Pros: Good build quality, great playability, looks like an expensive guitar.
Cons: Your other guitars might not get so much use.
The Hofner brand originates from Germany and the original guitars of this style were called the Verithin.
The Verythin CT or Contemprary series is made in China but don't let that put you off. This guitar is a gem and the Chinese build means you can get your hands on one for not too much money.
This is a semi-hollow body electric guitar in the style of the famous Gibson 335. I've always fancied a 335 but could never justify the expense. When I heard about the Verythin I knew I had to try one.
The guitar is very thin, less than 4cm at the widest depth of the body. The body horns are much less pronounced than on the 335, more Gretsch in styling. The body is made of maple laminate with a flame maple veneer on top and back and the neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard. There is a central sustain block visible through the F-holes. The scale length is 25.5 inches, which is more like a Fender than a Gibson. This suits me as I am mainly a Fender player. The body is bound front and back in antiqued white and black plastic as is the fretboard and headstock. This gives the guitar a look of real quality. The headstock is black with the Hofner name and a flower design in very well inlaid pearl. The body and neck are finished in well-applied polyurethane lacquer. The guitar comes in a variety of colors including natural, black, sunburst and transparent red. For me the sunburst and transparent red look the best. A good touch is the finishing around the f-holes often an area that lets down a budget priced semi. These are bound in black plastic and look very tidy.
The fretboard has 22 well-applied large frets with a flattish radius. Fret markers are pearloid dots. The neck has a shallow C shape that is a nice handful and just feels right. Set-up out of the box was good with just a tweak to the truss rod, accessed via a cover at the headstock, needed for a good action. Tuning machines are anonymous sealed type with tulip shaped buttons. They perform their task adequately and tuning is generally stable.
Pickups are German made Hofner humbuckers with chrome covers. The bridge and stop tailpiece are the good old tune-o-matic design so no problems there. There are individual volume and tone knobs for each pickup and the 3-way selector switch is on the lower body.
This guitar just begs you to play blues through a clean amp. Played unplugged it has a good resonance which bodes well for when it's connected to an amplifier. Plugged into my Fender Deluxe Reverb it sounds terrific. The bridge pickup is bright but not harsh and the neck has a warmth that encourages you to play all those fancy jazz chords you never get to use. The in between sound with both pickups on is nice and jangly. Using the volume and tone controls can produce a good variety of tones.
I decided to try the guitar with an overdriven amp to see what it could handle. What a surprise, it's a rock guitar too! It can handle quite high gain sounds without uncontrollable feedback. For blues and rock it didn't disgrace itself alongside my friend's real Gibson 335, a guitar that costs about 6 times as much. Build quality is head and shoulders above the popular Epiphone 335 Dot and anybody in the market for an electric semi should give the Verythin a try. It's very comfortable to play because of the thin body and strapped on balances nicely.
I am a dedicated Strat man but I have been using my Verythin a lot on gigs lately for rock and blues numbers. Try one, you might not be able to put it down.