Acoustic Hollow Body Single cutaway Archtop guitar
Spruce top (solid carved spruce into the 1960s), flamed maple back and sides
Available with or without cutaway, and electric (one, two, and even three pickups with or without active circuits) or acoustic.
There can be problems differentiating between the 455, 456, and 457 models, particularly as Hofner seems to have continually revised the detail cosmetics of these models over the years. The main basic difference between the 456 and the slightly later 457 is that the 456 had a maple body top and the 457 had a spruce top. Both the 455 and the 456 had maple tops, but the ornamentation on the 456 was of a higher standard than the 455. For example, the 455 was not provided with binding to the neck initially, though later examples (after the demise of the 456) did gain this feature.
As with the rest of the Hofner range, the 456 was available from c1954 with the option of factory fitted electrics.
The 456 disappeared from the range in 1962, by which stage the 457 model would seem to have taken over as Hofner’s principle mid-range archtop.