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What do you know about Hofner Staple pickups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Woodisgood, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Woodisgood

    Woodisgood TDPRI Member

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    I just bought a Kapa Series 500, which is a fully hollow thinline from the 60’s. It was cheap, and I bought it primarily as a piece of local Washington area history. The body and bolt on neck are Japanese made, and all the hardware and electronics were apparently made by Hofner. Then they were assembled in PG County, Md, and sold by Veneman’s Music. I think it sounds excellent, as does my family, so it was a lucky online impulse purchase.

    It has these funky looking Hofner Staple humbucking pickups, and I wonder what you all can tell me about them. When I looked online, nobody seems to list much info, aside from when they were made. To my ears, the guitar sounds Gibson-esque, but this is my first full hollow body, and I don’t have any really meaningful experience with accurate PAF style repro’s. So I don’t really have any point of comparison, aside from sounds in my head. I haven’t taken any measurements, but they are definitely narrower than the standard humbucker. Anyway, if anybody knows what’s inside these things, or can compare them to any other pickups in specs or tonality, I’d be very interested and appreciative. I’m not qualified to start dissecting these things. My old multimeter is dead, but I’m going to order a new one and get a DCR measurement.
     
  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    pro tip: some pics would be helpful
     
  3. Woodisgood

    Woodisgood TDPRI Member

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    image.jpg
    image.jpg
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool, I didn’t know of any guitars being assembled here back then
     
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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  6. Woodisgood

    Woodisgood TDPRI Member

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    Sorry for the quality of the images. The lighting in here is bad. The spacing appears to be the same on both of them, and the spacing is slightly off in the bridge position, but volume isn’t a problem. The pole pieces are adjustable.

    Thanks for the link. I’ve looked at that. Aside from saying that they are the same as the 511 model, there doesn’t seem to be any real technical info.
     
  7. Drak

    Drak Tele-Holic

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    The Japanese Matsumoku 335's used to be a 'thing' for me, I used to study their history and had several of them.
    Those things must have come under 2, 3 dozen different names at least.
    I think I have a file I made up/collected once upon a time of all the various names slapped on Matsumoku builds.
    That does indeed look just like a jobbed-out Matsumoko body.

    I also used to be into German guitar history, a little bit, no expert.
    I don't think Hofner made hardware, or even pickups, really.
    I believe for the most part Hofner made the guitar, primarily, and sourced everything else from other suppliers.
    Even on the Hofner pickup site listed above, they explain for each pickup (mostly) where it came from, and usually wasn't 'them'.
    Usually if you see German parts on a build (like your pickups) the hardware to go along with them was 'usually' Schaller.
    Usually...I think Schaller made hardware and were wholesale distributors, of a fashion, to all the guitar builders.
    I think...I could very well be wrong, but I think that's the typical way things went down back then.

    I'll give you an example of this same thing twisted in a different way.
    Ovation made their 'Storm Series' electric hollows from 1968 to 1972 (I have two of those too).
    Ovation bought the bodies from Hofner (look it up) remember, Hofner made guitars...i.e, wood, the wooden parts.
    Ovation used their own necks on them.
    Hofner also had their own model using the exact same body they sold to Ovation.
    Ovation used Schaller hardware on them.
    Ovation used (genuine) DeArmond pickups on them.
    DeArmond also wholesaled out the same exact pickups to other dealers, who sometimes stamped their own name on them.
    So you might find DeArmond pickups on, say, a Gretch guitar too, and maybe with Gretch's name stamped on them.
    But they're really DeArmond pickups, not Gretch pickups, that's who made them actually.

    A different twist on a jobbed-out build, with the same basic set of characters in play.
     
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