The page where other people's Hofners are featured.
HOFNER CONCERT CLASSICAL GUITARS
Walter Hofner's Own Personal Guitars - Two Model 497 and One Model 484
Classical Guitars. (Photo courtesy of the Benker Family)
following picture-sets of Hofner concert guitars have been sent to me
years by their owners. This has allowed me to present a much greater
range of models and vintages than encompassed by my own
collection on the website, and maybe this will help other visitors to
the site to identify and date their own Hofner.
They should be studied in conjunction with the
much more comprehensive page on this website which describes all the many
concert classical models produced by Hofner:
1978 HOFNER MODEL 515h
The 514 and 515 models were the cheapest of Hofner's true classical
"Concert" models, although superior in quality to the above "Classic"
acoustic guitars. They had full width 14¼" bodies, with spruce tops and nicely flamed maple backs and sides. The 514 had
simple purfled circles around the soundhole, whereas the 515 had a
mosaic rosette. The "h" in the model designation signifies that this
particular example has a highly polished finish, rather than the matt
finish of the standard model. Owned by Ryan Jacobson in the USA.
1973 HOFNER MODEL 4820
This 2nd-generation" Hofner classical guitar seems to have developed
out of the earlier Hofner 482 Jugend/Wander model. Like that model, it is
characterised by the dark brown varnish used on the flame maple back and
sides. However, the 4820 was given a real wooden mosaic soundhole rosette. Owned by Georg Strobel
Mid 1950's HOFNER MODEL 484
CLASSICAL GUITAR Introduced in 1954, this model has a spruce
top and a laminated mahogany back and sides. Simple in ornamentation, it was
nevertheless one of Hofner's mid-range concert guitars. Owned by Reuben
Hamon, South Wales, UK.
1970's HOFNER MODEL 484
CLASSICAL GUITAR This was actually one of Walter Hofner's own
personal guitars. It is a good example of a later 484 model, with a decal
type rosette soundhole decoration. The polyurethane finish used during the
1970's and later provides a fine gloss on the mahogany back and sides of the
guitar. With thanks to Gerhilde & Christian Benker for supplying this
MODEL 485 CLASSICAL GUITAR
This is the European/US market of the UK Selmer distributed Vienna
Classical. It has the carved rosette and flame maple back/sides of the
Vienna, but it does not have the Vienna's fingerboard fret markers, nor
of course the Model/Serial # label inside the body. The headstock is
also a slightly different shape. The 485 model was one of the first made
by Hofner when they were re-established after WWII in the Erlangen region of
Germany. Owned by Simon Cockell in
c1960 HOFNER MODEL 485
CLASSICAL GUITAR In comparison to the guitar above, this example does
have the fingerboard fretmarkers, together with a headstock more usual on the
Selmer-distributed Vienna model. It does not however have a body label, which
indicates that it is a European-marketed 485 rather than a Vienna.
1950's HOFNER MODEL 486 CLASSICAL-STYLE GUITAR
A beautiful old flat topped guitar, made in the classical style but
steel-strung with pickguard and a trapeze tailpiece. Owned by Wolfgang in
alternative Model 486a was a conventional Concert guitar, fitted with a classical
guitar style bridge, nylon/gut strings, and no scratchplate. This model was one
of Hofner's very first post-war guitars, introduced in 1949.
MODEL 487 CLASSICAL-STYLE ACOUSTIC GUITAR
An attractive mid-range guitar with spruce top and laminated mahogany
back/sides. This particular guitar also has an adjustable bridge and unusual
ladder-bracing under the body top. There does appear to be a design
connection between the 487 and the higher-status 494 model, with the same
soundhole rosette, fret-marker dots, and the adjustable bridge. Early
versions of the 487 like this one were probable intended to be steel-strung.Owned by Georg Strobel
Early-1950's HOFNER MODEL
487 CLASSICAL-STYLE ACOUSTIC GUITAR A slightly earlier version of the above, with a single saddle adjustable
bridge and the "Hofner Meisterklasse" body logo. The original
finish on this guitar is shellac. This particular guitar has
"fan-bracing", as opposed to the "ladder-bracing" used
on the 487 above. Owned by Wolfgang in Germany.
HOFNER MODEL 493 CLASSICAL GUITAR
A mid-range classical guitar with spruce top, beautiful rosewood back
and sides, and a lovely mosaic soundhole decoration, all of which gave
this guitar a similar appearance to the more expensive Model 497.
