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  1. #1

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    Seems like there are pretty much zilch.
    Out of the four models I know of with a single florentine (4577, 471, 477, and president (with florentine), I have only been able to find several on the market. I gather it Is not as easy a joint for luthiers to make work, as a Venetian.
    I guess maybe not too many of these were made until the 70s, a period when, I would guess, archtop guitar manufacturing was not very high priority.
    Mainly, though, it seems the 471 and 477 are as rare hen's teeth. They look so cool, I'm completely spellbound.

    Maybe I've answered my own silly questions, maybe not.
    But still would love to know anyones thoughts about these and learn more.
    Thanks very much.

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  3. #2

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    The might all be in New Zealand.

  4. #3

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    They didn't make many because the rounded cutaway looks a million times cooler

    I kid. Would love to see some pics of you have any. Having trouble picturing it.

  5. #4

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    Lol. They're like the byrdland/l5/heritage kb florentine.

    471
    Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-d85fe9a6c482fcdfbb28d34ec3b5fa6e-jpg

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    Lol. They're like the byrdland/l5/heritage kb florentine.

    471
    Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-d85fe9a6c482fcdfbb28d34ec3b5fa6e-jpg
    and that's hofner tryin to be "hip...the humbuckers and the nashville type bridge


    but really still way off..the position of the pup switch alone?!!!

    why we love 'em..those that do

    hopefully hammertone will chime in...he's the man for all things hof

    cheers

  7. #6

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  8. #7

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    By the mid-1960s, when Hofner copied Gibson's Florentine cutaway archtop designs, the archtop marketplace was in sharp decline. Still, Hofner introduced the double Florentine cutaway Ambassador/4578, Florentine versions of the President/Thin President and Verythin, and then the 471 and 477.

    The market was changing so quickly around Hofner that very few of these guitars were made. Between the late 1960s and the 1990s, there were constant small changes, short production runs, and strange configurations based on using existing parts. Hofner was sold to Boosey&Hawkes in @1992, by which time Fender, Gibson, Guild, Gretsch, and all the German guitar companies except Hofner had crashed and burned.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 12-01-2018 at 11:57 PM.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    ...the humbuckers and the nashville type bridge...
    That 471 is a neat guitar, but, unlike the carved-top/back byrdland/l5/heritage kb/florentine guitars, has laminated top and back plates.

    It also has a lot of dissonance in terms of its parts, and may have been put together at a later date. I'm being polite about it here. It has an older-style tailpiece and fretboard on a newer-style body. The end of the fretboard is squared-off, which is odd. The Schaller roller bridge is too new. The tuners have incorrect keystone buttons. The pickups look newer - humbuckers supplied to Hofner at that time generally had more rounded corners. It was put together later, not by Hofner, from parts.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 04-20-2020 at 11:40 PM.

  10. #9

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    Here's one I put together a few years ago for a Toronto artist, with parts retrieved from the Sudbury Stash.
    -17" wide, 2" deep thinline
    -laminated top/sides/back
    -Gibson-style humbucking pickups
    -Gibson Les Paul Custom fretboard
    -bolt-on Hofner neck glued into place
    I still have a few bodies and necks in the bunker, including two 16" thinline Florentine President bodies. I'll dig up some pix.
    Attached Images Attached Images Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-hofner_custom-jpg 

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Here's one I put together a few years ago for a Toronto artist, with parts retrieved from the Sudbury Stash.
    -17" wide, 2" deep thinline
    -laminated top/sides/back
    -Gibson-style humbucking pickups
    -Gibson Les Paul Custom fretboard
    -bolt-on Hofner neck glued into place
    I still have a few bodies and necks in the bunker, including two 16" thinline Florentine President bodies. I'll dig up some pix.
    Beautiful!
    I was eyeing this one on reverb. One you put together?
    Hofner "Sudbury Stash" President 1960's Ruby | Reverb

