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
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.
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 a revised body shape fitted with 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.
Hofner D-21-S Single Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by Xosé Crisanto Gándara)
Hofner D-22-S Twin Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by Gabriel Sanchez)
Hofner D-22-S Vibrator Twin Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by John Kally)
Hofner D-22-S Vibrator Twin Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by HUR)
Hofner D-22-S Vibrator Twin Pickup Solid Guitar (Restored by Guy Audoux)
1965 Hofner D-22-S Vibrator Twin Pickup Solid Guitar (Courtesy of Guy Audoux) - Second version of the D-22-S
1964 Hofner D-23-S Vibrator Three-Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by Celes Alarcia Diez)
Mid-1960's D-23-S Vibrator Three-Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by Chris in NSW, Australia)
1965/66 Hofner D-23-S Vibrator Three-Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by Miguel Ramos)
1965/66 Hofner D-23-S Vibrator Three-Pickup Solid Guitar (Owned by Matt) -Final version of the D-23-S
This model, presumably based on the German-made 176 model, is referred to in the Lluquet 1965 and 1966 catalogues. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to source any photos of the D-176-S.
Hofner introduced the German-made 177 model in 1965, 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.
Hofner 177 "Exquisit" Solid Guitar (Owned by Lucas Winck in Brazil.)
Using the same logic as for the 177 model above, then the Keller version could not have been produced before 1966.
Hofner 178 "Grande Surprise" Solid Guitar (Owned by Riccardo Abbondanza)
The bass version of the "D-Series" solids, using the electrics and hardware of the German-made Hofner 185 Bass Guitar.
c1965 Twin Pickup D-185-S Solid Bass Guitar (Owned by Artur Palomer)
This is the Spanish-made version of the Hofner Club Bass 500/2 model. It was introduced in Spain in 1966, a year or so after shipping of the German-made 500/2 was commenced to the rest of the world. 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.
Hofner T-20 Bass Guitar (Spanish-made 500/2 "Club" model) (Owned by Carmen)
Hofner T-20 Bass Guitar (Spanish-made 500/2 "Club" model) (Owned by Emilio Mosquera)
Hofner T-20 Bass Guitar (Spanish-made 500/2 "Club" model) (Owned by Abel Mariscal Torres)
Hofner T-20 Bass Guitar (Spanish-made 500/2 "Club" model) (Owned by Rob Herrick, USA)
Hofner T-20 Bass Guitar (Spanish-made 500/2 "Club" model) (Owned by Santiago Azpilicueta Garcia)
The T-21 was Keller's version of the famous Hofner 500/1 Violin Bass. It appears in Spanish price lists together with the T-20 from 1966 onwards, when the fame of the Beatles had become well established 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.
Hofner T-21 (Spanish-made 500/1 model) 22 Fret Bass Guitar (Owned by Scott Newell)
Hofner T-21 (Spanish-made 500/1 model) 22 Fret Bass Guitar (Owned by Xosé Crisanto Gándara)
Hofner T-21 (Spanish-made 500/1 model) 22 Fret Bass Guitar (Owned by Santiago Azpilicueta Garcia)
Hofner T-21 (Spanish-made 500/1 model) 21 Fret Bass Guitar (Owned by Carlos Savenije)
Hofner T-21 (Spanish-made 500/1 model) 21 Fret Bass Guitar (Owned by Xaime Fandino)
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.
Hofner T-26 6-String Solid Bass Guitar (Owned by Dez Barry)
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.
Hofner "450 S/2 Vibrator" Thinline Guitar (Owned by Emilio Cuco)
KELLER/HOFNER 455 S ARCHTOP
Based on the specification of the German-made 455 model. As above, Keller's favourite black/white hatched body binding was used.
Hofner "455 S/2 Vibrator" Archtop Guitar (Owned by Rosa Maria Oyarzábal Cerdá)
Hofner 455/S Acoustic Archtop Guitar (Owned by Juan Manuel Barreiro)
Purchased new in Bilbao in 1965, this guitar, unlike the example above, is virtually identical in specification to the German-made 455/S of that period. It could well be that it was imported as a whole guitar by Keller from Germany.
KELLER/HOFNER 462 S ARCHTOP
I think that the guitar below is a 462 S because such a model is described (but not illustrated) in the 1966 Lluquet catalogue. Unlike other Keller Hofners, its features do not match up with any one of the German Hofner archtop range. It seems to have borrowed features from several German models.
Hofner 462 S Acoustic Archtop Guitar (Owned by Miguel Ramos)
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 markers instead of "double arrow-heads" as used on the German product.
Hofner "Club-Style" Guitar
with Vibrator (Owned by Miguel Bañón
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.
Hofner 4571 Thinline Electric (Owned by Jari Paananen)
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.
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.
Hofner 4576V Thinline Electric (Owned by Santiago Azpilicueta Garcia)
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.
Three Pickup Thinline Guitar (Owned by Luis Jimenez)
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.
Acoustic Model 492 12-String Flattop (Owned by Juanjo Llopiz Joga)
Electric Model 492 12-String Flattop (Owned by Armand Valeta)