Höfner Club 40, 1961

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Instrument: Since American instruments were very expensive at that time and instruments hardly... more
Höfner Club 40, 1961

Since American instruments were very expensive at that time and instruments hardly reached the UK due to US trade barriers, Höfner proved to have the right nose here and supplied the English market with the Club models between 1956 and 1962. What also contributed to the success was the small, lightweight design, manageable even for hours of club gigs, and the almost feedback-free single-cutaway semi-resonant body without sustain block and f-holes. Visually, of course, it was modeled on the Les Paul. It was affordable and therefore ideal for young members of new beat bands. Considering this, even John Lennon picked up the Club 40 in the early years of the Beatles. Our model is brown shaded, has the legendary toaster single coil pickup "Type 2", only built in 1960/61, produced by Franz Pix in Erlangen. It is controlled by the familiar unit with volume control and three tone selector switches. The pot code is 250K071, so the guitar might have been built in February 1961.

The guitar has a very fine grained spruce top and flamed maple sides and back. The neck is made of three longitudinally glued pieces of maple (outside) and beech wood (inside) all the way through including the headstock. It already has a truss rod and a dark rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays on nine frets. The guitar has a high gloss transparent brown shaded finish. The brown mottled pearloid fingerboard with white trim and open tuners are model standard. The bridge is made of ebony.

Instruments history:
The first years are unknown, but at some point the guitar ended up in the private collection of the well-known Swiss jazz guitarist and Bernese professor of guitar, Thomas Sauter. We have a signed certificate of origin about it, which the buyer will of course receive. Sauter played the guitar for many years on various occasions. He told us that he had also bought it from another long-time Swiss collector. The excellent overall condition - the guitar is 100% original - confirms that appreciative owners were at work here. The guitar certainly has no "wild" rock history behind it. Thomas Sauter had it adjusted perfectly by the time we got it.

Restoration work:
There was not much to do here. All lacquer surfaces were cleaned and polished extensively, some micro dents and scratches were carefully retouched. We sanded the fingerboard and fretsticks, oiled the fingerboard, and polished the fretsticks. The tuners were cleaned, polished and re-oiled. All existing screw heads re-polished. The electrics have been checked, they are in perfect condition. Finally, a set of new Pyramid 10 gauge strings and a setup, that's it.

Current condition:
This beautiful Höfner is zeitgeist in its purest form. The early Beatles send their regards. We have not had a better Club 40 in 25 years! The sounds are very typical sixties: rock'n roll and beat, but also jazz works perfectly, Thomas Sauter has proven it. The Club has very few play marks, below the pickup a few minor paint dents, but overall little for 60 years of guitar life. Everything else is near perfect, the varnish shines with great depth, the finish is perfectly executed. Of course, the electrics work perfectly with no buzzing, scratching or other disturbances. So if you're looking for a great player with huge sound and inimitable sixties flair, this Club 40 is it. A rare collector's item in showcase condition and a real value investment it is anyway.

Overall length 97 cm/38.2”, body length 44 cm/17.3”, lower bout width 33 cm/13”, waist width 19 cm/7.5”, upper bout width 24 cm/9.4”; body depth 5 cm/2”, scale length 62 cm/24.4” (zero fret to saddle), fingerboard width 4,2 cm/1.7” at nut, 5,2 cm/2” at 12th fret; overall weight 1.820 g, string action on 12th fret 1-2 mm/0.04-0.08” (adjustable).

The guitar comes in a newer, custom-fit, lockable hardshell case with thick, black plush lining and brown, vintage-look patterned faux leather exterior. So it is perfectly protected at home and on the road.

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