  12. #11

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    I was serious when I said you might find Hofners in New Zealand. They seem to have been sent here in large numbers. Selmer had a distribution deal with Hofner for the Commonwealth. About twenty years ago, old Hofners were to be found in large numbers in guitar shops, antique shops and junk shops. But that was before collecting guitars became fashionable. Occasionally, they turn up in guitar shops, but you are just as likely to see them in real estate advertisements, decorating somebody's lifestyle residence.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    Beautiful!
    I was eyeing this one on reverb. One you put together?
    Hofner "Sudbury Stash" President 1960's Ruby | Reverb
    Yes. It's one of the "Sudbury Stash" guitars as well, but was a completed instrument when I got it. It's not like a President, but like a Senator in a custom colour, with a laminated maple top, rims and back. Based on that redburst, it was probably intended for Pohlert, who ordered a few variations on standard Hofner archtop models, all with the same redburst colour. The floating pickup is a stock Hofner OEM unit from FUMA - very similar to a Dearmond. This model has a built-in sliding volume control on the bass side. The Grover Rotomatics are a later addition, but can easily be replaced with more suitable retro-style tuners. The bridge is stock, but complete tone-sucking garbage - black plastic with white plastic sliding inserts for intonation. I'd replace it with very similar-looking bridge that Teller still makes, in rosewood or ebony. Rosewood would match the fretboard nicely.

    This guitar was originally built sometime between 1961 and 1966 (there is probably a date written or stamped under the top, but I don't remember it). It was never sold. It was as-new when I sold it to a friend of mine in @1993. He didn't play it much, and it lived in its case from then until 2016, when he sold it. This particular guitar has a very playable '60s Hofner neck.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 12-02-2018 at 04:08 AM.

  14. #13

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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    The Selmer Diplomat is essentially a President with Selmer markings.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    Seems like there are pretty much zilch.
    Out of the four models I know of with a single florentine (4577, 471, 477, and president (with florentine), I have only been able to find several on the market. I gather it Is not as easy a joint for luthiers to make work, as a Venetian.
    I guess maybe not too many of these were made until the 70s, a period when, I would guess, archtop guitar manufacturing was not very high priority.
    Mainly, though, it seems the 471 and 477 are as rare hen's teeth. They look so cool, I'm completely spellbound.

    Maybe I've answered my own silly questions, maybe not.
    But still would love to know anyones thoughts about these and learn more.
    Thanks very much.
    Hi ArielCee, Hammertone & Members - Saw this thread and joined today. The UPS van man just dropped off yesterday a carton containing my dream Hofner - the only Hofner I've ever purchased or wanted since my first Tatra guitar back in 1963. It's a "Hofner President Blond - model 5115/06", 25 & 1/4" scale, 16 & 1/4" wide, 3 & 1/4"deep, a gorgeous aged amber blond, non-electric, with all-solid woods and what seems to be a 2-piece carved top and ditto back. No cracks, breaks or repairs, and an impressive tone and resonance. I feel incredibly lucky to have found this amazing old 1967-ish archtop (I think it's called being in the honeymoon period!)

    The guitar is eventually going for a refret (has worn, very flat frets, & a few finger cavities behind the first 3 - 4 frets) and will have fitted floating pickup and replacement pickguard as per photos. Purists will hate me, but the original Ambassador-type 'guard shape just doesn't do it for me (the original on this guitar had been horribly 'butchered' anyway). Old master art works? fine for a museum visit - but would you really want one in the house ? Not so with an archtop !

    Hope you all like the poor quality photos. As an 8-year old kid growing up in London, U.K., I would walk across Finsbury Park to the Berry Pianos shop at Haringay - where the window was actually full of 60's German solid, flat-top and archtop guitars - and drool like a mesmerised fool for 10 minutes, then walk home again. It's not so very different today, as the experience of unwrapping, cleaning, and eventually watching an ace luthier (not me, I hasten to add) restore a mojo-heavy old archtop never fails to excite and reward. Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-20191017_160918-jpgWhere are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-20191017_161000-jpgWhere are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-20191017_161118-jpgAnd truly - if someone now offered me a Super 400 tomorrow, I'd reply, "No thank you, Sir! - this one does the trick nicely!"


