Back to Main Page
Woody's HOFNER "Solid De-Luxe" The Hofner "Solid De-Luxe"
(or "Galaxie") series Model 176 deluxe electric guitar To the right you can
Tonal output was not as robust as some of the industry leaders were. From a (now
defunct) webpage we read: Correspondence from the Hofner
Guitar Company November 2008: Do you have a photo of you with
your Hofner Galaxie 176 series guitar you could send us? Hofner Guitar Related Web Pages Vintage
Hofner Information (UK) Hofner
related web sites Dating
the Hofner Guitar Hofner
Guitar Collecting CLICK
HERE FOR THE MAIN 4L RANCH WEB PAGE Contact WOODY for questions or
comments about this page via email.
(also known as "GALAXIE")
Model 176 - series GUITAR PAGE
was built in Germany apparently from 1964 through 1983.
The Hofner web page spells Galaxy with an "ie" (Galaxie)
and explains a bit more about the 176-series guitar.
Hofner guitars rose to international fame when Beatle Paul McCartney
appeared with a Hofner 500/1-series "violin" style bass guitar
Unknown to most musicians outside of Europe,
Hofner made a vast line of guitars besides the Violin-series basses of the day.
Paul McCartney playing his Hofner 500/1 violin bass on the US-based Ed Sullivan TV Show Feb 1964.
OUR SECOND HOFNER GALAXIE
We had bought our first Galaxie in the 1980's.
We bought this second guitar in 2007
because it had the whammy bar on it and an original case,
both missing off our original guitar.
Electric guitars were a
comparatively new musical sensation when this guitar was first marketed in 1964.
During this earlier era of Rock-n-Roll, designs often favored exotic and artistic designs with lots of switches, buttons and pickups.
Hagstrom, Sears, Montgomery Wards, and even Heathkit,
guitars with lots of frills and adornments.
In the case of Hofner, they followed that era's industry styling for their guitar designs.
The Hofner Galaxie loosely followed the design of Leo Fender's Mustang
(pictured below) or Stratocaster
Neck action on our Galaxie is pretty good.
Although it might be possible to improve it a bit more, the action is already low and fast.
To this end, I do not feel the need for additional neck work.
According to a book
listed on the Internet, Beatle Paul McCartney did not buy his Hofner violin
bass due to quality or reputation
but rather due to it's asymmetrical design (he is left handed and could just flip it over) and,
more importantly as a struggling musician, he could afford it (with ten payments) totaling about us$45 (early 1960s).
While the quality and tone of
these guitars are not as respected as some commonly used within the music
industry, they did represent the look of early rock-n-roll.
To that end, they maintain a certain collectible appeal.
International eBay sales seem to indicate that the investment value of the older 176-series guitars continues to escalate.
Founded in Schonbach in 1887 by master luthier Karl Hofner, the company became the largest manufacturer of stringed and fretted instruments in Germany.
Craft skills and business initiative laid the foundation for a reputation that, even before World War I, extended far beyond the borders of Germany.
His two sons, Josef and Walter, joined their father's company in 1919 and 1921 respectively.
They successfully expanded Hofner's worldwide market, enabling them to survive the years of recovery, which marked the phase after World War II and the related resettlement from the "Sudetenland" to Bavaria.
In 1950, new production facilities were built in Bubenreuth.
To date, more than two million stringed and fretted instruments - from student to master models - have been produced, 75% of which have been exported worldwide,
emphasizing the outstanding position enjoyed by Karl Hofner GmbH in the world market.
The product range of Hofner is extensive and not only confined to stringed instruments and classical guitars.
In 1955, Walter Hofner, a creative businessman as well as a violin and guitar maker, invented an electrically amplified semi-acoustic bass.
The distinctive 500/1 bass was launched at the 1956 Frankfurt Music Fair and subsequently rose to fame under a different name.
In 1961, Paul McCartney bought his first Hofner bass in a shop in Hamburg and used it on many of the Beatles' most famous songs.
