It’s my goal to replicate the sound of the finest vintage guitars that are beautifully handcrafted, relatively lightweight, and very responsive to the touch.
I continue to learn more about the art & science of building instruments with each new guitar and strive to handcraft very musical guitars with exceptional tone, playability and timeless aesthetic beauty.
Darren has been a professional luthier building guitars full time since 1994. As of 2012 his total production is over 700 guitars.
He comes from a family of carpenters & cabinet makers and is a 4th generation carpenter/cabinet maker. His great grandfather emigrated to America from Germany working as a carpenter & cabinet maker. Both his grandfather and father were home-builders & cabinet makers so it was natural for Darren to learn the fundamentals of woodworking.
Having an interest in music he was attracted to the classical guitar and one day had an idea to build one for himself. As fortune would have it, he discovered a luthier nearby who was originally trained as a violin maker in Europe and then emigrated to America. Being a master luthier he successfully transitioned to guitar making. Darren was in his workshop admiring his fine guitars, asking questions how to make them and listening attentively as this master generously shared his knowledge & techniques.
He went home and replicated this luthier’s guitar on his own for his first guitar. After returning to show the master his new guitar Darren was encouraged to continue building. The master explained that rather than copying other luthier’s guitars it’s better to create your own original ideas. Darren made the decision to become a guitar maker and began his long journey on the path of becoming a master luthier himself. Being self-taught, he gained valuable knowledge over the years by collecting, playing and studying fine Spanish and flamenco guitars. In this way the old masters served as his teachers. After perfecting classical & flamenco guitars, he began building acoustic steel strings.
His custom guitars include a wide variety such as Torres, Hauser, Ramirez & Fleta models, 8-String guitars, double top and lattice braced classical’s, acoustic dreadnaught’s, parlour & 12-Strings. He uses a wide variety of premium tonewoods. His excellent knowledge and collection of premium domestic & exotic tonewoods helps set his guitars apart from the crowd.
Darren’s guitars are owned worldwide. A prolific builder with a very strong work ethic, he continues to learn and perfect his techniques always striving to make better instruments. He lives in Point Roberts, Washington. A very small island peninsula off the North West coast of Washington State and bordering Canada. It’s a very quiet and isolated location which affords him the opportunity to focus entirely on his craft of building guitars.
Darren R. Hippner builds his guitars all by himself in his one man shop. There are no Associates, Apprentices, Students, or Employees. Every Hippner Guitar is handcrafted by Darren alone using primarily hand tools and is truly an authentic hand-made instrument built with time tested traditional methods.
The term “hand made” is a much used phrase. It may be debated what constitutes a “hand made” instrument and there are fine instruments that are made together by several different people, in small & large shops, with various amounts of machinery and manufactured in factories.
The advantage of one person building an instrument is they have more control over every phase of building to produce a more consistently fine musical instrument. They are better able to maximize the potential of each piece of wood by voicing the wood and shaping the thickness graduations individually using touch, feel & tap-tones the same way the old master Italian violin luthiers and master Spanish guitar luthiers worked.
Darren is a prolific master luthier and has handcrafted a great number of guitars. He accomplishes this working alone with a great work ethic combined with carefully planned efficiency of construction in batches. Darren works in his small workshop, with only basic wood shop machinery and mostly hand tools, building guitars from dawn to dusk six and sometimes seven days a week.
* taken directly from the web site of Darren R. Hippner