Over the years, Hofner themselves have produced
many prototype models and special-orders in the normal course of
their business. The purpose of
this page is to display a selection of these non-standard
1971 HOFNER MODEL
4579(ii) SOLID (PRE-PRODUCTION EXAMPLE) This interesting guitar is in
my opinion almost certainly a pre-production prototype. The type of pickups
fitted were never used during the model's production run, although they are
certainly related to the Hi-Fi pickups which were used. Other features
differing from the finally adopted specification of the 4579 are the simple
dot fretmarkers, the white control knobs, the earlier type of
plastic-buttoned tuners, and the missing Hofner logo on the headstock. Owned
by Mathis Vass in Vienna, Austria.
PRE-PRODUCTION HOFNER MODEL 457/S The body date of this unusual Hofner
archtop is July 1951, apparently several months before production of the 457
model commenced in earnest. It has the basic features of the 457, except for
an unusual tailpiece and "sickle" soundholes instead of the usual F-holes.
My view is that it is probably a prototype made at a time when Walter Hofner
must have been considering the alternative design details for the new archtop models to be
introduced in the 1952, i.e. the 457, 459, 461, and 462 models.
TWIN PICKUP HOFNER S7B
SOLID BASS GUITAR The S7B model was a single pickup solid bass guitar.
Why then has this nice example got two pickups? I am not sure whether this is
in fact a Hofner-made "prototype" or a guitar that has been modified by a
previous owner. Whatever, it look a very usefull "working" bass guitar. Owned
by Guy Audoux in France.
MODEL 128 (CLUB 60) SEMI-ACOUSTIC GUITAR
This very unusual guitar is owned by Case van der Linden, who bought it
brand new in The Hague, Holland in 1960. When he purchased it, he
requested that it be fitted with an additional pickup........ and that is how it was supplied to him a few weeks later!
Whether the third pickup was fitted in the Hofner factory, by Van Wouw
the distributors, or the retail store is not known, although my guess
is that it was probably modified by Van Wouw. Case now lives in California, USA.
HOFNER 185 SIX-STRING BASS
GUITAR To the best of my knowledge, Hofner have never offered a
6-string bass guitar using the 185 model as a basis. (Excuse the pun.) Here
one is though, and it looks to have been put together very professionally to
me! Was it made as a Hofner prototype, assembled from Hofner parts by an
employee in his spare time, or was it made-up by a un-connected luthier as
an interesting exercise? Who knows? It has a 30" scale length, looks
great, and apparently sounds good too. It is owned by Rob Francis in the UK.
1962 MODIFIED HOFNER 126
"CLUB-STYLE" GUITAR A guitar owned by Paul Gorter of the
Netherlands, whose late father was a director and partner in the Van Wouw
Company back in the 1950's and 60's when Van Wouw were Hofner's sole
distributor in the Netherlands. The story of how he acquired the guitar and
its subsequent modification is fascinating.
LEFT-HANDED BASS GUITAR MADE UTILISING
HOFNER PARTS Made by Clement Cachot-Coulom around ten years ago
(c2001) as a change from the standard Violin Bass. The double cutaway body
has a solid carved spruce top, with a flat maple back. Although an original
design, Clement has captured the true Hofner style in his bass.
2010 HOFNER US CUSTOM SHOP
VERYTHIN CLASSIC Produced by the Custom Shop in Chicago, USA, using a
Hofner Verythin Classic as the basis but with the body front finished in a
beautiful surf green and fitted with chrome hardware. This particular guitar
was sold by J. Hale Music in
Hartland, Wiscosin. Surfs up!
"POHLERT" THINLINE ARCHTOP A guitar discovered by Alan
Cramp of the "Just Jazz Guitars" website. Werner Pohlert was a
famous German jazz guitarist who died in 2000 at the age of 73. During the
early-mid 1960's, he approached Hofner with the request that they made a
small number of guitars for his students and also for his own use. This is
one of those guitars. It has the Pohlert logo inscribed onto the escutcheon
tailpiece, but no Hofner logo anywhere on the guitar. The body has an
18" lower bout width, with a 55mm body depth.
1969, Hofner used the Pohlert name to market three already existing Hofner
models - the 497 Classical, the 4578 twin-cutaway thinline archtop, and the
500/8 bass guitar. This initiative lasted only for a very short period, but
examples of these Hofner guitars fitted with tailpieces with the Pohlert logo do appear from
time to time.
2010 HOFNER JAZZICA
ARCHTOP - SPECIAL ORDER This is a one-off
special order Jazzica that has two body-mounted pickups, and is finished in
the non-standard violin varnish which makes the white binding look gorgeous! Otherwise, it has all
the features of the Jazzica model, including a solid carved spruce top and
those soundhole plugs of course!
c1970/71 HOFNER 4600
SEMI-ACOUSTIC - SPECIAL OR PROTOTYPE I believe that this guitar was
made to this unusual specification by Hofner. It is basically a 4600 model,
but it has been given binding around the body top edge. It also has the Type
513 "Blade" pickups fitted, which is unusual for a 4600, together
with a rectangular neck fixing plate instead of the usual trapezoidal type.
