Hofner Date Codes


Information concerning which year a certain model was introduced, or when configurations where changed, varies a lot. It seems quite clear however that the 125/126 was first introduced in 1954 and that their Club equivalents where born in 1957/58, when Selmer became the Hofner agent in the UK. When it comes to the 127/128/Club60, information is more ambiguous. Year of introduction varies between 1954-1961, depending on source of information. There is obviously pictures around of 127/128/Club60:s with both Fuma and "Bar" pickups and those where fazed out of production already in 1959. A qualified guess would be that those "de luxe" models turned up around 1958, in connection with the Hofner introduction in the UK.

The Hofner factory did not put serial numbers on their instruments until the early seventies. Some instruments however had the date of manufacture penciled, or stamped, on the underside of the top. The only way of finding this identification is by inserting a dental mirror and some illumination through the treble f-hole.


Dating by "Pot Code"

Another way of finding out the approximate year of manufacture, is by looking at the potentiometers. Loosen the two screws holding the controlplate, turn it upside down and you will find some numbers. 250K is the impedance of the potentiometer, but it is the number to the right you should take a closer look at. From 1958 and onwards Hofner potentiometers where stamped with two or three digits, for example 309, where the first digits stands for week and the last digit indicates year of manufacture. In this case week 30, 1959. Note however that this not necessarily means a guitar made in 1959, only that the potentiometer was made that year. We also know that there where fairly long transition periods when old parts where mixed with newer parts. Therefor instruments manufactured during the same year can have different configurations in terms of pickups and controls.




Dating by Selmer "Ser. No."

British importer Selmer used their own numbering system, stamped on the back of the headstock .



Those numbers can be interpreted in the following way:

Year 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
Club40 255- 421- -1534 1535 1675-
Club50 479- 651- -1779 1780-
Club60 -180 -1296 1297- 1608-



Dating by other local "Ser. No."


Importers in other countries used different systems. In Sweden for example, the Hofner agent stamped the upper side of the headstock with the model code, for example 126, followed by three or four digits, for example 1063, where 10 indicates month and 63 stands for the year. This means different instruments can have identical codes..!



An example of the inaccuracy that occurs when it comes to dating, based on the different codes, is this. One of my own Club´s is stamped 126-1063, which indicates an instrument imported to Sweden in October 1963, but on the other hand the potentiometer code is 311, indicating week 31 in 1961. So, it could as well be a 1961 that has been resting on a shelf in the factory for two years before in reached Sweden, or a 1963 with potentiometers from 1961, or a 1962..?


"Ser. No." from downunder?

Recently I was sent these pictures of a 1957-58 126/Club50 bought in Australia, with 57D stamped on the top of the headstock. I have no idea what it stands for, maybe 1957?... or who put it there. Is there anybody out there who have come across a similar number?



More "Ser. No."

There are also many Hofner´s around stamped by local importers, with numbers that does not appear to fit into any scheme whatsoever... or more likely without any numbers at all, making it almost impossible to trace them down in terms of origin.


For dating an instrument by it´s pickups see Hofner Pickups section.