Hohner | Telecaster “The Artist”
- Solid Body
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In the 70’s, Prince (not being famous yet) bought a Hohner telecaster. There are rumors that he bought this guitar since the pickguard matched perfectly with leopard strap he already had. But I guess there were more reasons:
-The looks are fantastic, beautiful book matched flamed maple front and back
-Building quality is excellent the guitar body is made from maple (rarely used by builders) which gives it a very distinct, bright, funky (and that’s important!) sound.
Something about the brand Hohner. Originally a German brand specialized in harmonica’s, also moved into the guitar business buying guitars from Japanese factories in the 70’s. During the NAMM show in 1972, a telecaster was shown by a brand called H.S. Anderson. The brand name is just a name made up (although there is an American wood sculpturer known by this name) but the guitar excelled in building quality and playability. The guitars under this brand came from the ‘Morris’ factory which built for a lot of brands. They still exist building high quality acoustic instrument.
Anyway, after he H.S. Anderson telecaster (named Madcat) became a success, Hohner decided to buy this model and put their logo on it. Due to lawsuit cases (the headstock of the Madcat was an exact copy of the Fender headstock), the guitar was taken out of production after a while.
Luckily, one of these rare Hohner Madcats ended up in a music shop in Minneapolis, and the rest is history. Funny is that I can’t find any pictures of this Hohner version of the guitar, other than guitars played by Prince. I guess the Hohner logo versions of the Madcat are very rare
After Prince became a superstar in the 80’s, Hohner decided to bring this guitar back into production, but now with a different headstock to avoid legal issues.
In fact they did it twice (models were called ‘The Prinz’ and later ‘TE Prinz’)’, but these guitars didn’t reach the quality standards of the H.S. Anderson models.
- Flamed maple top and back
- Walnut central binding over the body (front and back)
- Black binding from and back (there are models with ‘leopard’ binding, but Prince’s guitars have black binding as far as I could check)
- Blonde maple finish
- Fender noiseless (stratocaster) pick-ups. There have been rumors about Kinmann pick-ups but Prince guitar tech has confirmed he uses Fenders now.
- 21 frets (size unknown)
- Fretboard radius is unknown (normally I prefer 12″ but for funky chords 10″ is also very comfortable). According to Prince guitar tech Takumi the fretboard is really flat. So I guess you go in the direction of 15-20″ radius.
- Pick guard: ‘Hohner’ style with kind of ‘tortoise’/ ‘leopard’ pattern (impossible to get these). The website about the Madcat describes how you can make one yourself.
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