So I did buy the guitar after all (discounted from the original €1800 price mentioned by Andreas), and I collected it almost 2 weeks ago when I was in Germany again. Dieter Hopf replied to my query, advising that it is a Grand Concierto (which is still being made with some modifications), and the 70’s versions, as built then, were similar to the Ramirez 1a.
Despite the 660 cm scale length, it is not that difficult to play - the low action and chunky neck suit me quite well. I don’t know how well my left hand will adjust to the stretches, though... let’s see if it can adapt. The sound is brighter than I remembered it; I think the luthier cleaned it up and changed the strings (maybe after I purchased it?), putting on bright-sounding Savarez New Crystal/Corum ones. I will have to experiment with other strings to reproduce that dark sound which so attracted me in the first place. Would anyone be able to recommend darker-sounding strings?
My teacher tried it out today and gave it a good rating, saying it’s responsive and gives a good sound, capable of more subtlety in soft tones than his teaching guitar. Even though he normally prefers spruce to cedar, he really liked my (cedar) Hopf. So satisfying to have my choice validated.
At Munich airport, I encountered a bit of resistance bringing the guitar on board - not from the check-in counter staff, but from the gate staff just before boarding. I went up to them to ask to be allowed to pre-board so that I could store the guitar safely and they were reluctant and somewhat unwilling (despite my being in business class). But they finally agreed to let me try fitting my guitar in a cabin compartment provided that, if it didn’t fit, I would agree to it being checked-in. Once on board, the case fit into the compartment easily, with room to spare for my backpack and coat. Thankfully, no problems/turbulence whatsoever and the guitar is completely fine and unaffected, safely at home with me.
I’ve been playing as much as I can, but being on a busy 10+ day business trip covering 4 cities (bouncing in & out of Munich every couple of days), it was really hectic and I barely played 15 mins every couple of days. I am now looking forward to getting to know and enjoy her, and improving my playing (of course, now my teacher and I picked out my mistakes *so* much more clearly!!).