Archive for the 'German archtops' Category

Schultz Archtop on French Ebay

April 27, 2009

Nicolai Foss

Here. Apparently from 1939. I love that tailpiece. Will be interesting to see what it ends up fetching.

Custom-made 1960s Höfner

March 11, 2008

Nicolai Foss

Here is a rare (and pretty) custom-made Höfner, probably dating from the 1960s. Unusual, but so unusual as to warrant a 625 GBP starting? Well, let’s see …

Indian “Lawsuit” Archtop

December 30, 2007

Nicolai Foss

In keeping with time-honored copyist tradition of almost copying the name of the original (e.g., D’Aquisto-D’Aspiranta), here is an Indian-produced “Höbner” (and it is a “265”!).


November 25, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Here. Made by Framus. Bizarre.

The New Asia-made Höfner Archtops

November 21, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Apparently, Höfner is now following the general outsourcing trend. I first noticed this when I visited a musical instruments shop in Soho a couple of weeks ago, and spotted a very beautiful new Hofner archtop (it resembled a President) priced at about a third of the normal price. I was told that the reason for the low price lies in outsourcing to Asia. Here is a rather pretty, Korea-made specimen, priced at only 389 Pounds. (I haven’t been able to locate a listing of which models are now produced in Asia).

I am a bit surprised at the low price quoted for these guitars. Other manufacturers with at least as much brandname capital as Höfner, such as Gretsch, have also outsourced production of high-end archtops to Asia (I own an excellent Japan-made Synchromatic G400), without, however, having to reduce prices as much as Höfner has done.

A key issue obviously is whether Höfner is outsourcing all manufacturing, or whether they want to run a budget-line (as in fact Gretsch is doing with their cheapo line of wanna be Synchromatics) and keep a Euro-produced high-end line with a heavy price premium.

Meisterstücken on Ebay

October 16, 2007

Nicolai Foss

One of the top German archtop builders was Arthur Lang. Here is a very nice example of his art (illustrating the usual contradictions of early German lutherie: Innovative design, quality woods, and the cheapest tuners one could get). And here is a Hoyer Broadway, which is quite akin to the Lang.

Mystery Archtop

September 27, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Ever heard of a Rolz (or Rölz) archtop? Me neither. But here is one. Very pretty. Like the Epi Emperor in the body shape (but smaller) and nice flamed back. Tailpiece, pickguard and tuners may be later additions.

On German Ebay

August 21, 2007

Nicolai Foss

German Ebay is always interesting to check out:

Here is one of the those characteristically over the top, German 1950s archtops.

This is a strange case: The label inside the guitar says “Selmer, Paris”. The sales text does not explicitly say that this is a Selmer (in which case one would expect the “Startpreis” to be many times higher). Hmmm ….

But there are no bargains this time. In fact, there seldom are, consistent with the finding that most stuff on Ebay sells for more than what it sells for in the stores.

Höfner Site

June 8, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Do you like those old German boxes? Check out Steve Russell’s site.

Stunning Roger Guitar

May 4, 2007

Nicolai Foss

One of the legends of guitar manufacturing is Roger Rossmeisl, the German who designed many of the Rickenbacker guitars of the 1950s and was a major Fender engineer in the 1960s. Roger was born in Germany and received training as a guitar builder there, later working with his father, Wenzel. Here is what is apparently one of the last archtops he made before his immigration to the US. An amazing creation!