Hippner Guitar

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bear
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Hippner Guitar

Post by bear » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:53 pm

I would like some opinions regarding the various styles of Hippner Guitars. http://www.hippnerclassicalguitars.com/ ... itars.html Click on models classical. My interest in Hippner is that they offer a 640mm at a reasonable price.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Giustina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

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David Norton
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by David Norton » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:05 pm

I've owned several Hippners, and still have two. He makes a very good guitar for the price. One caveat, which is well-established, is that his finish work is often weak. Both the ones I still own have serious cosmetic issues. So do the guitars I own built by other makers, which were wonderful until I played them for a few weeks and changed strings and so on.

If you want a shiny visually stunning piece of furniture, you'll likely be unhappy with Hippner. If you want a very good sounding hand-made instrument for a fair price, you'll be pleased.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

Supperconductor
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Supperconductor » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:24 pm

David_Norton wrote:I've owned several Hippners, and still have two. He makes a very good guitar for the price. One caveat, which is well-established, is that his finish work is often weak. Both the ones I still own have serious cosmetic issues. So do the guitars I own built by other makers, which were wonderful until I played them for a few weeks and changed strings and so on.

If you want a shiny visually stunning piece of furniture, you'll likely be unhappy with Hippner. If you want a very good sounding hand-made instrument for a fair price, you'll be pleased.
I have to agree with everything David said above. My Hippner has some mild finish issues which I consider inconsequential given the sound and volume of my Hauser model. If you order a standard model directly from Hippner, he even offers a 30 day trial period. If it's of any consequence, my teacher loves my new guitar.
- Kam

2012 Hippner Hauser SP/IR
[Savarez Corum 500R Normal Basses
La Bella RN-L Rectified Nylon Light Trebles]

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bear
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by bear » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:47 pm

Most of my guitars are from the 60's and well played. A little finish issue shouldn't be a problem.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Giustina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

jake39
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by jake39 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:26 am

I've played three Hippners. A Bouchet a Smallman and a Hauser .All played and sounded beautifully,and all had sloppy finish work. A lot of people get on him for that but it's addressed in his pricing.I don't think there is a better value out there if you are not hung up on some cosmetic issues. I've had my expensive french polished guitar since May and have already put a cosmetic hurting on it.Hippners are for playing and a thirty day money back guarantee tells me something about the integrity of the maker.I Wish I bought the Bouchet. :?

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David Norton
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by David Norton » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:22 am

+1
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Scot Tremblay » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:07 am

Could anyone be more specific about the cosmetic issues? I've not seen one of Hippners guitars and I'm curious, that's all.
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

jake39
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by jake39 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:18 am

On the three that I looked at there were blotchy spots in the french polish on the soundboard that were clearly visible. It probably would have to be sanded down then reapplied and blended in those areas(I'm definitely talking above my pay grade)but instead he lets them go and discounts them. And the person that was showing them to me mentioned that there was not enough filler applied to the back and sides(again check with a luthier) to fill in the porous rosewood so it looked kind of pock marked . Again I'm not trained as a luthier or french polisher but these inconsistencies were easily visible to the untrained eye.

jake39
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by jake39 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:20 am

jake39 wrote:On the three that I looked at there were blotchy spots in the french polish on the soundboard that were clearly visible. It probably would have to be sanded down then reapplied and blended in those areas(I'm definitely talking above my pay grade)but instead he lets them go and discounts them. And the person that was showing them to me mentioned that there was not enough filler applied to the back and sides(again check with a luthier) to fill in the porous rosewood so it looked kind of pock marked . Again I'm not trained as a luthier or french polisher but these inconsistencies were easily visible to the untrained eye.
I didn't see that you're a luthier. I'm sure you can figure out what I'm babbling about. :)

Supperconductor
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Supperconductor » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:25 am

On my Hauser model, there are two visible knots in the wood used at the back of the neck. Also, on the spruce top at the bottom of the guitar, there's a break in the decorative binding. I've also noticed a few pock marks on the rosewood sides. The french polish of the top is also not perfect.
- Kam

2012 Hippner Hauser SP/IR
[Savarez Corum 500R Normal Basses
La Bella RN-L Rectified Nylon Light Trebles]

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David Norton
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by David Norton » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:55 pm

Keep in mind that Darren puts out 50-60 guitars per year, working solo from his home in Point Roberts WA, a little geographic anomaly due south of Vancouver BC which "belongs" to the USA only because it was overlooked when the land surveyors set out the national boundaries way-back-when. He builds in batches of 10 to 12 guitars, and generates 4 or 5 batches per year. He works alone, 14 hour days and 7 days a week.

I've spoken to him a few times about the finish work, and said that if he'd do a better job on finishing he'd be able to sell the guitars for more money. His response has consistently been along the lines of "people who buy my guitars obviously like them, I'm not lacking for business, I have many repeat customers*, and if someone wants to pay more money for a perfectly finished guitar there's a lot of other makers out there."

*including me!
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

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David Norton
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by David Norton » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:01 pm

bear wrote:I would like some opinions regarding the various styles of Hippner Guitars. http://www.hippnerclassicalguitars.com/ ... itars.html Click on models classical. My interest in Hippner is that they offer a 640mm at a reasonable price.
That's his old website. the newer one (Spring 2012) is here:

http://drhippnerguitars.com/
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Scot Tremblay » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Finishing can take up to 50% of the time it takes to produce a handmade guitar, for sure. At the yearly output of 50 - 60 guitars, by oneself, it would be necessary to find areas to cut down on build time. Finishing would be the most obvious spot to cut time. As long as the finish protects the wood from damage then no matter what it's visual appeal is, it's doing it's job.

We've become so tuned into a spotless finish on our instruments. I have to admire Mr. Hippner for being able to produce a respected product , one which his customers are most happy to look beyond the surface to see the most important elements of the instrument, tone and playability. Good for him.
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

pellkartoffel

Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by pellkartoffel » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:03 pm

I know nothing about this but have been reading with interest. So I wonder if it would be possible to "outsource" the finishing off a guitar? Does the finish affect sound much, so that it would be important that someone who understands the luthier "vision" for the guitar does it, or is it something a skilled worker who maybe is a paygrade or two below a luthier do this? Just wondering if that might be a way to increase efficiency.

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Les Backshall
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Les Backshall » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:13 pm

pellkartoffel wrote:I know nothing about this but have been reading with interest. So I wonder if it would be possible to "outsource" the finishing off a guitar? Does the finish affect sound much, so that it would be important that someone who understands the luthier "vision" for the guitar does it, or is it something a skilled worker who maybe is a paygrade or two below a luthier do this? Just wondering if that might be a way to increase efficiency.
In general, the less finish the better - that's why a lot of makers french polish shellac, which goes on ultra thin. As Scott says, it really only need to protect the wood.
Quite a few makers do outsource the finishing: and, if you spend 50% of your time on that, then a simple calculation tells you that you could have built another complete guitar instead. Sounds like a good proposition.

Les
Lester Backshall, Guitar Maker - Aylesbury UK

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