Jazzgitarren - vintage German made archtop guitars

INTRODUCTION -- ROGER -- NEUBAUER -- LANG -- HOFNER -- HOYER -- MUSIMA -- HERRNSDORF -- OTWIN -- PERLGOLD -- HUTTL
SHADOW -- HOPF -- OTHERS-WG -- OTHERS-DDR -- KROCKER -- DYNACORD -- FRAMUS -- BOOKS -- BIANKA2005 -- LINKS -- FOR SALE -- TOP


HOPF/GLASSL - 320L Super (Natural)

A HOPF/GLASSL archtop guitar made in 50s. GLASSL means the luthier name Gustav Glassl who contracted with the famous music instrument company HOPF and his work is wellknown for its special manufacturing. Not only the Glassl works, but also the other HOPF guitars have had the original shapes, just like as seen on the SATURN 63 (famous HOPF guitar for using on AD of the Star-club, Humbrg and so on - see the below "Saturn" section).

As you can see, this guitar is a kind of copy of the guitar of Artur Lang, made by Gustav Glassl. This model, 320L Super, is the top-of-the-line archtop model by Hopf/Glassl. Top is solid spruce, Back and sides amde from solid flame maple. Fingerboard is ebony wood with the pearl-inlays (the shape also imitated with Lang's). Very Big and Fat Neck (nut width 42mm, but feel very fat and wide, maple and mahogany laminated) has the truss-rod. Headstock has the metal-plate with the "original Hopf" logo. On the tailpiece, same logo on it. Bridge parts seems to be made by handcraft later. (Originally this one had to have the "Hofner-Bridge"). Very Big body (lower bout 18inch - 447mm) with the french cutaway. Double additional bindings on the sides (as like the 50s Lang guitar has). The sound is well-balanced, but not loud. I guess the Glassl Archtops become tohard to find day by day. I love this sweetness!!




HOPF/GLASSL - 320L Super (Red Sunburst)
photos courtesy of Michael Valentin

In the beginning of 2009, Michael Valentin (owner of the Roger Super Cutaway on the ROGER page) gave me a great pictures of HOPF / 320SL Red Sunburst version - Thanks Michael and sorry for my late update.... On the above text, i mentioned that this would be a kind of COPY of Artur Lang Archtop by Gustav Glassl, but honestly said, it's not sure... Some differeces were appeared ; the Red 12th Inlay on the fingerboard, no Truss rod, and sure, the original red sunburst finish! Michael also gave me his impressions about this beauty red archtop, Here tis;

This Hopf 320L is fine example of a very balanced sounding archtop. It has clear trebles, a lucid bass, it sounds actually a bit metallic and warm at the same time. Very responsive with rather long sustain. A pretty loud guitar, but what is to expect from a 44cm (17.5 inch) wide body... The condition is remarkable, glossy unchecked finish in a deep redburst, select spruce top with flamed maple back and sides. The pickguard is missing and the bridge has been messed with, the rest is original.


-the relational guitar- HOPF 320S + Glassl 320SL
photo couresy of Klaus-Dieter Friedrich

These are from Mr. Klaus-Dieter Friedrich collection. The left one (same model with above mine) is made in late 50s - early 60s era by Glassl for HOPF. The Right sunburst guitar is handmade (for the special order of Mr.Friedrich) fish-shaped archtop. He brought me the pictures and the eposodes of Gustav Glassl.

In 1993, I visited him and he answered my many questions and showed me the only two or three guitars he had left. At that time he was 70 years old and got one leg amputated! I played the guitars shown in the "Elektro-Gitarren" book on page 50 with the numbered 4.1. and 4.2. I was very interested to buy the guitar with the number 4.2 but he said he would not sell it. "This guitar I will take with me in my grave". Before I went away I saw unfinished old guitar body (about 20-30 yeears old) full with sawdust and a old neck hanging in the corner of his workshop. I asked him, if he would finish it for me with a special engrved tailpiece and a special sunburst colour . About 6 month later he gave me the guitar. I made several pictures of the guitar and sent Mr. Glassl Christmas/New year greeting-cards of it. He called me one the phone (1993 and 1994) and thanked me for it. In 1995 he did not answer. Later I experienced that he was in the hospital at that time and has died.




