Don’t be alarmed if wet patches appear on your keyboard. It’s merely your father (who can remember Lennon and Harrison playing Höfner Clubs in the ‘60s) drooling over your shoulder…
The Höfner website gives few spec details on the Club but assures us that the ‘60s style guitar before us is no museum piece: “These models are designed for the tough live performance of today’s guitarist. The Club includes a sustain block for a more modern sound, and by virtue of its compact body dimensions it is less susceptible to feedback, even at high volume.”
The ‘60s vibe of the Höfner is spot-on, even if the slavish authenticity can sometimes be a headache (the control panel, for instance, is baffling and archaic). True to Höfner’s claims, the aesthetics conceal a bullet-proof modern gig weapon, with the bowl-back semi-acoustic body finished to perfection and the neck capable of more than jangled 7th chords.
Be careful with the tone. The ‘rhythm’ setting can be soupy and the ‘lead’ a little shrill, but with patient twiddling of the control board and amp, you’ll unlock the holy grail - a fat-bottomed Merseybeat thump served up with plenty of shimmer, decent sustain and no shrieks of feedback.
Nostalgic for the golden age of rock ’n’ roll? Join the Club.
Pros: Brilliant looks, feel, '60s tone.
Cons: Stupid controls, a tad shrill.
BUY: Höfner Contemporary Series Club currently available from Thomann and PMT Online