1959 Hofner President Hollowbody Electric Guitar

Classy, right? I have to admit I have a bit of a thing for Hofners. A Hofner was my first electric guitar and whenever one of the "real deal" Beatle basses come through the shop, I always have a twinge of lust for them.

This is the second President I've worked on and, like the first, it's both a strange bird and also a completely satisfying instrument at the same time. These have bright-sounding single-coil pickups that are almost perfect for rockabilly but also sound a bit like the old DeArmond "monkey on a stick" single-coils heard on '40s jazzbox guitars.

The "form factor" is very ES-175 but it has a fatter neck profile with a steep radius on the board and a very high, cantilevered fretboard extension. The frets are similar to modern jumbos and the overall effect is a little alien to modern fingers -- but I like it quite a bit! It reminds me of an old Kay neck from the early '50s but... better!

Work was not intense on this guitar but it did need a neck reset, some soldering to fix broken leads in the wiring, and the usual glorified setup work. Post-repairs it plays slick and fast and has a springy, easy feel. I've kept it strung light but with a wound G to suit the bridge and pickups.

Repairs included: a neck reset (it's a tenon joint so I also added bolt reinforcement as well as glue), fret level/dress, minor wiring repairs, setup, and repair to a split seam/hairline in the heel.

Body wood: ply spruce top, ply maple back and sides

Bridge: adjustable

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: multi-piece maple

Pickups: 2x original Hofner single coils

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast)
String gauges: 46w-10 lights with wound G

Neck shape: medium-fat C

Board radius: 7"

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: jumbo

Scale length: 25 1/4"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

Body width: 16"

Body depth: 3 1/8"

Weight: 5 lbs 0 oz

Condition notes: it's in gorgeous, all-original shape with very little playwear. It does, however, have a repaired seam/hairline at the top of the heel (pictured, and both reinforced with hidden bolts under the heel cap and glued). I reset the neck as well and there's a bolt that runs into the neckblock through the strap button on the heel. This is just a minor precaution because I don't trust straight tenon (vs dovetail) neck joints if an instrument, for example, gets accidentally left in a hot car (sounds like gigging to me, right?!) or something like that.

Further, I'm not a huge fan of the original Hofner wiring because I'm never completely sure they're working as-intended with the confusing options of the switches. This is hooked-up as per wiring diagrams -- I only had to resolder a couple of connections that were loose -- but if you're used to normal "American" switching schemes, you might consider a different switchplate install (stash the original in the case) and a normal 3-way switch+volume+tone control scheme. I can do that for you if desired.

It comes with: an original hard case.