1962 Hofner Verithin

Thinline electric acoustic guitar

1962 Hofner Verithin - front view
1962 Hofner Verithin - side view
1962 Hofner Verithin - back view
Model: 1962 Hofner Verithin
Pickups: Two Hofner 510 "Diamond logo" single coil pickups
Scale: 25 1/2"
Body: Maple back and sides, spruce top; dimensions 20 1/4" long x 16 1/4" wide x 1 1/4" deep (see text)
Neck: Three-piece maple-beech-maple laminated neck, rosewood fingerboard with strip tortoiseshell/mother of pearl position markers
Width at Nut: 1 11/16"
Hardware: Nickel-plated. Hofner branded lyre tailpiece. Open gear tuning keys.
Weight: 2.16 kg

The Verithin (not Verythin!) was a thin semi-acoustic electric guitar produced by Hofner in Germany, specially for distribution by Selmer in the UK and beyond. It was a time when new American guitars like the Gibson ES-330TD and ES-335TD were highly desire able but largely unobtainable for the vast majority of UK guitar buyers.

Like other Hofner guitars produced in the 1960s, the Verithin changed somewhat over the years it was produced, most notably with regard the pickups fitted, and associated controls. The earliest examples were produced in mid/late 1960, but by the end of 1961 the pickups had already changed from the 'toaster' style units, to the 510 'diamond' pickups shown on this example, which comes from early/mid 1962. The vast majority were fitted with two pickups, as shown here, but some three pickup Verithins were also produced, along with examples with stereo wiring.

This guitar is finished in translucent Cherry (nitrocellulose), rather similar to the forementioned Gibsons, with a fully bound body and neck, including front, back, headstock and f-holes. The body binding is 6-ply black and white (b-w-b-w-b-w), whilst the neck features the famous striped neck inlays. The headstock flower motif and Hofner logos are inlaid in pearl. Although very nicely appointed, Hofner actually made quite a few significantly more elaborate guitars, even than this.

Selmer Hofner guitars were assigned serial numbers, unlike the European equivalent guitars (model 4574 in this case). Selmer Hofner serial number charts do exist, although they are perhaps not infallible, but when combined with specific hardware and potentiometer codes, allow for easy dating. The potentiometers in this case are marked 142 which signifies a production date (of the pot, not the guitar!) of week 14 of 1962. But in the early 1960s, potentiometer dates correspond fairly well with guitar production dates. Hofner serial numbers (on hollow body guitars) were generally stamped on the label in the soundhole. See also the Hofner Verithin register at vintagehofner.co.uk which lists Verithins by serial number, with approximate date and hardware specifics.

As the name implies, the Verithin indeed had a shallower body than similar guitars by other manufacturers; catalogue descriptions state 1 1/4" at the edges, although this example is actually a 1/16" thinner, and measures 1 3/16" exactly. But in fact, the body front and back is arched, as can be seen in the side profile picture above, giving a maximum depth in the centre of around 2".

1962 Hofner Verithin - a closer look

Hofner Verithin controls
The controls on this example use the standard vol/vol/tone/tone wiring - a change from the consul controls of earlier Verithins, and with perhaps more intuitive layout than similar guitars by Gibson, Epiphone etc, with placings corresponding with the pickups themselves.
Hofner Diamond 510 pickups
Like the 335 that inspired it, this guitar has dual pickups, though not the fat sounding humbuckers of the Gibson; rather, single coil units - Hofner 510 "diamond" motif pickups with adjustable pole pieces.
Hofner Verithin bridge pickup, and bridge
The bridge saddles are made from small pieces of fretwire. The scratchplate is held in place by a single bracket and two pins, one into the side of the neck and one into the bridge base, as can be seen here.
Hofner lyre-type tailpiece
Hofner-emblazoned nickel-plated lyre-style tailpiece.
Hofner Verithin scratchplate
The scratchplate is 5-ply black-white-black-white-black, and is held in place with two pins, one into the bridge, one into the neck, and a bracket into the side of the guitar body.
Hofner Verithin neck pickup surround, with the scratchplate removed
This image shows the side of the neck pickup surround, with the scratchplate removed; the pickups are held in place with 4 grub screws, 2 each side. The side of the neck has a small hole to which the scratchplate is pinned.
Hofner lyre-type tailpiece
The rosewood fretboard has the elaborate pearloid / mock tortoiseshell striped inlays, seen on a number of high-end Hofner models.
Hofner Verithin headstock front view
Headstock front view, with inlaid flower design and Hofner logo. The truss rod adjustment was at the headstock, concealed with a two ply cover.
Hofner Verithin headstock rear view
The truss rod can be accessed by removing the truss rod cover - held in place by three screws. A 7mm wrench is required to make neck adjustments. Note the 3-ply white-black-white nut and zero fret.
Hofner Verithin headstock front view
Heel cap, also showing the 6-ply body binding.
Hofner Verithin headstock rear view
The rear headstock view clearly shows the volute and maple-beech-maple neck laminations through the translucent cherry finish.
Hofner lyre-type tailpiece
The Verithin was fitted with individual open gear tuning keys, with plastic buttons.
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