1950s Hofner Model 520 Tailpiece Parlor Guitar

If you've ever dropped something off for repair up here and had me look at you askew, it'd probably be because you dropped-off a mid-'50s, German-made Hofner with a dislocated neckblock and terrible neck angle, crushed-forward top under the fretboard extension, vacant holes where frets should be, and cracks all over its top.

Still, I get it. After work, this little box is like portable thunder -- it's loud and very proud. It bites and champs at the bit and roars like a tommygun when you dig into it. In short: it's a perfect ragtime or bluesbox instrument. Did I mention that it's cute, too? There's not much bass but who needs it when you have killer mids?

Work included: a neckblock reglue, neck reset via that, big popsicle brace install under the top to fix some bad cracks in that area, brace reglues, many crack repairs and cleats added to the top, a refret with jumbo/pyramid wire, compensation/adjustment of the original bridge, much cleaning, and a good setup. Action is spot-on at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret, strung with 50w-11 gauges. I wouldn't go heavier as I just don't trust the necks on these old German war-ponies. It's straight in service, though!

Scale length: 24 1/4"
Nut width: 1 3/4"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at bridge: 2"
Body length: 17 1/4"
Lower bout width: 12 1/4"
Waist width: 7 5/8"
Upper bout width: 9 1/2"
Side depth at endpin: 3 1/4"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: ply flamed maple
Neck wood: 3-piece maple
Bracing type: ladder, very light
Fretboard: ebonized maple
Bridge: ebonized maple
Neck feel: medium C, flat board

Condition notes: lots of cracks on the top, many mild scuffs and scratches, and finish weather-check throughout. It's all-original though the saddle is shimmed-up and I've replaced the frets and added side dots. The soundhole has some deflection/warp from before repairs were done.

A working zero fret! A new bone spacer-nut! How about that?