However, the 493 had a slightly smaller body at at
across the lower bout. It also had a three-piece neck together with a
rosewood fingerboard and bridge, which on the 497 were ebony. This very
attractive guitar is owned by Claus in Denmark.
Early-1950's HOFNER MODEL 494 CLASSICAL-STYLE
The standard Model 494 can easily be recognised because of it's birds
eye maple back/sides, and also because of the very pretty dog's tooth
purfling around the body sides and soundhole. It also has a cantilevered 5-piece neck over the
body top. The early versions like this one appear to have been steel-strung and had
a height-adjustable bridge. Owned by Keild Andersson.
1956 HOFNER MODEL 494P
CLASSICAL-STYLE ACOUSTIC GUITAR
This is a good example of the 494P, which was the same as the 494, but had a
rosewood back & sides instead of birdseye maple. It still retained the standard 494's herringbone body purfling and rosewood fingerboard,
complete with fretmarker dots. Like the guitar above, this one is also steel-strung,
and has the height-adjustable bridge. Owned by Wolfgang
1959/60 HOFNER MODEL 494
A rather battered example, but with incredible
birds-eye maple veneers to the back and sides of the body, together with
lovely dark brown pearloid binding. By the time this 494 was produced, it
appears that Hofner had decided that a classical guitar should be
nylon-strung. A more conventional bridge was therefore fitted Owned by Georg Strobel in
1967 HOFNER MODEL
494 CLASSICAL GUITAR
Previously part of Daniel Lee's collection, this guitar features the usual stunning birds eye maple timbers and beautiful binding and
purfling. Note the change in the neck and heel details to the earlier
versions above. Thanks to Great
Guitars, Australia for the pictures.
1971 HOFNER MODEL 494
CLASSICAL GUITAR By 1971, the body binding/purfling on the 494 had
changed to a more modest style, and the fretboard dot markers had
disappeared. This example is owned by Georg Strobel in
1978 HOFNER MODEL 494
CLASSICAL GUITAR In the mid-1970's, Hofner changed the detailing of
the 494, but still of course kept the spruce top and laminated
birds-eye maple body back & sides. The heavy purfling around the body
top was replaced with simpler line purfling, and a soundhole decoration with
a rose pattern was introduced in place of the heavy-looking mosaic rosette.
This example is owned by Peter Medley.
Early 1950's HOFNER MODEL
497 CLASSICAL GUITAR Another of Walter Hofner's own
personal guitars. This is probably the earliest 497 that I have encountered,
maybe from around 1950/51. Interestingly, the fingerboard is rosewood
instead of ebony which was used later for this model. The beautifully
featured neck appears to be seven-piece. With thanks to Gerhilde & Christian Benker for supplying this
MODEL 497 CLASSICAL GUITAR
A large bodied (15" body width) classical guitar with spruce top
and beautifully figured rosewood back and sides. This was one of
Hofner's high-quality classicals, made over a long period spanning between 1950
and 1984. Heavy purfling/binding to the body edges,
inlayed soundhole, and a five piece neck made this an impressive
instrument. Owned by Georg Strobel in Germany.
1973 HOFNER MODEL 497
CLASSICAL GUITAR From the early 1970's, the earlier beech body
binding was replaced by black plastic binding on the 497 model. A larger
mosaic rosette was also fitted. Another lovely old classical guitar owned by
Georg Strobel in Germany.
1966 HOFNER MODEL
Hofner's premium flattop for many years - they described it as an
"instrument of master class". It had the large 15"
body width, with a selected spruce top and superb (but laminated) flame
maple back and sides. A three-piece neck was fitted on this 1966
version of the 498, plus ebony fingerboard, gold-plated tuners, and
elaborate binding/purfling around the body. Owned by Wolfgang
1970 HOFNER MODEL 4980
CLASSICAL GUITAR The 4980 took over from the 498 as Hofner's top
concert guitar when it was introduced in 1961. It was similar in basic
specification to the 498, with best-quality spruce top and laminated
rosewood back & sides, with an ebony fingerboard. This example is from
1970 at around which time the 4980 acquired the attractive strip inlays to
the headstock and bridge. Owned by Georg Strobel in Germany.
1984 HOFNER MODEL 4980
CLASSICAL GUITAR A later version of the 4980, which now had acquired
an ornamental strip central in the rosewood back of the guitar, a more
ornate soundhole rosette, and additional body purfling. This one is also
owned by Georg Strobel in Germany.
