Hofner Classical Guitar

The Hofner classical guitar owes it's existence to a master violin maker, Karl Hofner. He started to manufacture stringed instruments in Schonbach, Germany during 1887. 

I've always liked Hofner guitars although I've never owned one. I was in a rock band in the 60's and our lead guitarist had a beautiful Hofner Verithin.

My friend and renowned acoustic guitarist, Gordon Giltrap, co-authored a book with Neville Martin, "The History of Hofner Guitars and its Players". So I seem to have a bit of a Hofner connection without owning one.

A Reputation For Quality

Hofner Classical Guitar

When Josef and Walter, Karl Hofner's two sons, joined their father in the business in 1919 and 1921, Hofner had grown into Germany's largest manufacturer of stringed and fretted instruments.

By this time the acoustic guitar was already a mainstay of the business and they began to dominate a market that, until then, had consisted mainly of cheap student guitars. The company's aim of creating quality instruments that were affordable and good value for money ensured it's future. It's pretty much the place it maintains in the industry to this day.

Recognition

The Hofner classical guitar isn't just a pretty face with a nice sound. It's quality's been recognised by awards such as the "Deutsche Musikinstrumentepreis" and many recommendations from the "European Guitar Teachers Association" (EGTA). A pretty good pedigree for guitars in the low to mid price range.

It's All About The Wood

The "soul" of a classical guitar is the wood that it's made from. Hofner use their own climate-controlled air drying facilities to prepare the wood prior to production.

There are the usual spruce and cedar tops, mahogany and rosewood backs and sides but they also produce a Green Line that uses renewable European tone woods exclusively in their manufacture.

Everyone Catered For

The Hofner classical guitar range is large. Most of the guitars are still made in Germany but like all of the larger manufacturers some of their range is now made in China and other far eastern countries, which seems to contradict the environmental message the company is sending with their Green Line of guitars. Buy an inexpensive Chinese made guitar and get a free size 12 carbon footprint!

Hofner seems to fit in a unique place in the market, small enough to be set apart from the larger manufacturers and large enough to be able to compete on price and quality. Shame about the Chinese guitars. 

Ivan Lim plays Hofner HM88 hand made by master luthier Dieter Fisher.

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