Produced from 1954 to 1969 in its acoustic incarnation, and until 1972 in its electric format, the Hofner Committee ruled in Europe as something akin to a more affordable Gibson L-5.
Although Paul McCartney really put the company on the international map by playing his 500/1 violin bass in the Beatles, Hofner was already making fine modern instruments, like this Committee.
Produced from 1954 to 1969 in its acoustic incarnation, and until 1972 in its electric format, the Committee is a big guitar, with a measurement of 17.5″ across the lower bout and 3″ in width. It features a pair of classic-shaped f-holes, an adjustable ebony bridge, and a trapeze tailpiece. Among the guitar’s more distinctive appointments are eight double-diamond fingerboard inlays set within bars running along its 22-fret neck, a zero fret and marbled binding.
With its European Spruce top and birdseye maple back and sides, the Hofner Committee was clearly dressed to impress. It was Hofner’s top-shelf archtop, and an electric model entered production alongside the acoustic version in 1956.
The neck is glued in and the ebony fingerboard has 22 medium frets in excellent condition, with beautiful mother-of-pearl inlays. The large black faced headstock has intricate inlays too, as well as the Hofner logo and the three on a side tuners. The back features an inlaid design which is fully bound in white, black and pearloid, as are the neck and soundholes. They really pushed the boat out when Hofner made the Committees.
When this one came to PREMIER GUITARS it was not in great shape. We sent the neck pickup off to a Hofner specialist (yes, they do exist – even in Australia), who rewound it to original specs using correct gauge vintage wire. The volume pot was seized up, so that was replaced with a correct spec unit. We even sourced an original Hofner Committee volume knob from the same era, plus some original pickup screws.
The original finish was tarnished and tired, but with judicial care and some very special lacquer polish, we have brought it back to life. The original finish now glows with a deep lustre which really shows off the beautiful, deep grained spruce top and the spectacular birdseye maple back and sides.
So this one was a labour of love that has resulted in a new lease of life for a wonderful vintage instrument that now plays really well, sounds gorgeous and looks simply stunning in every way. The neck is straight, the truss rod works fine, everything now works as it should, and there are no structural issues.
Unfortunately the original plastic tipped tuners are long gone, and replaced on this one with some newer Gotoh closed back units, which are rock solid.
All of the mechanics aside, this is a beautifully made, hand carved archtop with ornate decorative motifs consistent with its place at the top of the Hofner model hierarchy. But it’s the natural beauty of the timber that makes this guitar stand out. The sheer exquisiteness of the birds eye patterns on the maple back, sides and neck are something that would simply not be found today.
This is an outstanding example of European craftsmanship from an era before accountants managed the quality control. Made without compromise, this is very rare and most desirable instrument which plays beautifully, sounds great, and will only go up in value over time. Irreplaceable.
Comes with a basic gig bag, but deserves better accommodation.