The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-02-2019, 09:35 AM
123davido 123davido is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4
Default Hofner Congress

New to the site,hope Im in the right place. I have a messed up Hofner Congress
(1959 I think). I want to try to revive it and need help. Im a carpenter by trade,not a luthier. Im not interested in a perfect restoration, I just want to get it back on the road and playing half way decent.
From what I can find on the internet,this was an economy model when it first came out. Nothing special,not worth a lot. Certainly not worth spending a lot of money on repairing it.
Anybody familiar with this guitar?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-02-2019, 10:38 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,464
Default

It might be best for you to say what kind of help you need with the Hofner. Luthiers don't necessarily need to be familiar with that particular guitar as
issues are pretty much the same from instrument to instrument.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-02-2019, 10:48 AM
123davido 123davido is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4
Default

The neck was bent (concave). When I unstrung it to assess it better,it seems to have straightened itself out on its own without strings!
The action is way too high. 8mm (+ -) at the 12th fret. The bridge is adjusted as far down as it will go.
There is a zero (?) fret sitting between the nut and the first fret. Should the string rest upon this? There are grooves worn into it but this puts the action
by the first fret at 1 to 2 mm ?
The bridge itself is a floating bridge. The bottom of it where it rests on the body of the guitar has a different radius to the body of the guitar. Whats that all about?
I think thats it. There may be more questions but these are the main ones.
Thanks for any help/advise.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-02-2019, 12:39 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,720
Default

Quote:
it seems to have straightened itself out on its own without strings!
That is normal. If the guitar has an adjustable truss rod, tightening it should straighten the neck. The truss rod is there to counteract the string tension.

Quote:
The action is way too high. 8mm (+ -) at the 12th fret. The bridge is adjusted as far down as it will go.
You may be able to cut down the bridge saddle or bridge base. Failing that, you may need a neck reset. At any rate, the neck needs to be straightened first. Lowering the action with a bowed neck will tend to cause buzzing past the sixth fret.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-02-2019, 12:50 PM
123davido 123davido is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4
Default

Thing is theres no adjustable truss rod. This is what worries me. If the neck is flexable enough to bend (quite significantly) under string tension, how do I remedy that?
As for the action, Im sure from pictures that Ive found, that the bridge is OEM.
which makes no sense to me. I cant see how it would have left the factory like that.
Can I post photos on this site?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-02-2019, 02:43 PM
murrmac123's Avatar
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Edinburgh, bonny Scotland
Posts: 5,141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123davido View Post
From what I can find on the internet,this was an economy model when it first came out. Nothing special,not worth a lot. Certainly not worth spending a lot of money on repairing it.
You got that right.

And yes I am very familiar with these Hofners.

Forget neck resets ... if you want to make it playable, remove the fretboard and install a tapered shim to bring the action into spec.

You might or might not have to do compression fretting afterwards to get the relief correct.

Last edited by murrmac123; 02-02-2019 at 02:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-02-2019, 04:10 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,121
Default

misspoke.

.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 02-06-2019 at 03:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-02-2019, 04:16 PM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 17,054
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123davido View Post
Can I post photos on this site?
Welcome to the AGF. Sure, you can post pictures. Since you are not yet a charter member, you may use a third-party host or the Tapatalk app.

More details are given in this post. You may find lots of answers to other forum questions in the FAQs. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to check out the Board FAQs. PM me if you have any questions.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-02-2019, 04:58 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK/EU
Posts: 14,074
Default

I'm also familiar with them. Had a number over the years. A basic model for sure but surprisingly good projection.

If/when the neck goes, a neck reset is about all that can be done and not usually economically viable.

This is what I did with the last one ... and according to the serial number .. literally , the last one.

__________________
Silly Moustache,
Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.

https://www.youtube.com/user/SillyMoustache/videos
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-02-2019, 07:18 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,112
Default

Those necks break real easy at the heel, the manufacturer used dowels to locate the heel on the neck and as such is a very very weak point.

Remove fretboard, fit a truss rod, refit fretboard plane the neck to a better angle put new frets in, tweak the bridge height vee the feet.

If you are a carpenter and not worried about the finish, this is all basic stuff for you. Maybe 4-5 hrs of work over a few days total

Steve
__________________
Cole Clark Fat Lady
Gretsch Electromatic
Martin CEO7
Maton Messiah
Taylor 814CE
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-03-2019, 07:50 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Tatamagouche Nova Scotia
Posts: 771
Default

The neck joint is a plain square tenon, so prone to slipping and needing a reset. I had my 1957 Senator reset and refretted around 30 years ago, it's still perfect. These are bright, forward sounding guitars, not a lot of nuance, but good enought that McCartny and Lennon had them very early on. The non-trussrod neck is quite beefy, could stand to be planed down a bit.
__________________
Brian Evans
1935 Dobro model 25 resonator
1943 Paramount (made by Kay) mandolin
1946 Epiphone Zephyr electric archtop
1957 Hofner Senator archtop
1962 Gibson Melody Maker electric
1963 National Dynamic lap steel
1996 Landola jumbo
1998 Godin Artisan TC electric
1998 Epiphone SG electric
2010 GoldTone PBR-CA resonator
2015 Evans electric archtop
2016 Evans archtop
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-06-2019, 12:31 PM
123davido 123davido is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 4
Default

Ok, Ive had at it and sanded the bridge down (quite a bit) ,got it radiused nicely and I dropped the nut down so the strings touch on the 0 fret. The action looks a lot more reasonable now. First and second string buzz slightly when open and I cant get it tuned. I set the bridge distance roughly with a measuring tape but sliding it forward or backward seems to have little effect on intonation. Theres a big difference twixt the picked note and the harmonic at the 12th fret.
Had enough for now. Ill leave it for the night and see whats what tomorrow.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-06-2019, 02:02 PM
murrmac123's Avatar
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Edinburgh, bonny Scotland
Posts: 5,141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
A few that I've worked on had a failed neck joint. Removing and reseting the neck was easy - on those.
Can you elaborate some on the neck removal process, Charles ?

Steve has stated that dowels were used to locate the neck, and Brian says that the joint is a square tenon, so obviously there are no dovetails involved.

I am interested to know how you went about steaming these necks off.

As I said above, IMO the best option is to shim the neck with a tapered shim,(which incidentally I have just done with a Radiotone archtop ) but your experience seems to indicate that that may not be the optimum approach.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-06-2019, 02:14 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,121
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
Can you elaborate some on the neck removal process, Charles ?
I think I misspoke. I think I'm thinking of the other "H" guitars: Harmony.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-06-2019, 03:16 PM
murrmac123's Avatar
murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Edinburgh, bonny Scotland
Posts: 5,141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
I think I misspoke. I think I'm thinking of the other "H" guitars: Harmony.
Aaah right .

Coincidentally, I am actually doing a neck reset on a Harmony Sovereign this weekend. I cannot believe how thin the saddle is on these guitars. I have already opened the slot to .110" and may even open it further.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=