1960s Hofner 173 Electric Guitar

While the Framus brand might be more prolific (especially in the export market), the "other German brand" Hofner was usually a little more upscale in its offerings. I learned electric guitar on my Dad's green Hofner 172 and this 3-pickup version (a Hofner 173) was really fun to have in the shop because it was a trip down memory lane and it's cool as all get-out.

Its owner sent it up here ages ago as a bunch of parts in a box. I went through it entirely -- replacing the whole wiring harness except for the switches, repairing a broken nut area on the neck and converting it to a "zero fret" nut, adding string trees at the headstock (not on it originally but pretty-much necessary), and setting it all up to play like a champ -- which it does.

To me, the neck feels right at home as it's very late-'60s Fendery save maybe a little thicker front to back. It sounds a bit like a guitar with mini-humbuckers and that should not be a surprise as it has three smaller-than-normal humbuckers installed and the bridge one is especially "bitey" as it has "staple" poles for the second coil.

While the body shows a good amount of wear and tear, it's a solidly-built instrument, has nicely-thought-out hardware (I like the adjustable bridge with flip-up string dampener -- I added new foam to that so it works again), and plays and sounds great. A win! I would hunt for one myself but I know that I could probably wheedle my Dad's old guitar out of him if I tried hard enough.

It's Strat-sized and a lot of these, like this one, were covered in tolex. In this case the piping on the sides that holds the tolex in place has long-since fallen away. Maybe some sort of aluminum trim is in order?