Jazzgitarren - vintage German made archtop guitars


HOFNER - Committee (58-59 model - Natural)

The COMMITTEE is the top-of-the-line model of (Selmer distributed) hofner archtops (In fact, I know there's a ultimate model called "Golden Hofner", but that's made onlu 50-60 units at all) The Committee model has several different shape totally (Acoustic and electric, full-bodied and thinline versions offered each other), This one was made between 1958-59 (known from the serial number). An acoustic model.

Solid spruce body top, and birds-eye maple back and sides. Five piece flamed maple/mahogany laminated neck without trussrod. Marbled bindings are on the body-edge and neck. Fingerboard made from ebony with fancy 8 inlays. With Zero-fret. Large "frondose" headstock (What a crazy shape") with HOFNER name. At top of headstock, theres a fancy mark called "Micky Mouse Ears" above the Hofner logo. Machine heads are 6 single brass-units with Ornate floral plastic pegheads. In this era Hofner logo decal is on bass side of the body-top bout. Body width: 445mm. Scale length: 648mm.

Plain clear pickguard was already missed. Original "harp-style" tailpiece was also missed so I replaced it to the "escultieon-form" one. And now I changed the original bridge to the newer Tune-O-Matic one (for the time to play electrically with pickup). For more informations of Committee, visit http://www.steverussell.freeserve.co.uk/hofner/factfiles/comfact.html.

HOFNER - Committee (Brunette finish) The Norbert Schnepel Collection

One more Hofner / COMMITTEE acoustic model made in 1958-59 era. This is from the Norbert Schnepel collection. The same headstock, specs and dates with above one, except the finish. Thsi coloring called the BRUNETTE color. Genelary, most of archtop fan loves the Natural finish more than other coloring, but on the point of the Hofner lovers, They love also this Brunette three tone sunburst finish.I don't know why so but in fact I love both of these coloring! The tailpiece is the original Harp-form.

Except the GOLDEN HOFNER (Only some dozens were made), people who want to own the ultimate archtop made by Hofner often search and get the Committee in worldwide (The Frondose headstock always fascinates the hofner fan!). I think recently the Committee also become harder to find and own. Price of it become glow. Thsi committee also was missing the original clear pickguard. .

HOFNER - Committee (60-62 Electric model - Natural)

One more Hofner Committee. but this was a 1960 model. In the 60s era, Hofner made a change of the design of their PICKUP, the old lipstick black single coiled pickup were replaced to the metal-covered (with some stripe holes on top) pickups, called TOASTER pickup. The replacing was available Not only the Committee (or the famous Golden Hofner), also the Club series or the President model.

This is the full depth archtop but in the same year (1960) Hofner company also release the THINLINE model of the Committee. For further information of the history of Committee, go to the Steve Russel's Hofner website.

The other characters of this guitar are same as above 58-59 Committee. The Toaster Pickup has nice mellow sounds but It feels something weaker than the comtemporary humbucking pickups..... Now I wonder if it should be replaced to the contemporary hofner pickup (with diamond logo - made by Kent Armstrong) or not.... Anyway, This guitar keeps the best condition to play, The former owner had a great work of repairing. Though the Hofner logo (on the top of the body) lost, but the string action and neck conditions are perfect. Electric circuits works fine at all. The real original Tailpiece and Clear pickguard still alive!

HOFNER - Club 60 (59-60 Electric model - Natural)

A Hofner's successful guitar model - Club 60. The Club series (distributed by Selmer company) are having the body shape similar with Giobson-Les Paul model (but Club series are full-hollow manufacturing) with the short scale (610mm) neck. This model - Club 60 - is the top of the line of CLUB series. Spruce top, Highly Flamed maple sides and back. 3 Piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard that inlayed the gorgeous Mother of pearl position-marks.

This example (early Club 60 model) has two black lipstick pickups (Later model has Toaster Pickups) and control panel.that features 2 volumes and 3 tone Switches. Tuneres replaced to a newer, white pearloid pickguard was probably re-make later, and the Bigsby tailpiece was installed recently (with Alminum bridges). I don't know how this was born originally, but now, well restored and have good condition for its age. (still string action is just a little bit high, I have to reset the neck...)

The Hofner Club series guitars are famous with its glorious story of the historical guitarists. Like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ritchie Balckmore, David Gilmore and many more Rock Legends love this guitar in their early period. Most constructions of this guitar has the typical weak points of the Hofner Guitar (chunky Neck, Weak Neck setting, Short Scale, etc....), but, in fact, the LOVELY GUITAR! Sounds Good, Looks Great!

HOFNER - model 464 (Red Sunburst)

The one of Hofner's premium archtop guitars. The decolative jazz-guitar with fancy G clef logo on the headstock, sickle shaped soundholes and diamond-shaped hole (the G clef logomark was also into the hole) near the neck, HOFNER 464 model. Acoustic model was only available. No Serial numbers.

Body width is 410mm. depth is 60mm. Scale length is 648mm. Made with carved solid spruce top, Solid one-piece flamed maple back and sides. There's only one (Red-sunburst) finish was released (I heard Selmer never had this model in their catalogue).

The original white-pearloid pickguard was already missed. The original escultieon style tailpiece. Later I installed the Fishman Piezo pickup (built-in with the bridge) to this 464. Not BAD. But I think the acoustic sound is better. I could find and get Only 2 German-made jazz guitars in Japan, this is one of them.

HOFNER - model 458 (black)

The Model 458 was the similer with the guitar called model-457. You could find this 458 is the reasonable (economic) model by the Hofner with gross-black finishing. (Model 457 is well-known because of George Harrison using in his early days. 457 has the spruce top and solid back and sides. available with natural and sunburst finish).

