I bought this one on Ebay in June 2003. It did mean a trip down to Cornwall to pick it up, but it was worth it! (I am always very nervous about shipping 40 year old guitars, and hence would prefer to pay for petrol than carriers' charges and breakages.) It is a brunette, and therefore one would expect the timbers used in the guitar to be slightly inferior to the blonde version. That actually is the case when compared against my blonde 1965 Committee. However, the dark finish on the '64 seems to make the heavily mottled binding used on the post-1963 Committees stand out considerably more than with the blonde, and this makes the brunette the more dramatic looking guitar, certainly to my eyes.
This Committee does not have a Bigsby unit, as fitted to my '65 guitar. Instead it has the "Escutcheon" tailpiece that was Hofner's top tailpiece back in the 1960's. This is nickel plated as opposed to gold plating used on the Golden Hofner's tailpiece. Other than that, the guitar has identical fittings and timber types as on the '65. The body top is laminated spruce, with birdseye maple back and sides. The top and back are two piece - the early Committees seem to have one piece backs. As implied above, the binding to both the body and neck is very beautiful, and seems to have been up-rated following the demise of the Golden Hofner and introduction of the small headstock Committees in 1963. This feature, and the increase in body size from 17.5" to 18" on the electric Committees, seems to have been a compensatory gesture by Hofner for dropping both the Golden and the large headstock on the Committee.
As with the '65 Committee, two humbucking Type 511 "Staple" pickups are fitted, controlled by a large and not very aesthetically pleasing three-way selector switch together with four rotary controls. These comprise of a single volume control, two tone controls (one for each pickup) and a rotary Solo/Rhythm selector. The later is fairly effective, surprisingly enough.
The Hofner "Micro-matic" bridge is a standard fitting on the Committee, as with all other better quality Hofner electric archtops of the post-1963 period.
The headstock is faced with an ebony veneer, and has the Hofner"lilies" design inlaid. The "Micky Mouse" ears are still inlaid into the top of the headstock, as with earlier Committees. This feature disappeared at the end of 1964, and my 1965 Committee does not have it.
As with all post-63 Committees, enclosed Van Ghent tuners are fitted, and these excellent units still work smoothly after 40 years of use. As far as I can tell, the later Committees were the only Hofners fitted with this type of tuner.
The neck is a five piece construction, being a sandwich of flame maple / mahogany / maple / mahogany / flamed maple. It is capped with an ebony fingerboard, with the lovely three piece floral fret markers inlaid in mother of pearl. At some time in the past, the neck has suffered some damage as there is evidence of a repaired crack just below the volute. This is barely noticeable however, and things do seem very solid in that area with absolutely no movement over the time that I have owned the guitar.
This Committee is in exceptional condition for its age, and looks superb. It has been well set-up by a previous owner and really is a pleasure to play. The neck is very slender for an archtop and the action low, again by archtop standards. Acoustic tone is full, round, and fairly loud, assisted I assume by the guitar's very large body. This helps compensate for the not very forceful electric sound produced, which although having a nice jazzy tone, is a little on the quiet side. Maybe the pickups are ready for a re-wind. All-in-all though, a lovely guitar to play, and to own.