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Hofner

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The Höfner company was founded by Karl Höfner (1864 – 1955) who, having been apprenticed to Anton Schaller as a violin maker, sold his first violins in 1887. He established his works at Schönbach then the European centre of stringed instrument making. His reputation grew and so did his business as he sold instruments of the finest quality throughout Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia and other European countries. Karl brought two of his sons, Josef and Walter, into the business just after the First World War and they quickly began to expand the business, particularly into export markets. Thus Höfner gained not only a European reputation but a world-wide one as manufacturers of quality stringed instruments.

In 1961 a young man walked into a music shop in Hamburg and purchased a Höfner 500/1 Violin Bass guitar. Not long afterwards he and the group he was in changed the world of music and youth culture and brought Höfner its iconic guitar model. The young man was of course Sir Paul McCartney, bass player in The Beatles. Sir Paul’s continued use of a Violin Bass for over 50 years has ensured that this model has become one of the most easily recognised guitars in the world and has seen it in steady production at Höfner ever since.

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