HOPF/GLASSL - 320SL Super De Lux

A Special decorated top-of-the-line fish-shaped archtop made by Gustav Glassl for Hopf in late 50s - early 60s era. The model 320SL - Super Deluxe with checker binding and metal-headstock. The body is made from all-solid woods. Top is Spruce, Sides and Back is Flame Maple. No additional binding on the side. Very Narrow (Nut width is 41mm), but big fat neck. Fingerboard is Ebony (a little damaged...) with the decorated pearl inlays (the shape of it seems to be same with the Hoyer/Special's. I'm not sure the reference between the Hopf and Hoyer.... but, in fact, there's the different sizing in its fish-shaping between the Hopf's and the Hoyer's).

On The Headstock, there's the "GG" logo. of course, it means the initials of the luthier Gustav Glassl. The body width is, 370mm at the upper, 447mm at the lower. Body depth is 80mm. Neck scale is 642mm. The deep cutaway and deep curving on the top board. The Bridge seems to be replaced with the newer one, but is sounds nice! Deeper and louder than below one (the same model but made with laminated back). On the Top, This guitar has the traces of the "Sun-burn" places, it would be from the history of the installing metal-plated pickup... but who care?




HOPF/GLASSL - 320SL Super De Lux (refinished)

320 SL - Super De Luxe, the top-of-the-line archtop model by Hopf/Glassl again. Top is solid spruce, Sides are maple, Back is very framy but laminated maple . The neck is very narrow (Nut width is 40mm) but thick-fat one made by laminate with maple and mahogany. Fingerboard is rosewood featuring bar-type perloid position marks and zero-fret. The sides with the Tortoiseshell bindings not only on the edges of the body, but also it was additionaly on the middle of the side boards. The catseye holes shape and the charactaristic Fish-shape body were similer with the HOYER Special or Bianka. Body width: 447mm, depth: 82mm. scale length 647mm.

The body that the first owner was repainted in gross-pink (!) was refinished in natural recently in Japan. All parts are original one but the Bridge is not sure for me. There's no case for suiting this guitar, it's serious problem for me. Acoustically Bright and vintage deep sound. Missing original pickguard. but still the "Original HOPF" engraved tailpiece is left.




HOPF/GLASSL - 320SL Super De Lux photo courtesy of Stephen Candib

From the Collection of Mr. Stephen Candib in Tronto, Canada. He must be well-known for the Hofner-lover. He wrote the BEAUTIFUL texts about the Hofner collecting and researching onto the famous website "Vintage Guitars Info" (http://www.provide.net/~cfh/hofner.html) . He's collecting German Vintages more than 25 years (over the 100 guitars! amazing!)

This is the Hopf/Glassl 320SL - Super DeLuxe in REAL MINT condition! The black metal-plated puckups seems to be originally installed. On the black headstock, there's no metal-plated, the fingerboard would be Ebony, and the positionmarking is the pearl "Lang-shaped" inlays. The neck has the truss-rod. On the sides of the body there's an additional bindings running middle of the sideboard.


-the relational guitar- HOPF 320
From the Norbert Schnepel Collection

Thsi one is also the HOPF / GLASSL 320. But made in 60s era model. The "Fish-shape" body was replaced the normal archtop-body-design (but still the side-binding alive!). Generaly this has the same specs with above 50s era model.

The black-painted Pickup plate (engraved the HOPF logo in front of it, made by Schaller) was installed. The headstock logo script was different with above one. Bridge and tailpiece parts would be replaced parts.

The Legendary guitar collector SCOTT CHINERY had been owned the same HOPF/GLASSL 320 archtop. but after he died, his collection was sold to the several guitarshop in US, and they often listed the CHINERLY COLLECTION onto eBay. Recentry the "Chinery owned HOPF 320" was sold with 1200 US dollors on eBay.





