Wanted to let this forum know what a great builder Ken Hooper is. I had him build a pre-war D-18 style box for me, very very similar in sound and looks to my '36 shaded top. He's a one man shop in Elkin, NC and one of the nicest and most approachable luthiers you'll ever meet. I believe his star is rising rapidly in the heavens, so you better get on the train, before it pulls out of the station. Pls see the current issue of BU for a feature article on him.
Big, what is BU mag? and hows about trying to post a bunch of pics of your new axe?
I'm sure it's a beauty! I just purchased Hooper #11--a sunburst D-18 with beeswing mahogany--from a friend. I should have it next week and will post some photos and a review.
I haven't read the Bluegrass Unlimited article yet, but everyone I've talked to has nothing but great things to say about Ken's work
He is working on another build for me, and I must say he is just a great guy to talk with and is all about building a guitar to fit his customer.
I'll second everything that has been said here. I own #18, Red Spruce over Cuban Mahogany. Ken is a terrific builder and one of the nicest people you will ever meet.
Check out his website:
I've read alot about him on UMGF....Any idea how much his D-18 sells for...No pricing on his site.
Looks like a great builder...Good luck -
Mr Hper guitars look delightful - love his bursts.
I would also like to add in for consideration - Gerald Anderson - I saw one of his guitars last year and was most impressed - he also has had an article about him in Bluegrass unlimited.
An aged limey picker upon 12 fret Collingses etc.
"Walkin' on water 'cos I never learned to swim - lookin' for the holy grail" (thanks SE)
I think there are a lot of variables, but I will say Ken's price are an incredibly reasonable for a custom, hand built instrument.
Give him a call or send an email. He is very responsive and you'll find him to be a great guy to deal with, even if you are just inquiring.
I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on a Hooper D-18.Can't decide if I should go Carpathian or Adi.I already have 4 guitars in Adi tops so I'm leaning towards Carpathian.
It will be about a year wait though,but that's OK because I have a few horses in the stable.
My "real" dilemma though....I don't want 2 "18 style" guitars,as I currently own a KILLER Martin D-18V! I mean really,really good.Tone to die for with plenty of punch,but I'm hypnotized by those classic D-18 style guitars out there and I know the "V" is a vintage "style" model,but not with all the appointements of the big boys (hide glue,varnish,Adi,no tongue brace etc).I've played quite a few over the last couple of years.
I've spoken to Ken and his price is just too much to pass on,but my damn D-18V is so goooood!.I'm NOT going to own both,so will probably put my "V" up at some point. Argh,it's in flawless shape and this is not easy.
I hope I don't become one of the "sorry I sold it guys"! -
Best to all
Don't sell it. Get something else from Ken that won't negate or compete with the D18V. It doesn't make sense on any level...tonally or monetarily...unless the new one is an order of magnitude better in many respects.
Smokey mountain guitars has a couple listed with prices.
The have a d28 varnish cocobola for ~3700.
That same guitar would be about $8000 list from collings.
Easy to do the math on that one.
Eric,I appreciate the advice,but could not resist his reputation and pricing....The "V" will be moving out down the road. -
I predict you won't miss the D-18V at all once your Hooper lands.
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