch with a further rotary control for adjusting the difference in volume between the lead and rhythm selection was fitted. From 1968 there was offered the option of having a Fuzz circuit was offered to special order.

Note - it was intended in 1977 that another guitar given the 178 designation should be introduced. This was actually finally released in Spring 1978 as the S5E graphic-equalizer solid.

 


HOFNER MODEL 179

 

 

HOFNER MODEL 4579(ii) (Les Paul Look-Alike)

This guitar was developed from the 1970/71 first-series 4579 model, which was actually a semi-acoustic guitar. (See the Archtops Gallery) The second series 4579(ii) appeared in 1971 and stayed in the catalogue until 1978. A 4579 HiFi variant, fitted with wooden-bodied low-impedence pickups was produced from 1971 through to 1975.

Visually similar looking to the Les Paul, but of different construction - Hofner's version had an arched laminated top. Made between 1972 and 1978, there were two versions - the 4579 fitted initially with Hofners Type 515 "Recording" pickup and the 4579 "HiFi" which was fitted with the Type 514 wood Hi-Fi pickup. In early 1973, the Type 515 pickups was replaced by the larger Type 516 humbucking pickup, but the HiFi option continued. A vibrato tailpiece was also offered on the standard 4579 model as an option.

 

HOFNER MODEL 180 "SHORTY" & 181 "SHORTY SUPER"


Hofner's "travel guitar", produced between 1982 and 1986. This utilised a full 24.75" scale length, and was fitted with a Shadow single humbucking pickup. The body and neck were made of mahogany, and several appropriate finishes were available - red, blue, white, yellow, and natural mahogany. A bass version was also produced - the Model 187, and also a "Shorty Super" Model 181 that came fitted with a built-in amp and speaker for true portability!! Hofner have just re-introduced the 180 model back into their range. (Dec 2004)

HOFNER MODEL 191 DOUBLENECK


Produced between 1961 and 1970, this was a hollow-bodied instrument with two necks for normal 6-string and bass. The first version of the 191 was finished in tobacco sunburst, and initially had a set-neck joint. Later examples have a bolt-on neck. It had a single pickup for the bass and twin pickups for the normal guitar. Production of this version was from 1961 to c1964. A later (c1964 - 70) and rarer version of the 191 had a fully solid body and Strat-type cutaways. This version referred to as the 191(ii) had two pickups for the bass and three pickups for the normal 6-string guitar.

A simpler version of the 191(i), named the 190, was produced around 1961. Apparently it had a red finish and less body binding than the 191(i). No examples of this rarity have so far turned up.

 

HOFNER FLEDERMAUSGITARRE (THE "BAT" GUITAR)

Whilst not being a "solid" guitar, but actually a hollow one, this unusual guitar qualifies for being in this section due to its totally non-acoustic nature.

A very small number (maybe only around five or six) of Bat Guitars were produced by Hofner both for experimental purposes and also for the 1960 Music Fairs in order to show off their abilities with guitar electronics. The main feature, other than the body shape (!), is the built-in 4 watt solid-state amplifier and loudspeaker. 

 

 

HOFNER "VENTURE" SOLID GUITAR RANGE

In 1981, Hofner introduced the concept of producing high quality versions of established US guitars in which lovely exotic timbers and through-neck construction were used. These were called the "Venture" range. Initially, copies of the Gibson Flying-V and the Fender Stratocaster were offered, but by 1982, a third model was on offer based on the Gibson Explorer. Hofner's own names for these guitars were the Hofner "V", "S", and "E". Very few examples of these guitars appear to have been produced, as they are rarely seen these days. The "V" and the "S" were in the price list from 1981 to 1985, with the "E" only listed in the 1982, 83, & 84 price lists. They were possible discontinued to make way for the much more radical but better-selling "Alpha" series.

 

 

HOFNER "S" SOLID GUITAR RANGE

 

HOFNER "ALPHA SOLID" RANGE

 

The Alpha solid guitar versions were produced as a follow-on to the "S" series solids, from 1986 to 1989. Their shape was based loosely on that of the Gibson Firebird, and the whole concept appears to have been pointed towards the "Heavy Metal" guitarist. A "Standard" model formed the basis of the range, and this was supplemented by the Alpha Custom, an Alpha Pro, and even an Alpha Anniversary which was a special model to commemorate Hofner's centenary.

A special order form was provided to dealers in order that the customer could specify his custom requirements on the Alpha model by using a tick-list.

 

  • 1986 HOFNER ALPHA STANDARD
    A scan from the Hofner catalogue which provides details, in German, of the base version Alpha.

  • c1986 HOFNER ALPHA
    An interesting Alpha in black finish, which seems to be a cross between the Standard and Custom. It is fitted with gold-plated hardware, and could well have been a pre-production  prototype. Originally owned by the late Pete Haycock of Climax Blues Band fame, who had a long association with the Hofner company and who provided input into the late 1980 guitars such as the Nightingale and the Alpha.

  • c1986 HOFNER ALPHA  
    A very similar Alpha to the one above, although finished in sunburst. This one was also owned by the late Pete Haycock.


  • 1987 HOFNER ALPHA - 100th ANNIVERSARY MODEL
    The Alpha was available, only in 1987, in a special red finish, with gold hardware, to commemorate the Hofner Company's 100 year Anniversary.

  • CONTROL FUNCTIONS FOR HOFNER ALPHA SOLID GUITAR
    A scan of the instruction sheet supplied with every new Alpha guitar.

 

HOFNER "REFERENCE", "T", and "S" SOLID RANGE

The Reference solid guitars appeared in 1987 at the same time as the Alphas were being produced,  but continued for much longer than the Alphas - i.e. up to around 1995. They were top quality solids and were obviously Hofner's attempt to produce "state-of-the-art" guitars, as they incorporates such features as Floyd Rose vibratos, locking nuts, scalloped fingerboards, and both passive and active circuitry, dependent on the particular model variant. Two basic body shapes were used - initially with a Telecaster style body, the guitar was simply called the "Reference". However, with the introduction of a version with a Stratocaster style body called the "Reference S", the Tele shaped version was then called the "Reference T". Stunning translucent flame finishes and gold plating were used on some models. All-in-all, they represent the zenith of Hofner's solid guitar making.

The Reference guitars was offered in various "off-the-shelf" options, as well as a custom-build option whereby the customer could take his choice on specification by filling in a special Hofner order form that listed every possible option and accessory available. A similar custom-order system was also available for the Nightingale, and Alpha models.




SOLID GUITARS MADE IN SPAIN UNDER LICENCE FROM HOFNER

(SEE THE HOFNER GUITARS MADE IN SPAIN FACT FILE ELSEWHERE ON THIS WEBSITE)

 

  • SINGLE PICKUP SOLID GUITAR
    Owned by Chema Ríos in La Coruna, Spain. These guitars were made for the Spanish market in Spain during the 1960's by the Keller company under licence from Hofner. They have different body shapes and finishes to any German built Hofner that I know about.

  • TWIN PICKUP SOLID GUITAR
    Two pickups, and the Hofner rectangular control console. This one is marked "Licencia Hofner Espana". Owned by HUR in the Basque Country.

  • c1963 TWIN PICKUP SOLID BASS GUITAR
    This guitar was purchased new in Barcelona, Spain by Artur Palomer I Ferrer sometime around 1963. It has the same body shape as the two guitars above.




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