Body width is 410mm, body depth is 68mm, scale length is 647mm. available with cataway and non-cataway model. Top, back and sides are made with laminated maple wood. Fingerboard is of rosewood. The original tailpiece (called Lyra-form. Still available at many guitar shop). No Serial number. Recently I replaced the peg and the bridge into the newer GOTOH one and put the Aristone's Metal-plated 3PU set on this guitar.

MODEL 458 - Black (Non-Cutaway)

Again, the Hofner 458. but this is non-cutaway model probably made in mid 50s era. The difference with above cutaway model are: the curves of top and back boards are more deep, the tailpiece has the additional logo-emblem engraved the KH (Karl Hofner) logo with violin sillhette, the middle of Headstock colord black, no truss-rod, the neck is fatter than above, the hofner logo placed on near the bridge.

When I got this one, the MELO floarting pickup has already installed. I added the old german-style bridge (it missed when I got it). Also the Gotoh machinehead was newly installed because the original machineheads were already broken. And, I added the white pickguard (taken from the Hoyer-Herr Im Frack. I put the metal-PU plate onto the Hoyer, So the white pickguard has been serching the newer place to go...)

the scale and the width of the body is same as above. but sounds more deep and rich. MELO single-coiled pickup was good one. String action is low and easy to access. Still keeps in good condition for playing.

HOFNER - 6 string Lute Guitar

(Sorry, not the archtop guitar.) The Detail information is unknown. I found this one in WEB-shop in NY and bought it soon. Nut width is 45mm. Scale length is 620mm. 9th fret-joint. Body width is 340mm. The frets were Straight bar-type (sorry I can't find the other words - Not "T" shape, just like as "I" from the side) Totally, Not like as the traditional-lute guitar, This is the 6 string-6 course guitar just like as the normal classical guitars. The Rosewood fongarboard was (originally) scallopped. There's Zero-fret. Solid Mahogany neck. The fancy engraved headstock was nice. Also the engraved soundhole was beautiful. Solid spruce top. The Hofner Logo was engraved at high-side on near the bridge. Back was made with 11 flamy maple board (every board posted up with cloths).

Not only the German-guitars, Also I love the BOLA SETE (Brazilian jazz guitarist) and his music. He took the Lute guitar on the photo of "AUTENTOCO!" LP cover. So I was interested in this one. Sounds feel Antique one, beautiful and lyrical. I play this one with normal EBGDAE tuning and Hard tentioned nylon strings.

HOFNER - model 175 (black/gold vinyl covered)

The most psychedelic guitar in the hofner made! The solid model 175 was made as the copy of Fender Stratocaster in the mid of sixties, but hofner put the 3 original humbacker Pickups for it. The model 175 and the model 176 (called Galaxy) are the well-sold guitar in the 60s era. (176 was manufactured and sold more than 15,000 copies in the 60s). 175 was made after the succesful of 176, omited the on - off switches of each pickups.

And this one, rare-colord model 175 (Hofner has the same number model-175 but that was the telecaster-shape solid guitar, it was made in 1969, this psychedelic 175 was made in 1964). The crazy coloring is on the vinyl cover (not painting, the vinyl coverd the body overall). Aslo available the red/gold version. The neck scale is 610mm, very short scale with decorative red perloid position-mark (Fat and strong neck!). Also the headstock has decorated with red perloid material. Tulip machine head is similer with theone that onto the Italian bizarre guitar.

relational guitar
HOFNER 176 (Galaxy) - red/gold
The Norbert Schnepel Collection

This is one of the most successful guitar manufactured by Hofner. Model 176 (called the name with Galaxy). As seen on pictures, the differences with above 175 model are: mute bridge parts, the on/off switches settled on the every pickups, volume control of each pickups are replaced under the pickups.

This example is also the variation of the RARE COLOR. the Vinyl coverd finish which colord red and gold psychedelic pattern. A collector told me that there must be the 3 versions of Rare Color, red/gold, black/gold and black/silver. but I haven't found the black/silver one.

HOFNER - model 459 (Violin-guitar / sunburst) The Norbert Schnepel Collection

After the success of the Hofner 500/1 (Violin bass), Hofner released the "Guitar-version" of 500/1, this is it. Named model-459, and this model also has the special version with gold hardware parts (named 459super, other specs are same with normal model).

Probably made in early-mid 60s era (Later version installed the different pickup). the tailpiece parts is shorter one (compare with the above model458). full-hollow structuring guitar but doesn't have any soundholes. Detouchable neck construction. Comparing the bass version, unfortunately this model-459 has not been the successful model, but very hard to find model. Every Hofner-collector would know that the Hofner old instruments always have the chunky neck, it troubled for the player. I guess this 459 would be suitable guitar for the COLLECTOR.

461S / 465E2 / 465S The Stefan Mueller Collection

These 3 beautiful Hofner archtops from the Stefan Mueller collection. The left: Black acoustic archtop is MODEL 461S made in late 50s. The strange shape of soundholes maybe was bring from the influence of a 17th century viola d'amore pattern. even though an additional soundhole (on the middle of topboard) are normally roundshape. Body width 16inch, made by laminated spruce top and also laminated maple sides and back. Lyraform tailpiece. Rosewood fingerboard. Recently the value of this model seems to rise up cause of its cool and fancy designs.

The Middle and right : Model 465. The middle archtop is Model 465E2 (E2 means "having 2 electric pickups") probably made in early 60s. The right one is simply acoustic archtop (in late 50s). But both of the 465 models having the ROSEWOOD sides and back. I never heard its sounds yet but very interesting (top is solid Spruce). Body width 16.5 inch. Ebony Fngerboards inlaid with rosewood panels with white plastic strips on either side, you know the shape of inlays are same as the famous Hofner CLUB 60 model. The escutcheon tailpiece.


Jazzgitarren - vintage German made archtop guitars

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