My guess is that Hofner were using up a partially completed 4600 body after
that model had been discontinued in 1970.........but that is only my guess!
A very interesting guitar owned by Gunter Gabriel in Germany.
MODIFIED 2009 HOFNER CT GALAXIE
ACTIVE SOLID GUITAR Olaf Poeter in Germany was
so impressed with his new Hofner CT Galaxie
that he bought another one. In order to obtain a different set of tones, he
has built active circuitry into this second guitar, together with adding
further controls and a new scratchplate. As well as photos of the modified
guitar, Olaf has supplied a comparison report on the performance of the two
MODIFICATIONS TO A
2009 HOFNER GALAXIE - PART 2 It has been several years since Olaf
Poeter provided us with details of the active
electrics modifications that he made to his "modern-day" Galaxie. He has
now carried out further work on the guitar, including up-grading the pickups
and fitting a 6-way selector switch. The results are shown and described on
the linked photo-page.
SPECIAL ORDER 1999/2000 VIOLIN
BASS 500/1 A special red-finished 500/1 Bass, made for the 2000 NAMM
Show. David Leblanc, the guitar's owner, has researched its history, and
this is provided with the photos.
c1980 HOFNER 4578 This
is an interesting guitar. It has the lavish mother of pearl inlays to
the headstock and split fret-marker blocks that one would only associate
with Hofner's top-of-the-range models in the 1970's and 80's, such as the
471/4710 model. It also appears to have
a neck-rake adjuster built into the heel, and the name "P�hlert"
stamped into the Lyre tailpiece. This can't be how Hofner specified the 4578
at the end of its production run so surely it is a special, or perhaps more
likely a guitar
made up by someone away from the Hofner workshops? A lovely guitar though,
owned by Ollie in Germany.
SEMI-ACOUSTIC GUITAR This very interesting guitar is owned by Marc
Moris in Belgium. At first glance, it appears to be a 4578/E3 model.
However, closer examination shows it to have a 40mm deep body rather than
the 50mm on a 4578. Also, Marc's guitar has a bolt-on neck ! The guitar is a
true semi-acoustic as it is fitted with a sustain block inside the body. If
anyone has a similar guitar or information about this unusual semi, please
get in touch !!
1960's/1970's HOFNER 500/7 "SPECIAL" BASS GUITAR - THREE PICKUPS
This very unusual bass was possibly made as a special order, or maybe
for a trade show. It has the three pickups and electrical circuits of
the Hofner 4575 6-string semi. I have never seen another like
neither in "the flesh" nor in a catalogue. It is owned by Silas in
Germany, who has restored the bass back to its original red body finish.
GAGLIANO K-150 ACOUSTIC GUITAR
Hofner Model 462 acoustic with Gagliano logos. Gagliano were a US
who purchased job-lots of instruments direct from various manufacturers
including Kay, Harmony, and Hopf and sold these under the Gagliano
label - rather like Silvertone in the US and Broadway as well as
Futurama in the UK. From the appearance of this guitar, Hofner
certainly didn't compromise on the quality of those guitars that it
produced for Gagliano. Owned by Chad Coulter.
HOFNER MODEL 457 "RUBY SPECIAL"
A very attractive guitar, due to it's lovely ruby red sunburst
finish.......and an interesting one too! This guitar appears to have
been factory made during possibly the mid to late 1960's using a
pre-1956 non-cutaway body, and high quality, non-standard neck and
tailpiece. Owned by Alan Cramp in England.
This is probably the most over-the-top example of ornamentation on a
Hofner that I have ever seen ! It was found by Music Ground in the Bubenreuth
factory during the clearing out process following the move of Hofner
production to Hagenau in the 1990's. Probably made by a Hofner employee in his spare time from cast-offs?
HAYCOCK'S TWO HOFNER NIGHTINGALES; "HEIDI" & "ROSE-MARIE" Pete (Climax Blues Band / Pete Haycock Band) has had a long association
with the Hofner company, and owns two prototypes which were made by
Hubert Kaa in the Hofner factory during the development stage of the
Nightingale. In fact it was Pete who suggested to Hofner that a master
volume pot should be adopted for the Nightingale model. The two guitars
appear to be the fore-runners to the Nightingale Special model, but
with slightly different hardware. One of the guitars - "Heidi", has a
gloss black finish and gold plated hardware. "Rose-Marie" is finished
in red, with nickel plated hardware.
HOFNER MODEL HE-179 SOLID GUITAR PROTOTYPE This is a design that was considered by Hofner for production in their
Chinese factory from 2004. In the end, it was theNew
Coloramathat went into full production.
(Although a few HE-179's have got out onto the market). Still a nice
looking guitar though. Owned by Bryan Hackett in West Yorkshire,
1960's/1970's HOFNER PROTOTYPE SEMI-ACOUSTIC Almost certainly a factory prototype, this semi has similar features to
the Model 4572, but with a 4574 body shape, large F-holes, a 2" deep
body without binding on the back, a bolt-on neck, and active treble
boost/fuzz tone electronics. A very interesting guitar owned by Sascha
Reinsch in Germany.