Hofner Verithin

German manufacturer Hofner was founded in1887 by Karl Hofner. The company is a long-established maker of musical instruments, including arch top guitars before the rock ’n’ roll era. In the late fifties artists such as Buddy Holly with his Fender Stratocaster and Chuck Berry with his Gibson ES335/355 issued in the age of rock guitars. In 1960 Hofner responded to the popularity of American electrics with the ‘Verythin’ which was a direct counter to the Gibson ES330 (later 335/345/355). The guitar was/is unique in having a very thin, semi solid body. The original Verythin (note original spelling with a ‘Y’ not an ‘I’) was just 1” wide, so slimmer than most other semi solids, with the possible exception of the Fender Telecaster Thin Line.

The original, like the original Epiphone Casio was a true hollow body without a central solid block. It’s competitive edge over the American Gibsons was price. Original UK agents Selmer Music set a price of about £55, considerably cheaper than the US competition.

Through the years there have been several iterations of the Verithin including a minor modification to the name. I suppose in the interests of economy, manufacture was transferred from the German Bavarian factory to one in Beijing. The modern Hofner guitar now uses the more general build technique of a central block with bat wings although the body is still only an inch thick.

As a youth, playing in a band, I couldn’t afford the superior US products so settled for a second-hand, cherry red Verythin. It followed a succession of Hofner guitars starting with a President and then a Club 40. Recently while looking through the Facebook pages of the local ‘for sale’ columns I found a fairly modern Verithin CT special edition, for what seemed a bargain price. I contacted the seller who brought round the instrument within the hour and the deal was done. The nostalgia buy Verithin now joins my small collection of guitars.