Number 953 with Cocobolo back and sides, cedar soundboard and oval soundhole. And also number 945 with rosewood back and sides, spruce soundboard and round soundhole.
Typically woods used are 30 or more years old! Together they combine to give the instrument its very rich, but I think distinctively German tonality. To my imagination, the rich tonewoods generate a slightly dark reverberation – the aural version of continental chocolate perhaps!!
Gropp styling is distinctive: the soundhole has a minimalist “rosette” or even just a plain circle and this is in total contrast to the intricate marquetry used for the purfling and decoration of the back. Armin’ Gropp’s visual style I admit generates a “love it or hate it” reaction, I am in the former camp myself.
The finish too is characteristic of Armin Gropp. French polished to a semi-matt deep sheen with the open pore effect on the wood of the sides and back.
I find you have to be dragged away from these instruments once you start playing. A guitar guaranteed to stimulate and challenge its owner for years to come.
There are discreet but useful position markers at frets 5 7 and 9.
The guitar has a comfortable neck profile, slightly flattened at the back, and an almost imperceptable curvature of the fingerboard.
The guitar comes in its own hard case included in the price along with a few essential extras.
|Model||Concert Classical Guitar, Artist Model||Concert Classical Guitar, Artist Model|
|Luthier||Armin Gropp (individually signed and numbered)||Armin Gropp (individually signed and numbered)|
|Back Wood / Age||Cocobolo app. 30 years||Indian Rosewood app. 30 years|
|Sides Wood / Age||Cocobolo app. 30 years||Solid Indian Rosewood app. 30 years|
|Soundboard Wood / Age||Cedar app. 30 years||Solid Spruce app. 30 years|
|Soundboard grade||1 A (for Artist models)||1 A (for Artist models)|
|Soundboard||Slightly arched||Slightly arched|
|Binding / purfling||Indian rosewood / Marquetry inlay||Indian rosewood / Marquetry inlay|
|Rosette||Plain, double oval Strip: Indian rosewood / Cedar/ Indian rosewood||Hand-made|
|Finish||French polish (semi matt finish)||French polish (semi matt finish)|
|Fingerboard||Slightly curved||Slightly curved|
|Bridge saddle construction||Two part bone saddle||Two part bone saddle|
|Bridge wood||Brazilian Rosewood||Brazilian Rosewood|
|Bridge||12-hole tie-block.||12-hole tie-block.|
|Neck to body join||Spanish style||Spanish style|
|Head stock||Carved and joined to neck in the Gropp style of German dovetail.||Carved and joined to neck in the Gropp style of German dovetail.|
|Tuners||“Rubner”, Germany, model “Gropp”||“Rubner”, Germany, model “Gropp”|
|Position markers||Discreet makers at frets 5 7 and 9||Discreet makers at frets 5 7 and 9|
|Number of frets||20||20|
|Nut||Hand-carved bone||Hand-carved bone|
|Neck width / string spacing at nut||53mm 43mm||52mm 43mm|
|Neck width at 12th fret||63.5mm||63mm|
|Overall length / body length||975mm 475mm||982mm 472mm|
|Body widths (upper bout / waist / lower bout)||273mm 235mm 366mm||271mm / 238mm / 366mm|
|Body depth||87 – 92 mm||86 – 92mm|
|Case||Hard hand-made case included||Hard hand-made case included|
|Strings maker / type||Savarez / Corum Alliance, high tension||Savarez / Corum Alliance, high tension|
Prices to 07/02/2020: Artist in Cedar+Cocobolo £3499; Artist in Spuce+Rosewood £3149. 1 clasp on th Spruce+Rosewood hard case is binding.