The Clavinet C is the precursor to the D6 and is when Hohner started to hit its stride with the Clavinet’s design. It is a rare breed and one of our favorites at the shop for it’s colourful character.
The Clavinet C’s “Secret Ingredient” is its Germanium Transistors
The original preamp electronics feature AC151 germanium PNP transistors that are part of the heart of the C’s signature sound. Germanium transistors have a cult-like appreciation among tone-chasing guitarists that are seeking a more “vintage” coloured tone. They are often described as more “smooth” and “warm” than modern Silicon transistors. Perhaps the two best claims to fame for Germanium Transistors is in the original fuzz pedal designs of the Maestro Pedal used by the Rolling Stones on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” of the Fuzzface Pedal used by Jimi Hendrix (and many more).
Clavinet C Pickup Settings:
The tone controls of the C are more simple than the latter designs D6 and E7 designs (Click here for an explanation of the D6/E7 controls). The AB/CD switches simply allow you to choose between the “neck/bridge” pickups and using them simultaneously “in/out” of phase. If you are familiar with the pickup switches of the D6/E7 preamplifier you may find yourself a little confused, however, since the letters signify different settings for the C. Here are the controls:
- A/B Switch: Toggles between Parallel (A) and Individual (B) Pickup Modes
- Parallel Mode: C/D Settings toggle between Out-of-Phase (A+C) and In-Phase (A+D)
- Individual Mode: C/D Settings toggle between “Solo/Bridge/Treble” Pickup (B+C) and “Rhythm/Neck/Bass” Pickup (B+D)
Clavinet C Schematic
Other copies of the C schematic were pretty grainy and didn’t offer an explanation for the tone controls. We took a little time to update Schematic for the Clavinet C to include these notes for those who may find these notations useful. Here is our copy of the Clavinet C Schematic: