An Eventful and Inspiring History


The history of the HOYER guitar brand began in 1874, when Franz Hoyer, son of an old German luthier family, opened his own workshop in Schönbach/Egerland (today Czech Repulic). Schönbach was an important part of the European musical instrument production at that time. After making lutes and zithers in the beginning, HOYER changed more and more to classic and folk  guitars. Later, the prospering company was continued by his son Joseph Hoyer.


In 1945, the family had to leave Schönbach (now Czech Republic) and settled at  Tennelohe near Erlangen in Germany. Erlangen was an area where many instrument and accessory makers who had come from Egerland during this time settled.

Arnold Hoyer, Joseph Hoyer’s son, reorganised the HOYER company and after a short time the brand became well-known for it’s good quality.


HOYER was one of first German guitar companies to print a brochure after the second world war in 1948 (see right). The arch-top models ‘Herr im Frack’ and ‘Solist’ were very popular professional instruments during this period. Both models are now collectors items with cult status.


After the great epoch of the acoustic archtop guitars in the 50’s, instruments were more frequently equipped with pickups, followed by semi-acoustic models, and by the end of the 50‘s, by solid guitars.


After Arnold Hoyer’s passing in 1967 his son Walter A. Hoyer took the lead of the HOYER company, which focused more and more on Electric- and Folk Guitars.

During this period the quality of the HOYER Guitars achieved high standards. This was a period of not only many attractive and popular models, but also some very exotic creations. An extreme and rare example was the ‘Foldaxe’, a guitar with a fold-away neck!


In 1977 Walter A. Hoyer left the company. With famous and qualified staff, for example the well-known luthier Walter Krahl, the new HOYER owners had good success with guitar models of highest quality levels, like the legendary ‘Black Lady’, the ‘Eagle’ the ‘Taurus’ Bass and some USA influenced styles, all equipped with through-necks and branded pickups and hardware.


The HOYER company stopped it’s production in autumn, 1987.


After acquisition by a German musical instrument wholesaler, the brand was revitalized in the 90-ties with

high end German production and far East production models.


In 2005 the HOYER brand name and trademark was acquired by Michael Compernass, owner of

AMC Compernass Music Trade and HOYER GUITARS e.K.. He developed a wide range of

German made models in a very high quality level and marketed the guitars successfully.


In 2009, the UK Company, Ritter Brands Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement with

HOYER GUITARS e.K./Germany for the purchase of the Hoyer brand name, trademarks

and intellectual property rights. Martin Ritter, the company director, aims to bring HOYER

Guitars to the global market and endeavours to preserve and build on it's long heritage.

Michael Compernass will continue to contribute his expertise to support the growth of the HOYER

brand and HOYER GUITARS e.K. will remain the exclusive distributor for Germany and oversee

the production of the ‘Made in Germany’ instruments.


The NAMM Show January 2010 did see the global launch of the new Hoyer Electric Guitar collection:

The Ern, Eagle, Arrow, White and Black Lady, as well as the Hoyer Eagle Bass.


Ritter USA LLC has secured the rights to the Hoyer brand name, trademarks and intellectual property rights.

EST. 1874



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Photography: Donnell Spencer jr and Max Brilo

Artist featured: Nick Mundy, GRAMMY nominated and PLATINUM selling Songwriter and Producer.

HOYER Guitars, Established in 1874 - Bringing the Past to the Future, by Martin Ritter. © Ritter USA LLC/USA.