Friday, 30 March 2012

My "custom" Hofner shorty

I've just dug out my old faithful Hofner Shorty travel guitar as I'm going away for a few days. I love this guitar as its been on some adventures with me over the years and is the guitar I've travelled with most, its been on planes, atop mountains, on boats, strapped to bikes and backpacks, been in the snow...the list goes on. Last year I accidentally killed this guitar, I like to play with heavy gauge flatwound strings and as an experiment I tried a set of 15's on it and the tension became too much for the original bridge posts and they got pulled out of the body....whatever I did I couldn't get the bridge posts to bind back into the body holes and whenever I restrung it it would pull them out. So in the end the solution was to buy a fender style bridge with the holes on the back of the bridge designed for through body string mounting...however I had to build up a small wooden block to bring the bridge to the correct height...took ages to get everything levelled up and getting the new bridge to mount centrally. Whilst I was at it i thought I'd fit this signature "Atilla Zoller" pickup as I wanted a more neck pickup sound than the humbucker that is in its original mount at the rear of the body. I had to dremel a groove under the scratchplate to fit the cable for the neck pickup but it's well worth it as the floating pickup sounds great. Currently the bridge pickup isn't wired up but I think at some point I'll wire it to another output so I can do dual output/effects chain recordings.

Anyway she aint pretty....but she's one of my favourites for sure...I reckon the pickup is worth about twice as much as the guitar and bizarrely the strap I always use on this guitar I bought at a fundraising auction for a music charity and it used to belong to Mundell Lowe, the great (90 odd year old) jazz guitarist who played with em all, mingus, parker, etc etc


Anonymous said...

Cool story, Im thinking of getting one of these and completely modding it to add a whammy bar and a couple of single coil pickups.

concretedog said...

go for it! if you do a custom one let me know.

Nushh said...

Wow, love these little DIY numbers =)

I'm thinking about getting one too. What's bothering me -given the novice I am- is... don't you have to remove the bridge and re-adjust the intonation every time you change strings?


Nushh said...

Wow! Love these little DIY numbers :)

I'm also considering getting a Shorty. But being a novice, what's bugging me is - don't you have to change the bridge (and re-adjust intonation) every time you change a string?


Progrocker said...

The best mod you can do on a Hofner Shorty is to fit a Gotoh wrap over bridge. Not cheap but worth it. You can change single strings without taking the bridge off & it's more accurate than the original. I've also fitted a Seymour Duncan JB pickup & Sperzel locking tuners.