Höfner 455/S, 1964

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Instrument: The 455 was a traditionally styled, high-quality jazz guitar from Höfner's... more
Höfner 455/S, 1964

The 455 was a traditionally styled, high-quality jazz guitar from Höfner's mid-price segment. It was built in various versions from 1949 to 1970, as a Senator also in Great Britain, and was thus one of the longest-lived and most successful Höfner archtops of all time. The S on our model stands for the version with cutaway, a newspaper finding inside proves the year of manufacture 1964 on our 455/S.

The guitar is made almost entirely of maple in the tradition of the Schönbach violin makers. The three-piece longitudinally glued neck is made end-to-end including the headstock, two maple pieces on the outside, reinforced in the middle by a strip of beech wood. The guitar already has an adjustable truss rod. The fingerboard is made of dark rosewood, it has beautiful rectangular pearloid inlays in five frets. The perloid pickguard and the two-tone perloid headstock inlay match perfectly in colour. Elaborate bindings of up to three layers around body, neck and soundholes. Open brass tuners, ABM Müller tailpiece.

Instruments history:
Unknown. We got the guitar in 2022 from a private middleman. The few traces of playing suggest that it was used diligently, but always treated well.

Restoration work:
Complete cleaning and elaborate polishing of all lacquer surfaces. The fingerboard was sanded and oiled, the frets were polished. The darkened brass tuners were cleaned and polished, and the tailpiece was carefully polished to a full shine. Five tiny nail holes on the upper bout were retouched, presumably a neck strap holder was once attached here. Finally, the Höfner got a new set of 11" Pyramid roundwounds and a setup. The dating deserves a special mention, here we were really lucky: The guitar has no body date, but when we blew out the body with compressed air, a tiny piece of an old newspaper flew out, which was probably left over from taping and has survived almost 60 years stuck in a small gap. It shows the date May 13, 1964, and on the back you can see "Abschied von Sepp Herberger" ("Farewell to Sepp Herberger"), who resigned as national soccer coach in 1964. See photos - the buyer will of course receive the small piece of paper.

Current condition:
This 455 is a perfect collector's item - completely in original condition. We've had quite a few over the last 25 years, but this is undoubtedly one of the best preserved. The colour is tastefully matched in the typical Höfner tobacco brown, with creamy white accents - beautiful. The condition is almost perfect, unique after almost sixty years of guitar life. Everything works perfectly, the varnish has countless beautiful craquelures, but no cracks throughout, it shines with great depth. The fretboard and fretsticks are flawless, and there are no signs of play. At the base of the neck, the nitro varnish is slightly cracked along the glued joints, but this is only superficial and completely harmless, because structurally it is as solid as a rock. A few tiny dents here and there, if the guitar were not so wonderfully preserved, we would not even mention all this. Plus a wonderful jazz guitar sound, warm and woody, loud and accentuated. Thanks to the pleasant, medium slim contoured neck and the low string action, the Höfner is a breeze to play. If you are looking for a perfectly preserved German archtop, or are a serious Höfner collector, or especially want a good 455 - better than this one will be difficult. But we leave it up to the new owner whether he puts the guitar in a showcase or plays it, it can do both with ease.

Overall length 41.3”/105 cm; body length 20.5”/52 cm; lower bout width 16.1”/41 cm; waist width 9.6”/24,5 cm; upper bout width 12”/30,5 cm; body depth 3.1”/8 cm; scale length 25.4”/64,5 cm (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 1.7”/4,2 cm at zero fret, 2”/5,1 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 1.990 g, string action on 12th fret 0.08”/2 mm (adjustable).

Purchase and payment:
Just send us an email to info@german-vintage-guitar.com and you will receive your invoice immediately. Or simply order here through the shop.

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