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  1. #1

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    One of the folks around here asked me about the Hofner New President on a "for sale" thread, so I'm posting some information about it here, in case anyone is interested.

    "…[ ]... Hofner New President, which is @15 7/8" wide, and full depth. These have floating pickups and tend to have bigger necks. Lovely carved-top guitars that can be played electrically and acoustically.

    The Gibson JS has a 25" scale. The Hofner New President has a 25 1/4" scale. The Gibson Lee Ritenour has a 25 1/2" scale. The stock Heritage Sweet 16 has a 25 1/2" scale, but you can always ask for a shorter scale."


    Last edited by Hammertone; 01-16-2016 at 08:46 AM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Longobardi View Post
    Hammertone,
    Nice Hofner. What's the asking price.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post
    Hi Steve.
    Ha! I don't have one for sale!
    The picture is of my personal instrument, NFS.
    They do come up used one in awhile.
    Newer ones have 22 frets, not 24 frets.
    Slight hardware differences but essentially the same instruments.
    Here are a couple on ebay - one the US, one in Europe:
    2004 Hofner New President Archtop w Flamed Maple Back Sides Blonde | eBay
    Hofner New President Natural 2003 EC NM | eBay
    I'll post some prices for a new one when I meet with my boys at NAMM next week. They may still have a few knocking around the plant waiting to be built. I'll start a separate thread for this. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Longobardi View Post
    Hammertone ,
    Thanks for all the info . I just listened to some examples on You Tube and was very impressed.
    I think they are nice guitars…
    - 1-piece maple neck, typically c-shape, medium to large size (it varies because necks are all final-carved by hand)
    - nut width somewhere from 1 11/16" to 1 3/4" (it varies…)
    - ebony board, mother of pearl inlays
    - carved spruce top
    - laminated anigree rims/back
    - ebony bridge, pickguard, buttons, tailpiece (over a metal base)
    - floating Hofner mini-humbucker, vol/tone on pickguard
    - Scaller tuners, straplocks
    - 25 1/4" scale
    - 16th fret neck/body joint
    Last edited by Hammertone; 01-14-2016 at 10:21 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  4. #3

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    Those are sharp looking.

  5. #4

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    You wont find a more acoustically responsive archtop imo but the amplified tone is poor.

    If only they made a 17" wide 3" deep body, to help spread out the acoustic sound a little.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    You wont find a more acoustically responsive archtop imo but the amplified tone is poor.

    If only they made a 17" wide 3" deep body, to help spread out the acoustic sound a little.
    I strongly disagree with this statement. I used to play in a duo with a friend who has one and the amplified tone was fantastic. If you can't get a great sound with this guitar you're doing something terribly wrong.
    Ignorance is agony.



  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    I strongly disagree with this statement. I used to play in a duo with a friend who has one and the amplified tone was fantastic. If you can't get a great sound with this guitar you're doing something terribly wrong.
    Thats fair, we have different opinions. I find the body to be to narrow (width) for the acoustic volume and the guitar ends up performing more like a gypsy jazz guitar. This seems to be all too much for the pickup with I also had on a VP. I cant stand those hofner diamond pic ups.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    ...If only they made a 17" wide 3" deep body, to help spread out the acoustic sound a little.
    Hofner has been making a 17" wide, 3" deep body fully carved archtop guitar since 2004. It's called the Chancellor and I rather like it myself:
    Last edited by Hammertone; 01-15-2016 at 12:18 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    You wont find a more acoustically responsive archtop imo but the amplified tone is poor.

    If only they made a 17" wide 3" deep body, to help spread out the acoustic sound a little.
    Tonal descriptions are subjective matters, and this is an interesting case in which I disagree with both of your conclusions. As far as the acoustic response of the blonde Hofner President, I would put it in the middle of the pack of acoustic archtops with floating pickups.

    Now for the electric response, I find it to be very pleasing; not in the traditional Gibson sense, but rather, as a quality representation of a floating humbucker properly reproducing the acoustic tone of the instrument. If you purchase the guitar in hopes of reproducing the thick L5 tone, you will be disappointed. However, if you want a stringier acoustic sound, this instrument provides the amplified acoustic touch in spades.

    I wouldn't necessarily take the Hofner President or Jazzica over dedicated electric instrument like an L5 CES or ES175, but I like having it in my tonal quiver. It's tone is different enough to get me to alter my playing a bit, which I think encourages me to think and play in different directions.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klatu View Post
    Tonal descriptions are subjective matters, and this is an interesting case in which I disagree with both of your conclusions. As far as the acoustic response of the blonde Hofner President, I would put it in the middle of the pack of acoustic archtops with floating pickups.

    Now for the electric response, I find it to be very pleasing; not in the traditional Gibson sense, but rather, as a quality representation of a floating humbucker properly reproducing the acoustic tone of the instrument. If you purchase the guitar in hopes of reproducing the thick L5 tone, you will be disappointed. However, if you want a stringier acoustic sound, this instrument provides the amplified acoustic touch in spades.

