Luthier Dieter Hopf’s family has been building classical musical instruments in Germany for over 300 years. Dieter Hopf himself was born in 1936 and has lived since 1949 in Taunusstein, Germany. Hopf is now a world renowned guitar maker, and is a great innovator of classical guitars. His instruments have been played by top concert artists throughout the world, among them Alexandre Lagoya, Baden Powell, Jorge Morel, and Michael Troster. His instruments are well balanced with excellent projection and refined tone color, his workmanship is meticulous with attention to detail, playability and appearance.
Meister Hopf offers a wide range of guitars, including the double-top Progresso in the concert range, listing at $8995; the lattice Portentosa Evolucion; the lattice Grande Furioso which is as well a lattice classical guitar; and the Artist membrane, which was designed by Hopf and made in collaboration with Spanish maker Manuel Adalid. This is an innovative instrument that features a unique, “membrane” top – there is a large oval shaped section of the soundboard which encircles the bridge and is thinner than the rest of the surrounding top. This area is braced with a lightweight lattice system topped with carbon fiber. Indeed this area of the top acts as a separate, highly flexible membrane, increasing volume noticeably as a result. "La Portentosa Grande Furiosa" is the top of their line of guitars, and currently sells new for approximately $15,000 US dollars in Germany; a reviewer remarked that it is “At the level of the best concert guitars currently built worldwide.”
Now: this particular guitar has lost its label, but it is clearly dated 3 April 1966 on the neck block and the model no longer appears on Herr Hopf’s website, so I wrote the Meister himself for information and provenance regarding the instrument, which appeared to feature solid Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. Below is his very useful answer:
Re: Pictures of 1966 guitar Thursday, June 7, 2018
From: "Dieter Hopf"
To: "ARTHUR LUMPKIN"
Dear Mr. Lumpkin,
The Guitar shown on your pictures is the first edition of the HOPF Gran Concierto model 07170. The list price at the time used to be Deutschmarks 650.--. In our time a comparable instrument, new, should be around Euro 2000 [about $2400]. The actual value depends on the condition, of course….
Early in the 60s Willy Hopf, my father, offered handmade Guitars of highest quality from Dieter Hense and Ernest Köröskenyi and us, in his Guitar workshops, and tried to compete with new ideas in a lower price category. So we used different materials for the neck and a new connection for neck and body, which is stable and adjustable as well. That used to be the idea of this model.
The materials used are:
Top: finest Alpine spruce
Back and Sides: Brazilian Rosewood
Neck: multi laminated sheets of beech
Despite being fifty-five years old, the guitar is in very good condition, with only a few dings or bruises anywhere, some crazing in the top’s finish, and some chipping of the finish in the lower bout seam; there is no sign of structural problems or repairs. It has beautiful design and workmanship, and while this is not a $15,000 guitar, it is most certainly a fine studio and even concert instrument. I understand that the previous owner, an excellent guitarist, simply disconnected the neck’s set screw and packed it in a suitcase as a travel guitar.
The resonance of the seasoned Brazilian Rosewood is of course superb—clearly superior to my 1962 Gibson C-1 Classical. The sound is rich and robust, with deep booming bass notes and crystal-clear trebles. The volume, projection, and intonation are excellent, and it is a delight to play. I am sure that you will be pleased with the appearance and performance of this unique instrument built by one of the great masters of European luthiery.
The case is a deluxe vintage hard case with royal blue plush interior, but it is probably not original to this guitar. The case is in very good condition, and fits the instrument perfectly. The latches and hinges are fully functional, the storage space is intact, and it offers excellent protection for this fine guitar.
Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. While payment by Paypal is preferred, cashier’s checks are acceptable; however, checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.
I have made every effort to describe and illustrate this unique guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. Its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before offering to purchase it.
Thank you for your interest in this rare instrument.