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The pages where other peoples' Hofners are featured.


HOFNER GUITARS MADE IN SPAIN BY THE KELLER COMPANY

 

The Enrique Keller stand at the 1963 Barcelona Music Trade Fair, with Keller-made Hofner "D-Series" Solid Guitars on display.

For several years during the 1960's, a company based in Zarautz, Northern Spain called Enrique Keller S.A. manufactured and distributed Hofner-branded guitars under license. Some of these guitars were very similar in appearance to the German-made Hofners but some, in particular the "D-Series" solids, bore no resemblance other than commonality of fittings. The Keller-made Hofner guitars have served to confuse and perplex Hofner enthusiasts over many years, whenever say a D-22-S model with a Hofner logo clearly showing its headstock came to light. Hopefully this Visitors' Gallery will help to avoid future confusions.

The production of Spanish-made Keller/Hofner guitars is covered more fully in the following Fact-File elsewhere on this website.

HOFNER GUITARS MADE IN SPAIN - FACT FILE  

 


VISITORS' GALLERY

Please note the probability that not all Keller/Hofner models are shown in this gallery - only those that have been sent to me so far by visitors to the website.

 

1. SOLID GUITARS:

 

KELLER/HOFNER "D" SERIES

The very first Hofner-branded guitars produced by Enrique Keller in Spain were of solid construction using a style for the body which was never seen on any of the Germa-made Hofner solids. Fittings and electrics were however common to the German-made instruments, as was the one-piece maple neck/headstock.  These guitars appeared on the Keller stand at the Madrid Trade Show Held in June 1963.

Three models were offered; the D-21-S which featured a single Hofner Type 510 pickup, the D-22-S with two Hofner510 pickups, and the D-23-S with three 510s. The contemporary Hofner vibrato unit was offered on all versions in lieu of the standard stop-tailpiece. Initially a rectangular control console was fitted, but it would appear that in the mid-60's, this was replaced by conventional rotary controls similar in arrangement to contemporary German-made solids.

Various vinyl and plastic finishes were applied to the bodies of these guitars, with sparkle, glitter, leather, and even wood effects molded in. The necks and headstocks were invariably finished in black gloss lacquer.

Production of the "D-Series" seems to have continued until c1965/66.

 

KELLER/HOFNER 173-STYLE SOLID

A single example of solid guitar which appears to be based on the German-made 173 Solid has now appeared. I have not been able to find this in any of the 1960's Spanish Lluquet catalogues.

 

 

KELLER/HOFNER D-176-S VIBRATO "SOLID DELUXE"

This model, presumably based on the German-made 176 model, is featured in the Lluquet 1965 and 1966 catalogues. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to source any photos of the D-176-S.

 

 

KELLER/HOFNER MODEL 177 "EXQUISIT" SOLID

Hofner introduced the German-made 177 model in 1966, so it is unlikely that Keller would have made any before that year. It is probable that the Keller version was produced only for a short time c1966/67.

 

 

2. BASS GUITARS:

 

KELLER/HOFNER D-185-S BASS GUITAR

The bass version of the "D-Series" solids, using the electrics and hardware of the German-made Hofner 185 Bass Guitar.

 

KELLER/HOFNER T-20 BASS GUITAR

This is the Spanish-made version of the Hofner Club Bass 500/2 model. It was presumably introduced in Spain at or just after shipping of the German-made 500/2 was commenced to the rest of the world in 1965. A 6-string version of the T-20 bass was also produced for a short time; something that the Germans didn't get around to!

  Pickups fitted were Type 511 "Staple" with the word "Super" impressed into the chrome cover. The control console was Spanish-made using Spanish components. Many T-20s were given black/white hatched binding around the body edges.

 

KELLER/HOFNER T-21 BASS GUITAR

The T-21 was Keller's version of the famous Hofner 500/1 Violin Bass. It appears in Spanish price lists fairly soon after the commencement of the "D-Series" solid guitars, probably during 1964 when the fame of the Beatles was spreading around the World.

Pickups fitted were Type 511 "Staple" with the word "Super" impressed into the chrome cover. The control console was Spanish-made using Spanish components. Some T-20 examples have 21 frets instead of 22 as used on the German basses of the same period.

 

 KELLER/HOFNER T-26 SIX-STRING BASS GUITAR

Probably introduced in 1966, and with the appearance and control layout of the later German-made Hofner 188 model which used the 176 model electrics.

 

 

3. ARCHTOP & THINLINE ARCHTOP GUITARS

 

KELLER/HOFNER 450 S/2 ARCHTOP

Very similar in specification to the German-made 450 model, but with Keller's flamboyant black/white hatched binding around the edge of the body top.

 

KELLER/HOFNER 455 S/2 ARCHTOP

Based on the specification of the German-made 455 model. As above, Keller's favourite black/white hatched body binding was used.

 

KELLER/HOFNER CLUB-STYLE

The only example that I have seen (below) is based on the German-made Hofner 128 model (AKA Club 60), but with triple-dot fret amrkers instead of "double arrow-heads" as used on the German product.

 

KELLER/HOFNER 4571 THINLINE ARCHTOP

The "Very-Thin" guitar shape but with a 2" body depth. The Spanish-made version does not have the "Bellflower" mother of pearl inlays on the headstock, but otherwise is seems very much the same as the German-made 4571.

 

KELLER/HOFNER 4574 THINLINE ARYCHTOP

These appear to be almost identical to the famous German-made 4574/Verithin model, apart from the "Super" logo stamped into the case of the Type 511 pickups.

 

KELLER/HOFNER 4576 THINLINE ARCHTOP

As above, a fairly close approximation to the German-made 4576 model with double Florentine cutaways, but without the mother of pearl bell-flower design on the headstock.

 

KELLER/HOFNER ELECTRIC ARCHTOP - MODEL UNKNOWN

Possibly based on the German-made 457 model, but with a one piece maple neck and without the usual 457 flame markings to the maple on the body back.

 

 

4. ACOUSTIC FLAT-TOP GUITARS

 

KELLER/HOFNER MODEL 492 12-STRING FLATTOP ACOUSTIC

So far, only 12-string guitars have shown up, and they appear to be based on the spruce/mahogany bodied Hofner 492 model . These have the slotted headstocks, which Hofner only adopted for a very short time (c1964), just for the German-made 492 . The unique Hofner fret-board pickup was used on the electric version shown below.

 

 

 



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