Höfner 455/S, 1957

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Instrument: The 455 was a traditionally styled, high-quality jazz guitar from Höfner's... more
Höfner 455/S, 1957

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 in our model stands for the version with cutaway. There is no body date, but the Höfner sticker in the old position proves the year of manufacture, 1957, because only in this year was the sticker issued instead of the old stamped logo, but in the old position under the bridge. From 1958 onwards, the sticker was placed on the upper bout.

The guitar is made almost entirely of maple in the tradition of the Schönbach violin makers. The three-layered, longitudinally glued neck, including the headstock, is made of two pieces of maple on the outside, reinforced in the middle by a strip of beech wood. The fingerboard is probably made of dark stained pearwood and has nice rectangular pearloid inlays in five frets. The wonderful perloid pickguard and the two-tone headstock rest with brown perloid rhombus in the middle match perfectly in terms of colour. Elaborate, up to three-layer bindings around the body and sound holes. Open brass tuners, ABM Müller tailpiece, Teller bridge.

Instruments history:
The guitar spent its life in a private household and was only played a little as a hobby. At some point many years ago, it fell over and the neck heel broke. The "repair" was unfortunately very amateurish: a Spax screw was simply screwed from above through the fingerboard into the heel. The whole thing was done without gluing. Ouch! Of course, this caused the strings to pull up the neck, the string action was much too high and the guitar became unplayable. So the Höfner remained untouched for several years until the owner passed it on to us - together with a Rodebald Hoyer.

Restoration work:
The first thing we did, of course, was to fix the broken neck: The screw was removed and a wooden dowel was inserted invisibly in its place. The fracture was glued cleanly and the foot of the neck was partially varnished. It is now bombproof again, nothing will ever break here again, and the old break is no longer visible. A piece of wood was inserted into the fingerboard and retouched. Then we sanded and oiled it, polished the frets. Next, a complete cleaning and elaborate polishing of all the lacquer surfaces. We cleaned and polished the tuners, and a careful polish also restored the tailpiece to its full shine. We don't know why it has a few tiny pressure marks on one brace. Finally, the Höfner was given a new set of 12" Pyramid flatwounds and a setup.

Current condition:
This early 455/S is a perfect collector's item - completely in original condition. It is undoubtedly one of the best preserved we have had in the last 25 years. The colour is tastefully matched in the typical Höfner tobacco brown, plus the creamy white accents - gorgeous. The condition is almost perfect, unique after sixty-three years of guitar life. Everything works perfectly, the varnish shines with great depth, it shows no signs of play except for a few tiny dimples and some smallest scratches. The neck is now also back in excellent condition, fingerboard and frets are flawless. The sound is beautifully warm and woody, loud, accentuated and with long sustain. Thanks to the pleasant, medium slim contoured neck, the Höfner is child's play to handle. If you are looking for a perfectly preserved, typical German archtop, or if you seriously collect Höfner guitars, or especially if you want a good 455/S - it will be difficult to get better than this one. Whereby we leave it up to the new owner whether he puts the guitar in a showcase or plays it, it can do both without restrictions.

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 25.2”/64 cm (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 1.6”/4,1 cm at zero fret, 2”/5 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 1.880 g, string action on 12th fret 0.08-0.12”/2-3 mm.

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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