    I wouldn't necessarily take the Hofner President or Jazzica over dedicated electric instrument like an L5 CES or ES175, but I like having it in my tonal quiver. It's tone is different enough to get me to alter my playing a bit, which I think encourages me to think and play in different directions.



    https://soundcloud.com/archtopheaven/hofner-president

    Lol I feel like a Lawyer pulling out some last mint shocking evidence to stun the court. Here are two old recordings I made of the "average" acoustic sounding (Under 16" size) Hofner President.

    Its' a testament to this guitar, that I cannot decide if Im fighting for, or against it.

  11. #10

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    I'm not sure if you think I'm badmouthing the instrument. I am not. I own a President and a Jazzica that I am very happy with and can't see letting go.

  12. #11

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    What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?
    I'm not badmouthing the instrument.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  13. #12

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    Just happened onto this thread. The two are both gorgeous ! Only thing I'd think would be a teeny tad better is a floating neck pickup instead of the body mount. I know about the feedback potential. Just sayin', for the halibut ....
    Question: Did Hofner improve due to McCartney's bass visibility and thus thousands of those basses eventually becoming in demand ? Or, has Hofner always made these fine archtops and other high quality instruments well before the 'whatchamacallits' (and maybe even why PM bought one in the first place) ?
    Last edited by MarkInLA; 01-16-2016 at 01:46 AM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkInLA View Post
    Just happened onto this thread. The two are both gorgeous ! Only thing I'd think would be a teeny tad better is a floating neck pickup instead of the body mount. I know about the feedback potential. Just sayin', for the halibut ....
    Question: Did Hofner improve due to McCartney's bass visibility and thus thousands of those basses eventually becoming in demand ? Or, has Hofner always made these fine archtops and other high quality instruments well before the 'whatchamacallits' (and maybe even why PM bought one in the first place) ?
    …er, ah…the New President and the Chancellor both have floating pickups. As does the Jazzica. Sorry of that isn't clear in what I have posted to date.

    Here's a really condensed look at the archtop guitars:

    Hofner started making archtop guitars in the early 1930s. They were OK, functional, not fancy guitars. They re-established production in the late 1940s, and really came into their own @1953. By then they were making a full range of archtops, including some really nice acoustic 16" and 17" archtops with carved tops and laminated rims/backs. Specific early 1950s models can be fabulous acoustic archtops - I started collecting these in 1980, and have a few of them. By the late 1950s and into the 1960s, they had stopped making most of these guitars with carved tops, continued most of the models but with laminated tops, lost a lot of recarve in the designs, and were offering many more pickup options.

    Hofner has always exported, but had a special relationship with Selmer, their distributors in England in the 1950s and 1960s, so lots of old Hofner archtops are known by their Selmer model variants, such as the President, Committee, Verithin, Senator, Congress, Ambassador, Golden and so forth. Hence the "New President" moniker.

    By the early 1960s, they introduced all sorts of solid-body and semi electric guitars. By the late 1960s archtops were dead, they streamlined the archtop line, but they continued to offer several excellent electric archtops. Through the 1970s and into the 1980s they had very few archtops but a couple of excellent high end ones - carved tops with floating pickups, clearly designed to be amplified. They introduced the excellent Attila Zoller models (carved tops w/floating pickups). They introduced the Jazzica, a laminated guitar with a 16th fret neck/body joint) in the late 1980s. By the end of the 1990s, the Jazzica had a carved top, and they introduced the New President, with a carved top. In 2000, they re-introduced the Verythin, their thinline double-cutaway semi. By 2004, they introduced the Chancellor, a fully carved 17" archtop with 3" rims, as a flagship model. Also, by 2004, they had modified the designs of the Jazzica and the New President to have more acoustic voicing. By 2014, the Jazzica, New President, Chancellor and Verythin were discontinued as catalogue items and had become special order items.

    Most of the German-built New Presidents, Jazzicas, Verythins, and versions of these models that one finds these days will have been built between 2000 and 2010. Chancellors are so limited in production that they rarely appear at all in the secondary market. As well, their owners tend to keep them for some reason. Although there is one for sale on this very forum…..hmmmm…..

    Hofner introduced "Gold Label" instruments @2014 - these are essentially German-built "Custom Shop" instruments - special woods, cool colours, limited editions, one-offs. If you are looking for a purple Beatle bass, I'd be happy to help you out. The beat goes on!
    Last edited by Hammertone; 01-16-2019 at 03:07 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  15. #14

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    Just a bit of context:

    Hofner has been making violins, violas, cellos and upright basses since 1887. They have been making classical guitars since the 1930s. The have been making the 500/1 violin bass since 1956. They have always had an export orientation, in line with the evolution of the German and Bohemian instrument-building tradition going back over the past couple of hundred years. I'm sure that the violin bass helped their fortunes immensely when low-cost Japanese guitars entered the market and put most other European makers out of business. One must realize that the availability and cost of American-made instruments in post-war Europe made them largely unattainable, which supported the existence of a broad range of instrument makers. But, by the mid-1970s, almost all of the European makers were driven out of business, leaving the market for American, Japanese, then Korean and now Chinese-built instruments.

