Höfner 456, 1963
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- Order number: 734
The 456 was a better equipped version of Höfner's most successful model 455. It is a traditionally styled, high quality jazz guitar from the mid to upper Höfner price range. It was built in various versions from 1949 to early 1963. The stamped body date of our model shows the date January 16, 1963, making our 456 one of the very last ones built. The version without cutaway is much rarer than the 456/S model with cutaway.
The guitar is made entirely of maple in the tradition of the Schönbach violin makers. For this model Höfner selected only the best cuts of wood and so it is built massive and shows a beautiful fine flaming on all sides. The typical Höfner varnish in "shaded brown" is perfectly executed. The neck is glued in three pieces lengthwise, including the headstock throughout. Outside with two maple strips and a piece of beech in the middle. The fingerboard is made of beautiful rosewood and has five pearloid rectangular inlays. The headstock overlay, truss rod cover and pickguard are also made of this beautiful material. And around the body, soundholes and neck you can find thick, creamy white and up to five-ply bindings. As usual, the Teller bridge is made of black-stained pearwood. The open tuners and the massive tailpiece are Höfner standard.
The guitar has the same history as countless other hobby instruments. It was bought new in 1963, played only at home, but not often, kept always UV-protected in a brown linen bag and was passed on to the son after the death of the owner. However, he does not play guitar and offered us the magnificent instrument. Of course, we do not say no to such a guitar.
It was more of a service than an overhaul. We sanded and oiled the fingerboard, polished the frets and all the lacquer surfaces, and blew out the body. The completely clean tuners were re-oiled and the tailpiece polished. Finally, we put on a set of 11" Pyramid bronze roundwounds and did a complete setup.
This late 456 is a perfect collector's item - completely in original condition. It is probably the best preserved 456 we have had in the last 25 years. Tastefully color matched in the typical Höfner tobacco brown, plus the creamy white accents - beautiful. Condition is near perfect, just about unique after sixty years of guitar life. Everything works perfectly, the varnish shines with great depth, it shows almost no signs of play, the pickguard is flawless. The fingerboard and fretsticks are also perfect. Of course, the guitar is absolutely clean and odorless. The sound is warm and full of wood, with a wide range, loud and with long sustain. Thanks to the pleasantly slim contoured neck, the Höfner is a breeze to play. If you are looking for a perfectly preserved typical German archtop, seriously collect Höfner guitars or especially want a good 456, you should not hesitate here. We are sure that a better one is not available anywhere. 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 any restrictions.
Overall length 41.3”/105 cm; body length 20.5”/52 cm; lower bout width 16.5”/42 cm; waist width 9.8”/25 cm; upper bout width 12”/30,5 cm; body depth 3.1”/7,8 cm; scale length 25.4”/64,5 cm (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 1.7”/4,3 cm at zero fret, 2”/5,1 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 1.930 g, string action on 12th fret 0.08”/2 mm.
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