1972 HOFNER MODEL 4985
The 4985 model knocked the 4980 off its throne as Hofner's top-of-the-range
classical when it was introduced in 1970. It featured all solid woods,
including the beautiful rosewood used in the body back & sides and a
fine solid spruce top. A very
high level of care in construction was taken, including the use of the
"Spanish Foot" method of attaching the neck to the body, as
illustrated in the linked photo page.
Owned by Georg Strobel in Germany.
Mid 1980's HOFNER MODEL
HC95 CLASSICAL GUITAR This model was next to the top of the quite large "HC"
range of classical guitars, which were introduced by Hofner in 1983 and
finally discontinued in 1989. Spruce top with curly maple back & sides and
binding on top and bottom edges. A rosewood fingerboard and gold plated deluxe
tuners completes the specification. Owned by Max Junger of Pyramid Strings,
1990's HOFNER HM 84 "MEISTER-BUILT" CLASSICAL GUITAR The HM models
have been Hofner's most prestigious classical guitar range from the time of
their introduction in 1985. There have been various models coming and going
over that period, but this one appears to be a nice example of the HM 84
model which was manufactured between 1985 and 1998. The guitar's owner is Karl Gormanns
2004 HOFNER HML-2-MC
"MEISTER-BUILT" CLASSICAL GUITAR Just to prove that not all guitars
that Hofner made were in the Hofner catalogues! This lovely guitar was part of
a small number of guitars arising from a commission to produce a limited
edition bearing a trade name of a large retail company. A few of these guitars
was surplus to the commission requirements. and so Hofner sold them off with
their own name on the body label. The body has a solid cedar top with solid
mahogany back and rims. However. the pointed top of the headstock is the
feature that indicates this to be not a regular Hofner guitar, as well as the
strange model number written on the body label of course. Owned by Eric
Alfredo in the USA.
c1984 HOFNER MODEL CS1
ELECTRIC CLASSICAL GUITAR
Produced between 1982 and 1985, this little guitar was Hofner's answer
to the Gibson Chet Atkins CEC model. It had a cutaway body depth of 2" and a
solid sustain block in a hollow body of rosewood with a spruce top. A piezzo-ceramic pickup was
fitted to the bridge, and according to the catalogue, the circuit
included a 9 volt preamp. Owned by Andy Leslie.
1974 HOFNER "STUDIO 2" ELECTRIC CLASSICAL GUITAR A
model that was made to be used with a school Music Laboratory that Hofner
and Multivox/Sorkin developed in 1974/75. The whole project was called the
Premier Music Lab, and it was based on the concept of a Language Laboratory,
only using guitars. The students listened to their efforts through
headphones. Hofner supplied the option of using three types of different
instrument models with the Laboratory - a single pickup solid guitar called
the "161" , a
nylon-strung thinline solid with a 45mm wide neck called the "Studio No
1 Guitar", and a similar one with a 50mm wide neck called the
"Studio No 2 Guitar". This particular "Studio No 2" is
owned by Bob Cocozza in Florida, USA.
This is a high quality instrument, probably based on the European-market 497
rosewood veneers to the body back and sides, and lavish body binding/edge purfling.
It seems to have been one of the first guitars offered by Selmer in the early
1950's and is definitely of a much higher quality than the Vienna model which
came along a year or so later. The 1952/53 Selmer catalogue states that "as
each instrument receives the personal attention of Karl Hofner, only a limited
number can be built and orders will be dealt with in strict rotation". The
Concert was maintained in Selmer's catalogue until around 1956. Owned by
Wolfgang in Germany.
c1957 HOFNER VIENNA CLASSICAL GUITAR
Mid-quality classical guitar range in Selmer's catalogue based on the Hofner
485 Model. It had a spruce top
with (usually) very attractively marked maple back and sides. The soundhole
decoration was formed by carving into the solid spruce top. This one
is owned by James Gordon in Hampshire, England.
'CLASSIC' CLASSICAL GUITAR - CATALOGUE SCAN
A very high quality, and expensive, classical guitar that was
in the Selmer catalogue for only a year or so in 1967/68. All solid
woods, with rosewood for the body back and sides, ebony fingerboard and
fine marquetry soundhole rosette. All in all a top professional concert
instrument, equivalent to the 4980 model in Hofner's main