  17. #16

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    Is that a local newspaper? You don’t seem them often, these days.

    Nice guitar, by the way.

  18. #17

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    Beautiful guitar. Any plans to electrify it? Floater?
    Or acoustic goodness only...

  19. #18

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    Yes, I will ask my refurbing luthier to electrify it (I do the occasional college jazz workshop thing), though I expect mostly it'll be played unamplified at home. I bought a Kent Armstrong adjustable pole piece single coil floater from Archtop.Com some years back - supposedly similar-sounding to the De Armond #1000. It's been sitting in the cupboard since then, but the substantial depth between string height & guitar top on this Hofner 5115/06 means I can now finally fit it and hear it.

    Nothing really beats that De Armond 'Rhythm Chief' sound for me however - turn up the volume and listen to Les Spann's arpeggios behind Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis on 'Green Dolphin Street' (from the album 'Lock - The Fox' - sheer magic!). With a guitar like Les's Guild A-500 played finger-style, you get that glorious acoustic overlay on top of the electric sound - like a thick layer of icing on a cake. I'm not sure the re-issue ones have that magical ingredient?..….. although re-sellers are pricing them as though they had.

    Also - check out the slowest-ever version of 'I let a song go out of my heart' (featuring Les Spann plus Red Garland Trio) on YouTube:

    'Red Garland Trio - I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart'

    This is a lovely crystal-clear 'lost' 7-minute track - never re-issued and appearing only once on a 1962 Riverside compilation of Ellington tunes (Vol.2). It was a leftover instrumental track - from the session band that recorded behind vocal group 'The Metronomes' on their 1962 album 'Something Big'.

    The roughly 'butchered' original President pickguard fitted to my Hofner had an old chrome 'Zim-Gar' floater attached (see 2 x photos below). These are not often seen, but I think they're a 1960's Japanese-made pickup. This one has adjustable pole pieces but also a tiny De Armond jack socket, requiring the specialised mini-jack. The UK seller couldn't test it as he didn't have one of these (one reason nobody bid for the guitar; the other was that his mobile phone photos - just like mine - indicated it was an unattractive whitish colour when actually it's more of a lovely aged honey). Last week I saw a monkey-on-a-stick version of the same 'Zim-Gar' pickup on E-Bay.Com for $333.00 - so that's no toy.

    ArielCee originally asked why these 5115/06 models don't seem to be out visibly 'out there' - I think the reason is only around 250 seem to have been made during the1966 - 68 production period, and most of these I think with built-in pickups & tone & volume controls. The various Hofner websites seem to suggest this, and I've seen only one Hofner Florentine deep body 5115/06 on Reverb.com in the last year (wine-coloured, with an AZ-48 pickup). I nearly bought it - but it was visibly tattier than this blonde one, so I'm glad I held off !

    Finally, they talk about on-line Casino addiction, but you can get hooked on E-Bay too, where I found this old Hofner. So I won't be buying any more guitars for the next decade - just restoring and appreciating the ones I have.


    Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-20191018_132227-jpgWhere are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-20191018_132313-jpg
    Last edited by QsDuesBlues; 10-18-2019 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Add 2 x photos

  20. #19

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    This thread popped up with a new like. So... here's a bit more fun. For fans of Florentine cutaway Hofner archtops, there were a couple of very short production runs of hollow thinline Florentine cutaway Hofners done in Germany over the past five years. Fischer did a few before he retired. No one was paying any attention, so he built them very much like the thinline Presidents of the late 1960s, with 14th fret neck-body joints, manly laminated necks and unique body binding. One or two in sunburst (for an artist), three in red, and four in white. After he left, a few more were completed, with 16th fret neck/body joints, in matte red. Probably no more than a dozen guitars in total, but chances are that the odd one will pop up here and there on ebay, Reverb and similar sites, for anyone who cares. All six of you. Here's mine:


