Briefly, Gerold Karl Hannabach was born in 1928 in Luby (formerly Schönbach), Czechoslovakia, five miles from Markneukirchen, Germany, the famous town that produced C. F. Martin and numerous other guitar makers. His father was a string maker, and his Uncle founded the famous firm of Hannabach Guitar Strings. He studied violin and cello in Schönbach, was conscripted into the Germany army in World War II when he was 13 or 14, was captured and held in France at age 16. After the Second World War, the 500 locals in Bubenreuth, Germany, agreed to accept in their midst 2,000 musical instrument makers from Schönbach --half the village!--who were essentially deported there as refugees. Hannabach began making guitars with fellow Schönbacher POW Arnold Hoyer in Bubenreuth at age 17 upon his release in 1945. Bubenreuth music-makers included Oscar Teller, Roderich Paesold, Armin Hanika, Framus, Hofner, and scores of others.
Hannabach opened his own guitar making shop in Bubenreuth in 1953, and continued to build instruments until his death in April of 2015. There is a video documentary of Hannabach in the NAMM Oral History Archives, recounting (in German) his early life and guitar making career, and an extensive photo documentary of his career in its prime.
Hannabach visited the renowned Spanish guitar maker Ignacio Fleta twice in Barcelona, Spain, and learned building techniques from him to complement the traditional techniques of the best German makers.
As a teacher, Hannabach has instructed many luthiers as apprentices over the years, including Michael Sander, Ludger Wannenmacher, and the husband-wife team of Brunswicker & Apelt (with whom he continued to teach hands-on seminars regularly until his death). Among his protégés are the Swiss guitar-maker Ermanno Chiavi and the acclaimed American luthier Darren Hippner [who actually wrote me asking for pictures of this guitar]. Among the many international performers who have played Hannabach guitars are such as Pepe Romero. Hannabach offered seminars and master classes across Europe, published articles, and even wrote a history of German guitar-making. Late in his life, Hannabach was instrumental in opening the Bubenreuth Stringed Instrument Museum.
This particular Hannabach guitar seems to have been made in the 1970's in Bubenreuth, near Markneukirchen, still one of the centers of German luthiery. The label has the number 365 and what I guess is a model name of "Gerold"—presumably reflecting Meister Hannabach’s first name--but I don't know what that means relative to an actual date or specs.
The guitar seems to have a cedar top [the softness of which accounts for the inevitable dings visible in the pictures], a maple neck, and beautifully flamed dark maple back and sides. The rosewood fret board has a zero fret and ivory position markers on the treble edge; the frets are brass [and could use some dressing]. in addition to the unusual position markers, the fretboard is elevated [kinda like the Thomas Humphrey/C.F. Martin high end classicals of the 1990s] and free floating within the neck joint, making it adjustable through the heel [kinda like the "revolutionary" adjustable neck joints recently introduced by Babich and others]. In other words, it has some collectible historical interest in addition to its intrinsic beauty and lovely sound.
Playing data: it has a 650mm scale and a standard 52mm classical nut. The action may be a bit high, but presumably is adjustable, and despite the lousy strings currently on it, the sound is extremely resonant--much more so than my Gibson C-0, for example. There are dings and scratches, and I believe two old repaired cracks in that soft top, but the beauty and interest of this guitar shines through this, as I hope the pictures illustrate.
The case is a vintage European-style hard-shell case, but it clearly is not original. It is a bit large for the guitar body, but it is in good structural condition and offers solid protection for this fine instrument.
Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.
I have made every effort to describe and illustrate this outstanding guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. Please read the description carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before purchasing this guitar. Its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing.
Thank you for your interest in this fine guitar.
Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.
From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is $55 due to constantly rising shipping costs unless a specific listing says otherwise; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.
I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.