HOPF - Explorer Standard (Multi-Brilliant-Coloring)

Yes This is not a Jazz guitar, but very strange and bizarre guitar manufactured by HOPF in 60s era. The Model called Exploler standard (where is the standard things??). The full hollow bodied electric guitar with psychederic (or futuristic) looking (changing color with lighting).

Neck was bolt-On jointing. One piece maple neck that has short scale (610mm). The top and back featuring the multi-brilliant-coloring (named by Mr Norbert Schnepel at the Book) can be removed off from the body for the electric circuit treatment. 2 Humbackers are originally made in Germany (the size will between the normal humbacker and the normal mini-humbacker, can't replace with other country's pickup). The metal parts on the middle of the vibrate-unit and the bridge is for the mute (not work directry with scale, works only between the bridge and vibrate-unit to cut the noisy resonance). All parts are original except the white plastic knobs are replaced to metal knobs. Clear Pickguard (with the HOPF logo) become into yellowed with its age. There's a 3-tone sunburst model was available. but this futuristic colored model was extremely rare.




HOPF - Saturn 63 (Natural)

The most successful Guitar made by Hopf Company, The Saturn 63 was made in 1963, and by using on the ad of the famous STAR CLUB / Humburg (see picture below right), this guitar become well-known for the music scene. Not only the fantastic and futuristic design, but also the full-massive sound of this guitar should fascinated a lot of young guitarist in Europe.

Most of the SATURN 63 was finished in 3 tone sunburst, but sometime you'll find the Saturn 63 in other color. I know the Natural finish (shown on picture) and Red Sunburst finish appears.

The neck is laminated with huge amount wood. Fat and strong, the midium scale. Fingerboard is rosewood. The body shape is look alike a copy of Fender Jaguar. The top was made by solid (thick) spruce wood, the body would be maple. Electric circuit is the same with the typical one on the German electric guitar, using the 3 pin DIN plug. The guitar shown on the pictures are missing the silver biinding parts on the lower soundhole, the silver-triming parts on the side of the body, and the mute unit. There's also the model with pickup select swich (on betwen the soundholes), and the special deluxe edition (with gold hardware parts, called SATURN De Luxe) were available.

Later, HOPF also made the SATURN BASS in 1967. with same design of this guitar.




HOPF - Saturn 63 (Sunburst)

You know the Hopf Saturn63 showed above has missed some parts. Recently I could get the beautiful SATURN63 in its original condition with reasonable price. General specs are same with above, but this is SUNBURST finish with long-vibrato unit. and, you can see the silver-trimming material in the edge of the body. Also the backboard was made by 2 piece wood (with center matching - you can see the black thin line on the center). White logo on the clear pickguard instead of the black one on the above model.

In this Model, I can find the stickered words "Patente a EVERLSTRAIT neck by HOPF". It means the mega-laminated construction for the guitar-neck is patented by the HOPF company. But you'll see the same construction with DYNACORD, HOYER solid guitars and more other German old guitars. They payed a money to the HOPF company???? I don't know. The short scaled (620mm) neck with zero frets, 2 powerful single coiled pickups. Later the SUTURN63 has the PU selecter swich on the topboard directly between the 2 soundholes, but why?? (i guess it must be a obstruct for play...)

-the relational guitar- HOPF CARINA

The One of the most facsinating guitar for me!! Made under the name of Hopf/Glassl, guessing this would be made by the luthier Gustav Glassl. The full size acoustic archtop of Hopf, maybe this was under the infulence of the success of Saturn 63.

The left acoustic model was from the collection of Stefan / Vintage-guitars.de. The old monochrome picture on the center is taken from the book "Electro-Gitarren", and the right is from my collection still in the process of repairing (pickups didn't work and all the electric circuit removed when I got it).



-the relational guitar- HOPF CARINA and HOPF SATURN 63

Beautiful coupe of the original Hopf Carina and Hopf Saturn 63, both were made in 1963. the photographer Axel Nerger gave me the story of these pics. The exhibition and the session were in October 1989, the article was released in german musician magazine "Soundcheck" published in February 1990.

Photographer: Axel Nerger http://www.axelnerger.info/fotografie/vintage-guitars/ seel the link page which contains a lot of beautiful pictures of vintage guitars, cars and more.




