5/29/2015

1960s Hopf Classical Guitar




This German-made Hopf (made by Framus, by the looks of it) classical has an all-laminate body and a super-laminate (like Stratabond) maple neck. The bridge and fretboard (both rosewood) are the only "real" solid wood on it save for the spruce bracing. That aside... it's got a good, mellow sound that suits its low-brow role as a student folk guitar.

My work on it only included re-buttoning the tuners, lubing them, cleaning it up, and giving it a good setup. The neck is bolt-on and so reaching to the 12th fret and beyond is quick and easy, and the build is sturdy and workmanly. It's the perfect campfire guitar -- you can hand it to anyone and not care one bit for its safety.


All "detailing" is faux -- faux binding, faux rosette. The top is laminate spruce while the back and sides are laminate maple with flamed veneer on the sides. Its finish is severely worn from years of use and storage and shows nicks, dings, finish crackle, and weather-check all over.


Everything is original to the guitar save new black tuner buttons and a replacement (old, 50s) endpin. Here at the headstock you can see how serious the ultra-laminate maple for the neck is. This stuff is super-sturdy and almost warp-proof. Who needs a truss rod or extra reinforcement? All the old Framus-made necks like this rarely if ever need adjustment and I've seen a banjo one run-over by a car that remained true while the case around it was destroyed.

The nut is your typical wide classical type but the neck thickness front/back is thinner than average with a flat profile to the back.


Side dots, rosewood board, and original frets in great shape. I didn't even have to touch them. The neck is, of course, dead straight.

The strings are Aquila Nylguts and they have that good, percussive, gut-y sound that suits older guitars well. I'd love to try some rope-core hybrid strings on this... though those are a bit expensive for a guitar like this!








The neck has one bolt to hold it on and it's attached to a fastened-in metal socket in the neck. This is a very sturdy joint and very stable, especially when you see how tightly the joint itself is made (compared to, say, an EKO or Fender from the same time).



Because there's no heel, the neck feels faster than your average classical.

1 comment:

William said...

thank you! Looking for a low end classical to see if I could take it up again (with no nails on R/H due to my steel string finger style playing. A friend of mine had one of these. Can't quite decide if its worth $100, sound is pretty limited. Campfire for sure though.