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- Order number: 599
This beautiful guitar was distributed by the Hopf company in Taunusstein, but comes from Nauheim from the manufactory of Franz Sandner (Fasan). Hopf mainly built high quality classical guitars and even only a few jazz guitars. The assortment at that time was bought from different manufacturers like Hüttl, Glassl, Pretz, Alosa and like here Sandner and marketed either unlabeled or under the name Hopf. It is a very typical representative from the great German jazz guitar era. Visually, it follows the much more expensive and famous Hopf 316 by Gustav Glassl, so it can be described as the "poor man's Glassl".
The guitar is made entirely of laminated maple - a typical luthier's guitar. The neck is made of three maple strips glued long. It has a fingerboard made of beautiful rosewood with five rectangular pearloid inlays. The white marbled pearloid headstock is extravagantly decorated with two black wedges and silver trim. It is also matched by the beautiful pearloid Klira-style reverse pickguard. The bridge is made of black stained pear wood. Creamy white bindings are found around the body, cat's eye soundholes and neck. Open brass tuners. The finish is in the black and red Black Rose design that was very popular at the time, and has a painted-on black "grain" on the back and sides. This style element is more commonly found among East German guitar makers, but was occasionally used in the West as well.
The guitar was purchased new by its first owner in 1959 at a youthful age. In the mid-sixties, a Schaller pickup plate and an ABM-Müller tailpiece with tremolo were then mounted for better use in the band "Die Spirits". We have also attached a picture from that time with a contemporary amplifier tower. The original tailpiece as well as the pickguard have subsequently been lost. When it came to nothing with the rock star career, the Hopf disappeared in the closet, the owner played since the late seventies only for home use and only a classical guitar. At some point he gave away the pickup plate to an interested neighbor. After his death in 2020 we were offered the guitar, thanks to years of dark storage with relaxed strings still in very well maintained top condition and immediately playable.
Completely disassembled and extensively cleaned, body blown out, original nitro lacquer with bale polish refurbished in several passes - it shines beautifully again. The fretsticks were polished, the fingerboard stripped and oiled. A few small pressure marks on the back of the neck from an old capo don't bother at all, so we didn't want to renew the original varnish. We refurbished the black tarnished brass tuners including brass bushings, made them shine again and polished them, finally oiled them. From our stock we mounted a solid, never used ABM-Müller tailpiece from 1960 and a pickguard from the same period (see the attached Kirschnek expertise). Finally, we mounted new Pyramid 11 gauge bronze strings and made a basic setup.
Often these Cats Eye models were not sold, so they are quite rare today. Especially guitars in this magnificent condition are not often found. The three-tone look in the basic shades of red, white and black is very elegant and harmonious. The Hopf has almost no patina and very few signs of use. There are a few tiny, completely harmless paint cracks on the back, a few tiny dents on the sides, plus the capo marks - that's it. For 61 years and an - albeit short - band career, this is practically nothing. Of course, the guitar is spotlessly clean and odorless again, all glue joints are bombproof. Fingerboard and fretsticks are flawless. The old neck plays flawlessly with no limitations, light and new-ish, thanks in part to the low string action. The sound is warm and woody, harmonious and balanced, with many hours of playing, open, loud and assertive. The guitar can be used and loaded immediately without any restrictions, but above all it is a favorable opportunity for collectors.
Overall length 41.7”/106 cm, body length 20.5”/52 cm, lower bout width 16.1”/41 cm, waist width 9.8”/25 cm, upper bout width 11.8”/30 cm; body depth 3.1”/8 cm, scale length 25.4”/64,5 cm (zero fret to saddle), fingerboard width 1.7”/4,3 cm at nut, 2.1”/5,3 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 2.060 g, string action on 12th fret 0.08”/23 mm (adjustable!).