  21. #20

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    Very nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    This thread popped up with a new like. So... here's a bit more fun. For fans of Florentine cutaway Hofner archtops, there were a couple of very short production runs of hollow thinline Florentine cutaway Hofners done in Germany over the past five years. Fischer did a few before he retired. No one was paying any attention, so he built them very much like the thinline Presidents of the late 1960s, with 14th fret neck-body joints, manly laminated necks and unique body binding. One or two in sunburst (for an artist), three in red, and four in white. After he left, a few more were completed, with 16th fret neck/body joints, in matte red. Probably no more than a dozen guitars in total, but chances are that the odd one will pop up here and there on ebay, Reverb and similar sites, for anyone who cares. All six of you. Here's mine:


  22. #21

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    A few others - the first two with "Body by Fischer", the third w/16th fret neck joint:
    Attached Images Attached Images Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-hofner_red_ltd_guitar_1214-copy-jpg Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-hof-tp-qxxxx-alicejemima-jpg Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-16406848_1343913255628707_8057735975336605638_n-jpg 

  23. #22

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    Nice guitars - and interesting that small, 'custom' runs were (are?) still being made by a big company like Hofner. Thanks for the info., Hammertone.

    That standard neck/body joint on these models is so different to the partial-depth-only one on the 1970's big-body model 477 Hofner florentines. Why did Hofner then opt for that style - was it purely cost-cutting? I don't have luthier insight into these things but it seems that those 477-type neck joints - so unattractive on what appears an otherwise beautifully built instrument (one was on UK E-Bay 2 weeks ago), and looking a bit like a bolt-on without the bolts - must surely make for a decrease in tone, resonance and structural stability? I notice they didn't repeat this joint on the subsequent 'Zoller' AZ signature models.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by QsDuesBlues
    Nice guitars - and interesting that small, 'custom' runs were (are?) still being made by a big company like Hofner. Thanks for the info., Hammertone.
    Hofner is not a big company, and in terms of electric guitar and bass production, they are a tiny company compared to most of their competitors. Most of their business these days is classical guitars, orchestral string instruments/parts, and inexpensive instruments imported from China. Other current European production includes some 500/1 violin basses , a smattering of 500/2 Club basses, and a mere handful of archtop/electric guitars. They don't really do "custom" runs. They simply make so few archtop and electric guitars in Europe on a yearly basis that whatever they do make can be called "custom."

    Quote Originally Posted by QsDuesBlues
    That standard neck/body joint on these models is so different to the partial-depth-only one on the 1970's big-body model 477 Hofner florentines. Why did Hofner then opt for that style - was it purely cost-cutting? I don't have luthier insight into these things but it seems that those 477-type neck joints - so unattractive on what appears an otherwise beautifully built instrument (one was on UK E-Bay 2 weeks ago), and looking a bit like a bolt-on without the bolts - must surely make for a decrease in tone, resonance and structural stability? I notice they didn't repeat this joint on the subsequent 'Zoller' AZ signature models.
    Hofner used a single hook-eye bolt-on neck for awhile, but that bad design was thankfully abandoned. I'm sure that in-stock necks that had been made for that style of neck joint were subsequently glued in. It's possible that whoever was making the necks was never told to stop making them that way, until someone noticed and the change was made back to more conventional glued in necks for all archtop guitars. No doubt they didn't waste whatever in-stock necks they had, and used them up. There is no decrease in tone, resonance and structural stability if that style of neck is glued into a properly cut neck pocket - it just looks stupid and wrong.

