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  #082  Hofner AZ AWARD CUSTOM      c 1986.
  It is well documented that the A2 was top of Hofner's archtop range when designs were being drawn up for the AZ - the guitar that was to be Hofner's flagship and endorsed by the great Hungarian jazz guitarist Attila Zoller.

Whether the A2 was used as the basis for prototyping the AZ is not known.    Certainly the resulting AZ was in the end nothing like the A2.    The A2 had already established itself as a high quality model but the AZ,  from the outset,  was the ultimate spec.    It boasted an entirely new body, with hand carved top and bottom,  a more classical shape with stylised f-holes.   All Hofner's know-how was concentrated on creating a tonal masterpiece with huge, ringing acoustic volume.     Coupled with Attila's trademark pickup (the Shadow AZ)  this lead to an outstanding jazz guitar.

The neck and headstock was also re-designed and Christian Benker told me that Attila insisted on an entirely new headstock shape,  a smaller waist with more weight at the headstock to balance the guitar.

#082 combines the best of both models as it mates an AZ body to an A2 neck.     I was of the view originally that this might have been a prototype, however,  after restoring this guitar and having spent a lot of  time examining it in great detail, I now feel it is more likely that it was a Special Customer Order.   

The AZ fingerboard has more radius than usual and not to everyone's liking.   So I can believe that a customer commissioned an AZ Award but with the more conventional A2 neck and specifying the AZ sunburst.

And so this guitar appears to be a very early AZ Award Special but in Sunburst which Attila himself preferred.   Truly a Custom model.


  Fantastic tone with a very full voice and great acoustic or electric  -  Hofner's best jazz guitar ever!!

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