Höfner 170 Stratocaster, 1973

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Instrument: When practically all German manufacturers had existential problems in the early... more
Product information Höfner 170 Stratocaster, 1973

When practically all German manufacturers had existential problems in the early seventies, exact copies of the most successful US models were increasingly developed and offered. In addition to the Stratocaster, Höfner also offered a Jazzmaster, Telecaster, Gibson SG and ES. It didn't really help anymore, the great time of the German brands was over, the image was in ruins, the Japanese competition had been smiled at for too long and current product developments had been slept through. Those who had the money bought the expensive originals, those who had to save money found cheap and good alternatives with Japanese manufacturers, first and foremost Ibanez. Hardly anyone wanted a Höfner 170 back then - wrongly! Because these instruments are qualitatively on the highest level and clearly superior to the Fender guitars of the early seventies. Our model is from 1973.

The guitar has an alder body with beautifully flamed maple veneer on top and back. Like the body, the three-tone sunburst lacquered neck is made of maple in one piece throughout and has a rosewood fingerboard with pearloid fret markers in seven frets. In addition, the pickguard, pickup caps and knobs are finished in creamy white - the classic Strat color scheme. Closed single tuners from Kolb, very high quality and worth a small fortune in itself.

The basis are three single coil pickups built by Schaller. The circuit is exactly like Fender with three-way toggle switch for pickup selection, master volume and tone controls for neck and middle pickup.

Instruments history:
Unknown. We took over the guitar as part of a small Höfner collection, where it was before we do not know.

Restoration work:
As usual, the guitar was first disassembled into its individual parts. Then complete cleaning and retouching as well as elaborate polishing of all lacquer surfaces. We stripped and oiled the fingerboard and polished the frets. The tuners were opened, cleaned of years old grease and re-oiled. All the screws were polished or replaced. Finally, the Höfner got a new set of 10" Pyramid Pure Nickel Roundwounds and a basic setup.

Current condition:
These Höfner models were not very popular at the time, at the same that they were quite expensive and therefore hardly sellable. In the following years, most of them disappeared, because a Höfner 170 was not something that was treated or received well. We remember the mostly pitying looks that one reaped with such a German copy at that time. Accordingly, few have survived in good condition. Yet the 170 is an outstanding guitar, really awesome in terms of quality, sound and handling. Ours is a real rocker, loud, aggressive, powerful on the one hand, but also smooth, soft with a lot of sustain and Shadows-like on the other. A real Stratocaster. It is a great player with easy handling thanks to its straight neck and low string action. All the electrics work perfectly as well, of course. It has a few play marks, tiny dents and scratches on the edges, a few structurally completely harmless paint cracks and an old, now closed drill hole on the headstock. This is all partially visible in the photos, but in some cases too tiny to get into the photo. After 50 years of guitar life, however, overall below average. The look is of course very classic, with the nice real patina a beautiful guitar. Strats are available by the hundreds of thousands, but a Höfner 170 in this condition is rare and a sought-after collector's item. And we would ditch any period Fender for it.

Overall length 39”/99 cm, body length 18.5”/47 cm, lower bout width 13”/33 cm, waist width 9”/23 cm, upper bout width 11.4”/29 cm; body depth 1.6”/4 cm, scale length 25.2”/64 cm (zero fret to saddle), fingerboard width 1.7”/4,2 cm at zero fret, 2”/5 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 3.160 g, string action on 12th fret 0,04-0.08”/1-2 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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