456 Guitars

1960 Hofner 456

Color: Natural, Rating: 8.75, Sold (ID# 01431)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


Hofner's Mid-Range Archtop.


1960 Hofner 456/S/b Acoustic (fitted with Schaller pickup).  This blond Hofner 455N was originally purchased in Holland. This fifty-two year old, single-cutaway sixteen and a quarter inch-wide, three and a quarter inch deep archtop, weighs just 4.70 lbs. and has a nut width of just over 1 5/8 inches and a scale length of 25 1/4 inches. Two-piece highly flamed maple top with nitrocellulose finish, two-piece highly flamed maple back, and highly flamed maple sides. Two-piece maple neck with a  mahogany center strip and a really nice thick profile. Bell-shaped pearlod truss-rod cover with black edging and three screws. Brazilian rosewood fretboard with original three-layer nut, 'zero' fret and 22 original? medium-jumbo nickel-silver frets and pearl block fretboard markers. The top and bottom of the body has six-ply binding. The f-holes are single-bound. Headstock with walnut face veneer with "Hofner" decal in gold with black trim and a three-piece mother-of-pearl "dagger" design. Three-in-a row Hofner open-back strip tuners with 'chiklet' shaped pearloid buttons. On the back of the headstock is a decal with "Muziek Van / Eindhoven" in gold with black trim. Shaped mother-of-pearl with black edging pickguard secured by two pins. Hofner rosewood bridge with ivory saddle on height adjustable rosewood base. Original nickel-plated 'trapeze' escutcheon tailpiece secured to the bottom edge by two pins and one screw (stamped "Made in Germany". The original white plastic strap button has been replaced with another one situated just above the old screw hole. An original vintage Schaller 'floating' pickup has been fitted to the guitar. The pickup is secured by three screws on the side of the neck and the cable runs through the treble 'f' hole and a standard jack input has been professionally on the edge of the treble bout. In our opinion the pickup was most likely fitted at the original time of purchase in 1959. The original pickguard side mounting bar is missing and the plating on the trapeze tailpiece shows some wear. This wonderful guitar is in excellent plus (8.75) condition with just a few small surface marks and some finish checking. It has never had (nor required) a neck re-set, and there are no cracks.

"When Hofner re-commenced production in Moehrendorf, Bavaria after WW2, the 456 was one of the archtop models offered. A very similar archtop had been produced with that model designation before the onset of the war when Hofner were based at Schoenbach in Bohemia. The 456 was intended to be Hofner's mid-range archtop, utilising nicely flamed maple for the body back & amp; sides, with a maple top. A good standard of ornamentation was used on the guitar, with binding/multi-purfling around body top & amp; back edges and soundholes, with the rosewood neck also bound. Pearloid strips were used for the fretmarkers, and on all but the very earliest guitars, a pearloid/tortoishell/pearloid celluloid fascia covered the front of the headstock. There can be problems differentiating between the 455, 456, and 457 models, particularly as Hofner seems to have continually revised the detail cosmetics of these models over the years. The main basic difference between the 456 and the slightly later 457 is that the 456 had a maple body top and the 457 had a spruce top. Both the 455 and the 456 had maple tops, but the ornamentation on the 456 was of a higher standard than the 455. For example, the 455 was not provided with binding to the neck initially, though later examples (after the demise of the 456) did gain this feature. Initially the 456 was only supplied in brown sunburst finish. Later, a natural blonde finish was available, and some examples even have a red-burst finish. As with the rest of the Hofner range, the 456 was available from c1954 with the option of factory fitted electrics. The 456 disappeared from the range in 1962, by which stage the 457 model would seem to have taken over as Hofner's principle mid-range archtop." (

From our sponsors:

David Brass Rare Books.  1-818-222-4103.  Finest Copies.Evil * Robot - 818-222-4113.