Hagstrom
Hagstrom H-8 eight-string bassVox CheetahGibson EB3
    Home | Guitar Model Info | Catalogue Scans | Forum | Other Stuff | Search









pick a brand

The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

Or try the site search

Trying to find the value of your guitar?
Latest updates
1966 Goya Electric Guitars catalogue
1966 Goya Electric Guitars catalogue, Goya was well-known for it's acoustic guitars, produced by Levin in Sweden; but in the mid 1960s they added a number of Italian-built electric guitars and basses. Semi-acoustic models such as the 105, 107 and 109 Rangemaster guitars and Panther II bass were made by Polverini, whilst solid body models 116 and 118 were made by Galanti. These were well-built good quality instruments, but perhaps too expensive to sell in large numbers.
1965 Vox Ace electric guitar
1965 Vox Ace electric guitar The Vox Ace was one of the early UK-designed Vox guitars produced by JMI in Dartford, Kent. It had been in production since at least 1962, but was redesigned for late 1963 with a more current look and a higher quality feel. The pickups were upgraded, as was the body; it was now thicker and made of solid wood. Despite this the guitar was now actually lighter in weight, due to a shorter overall length. Have a closer look at a sunburst-finished Vox Ace from 1965.
Older updates here

Hofner Electric Guitar and Bass List
Instruments manufactured by Hofner

Hofner Guitars The Beatles in the early 1960s

Hofner guitars and basses hold a very special position in the history of popular music; they were the guitars that so many influential British guitarists of the early 1960s were playing, Most notably of course, Paul McCartney of the Beatles, with his 500/1 Violin bass.

Karl Hofner started producing violins in 1887, adding other stringed instruments to the line soonafter. He and his sons, Josef and Walter, built the business in Schonbach, Germany, building their first guitars there in the 1930s. This plant ceased instrument production during the second world war, and was closed shortly after it.

Early days, 1950s Hofner

1966 UK Hofner advertisement

1966 UK Hofner advertisement - see other vintage Hofner advertisements here

Instrument production started again with a big new plant in another German town, Bubenreuth, opening in late 1950. Hofner's long history in orchestral stringed-instrument manufacture dictated the kind of guitars produced: well-built hollow bodies with set necks, many with hand carved tops, many acoustic; and many utilising the inlaying skills of Hofner's craftsmen. As the 1950s progressed numerous improvements were instituted; Hofner certainly kept up with the important developments in American guitars, and by the very end of the decade were producing thinlines, and fitting adjustable truss rods to all models. But guitar demand grew massively over the next two decades; both in Germany, but also increasingly worldwide. Sales were rising, buoyed, by the advent of rock 'n' roll and then beat music, and the Bubenreuth plant had to be extended on several occasions to keep up with production.

1961 Hofner Congress acoustic guitar

1961 Hofner Congress acoustic guitar

1960s heydey

Hofner guitars have always been popular in the United Kingdom. Hofner made special UK models like the President, Senator Congress, Committee, and numerous others. They were similar in many ways to some European models. They were distributed in the UK by Selmer and sold well in the late 1950s and very early 1960s, both as student and professional instruments. More expensive American guitars by Gibson, Gretsch and Guild were largely unavailable (or at least unaffordable) due to trade restrictions, at least until 1961, and at this point British guitar makers were unable to produce well-built hollow-body guitars, so Hofner initially had little competition.

Then, of course, there was Paul McCartney who had bought his 500/1 violin bass in 1961. He played this bass throughout his time with the Beatles, and despite having other basses available always came back to this; most notably using it on the famous Apple building rooftop concert of 1969.

One other big change in the 1960s was the strong demand for solid body guitars; in part due to the changing musical direction of the 1960s, but also the huge growth of student guitarists looking for cheaper instruments than the labour intensive hollow bodies. Original Hofner models like the V-series (V1, V2, V3) were followed by the Colorama, Super Solids and Galaxie guitars, all of which sold well to aspiring guitar players of the 1960s.

The 1970s

Solid bodies performed better at louder volumes, and as the 60s turned into the 70s, hollow guitars dropped out of fashion. But Hofner was facing problems. Highly respected manufacturers like Gibson and Fender had the professional end of the market all but sewn-up, whilst Asian manufacturers were producing high quality budget guitars very cheaply indeed. Hofner managed to keep flagship models like the violin bass, but was otherwise forced down the route of the Japanese manufacturers producing (admittedly not bad) copies of Gibson guitars.

