RESTORED c1967 HOFNER
PRESIDENT (MODEL 4570/E2) THINLINE ELECTRIC
Distributor's Headstock Date: 3 / 68
COURTESY OF ROLF CARLSSON, SWEDEN:
Above photo by Rolf Kling
ROLF RECOUNTS THE HISTORY OF THE GUITAR:
In 1977, when I was ten, I got the Hofner from my older
brother. At that time it was, in my young eyes, nothing but a
quiet old and ugly jazz guitar and I dreamed about a "real" electric
one, like a Gibson Les Paul or Flying V or something more "hot". Well,
from using my mom´s radio as an amplifier it was a big step
to get a 10 watt Hagstrom 310 combo amp in which to plug in my Hofner.
Until one day, when I got the brilliant idea to make a new finish on
the President. So, from being brunette/sunburst it took the shape of a
deep blue ocean... almost. In fact it didn't become so much prettier,
and so when I finally got a Les Paul (a cheap japanese copy), the
shadow felt on the Hofner for years.
I bought an Ibanez Blazer when I got tired of the Les Paul copy and
after some more years I found an American Fender Telecaster for a nice
price, and from that point until today it has been my main electric
guitar, both in live appearances and in the studio. Also, I have two
very good acoustic guitars - one Ibanez -79 and a quiet new Yamaha. You
can say that guitars have come and gone over the years, but the Hofner
President has always been there in the corner. Watching
me, calling for me, jealous perhaps...
About 20 years ago I painted it once again. I don´t know why
I just did it. I thought that a white finish would be great, and then
it became a white Hofner President instead. At that point I must have
throw away some of the original electrics, or mislaid them at some
later time when I have moved on. One of the pickups, the white knobs,
pots, and 3-way selector had disappeared, somehow. Over the last 20
years, the guitar has only been used, if used at all, as an acoustic
guitar. Now, at the age of 41, and of course much wiser than
yesterday, I just fell in love with that old beauty. I saw
nice curved body and the beautiful neck and the old pickup that was
glittering after all these years... Suddenly I was
Hofner. I searched for information, details, and distributors of Hofner
parts. Of course I found the Vintage Hofner Website Gallery at the same
time, and there I also found pictures of "my" old President. I decided
to repair and restore my guitar. I thought it was easiest to make it
blonde, as I had seen pictures of blonde finished Hofner Presidents on
the website pages.
I had to get rid of the blue and white paint layers first, and I hoped
that perhaps something was left from the original finish. However, when
I finally could see it again, there was so many scratches on it - and
in fact I had once had wrote words and small nice (!) symbols on that
sunburst body. So, I understood that the only way to make it a pretty
guitar again was to go all the way down to clean timber! But, when I
got to work on it, I realised that I had once been very hard to the
guitar, and therefore I had to go down very deep in the laminated wood.
Finally I had the grain looking like a wave running across
body, not along its length. I had completely removed the thin top
lamination. First I thought I had done something stupid again, but then
I saw a picture of a brand-new Hofner Verythin, which had a finish very
similar to what I had achieved!
After a couple of weeks the guitar took it´s finally shape. I
started looking for electrics and other parts. I already had the
original tailpiece, the ebony bridge, machine heads and, thank
goodness, one original Hofner 511 pickup. But did it work? I was really
curious...Well, I needed one more pickup, selector and so on. Here in
Sweden it was quite difficult to get these things on the market. I was
told to ask Mabass Custom Guitars & Basses, one of the largest
vintage stores here, but they didn't have what I was looking for.
However, they did recommend me to contact Music Ground in England,
which I also did. Justin Harrison at Music Ground could offer all the
parts I needed, but unfortunately I didn´t buy anything from
I was lucky to find some original parts on Ebay at an even better
price. Also at that time, I thought it would be interesting to put a
different new pickup onto the guitar to combine it with the original
511. That was really Rolf Klings idea. He was the guy who
promised me that he would fix the electrics, making the guitar playable
again. I was of course interested in giving him a chance. In fact, I
shouldn´t have been able to complete the job by myself.
Unfortunately, Hofner couldn´t offer new pickups just as
parts. I had both heard and read positive things about the Seymour
Duncans humbuckers, and Rolf recommended their vintage/antique model
which should suit the President very well. Then I saw that it was a
good idea to have two different pickups connected to the 3-way switch,
but not loosing the vintage sound at the same time. I think maybe I
should have put that original pickup from Music Ground on the guitar if
the guitar had been in original shape, but now it´s so much
new guitar - it also has a brand new selector switch - so
nice to have it more up to date.
In summary, I have got a new, very fine guitar and also I got the joy
of having this rare vintage instrument restored and back in my
collection. So........ here it is, my Hofner President. What I think is
especially fun in this little story is that we, the guitar and I, are
just the same age! In fact, we are both "dated" 1967. Is there
something mysterious in that? Quiet fun, however.
picture of the guitar in her "white period".
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