Headstock of 1980 Carvin CM140 Stereo. Compare this with the Hofner Nightingale


From 1964 through to the 1980's, Hofner supplied completed bodies and necks to the US manufacturer Carvin Musical Instruments. Carvin marketed a large range of guitars and bass guitars by mail order, and their manufacturing facility was in California. The Hofner necks were either fitted to an appropriate Hofner-made body, or to Carvin-produced guitar and bass bodies. The necks and headstocks in particular look very familiar to the Hofner enthusiast, having shared features such as headstock inlays, fret markers, and headstock shapes.


Carvin Semi-Acoustic and Solid guitars from 1980 - all fitted with Hofner necks. The headstock inlay of the two guitars on the left is the same as used on the Hofner 4710 and A2HL models. The semi's body on the left appears to be a Hofner 4572 model. The two solids on the right may well have hofner 172 bodies.


Carvin Bass Guitars from 1980 - all fitted with bolt-on Hofner necks. Compare the headstock inlays with the Hofner 500/6 Model. Those body shapes look familiar too!


A 1969 Carvin Model 35-SGC fitted with the same neck as the 1960's Hofner 172/173 Solid.  


Carvin's advertising literature made clear the association between the two companies:

Excerpt from 1969 Carvin catalogue - " HOFNER NECK - since 1964 Carvin has used necks made by Hofner (considered one of the finest and most expensive guitars in the World). Carvin necks are made to the usual high quality Hofner standards. " 

The Carvin SH225 has a particularly Hofner style body and neck. It was introduced in 1981, and a picture of which is shown below:

The SH225's body was identical in shape and depth to the Hofner T2 and T4 semi's, which had a similar shape to the Hofner Verithin, but were of a more conventional depth  - 1 5/8" compared to the Verithin's 1 1/4". Also, unlike the Verithin, the SH225 (and the Hofner T2 & T4 models) had a spruce sustain block running down the centre of the body. 



To obtain more detailed information on the Hofner/Carvin Connection, as well as on Carvin instruments generally,  visit the CARVIN MUSEUM website from where the above details has been kindly supplied.