Latest posts on Hofner guitars and basses at the VintageGuitar forum
forum index | post message

Hofner Galaxie
1 replies
last message by jules
13/02/2014 07:56

Hofner Senator pickup query
0 replies
last message by petefaeperth
06/01/2014 03:06

PLease help me identify this guitar.
7 replies
last message by theoldbobber
23/12/2013 01:43

new to this forum ... looking for a little advice.
2 replies
last message by itsjustmeee
19/12/2013 12:33

Hofner Senator Bass Guitar - date and valuation
4 replies
last message by Elliemay
18/10/2013 15:49

hofner violin bass 500/1
6 replies
last message by jimtone
04/10/2013 13:25



Solid body guitars


Hofner 172
Hofner 173
Hofner 176
Hofner 177

Hollow body guitars


Hofner Ambassador
Hofner Committee
Hofner President
Hofner Senator

Bass guitars


Hofner 500/1
Hofner 500/2
Hofner G500/1
Hofner 500/4
Hofner 185/S
Hofner Senator bass

Hofner Catalogues

1967 Hofner catalogue

Hofner Advertising

Hofner Advertising



US ebay listings

Vintage Hofner Electric Beatle Bass Guitar circa Late 1960's / Early 70's

Current price: $665.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 5h 23m
Vintage 1964 Hofner Verithin 2 PU Guitar

Current price: $899.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 9h 14m
RARE 1965 Hofner COMMITTEE Natural/Blonde w/AMAZING BIRD's EYE MAPLE!!!

Current price: $2190.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 5h 33m
Hofner Bass (Vintage 1967)

Current price: $949.00

Time left: 2d 6h 46m
tailpiece for soild body bass guitar - 1960's - type used by Hofner

Current price: $30.26
buy it now
Time left: 2d 19h 26m
1959 HOFNER 500/5 "Stu Sutcliffe" Beatle Bass

Current price: $6995.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 23h 30m
1964 HOFNER 500/1 "Beatle Bass"

Current price: $5495.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 23h 39m
RARE 1964 1965 VINTAGE HOFNER ELECTRIC BEATLE BASS GUITAR SELMER ORIGINAL CASE

Current price: $5500.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 1h 34m
Hofner H500/1 Vintage 1964 Violin Electric Bass Guitar Sunburst Reissue

Current price: $2869.99
buy it now
Time left: 3d 7h 45m
Vintage Hofner 1960's 12 String Guitar Made In Germany

Current price: $299.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 9h 8m
1960's Hofner 457/12, 12-String Guitar, Excellent, With Case

Current price: $1599.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 19h 12m
Vintage 1969 Hofner Model 164 Electric Solid Body 2 pickup Guitar

Current price: $675.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 3h 29m
NOS 1960's guitar bridge [#3] suitable for Hofner, watkins, etc.

Current price: $65.56
buy it now
Time left: 5d 18h 39m
1968 HOFNER 457se2 electric guitar

Current price: $300.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 21h 25m
MINT! HOFNER 500/1 VIOLIN BASS 1963 RE-ISSUE MADE IN GERMANY

Current price: $2400.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 7h 58m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

NOS 1960s Hofner 464 Archtop Acoustic Guitar Body Top Project Part

Current price: £15.00
buy it now
Time left: 21h 27m
NOS 1960s Hofner Archtop F Hole Acoustic Guitar Body Top Project Part

Current price: £13.18
buy it now
Time left: 21h 38m
ORIGINAL 1961 VINTAGE 2x GUITAR MACHINE TUNING HEADS 4 Broadway maybe hofner

Current price: £17.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 6h 25m
ORIGINAL 1961 VINTAGE GUITAR MACHINE TUNING HEAD 4 Broadway maybe hofner watkins

Current price: £10.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 6h 25m
HOFNER BRIDGE ORIGINAL 1950s PRESIDENT,SENATOR,CONGRESS!!

Current price: £60.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 23h 7m
Original Hofner Violin Bass Guitar Vintage 1965 / 66

Current price: £1349.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 1h 27m
hofner verithin guitar 1962

Current price: £650.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 19h 25m
tailpiece for soild body bass guitar - 1960's - type used by Hofner

Current price: £18.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 19h 26m
1959 HOFNER 500/5 "Stu Sutcliffe" Beatle Bass

Current price: £4161.46
buy it now
Time left: 2d 23h 30m
1964 HOFNER 500/1 "Beatle Bass"

Current price: £3269.08
buy it now
Time left: 2d 23h 39m
HOFNER PRESIDENT ARCHTOP GUITAR - 6683 - 1960-61 - FOR RESTORATION

Current price: £180.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 4h 34m
1959 Hofner Committee Guitar - for restoration or spares

Current price: £296.99
buy it now
Time left: 3d 15h 51m
Hofner Congress with Hofner pick up.1958.Reduced !

Current price: £695.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 16h 59m
Vintage 1969 Hofner Model 164 Electric Solid Body 2 pickup Guitar

Current price: £401.57
buy it now
Time left: 5d 3h 29m
NOS 1960's guitar bridge [#3] suitable for Hofner, watkins, etc.

Current price: £39.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 18h 39m
See more results on eBay here

There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Stefan Comment left 22nd July 2012 15:03:31
I own three Hofners, a '61 Hofner Congress acoustic, a '63 President electric and a new contemporary series Verithin in stunning translucent cherry. All great players, especially the new verithin, which has a great action. I think the two others have slightly too high action for me, but I don't want to go the neck reset route. Any tips for improving playability without major work?
mark Comment left 23rd August 2013 16:04:32
looking for a 459vtz super call 7727083714 thanks

Comment on this article

All comments are moderated. Name and email details are required.

Name
Email address
Your comments

Anti-spam question - just to prove you are a real person

How many legs does a duck have?