  25. #24

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    In 2017, Hofner also finished a handful of florentine cutaway thinlines with internal spruce blocks.
    Attached Images Attached Images Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-screen-shot-2019-05-21-6-03-41-am-png Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-18-01-29-namm18_hof_tp_1661x-jpg 

  26. #25

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  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by QsDuesBlues
    ... I bought a Kent Armstrong adjustable pole piece single coil floater from Archtop.Com some years back - supposedly similar-sounding to the De Armond #1000. It's been sitting in the cupboard since then, but the substantial depth between string height & guitar top on this Hofner 5115/06 means I can now finally fit it and hear it.
    The Kent Armstrong adjustable pole piece single coil floater is an excellent pickup. It has a coil tap which allows it to be switched between a lower output (for a very P-90-type of sound) and a higher output (for a very Dearmond type of sound). Both positions sound great and are quite different - I strongly recommend installing a microswitch to allow you to choose between them.

    Here's a shot of my 16" Campellone - one can see the switch poking out from under the pickguard:

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone;[URL="tel:1011207"
    1011207[/URL]]This thread popped up with a new like. So... here's a bit more fun. For fans of Florentine cutaway Hofner archtops, there were a couple of very short production runs of hollow thinline Florentine cutaway Hofners done in Germany over the past five years. Fischer did a few before he retired. No one was paying any attention, so he built them very much like the thinline Presidents of the late 1960s, with 14th fret neck-body joints, manly laminated necks and unique body binding. One or two in sunburst (for an artist), three in red, and four in white. After he left, a few more were completed, with 16th fret neck/body joints, in matte red. Probably no more than a dozen guitars in total, but chances are that the odd one will pop up here and there on ebay, Reverb and similar sites, for anyone who cares. All six of you. Here's mine:

    I see yours, but where is mine? I don't generally like the pointy cutaways too much, but this works. A little more shapely than the full humbucker ones you posted later. The color is nice. Not blinding. The triple dots are fun. Looks like you got yourself a neat new toy.

    I might have wanted to see the neck bound, and am curious about pickguard possibilities, but that's pretty nice looking. I would definitely take one without ever having to pay for it.

    Always want to hear more if the sort of floating minis, but not too many useful demos out there.

  29. #28

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    Hofner has few if any useful demos, and plenty of incredibly bad demos. After working with them for over 20 years, I am less amused by their cluelessness that I used to be, but they are still capable of turning out nice instruments, even if they produce a mere handful of them yearly.

    One of our lovely members sent me a pickguard awhile back that seems to be a good match for the guitar, but I haven't modified it to fit and mounted it yet.
    Attached Images Attached Images Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-hof-thinpres-fischer-jpg 

  30. #29

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    Sometimes I think of them as a sort of German version of heritage: endlessly talented, but not particularly interested in, you know, being successful. They do what they do and that's it. I respect it, but as a guy on the wrong side of the world, it'll just never happen for me.

    Not that I could ever even afford what I'd actually want from them to begin with. But they could at least make things easier on guys like us who stare at the monitor and sigh.

    I should hate that pick guard more than I do. In a vacuum, maybe it shouldn't be. On that, works a lot better than it should. Not convinced that's the right choice, but you could do a lot worse. Is that a gibson pick guard?

  31. #30

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    It started out life on a Gibson Legrand, and is just plain bizarre. I think a nice bound white pearloid guard would also work, but I don't have one handy.

    Here are a few Hofner full body, single florentine cutaway guitars:
    Hofner 477 E2 1980/81 | Stefan | Reverb
    Hofner President 1966 Florentine Brunette | Nick B's | Reverb
    Rare 1966 Hofner President Cherry Sunburst Vintage | Reverb
    HOFNER 477 1980 Redburst | Bellaiche's Gear Garage | Reverb

    And I have two of these old, finished thinline bodies in the bunker. One of these days, I'll set them up with Hofner necks and hardware and sell them.
    Attached Images Attached Images Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-img_1295-jpg Where are the Hofner full body, (single) florentine cutaway specimens?-img_1294-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 04-20-2020 at 11:45 PM.