    The Beatle bass was simply one of many Hofner products for many years, just like the Les Paul one simply one of many Gibson products for many years.

    Hofner began producing violins, violas, cellos and upright basses in China over 20 years ago. They have an office and a production plant for violins and other orchestral string instruments in the Beijing area. By 2007, they were offering less expensive versions of the 500/1 and 500/2 basses, as well as various electric and jazz guitars, all sourced in China or Indonesia from other factores. Today, like many other companies, they offer a full range of Chinese-sourced instruments at different price points. These include a few 17" laminated archtop guitars, now called the "Bluetone" series.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 01-16-2019 at 03:08 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  16. #15

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    There are a few variations on the New President that were offered between 1998 and now:

    Vice-President (this one is from 1999) - 3 5/8" deep, 24 fret neck:


    Thin President (this one is from 2004) - 2 1/2" deep, 22 fret neck:


    more to come...
    Last edited by Hammertone; 01-16-2016 at 08:43 AM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  17. #16

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    Ive never really considered a Hofner due to limited knowledge
    and perhaps because they have never really been a household name in USA jazz circles(No one talks about their great Hofner). However, after listening to some clips the other night I was quite surprised with its tonal pallete - and would certainly consider buying a post 2000 New President - at the right price.

  18. #17

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    Hofner quality= top notch.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  19. #18

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    Thanks for all the Hofner info. I never knew all this history about them.

  20. #19

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    Sadly, Hofner has pulled away from the US market. Back at the turn of the millennium, Hofner ads were seen in magazines, pros were using them in studios and in performance; and seemingly from one day to the next, they were out. Most endorsers who had taken to playing Hofners left their instruments at home (with Bobby Broom being the exception), and the visibility of the brand dropped to neat zero.

    I really hope to see them take another shot at the American market because I feel that their instruments are unique enough to fill a niche that most players don't know exists. There are plenty of manufacturers offering variations on the Gibson theme but far fewer offering totally new designs, and I feel those brave designers need encouragement and support.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klatu View Post
    Now for the electric response, I find it to be very pleasing; not in the traditional Gibson sense, but rather, as a quality representation of a floating humbucker properly reproducing the acoustic tone of the instrument.
    Egads, More players should understand what you said, they'd get more out of playing. Trying to pigeonhole pleasing sound for "everyone" is clearly fruitless.
    Regards,

    Gary

  22. #21

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    I have been extensively comparing my New President with the Heritage Johnny Smith: I put the same set of strings and played them through the same amps and compared acoustically for many hours. I love them both. They are clearly different but pleasing in what each does.


    I hope to record something like these in the future:





    This one reviews the non-vintage model more extensively (electric and acoustic):

    Last edited by medblues; 01-21-2016 at 07:11 PM.

  23. #22

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    The last post was 2016, so I hope this will be seen. I read the stuff about pickups in the thread.

    I have a 2004 (I think) New President. Nice guitar, but I’m not fond of the pickup. I’d like a fatter PAF-type tone or P90 type tone.
    I’m guessing that a standard size mini-humbucker won’t fit that floating ring; am I right?
    Considering trying to put a somewhat hotter PAF type on it.

    Many info or ideas? Also, does anybody have a reference to the specs on these diamond mini humbuckers from 2004?

    Thanks
    victor

  24. #23

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    Hopefully Hammertone (the forum's registered Hofnerologist) will chime in but in the meantime, I'll say that I'm currently having a Krivo Stealth PAF installed on my New Prez. I'll let you know how that works but there is a little bit of modification necessary (removing the bracket and mounting the pickup on the pickguard). I've seen others replace the pickup with a Kent Armstrong PAF-0 as well (like the photo below) so there are a few options. Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe can probably build you whatever you want.

    Hofner New President-hofner-new-prez-kent-armstrong-jpg

    Edit:just saw that Hammertone already replied in another thread so you should get quite a few options. Let us know how it turns out.

  25. #24

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    As I mentioned, there is a way to use a standard mini-humbucker with the ring. I'll post more later on this. Stay tuned...
    Last edited by Hammertone; 06-13-2019 at 11:39 AM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  26. #25

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    What other thread?

  27. #26

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    This one Hofner JS Veryrhin (or jimmy Bruno....haha yeah right)

    I saw that you asked the same question re the Gibson mini humbucker and Hammertone replied there first.