Paul still plays his "Beatle Bass" live on stage today.
A new chapter in Hofner's history opened in 1994 when the company joined the internationally successful Boosey & Hawkes Group.
Since then millions of Deutschmarks have been invested in new production technology.
In 1997, the company moved from its premises in Bubenreuth to the neighbouring village of Hagenau
OUR ORIGINAL HOFNER GALAXIE
Over the years our family has owned two of the six-string electric Model 176 series guitars.
Below was the first Model 176 guitar that we bought in the late 1980's.
The vibrato ("tremolo" or "whammy") bar was a simple spring contraption.
Since it's use could easily drive the guitar out of tune during a stage performance,
many times they might have been removed and abandoned, as was the case with our first Hofner.
Due to our collection downsizing effort, we did sell this one in 2009.
Below are some photos of the two guitars while I had them apart cleaning them.
The body construction was semi-solid plywood.
The necks were made of an excellent quality maple.
While the finish on this guitar is showing its age, the sunburst colors are still highly attractive.
According to Hofner (below), the
176-series guitar was built with two styles of necks:
* Earlier as a top selling guitar, it came with celluloid inlays on the fretboard and raised Hofner lettering on the peghead (pictured below) and
* Hofner had apparently run out of stock of the fancier celluloid necks and, with sales of the guitars declining, they used the simpler and skinnier dotted necks for the balance of production.
It appears that, for at least two
years (1975 and 1976) besides the loss of the celluloid fret design on their
necks, Hofner also cut costs by not issuing serial numbers on their
Neither of our two guitars had any numeric tracking numbers but only (possible?) initials written on the base of the necks.
Dear Woody, Thanks for request, your Galaxies are from ca. 1975/76, at the time when there were no serial numbers.
The Galaxie´s had been made from 1963 up to 1983, but when the necks with the celluloid inlays were out,
Hofner built new necks, which were slimmer and had dot inlays.
At that time the Galaxie was no more the top seller, so that it doesn´t pay to manufacture the old necks.
With best regards / Mit freundlichen Gruessen Michael Naglav
Vintage Hofner Guitars +49 (0)9133 7758-0 Tel. +49 (0)9133 7758-58 Fax
mailto: email@example.com Karl Höfner GmbH & Co. KG 91083
Hagenau, Germany www.hofner.com
DATING OUR GUITAR
According to Mit freundlichen Gruessen Michael Naglav (above)
the style of the neck that we have (with the dot inlays) and
the fact that there is no obvious serial number anywhere on the guitar
all conspires to infer that our guitar dates to 1975/1976
According to the Hofner dating page at
it would appear to date much earlier.
That web page indicates that the number found on a potentiometer (AKA: POT)
can be used to date the electronics of the guitar.
In this case, on a volume control I see:
250LG and 2 9
Using the 2 9 it shows that volume control was manufactured
the second week of 1969
It would appear that either:
- The guitar is earlier than 1975/1976 (as early as 1969)
- The electronics were sitting on a shelf somewhere for a very long time.
No SN ca1975-1976 1987 10/08 eB 500
All personal comments, pictures copyright 1996-2011 - R. Linwood (4L RANCH)
Woody's HOFNER "Solid De-Luxe"
The Hofner "Solid De-Luxe"
(or "Galaxie") series Model 176 deluxe electric guitar
To the right you can
Tonal output was not as robust as some of the industry leaders were.
From a (now
defunct) webpage we read:
Correspondence from the Hofner
Guitar Company November 2008:
Do you have a photo of you with your Hofner Galaxie 176 series guitar you could send us?
Hofner Guitar Related Web Pages
Vintage Hofner Information (UK)
Hofner related web sites
Dating the Hofner Guitar
Hofner Guitar Collecting
CLICK HERE FOR THE MAIN 4L RANCH WEB PAGE
Contact WOODY for questions or
comments about this page via email.