One of the Earliest Hofner "Solid-Body" Guitars
1958 Hofner Colorama 443
This 13-inch-wide, 1 /14 inch-deep, electric semi-solid body guitar weighs just 3.70 lbs. Heavily reinforced plywood top and back over framed sides with a two-tone gray and blue 'hammered' finish with matching headstock. On the top of the body (bass side) is the Höfner decal in gold with black trim. Two-piece maple neck with a beech center strip and a nut width of 1 11/16 inches, a scale length of 24 7/8 inches and a wonderful thick 'baseball-bat' profile. 'Slab' rosewood fretboard with a three-layer black over white plastic nut, a 'zero' and 22 original medium frets and inlaid pearl dot markers. Headstock with "Höfner" logo in gold with black trim. Three-in-a-line open-back strip tuners with oval white plastic buttons. Serial number "565" stamped in blind on the back of the headstock. Single-layer 'tear'-shaped plywood pickguard with metallic blue finish and three screws. Single Höfner "brown-bar" single-coil plastic 'squared corner' pickup in the neck position with an output of 5.92k. One rotary volume control and three two-way tone-selector slider switches mounted on the pickguard. The 'Preh' potentiometer is stamped "5W37" (January 1957). Höfner eight-sided white plastic control knob with securing grub screw. Höfner metal bar-bridge on height-adjustable metal base and Höfner basic 'trapeze' tailpiece secured to lower edge by two pins and one screw. There is some light edge wear to the body and some slight loss of blue finish to the back of neck due to honest playing wear. The original tuners were apparently installed upside-down - this has now been corrected. As a result of this there are additional tiny holes in the back of the headstock which are only visible when the tuners are removed. The jack-socket (on the side of the body) has been replaced and the original frets have been dressed. Overall this very rare little guitar is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition. Housed in a later (sixties) four latch, shaped black hardshell case with blue plush lining (8.75). Unlike most of the early Höfner guitars this one has very low action and great playability - and also a unique 'rock 'n roll' sound.
This model was the first Colorama imported into the UK by Selmer. It originally started life in Germany as the Hofner Model 160 (single pickup) and Model 162 (twin pickup) which were produced for the European market from 1956 to 1960. The guitar features a "semi-solid" body, i.e it looks like a solid guitar but is really a heavily reinforced plywood box. The very earliest examples had a "tear" shaped pickguard, with the later models (1959-60) having a more stylized shape. A square cornered version of the standard Hofner "black-bar" pickup was fitted, without the usual rotary height adjustment wheel. The controls were installed in the classic Hofner consul. Metallic finishes were the norm with this first model. The guitar featured here has a light blue 'hammered' metallic finish on its front, and a darker blue on the rear of the body and neck. The Selmer list price in 1959 was eighteen guineas. (The Vintage Hofner Website). (#2153)
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