This was the first quality guitar I ever bought, in 1980 at the age of 16, after my guitar teacher had told me I needed a new one. Until then I had been playing a Suzuki of 200 guilders (less than $ 100, 30 of which had been provided by the grandfather I’ve been named after, although he didn’t quite approve of me spending that money right away I seem to remember. If only he knew how much happiness he has given me by sponsoring my first guitar).
My guitar teacher had mentioned Hopf as being a good brand, but only from 1000 guilders onwards. At the store where I went they had indeed a Hopf for sale. Normally that one would have costed 1300 guilders, which was way too much for me at that time. But the top was slightly damaged (a superficial dent) and therefore the shop owner had been able to buy it for half price. As a result I only had to pay 800 guilders.
Since then I know how to recognize a good guitar: it keeps surprising you every now and then with its sound, even after more than 30 years. It has been built in 1978 according to its label. The sides and back seem to be made of beautiful solid maple, and it’s got a cedar top, accounting for its mellow sound.
This guitar was very likely made by Willy Hopf, as his son Dieter Hopf once mailed me after a question I had about this guitar. Dieter Hopf is a very prestigious luthier, building guitars ranging from a 1000 to 10,000 dollars.