Hippner Guitar

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Scot Tremblay » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:18 pm

It's possible to outsource finishing, for sure. There are well respected luthiers who do outsource their finishing for various reasons.

However, in the price point that Darren is offering his work it would seriously cut into his income. On the otherhand, by freeing up the finishing time more time could be put towards building more instruments. Maybe push the output to 70 or 80 instruments to balance things out. It would be up to the luthier to decide if outsourcing would fit their needs and make that call.

If the finish supplied by a particular luther is indeed a problem, a simple solution would be to order the instrument unfinished and commission another luthier or finisher to do the job. I do know of a few luthiers who are willing to do that so, though not common, it's not unknown.
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

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Michael.N.
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:53 pm

Scot Tremblay wrote: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.
Wow. That's an incredibly high output for a single luthier!
One of the easiest methods of finishing is to do a couple of brushed on coats of very thin Shellac followed by a few coats of a wipe on finishing oil. So easy that it's difficult to get it wrong. It's probably the best policy if one wants a quick and good looking finish i.e. keep it simple. It may not be as durable as many finishes out there but it really is incredibly easy to add another coat of oil as needed.
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Steve Ganz
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Steve Ganz » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:16 pm

I don't think "finish" in this discussion simply refers to the shellac. Finish refers to caring about small things in the guitar. One fret too high, one scratch in the wood not attended to. For each luthier, each production situation, there is a limit to the care that can be given to each phase of work, and ultimately, each guitar. Darren has always been more interested in producing numbers rather than the ultimate guitar, which given his personality, is probably the correct direction. Like Scot Tremblay, I applaud Darren's numbers and his ability to be transparent in his priorities. I know Darren personally. Each luthier's personal quirks are reflected in their works. Many years ago, a young builder wrote me a letter asking me to start a company with him and for me be in charge of finishing his guitars. I declined for many reasons, but the main one was that I want to have a very high quality product, and that means much more than just the shellac finish looking good.
Steve

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Scot Tremblay » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:25 pm

Michael.N. wrote: Wow. That's an incredibly high output for a single luthier!
Well, just in case there's any confusion, it's not me making that many guitars a year. :shock: I'm not sure I could do that many in one year....actually, I'm very sure I couldn't or wouldn't even want to.

There are a couple North American luthiers, I know, who are pushing out 40+ guitars a year...or at least they say they are. But in order to do those numbers by oneself, corners need to be cut. It's up to the luthier to decide (and ultimately the client) which corners are the least important to the instrument they want to be known for and "X" them.
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

simonm
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by simonm » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:57 pm

jake39 wrote:I've played three Hippners. ... .All played and sounded beautifully, ...
I don't think there is a better value out there ...
....Hippners are for playing and a thirty day money back guarantee tells me something about the integrity of the maker. .....
The most important messages as far as I am concerned. Long may he continue to satisfy guitar players. Let collectors with more money keep luthiers, who have made other choices, employed. It would be very boring if everyone made the same choices and trade-offs.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:09 pm

Scot Tremblay wrote:
Michael.N. wrote: Wow. That's an incredibly high output for a single luthier!
Well, just in case there's any confusion, it's not me making that many guitars a year. :shock: I'm not sure I could do that many in one year....actually, I'm very sure I couldn't or wouldn't even want to.

There are a couple North American luthiers, I know, who are pushing out 40+ guitars a year...or at least they say they are. But in order to do those numbers by oneself, corners need to be cut. It's up to the luthier to decide (and ultimately the client) which corners are the least important to the instrument they want to be known for and "X" them.
Yes, I understood that you were referring to Darren Hippner.
If it's any consolation I think I'd be pushed to make 15 Guitars per year. If you think about it 50 - 60 per year is 1 guitar in less than 1 week - presumably the odd holiday is taken + all the paperwork and everything else that is involved. It's an astonishing output and he obviously has enough clients to warrant producing that many.
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gitgeezer
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by gitgeezer » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:14 pm

I took delivery of a 640 Hauser from Darren in September—German spruce and Brazilian rosewood. I had selected the Brazilian from some samples he had shown me. It was the straightest-grained Brazilian I had seen in a long time. It’s the only Brazilian I’ve ever owned, and as an old Martin guy, I really appreciate straight-grained Brazilian.

