Sunday, 9 March 2008

Hohner makeover

My trusty old Hohner St Lead Professional needed a makeover. Here's a few before-pictures

  • Lacquer and primer was removed with zieh-blade and sanding paper.
  • The wood was tinted three times with a waterbased cherry-color.
  • 12 layers of Nitro-cellulose lacquer was applied with a good quality paintbrush. Sanded between each layer
  • The lacquer was left to set about two weeks and wet-sanded with grade 400 to 1200 sanding paper and finished with polish
  • All cavities shielded with adhesive tinfoil from the local hardware store
  • All electronics were upgraded
  • A new Scratchplate was cut from aluminum and spray painted. The shielding connects to the the scratchplate to make a Faradays cage. The ground leds to the Tremolo.
  • I mounted a Kent Armstrong P90 in bridge position and a homemade (not by me...) bell sounding wonder in the neck.
  • The plastic saddle was replaced by cows-bone. The Saddle-Saws came in handy.

In the end it came out like this:


Anonymous said...

Hohner rocks ! Smukt arbejde

Anonymous said...

I have one just like yours,but I am having difficulty in trying to repair the bridge, the whole thing bends forward when any tension is on it. Asde from that it works.I don't know whether its missing a part or if I need to re-adjust something. Any advice on how to fix it would be appreciated.

Niels Kaagaard said...

Hi Mike

Underneath the bridge there should be 3 springs, to keep the tension. Maybe they are broken, missing or just out of place. If they are broken, I think You can replace them with the Kahler-type springs. If it doesn't help I can disassemble my bridge and post a picture for comparison.

Anonymous said...

hello again,
if you could show me that would be great! thanks!
i made a video of the guitar. maybe you could see what is wrong with it there? i think it might be missing a part, or broken somehow.
thanks for your help,

oh yeah, heres the link

Niels Kaagaard said...

Hi Mike
Here's a link to a picture of my st lead bridge, bottom view:

I hope this helps

Ovidiu said...

i-am from romania
i have a hohner professional st lead
i want to know what type of the trem is on the guitar and if i can find it
the trem had the same problem as chemical mike had and it was welded.
so now i'm asking if i can find that type of tremolo...

Niels Kaagaard said...

Hi Ovidiu
The tremolo is made by Hohner and I don't think its available to buy anywhere. You might be able to find a Kahler copy that fits...or an original Kahler, but they are expensive.

Anonymous said...

Hi I might do something similar to my trusty St.

Did you remove the neck though or just paint carefully?

Niels Kaagaard said...

Hi ! I took the whole thing apart...All the original paint was removed down to bare wood. Then it was stained and nitro-lackoured. I takes a long time, be patient...and good luck.

Anonymous said...

I own a Hohner Pro ST Metall, its similar to your ST Lead but without a pickguard and the guitar has only one Humbucker with coilsplit. The Trem is the same like on your ST Lead, its from accutone in korea. I love my guitar and I think about remove all the paint and leave it natur.
Maybe I have one or two questions to you. If you interested, send me a mail to
Greetings from Germany

Anonymous said...

I found a St. Lead Graphite that was abandoned at a school for troubled kids and was being abused. I can't find anything about the guitar (pictures or information)online. The bridge is a steinberg and needs some work. I removed the paint (stupidly forgot to take before pictures)The wood isn't nice enough for nitro but I want it painted anyway, another stupid move I could have painted over the original paint. I'd like to get that kind of thick coating like the original paint.
I want to save this guitar because it seems to be a rarity.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hello gyus i am from Quebec Canada i just saw your post i am happy to meet some hohner guitar ower because i haven t already met some ,I also have have a st lead pro can you guys tell me where to get some info about it ,like the way to rewire it with new condenser and stuff like that

Thanks,,,by the way i am frenchy lol so excuse me for my poor english

thanks for all

here is my Addy ,,,

Jim said...

does anyone know what the body is made of?

sureshbopitiya said...

Hi Niels, I am not sure if you will read this, but I was really impressed to see your work on your guitar. I have a Hohner Professional ST Lead just like your even the same colour. I have had it since I was about 16 (now 27 years!). Unfortunately it is not in the same shape as it was. I have tried to rewire it but can't find correct wiring diagrams anywhere for it. I also noticed that the pickups are passive (no battery). Thanks again, Suresh

Niels Kaagaard said...

Hi Suresh
Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately I don't have the wiring diagram for the original setup.

HoherFan said...

For more information about those Hohner Guitars:

Enjoy it:-)

Anonymous said...

I have had several guitars with that tailpiece. The only way I could get one to hold up (sort of) was to brace the spring anchor to the frame with rigid wire (I actually used large nails back in '85).

The three that I still have, one I just set as a fixed bridge, the other two have been replaced by Kahlers. The "Flyer" sort of fits. The Pro fits very well over the original routing. I found one on E-bay and the other at Ed Roman Guitars in Vegas.

Jeff Forss
Mpls. MN.

Niels Kaagaard said...

Thanks Jeff ! I'll try to get my hands on a Kahler Pro. Maybe like this:

Anonymous said...

Great job!

I have an Accutune trem just like that on my JB Player. It only seems to bend notes up, though.

Darryl Campbell said...

I have this same guitar in next to mint condition except the trem is doing the same thing. I tightened down the screw at the front of the trem but I'll like to find a better solution so this trem works both ways. Also, need a bar for mine and the locking nut screws and plates. Anyone know where I could find those?