Hopf Allround, Manfred Pletz, 1968

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Instrument: It is known that Hopf bought many instruments from other manufacturers. Apart from... more
Hopf Allround, Manfred Pletz, 1968

It is known that Hopf bought many instruments from other manufacturers. Apart from classical guitars, nothing at all was built in the factory of Hopf. Fasan, Klira, Glassl and Hüttl, among others, built for Hopf. In the case of the Allround, experts do not agree whether the design goes back to Gustav Glassl or Manfred Pletz... However, due to some typical Pletz details, e.g. the neck fastening by means of furniture screws, we assume that our guitar was built by him. Basically, no two Allrounds are alike, they are all handmade one-offs. Almost unjustly forgotten today, the master guitar maker Manfred Pletz, who lived in Taunusstein-Bleidenstadt in the immediate vicinity of Hopf, was one of the most innovative and independent spirits of the German post-war era. For example, he was the master teacher of Lakewood founder Martin Seeliger. And he developed the legendary Saturn and Explorer models for Hopf in their extremely individual construction and also built most of them himself by hand. The Allround is more of a thinline standard in the style of the time, but the dark wood finish is extravagant and the design with the small, Florentine cutaway is an unmistakable stroke of genius.

The guitar is a real thinline without central block with archback and archtop. The laminated top and sides have beautiful bookmatched walnut as the top veneer layer. The back is made of flamed maple stained to match the color of the top, again bookmatched of course. The neck is built of the then inevitable and extremely complex to manufacture laminated beech wood, as usual straight as a die and indestructible. It has a beautiful rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl side markers. Black lacquered headstock with intricately inset Allround lettering. Massive and chromed vibrato tailpiece by ABM-Müller with Hopf engraving, plus a fully compensatable Hoyer bridge. Cream white plastic pickguard. Mounted is also the mostly lost, but standard palm rest with damper function! Open single tuners with pearloid grips.

As usual, no two Allrounds are alike. Here Pletz has chosen two single-coils with triple magnets, the manufacturer is unknown to us. He often used these excellent pickups in his later Allrounds. The pickups are selected with a four-way switch, which offers the three pickup combinations plus an off position. In addition, each pickup has its own volume and tone control. Everything is easy and intuitive to operate and perfect and sufficient for versatile sounds.

Instruments history:
Unfortunately completely unknown. The guitar has been with us for several years and we no longer know where it once came from.

Restoration work:
Complete cleaning and blowing out of the body. Polishing of all lacquer surfaces, some small quirks were carefully retouched. We also refurbished and polished the hardware, disassembled, cleaned and re-oiled the tuners. The fingerboard was sanded and oiled, the frets were dressed and polished. The controls, some of which had become resinous, were cleaned and made more operable. Finally, new strings were mounted and a setup was done.

Current condition:
Above all else, the Allround is a walnut beauty and without a doubt a visually wonderfully harmonious guitar. The combination of walnut, creamy white, black and nickel looks very noble and high-quality. The perfect manufacturing quality combines classic and modern elements. The guitar is 100% in original condition. It shows a few scratches and traces of playing on the back, the nitro varnish crackles very finely and the nickel plating of the strap buttons has disappeared down to the brass. All completely harmless, of course, and practically nothing at all for a 54-year-old guitar. The frets must have been replaced at some point, the now high fret wire ensures maximum playing comfort. In combination with the extremely low string action, the neck is something for real whiz fingers. The two single coils deliver the expected fat sound, the bridge pickup crystal-clear-brilliant, the neck pickup blows away everything with a powerful appearance. We like them best when switched together. Switches and controls work silently and reliably. The guitar is of course perfectly clean and odourless. A great and original sixties player with wonderful sound in top condition to play and look at. Or highlight in a collection. If you are looking for an Allround, don't hesitate, because finding a nicer and better one might be difficult.

Overall length 108 cm/42.6”; body length 51 cm/20”; lower bout width 41 cm/16.1”; waist width 23,5 cm/9.3”; upper bout width 29 cm/11.4”; body depth 4,5 cm/1.8”; scale length 62,5 cm/24.6” (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 4,1 cm/1.6” at zero fret, 5,1 cm/2” at 12th fret; overall weight 2.980 g, string action on 12th fret 1 mm/0.04” (adjustable).

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