HOPF - Carina (Red Sunburst)
photos courtesy of Joerg Sowa

A German Collector (especially Hofner and Framus), Joerg Sowa had send me some of the beautiful pictures of the legendary Hopf / Carina, the Electric version. As I mentioned above, the Carina would be a kind of Prototype or very limited production bu the Hopf company in late 50s / early 60s. Although Some dings appeared, but most of the parts seems to be originals. An old German vibrate unit was installed (just like the many Hopf electric guitar has) .

In the comparison of my Hopf Carina (Finally I got it but now in the processes of repair... photos should be updated soon) it looks some differences on its parts - Tuning machinehead were the typical late 60s/early 70s european design. The diamond inlays on the fretboard were surely original. On the sides of the body, there's no silver lining but, as you could see in the many variations of Hopf / Saturn63, it must be the original, as well.

Highly grained maple back, wow, and original clear pickguard, so beautiful.




HOPF - Commodore (Copper-Gold Sunburst)
photo courtesy of Michael Wright / The Different Strummer


Mr. Michael Wright is well-known as one of a famous writer of the VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE (www. vintageguitars.com). He contacted and asked to me that he wanted to use my pictures of my German guitars onto the forthcoming column that introduce about the German Vintage guitars. Sure I sent more than 40 pics of my guitars. I'm looking forward to read his new column featuring my pics. The Magazine will be issued in this Summer.

Anyway, He also gave me the pistures of this guitar from his collection. The Hopf / Commodore colored with Copper Gold Sunburst. I guess This guitar probably made in 60s cause of the IDEAL pickup and the long tenon truss-rod. I didn't knnow how we call about this unordinally shape of the soundholes, but I know the same shape is used onto other HOPF archtop guitars. The Checker bibding and the Crazy shaepened bodyshape seems so Strange!! The Tailpiece have the engraving of the script "Commodore" and maybe the control panel was changed someday before. The most about this guitar was unknown for Both of us, This guitar seems a kind of extremely Rare, even though Nothing could found about this guitar at the book "Elektro-Gitarren" .



EASTWOOD - Saturn 63 (Sunburst) photo courtesy of Eastwood guitars

The Fabulous website MY RARE GUITARS is probably wellknow for the BIZARRE guitar lovers. Mr Mike Robinsnon (who runs the site) started the re-issue of rare vintage bizarre guitars with the brand-name of EASTWOOD GUITARS. The Eastwood guitars already got some major musicians relativities and performances like Earl Slick (David Bowie's guitarlist), Bill Nelson (pictured above right, aka Be Bop Deluxe, he also loves the Hoyer guitars, right?), and Boz Booler (ex Polecats - John I'm only Dancing!!! - also known as Morrissey's guitarist).

In 2006, The Eastwood Guitars reissued the Legendary Hopf Saturn 63. Some minor differences still left but it must be great work of MIKE! It beats not only the freakbeat mania and Bizarre Mania, but also must fascinate the many guitar nuts! The Vibrato unit replaced the Fender-Jagguar style unit ounted onto the top board directlly. The Original 3-pin Din plug replaces the mike cannon cable and also has the additional normal phone jack at the side of the body. Also Bridge parts clear pickguard mounted directly to the body. But who care? The Reissue has 3 color variations - Sunburst, Black and Natural. And the price feels too cheap! And I'm amazed that the Eastwood guitars has worldwide distribution! (even though in JAPAN!) The legendary futuristic shape of SUTURN 63 reborn in 21st Century. Check the Eastwood guitars websites.


INTRODUCTION -- ROGER -- NEUBAUER -- LANG -- HOFNER -- HOYER -- MUSIMA -- HERRNSDORF -- OTWIN -- PERLGOLD -- HUTTL
SHADOW -- HOPF -- OTHERS-WG -- OTHERS-DDR -- KROCKER -- DYNACORD -- FRAMUS -- BOOKS -- BIANKA2005 -- LINKS -- FOR SALE -- TOP

Jazzgitarren - vintage German made archtop guitars


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