When I was ready to make the final payment, he knocked $400 off the price. When the guitar arrived, I saw why—it had a string ding below the 1st string. The only other cosmetic issue, if it can be called that, was a very light but even finish on the top. I decided to accept the light finish, as it might make the top more responsive. The rest of the guitar was well made and well finished. The finished Brazilian was even nicer than I had hoped it would be.

When I contacted Darren about the string ding, this was his reply: “sorry about that . i had 3 ties on there but it obviously wasn’t enough. make sure to use 4 ties." It seemed odd that an experienced luthier was just learning that you need at least four ties on the 1st string.

I could have sent it back, but I was in love with the Brazilian. It also has a good sound and a smooth action. And then there was that $400 concession.

Podobin
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Podobin » Mon May 15, 2017 12:06 am

Hi everyone! I am resurrecting this old thread about Hippner Guitars. I have seen with some interest these Hippner guitars. It seem that they are in what I might call the "accessable luthier" category, along with the likes of Cervantes, GV Rubio and maybe Navarro. Anyone with any recent satisfaction with these models? I have had some interest in his Santos and Rodriguez models. What might be the current opinion of these out there by current owners/players??
Thanks much!!

:casque:

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bear
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by bear » Mon May 15, 2017 11:22 am

Podobin wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 12:06 am
Hi everyone! I am resurrecting this old thread about Hippner Guitars. I have seen with some interest these Hippner guitars. It seem that they are in what I might call the "accessable luthier" category, along with the likes of Cervantes, GV Rubio and maybe Navarro. Anyone with any recent satisfaction with these models? I have had some interest in his Santos and Rodriguez models. What might be the current opinion of these out there by current owners/players??
Thanks much!!

:casque:
When I opened this thread 5 years ago, David Norton was the first to respond. He gave me some sound advice that I regret not taking. The 640 that I ended up with is a nice guitar, but for a variety of reasons, I may have been better off with a Hippner. I haven't had any recent experience with his guitars and haven't even window shopped since getting my Della Guistina.
If, I were to go looking for an reasonably priced luthier made, he'd be at the top of the list. Of course these days I'm focused on spending my kids inheritance so I'd search for another Della Guistina.
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

MessyTendon
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by MessyTendon » Tue May 16, 2017 7:01 pm

Seeing one in person on the used market, I thought...wow...good value. Don't be fooled by the price points or quality. Maybe the finish is imperfect, maybe there are less than flawless matchings of woods, perhaps one or two faults.

But then listen...these guitars are responsive, beautiful sounding instruments. You can put your well earned money towards Hippner knowing his sound is lovely, and cosmetics are a secondary importance...the wood is good quality and his joint work is fine.

If you've got 10k to blow on a guitar, go ahead, if you've wanted a sweet guitar without paying for the premium marquee, Hippner is a cost conscious builder who makes great instruments.

The biggest bargain, is used Hippner...find a guy who has a high disposable income and is on guitar safari, one of these perfectionists who can't live with a few marks of character. I've seen amazing Hippners on the used market for 1500$...and they are just sweet to hear.

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Tomzooki
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Re: Hippner Guitar

Post by Tomzooki » Wed May 17, 2017 3:50 pm

I own two guitars - soon three - made by an amateur luthier, Serge Robert from Mont-St-Grégoire, Quebec. He is a retired university math teacher. His instruments are full of cosmetic defects - he himself says so ;-) But he seems to have a good luthier flair, and he uses good woods, so the result is quite amazing: his instruments have a really nice sound, good projection, and are easy to play. I paid 800$ CAN for my Lacote.... No need to say I don't care about the cosmetics while I have fun to play on it!! Now I am waiting for a 7 strings 607mm Stauffer copy 8)
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