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Review Hofner Verythin CT hollowbody guitar
Hofner have been making instruents since the 1880's, starting with violins and acoustics before moving onto electrics in the 50's and 60's. Some of their most famous guitars were the original 1960s Hofner Verythin models. As the name suggests these guitars are very thin with a body thickness of only 1.25 inches thick. One significant difference between the originals and the modern Verythins however is that the new guitars have a centre block to improve sustain and reduce feedback (which was a problem with the originals.).
Whilst Hofner is a German made company who make their premium guitars in Germany the Verythin CT is made in China. Whilst this doesn't have the prestige of being made in America or Europe the way that Hofner makes their guitars in China is different to other companies such as Epiphone and Squier. Other companies often outsource their production to the companies who own the factories, many different makes of guitars are made under the same roof. Hofner however completely owns their Chinese factory and uses craftsmen from Germany to teach the Chinese employees to the highest standards. Many of the electronic components are however made in Germany and exported to China. The Chinese plant is also one of only a handful to have received both a grade A production certificate and a grade A export certificate from the government. This means that the Guitars produced still benefit from the lower costs China offers however Hofner does their best not to compromise quality.
The Hofner Verythin CT is priced at roughly £550/$750 new. I bought mine however secondhand (but in mint condition) for £279. This prices the guitar slightly above the price of the Epiphone hollowbodies such as the Dot,339 or Casino, however the slightly cheaper than the Gretsch Electromatics. Each of them have their own specific perks and sounds however all are relatively similar in terms of type of guitar and are competition with each other.
Stats and Specification
Colours: Antigue brown sunburst, Transparent red, Black,
Body Wood: Flamed Maple
Number of Frets: 22
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Pickups: 2 x Humbuckers
Scale Length: 24.7 inches
Centreblock Material: Spruce
This guitar is stunning, I have the Sunburst model and it just looks beautiful. The sunburst itself is very nice with most the body's back and front being an amber yellow and just the perimeter being darker. The side panel and neck of the guitar is also separately sunburst.
The guitar is almost completely flame maple, including the side panels, it isn't a subtle flame maple either. When I first looked at the guitar I thought to myself "If this was a gibson they would charge many thousands of pounds for this standard of flame maple", it really is that good. The back and front of the guitar are bookmatched maple as well so they match completely. The look of this maple was what first drew me to this guitar when I saw someone playing one in a band at college, they do stand out as beautiful instruments.
The headstock of the guitar also looks very nice, the Hofner logo and lily pattern are done in pearl effect as are the tuning pegs, the inlays in the guitar are unique to hofner and are pearl effect and red stripes. All of these touches make the instrument seem like a really premium guitar.
No issues here to report with build quality. As you would expect from a £550 guitar it is well put together with no sharp or unfinished edges. The binding is applied nicely, the lacquer is smooth and level, tuners are tight, ect. It is a quality job.
There is one small issue that I did have however, the volume and tone knobs were not completely level, as you rotated them they moved as if they were not put in completely straight. This didn't effect any of the guitars function at all however its just a small thing that could have been done better.
The guitar plays very nicely. As I have mentioned earlier my Hofner was bought secondhand so I cannot comment on what it felt like new. The neck of the guitar feels very long (even though the scale length is shorter than a stratocaster) and the double cut shape means that you can easily reach frets high up the neck.
The action and neckshape were spot on, the guitar may have had a professional setup before I bought it however the fact that the guitar is able to be setup this well shows that there are no major problems with it.
The guitar sounds as you would expect it too, very similar to Epiphone/Gibson 335's. The sound is warm and resonant, this works well with a clean tone for a more country 50's sound, or with an early rock Beatles sound. One surprising thing about the Hofner Verythin however is that it works well with higher distortion sounds, you would expect lots of feedback however the centre block is doing its job very well. The dual humbuckers give a lovely thick tonal sound.
Playing the guitar unplugged it sounds once again you would expect from a hollowbody, like a quieter acoustic however without the harshness on the attack.
Would I advise this guitar for £550? Maybe. I would advise you to try the epiphone alternatives first as they are significantly cheaper however if they don't give you what you want then the Hofner Verythin CT is an amazing guitar. When playing it you really feel like you are back in the 60's.
If you can afford the price then I would highly recommend it, the guitar looks beautiful and plays just as well.