Mittenwald 10-string Bass-Guitar
Adolf Hornsteiner

Early 1900's harp guitar can be enjoyed "as is"

Here is a well-loved and well-worn 10-string Mittenwald, Germany instrument built by Adolf Hornsteiner during the first few decades of the 20th century.

Because of condition it is being offered "as is" at the price of a wall-hanger - but it's perfectly playable and sounds very nice - round and mellow. 

The spruce top has plenty of wear, several repaired cracks and one open crack that needs attention (a simple job).  The bridge was removed and had material shaved off the back side - probably to lower the action - and so the ends are a little funky.  There are tiny screws that may or may not  be holding it in at the front - original?  Back and sides are solid maple with a repaired center back seam, a split at the tail and a bit of wear on the sides.  Bass side of the neck has a repair of some sort.

Curiously, the neck meets the body at the 11th fret.  Action and intonation are quite decent.   This instrument is very similar to another theorboed Hornsteiner guitar on but has a bass extension quite a bit longer.

Tuning is standard with basses descending D-C-B-A, all nylon.  All tuners are working great - the bass-side neck tuner buttons are replaced and do not match the others.

Bottom line: These instruments are offered almost weekly on EBay, usually from Germany - but are all but impossible to judge as far as quality, playability and tone.   So they are extremely risky to bid on, which is a shame, as they are a "best kept secret" for harp guitarists looking for a nylon string sound, or novices wishing just to try the sub-bass idea before investing in a better instrument and/or steel string.  Expert Benot Meulle-Stef always has some available at BMS Guitars in Belgium, as do a few other reputable European dealers from time to time. 

For Americans, choices are to pay extra shipping from these sources, roll the dice on EBay, or check out the occasional listings here.  I'll always be happy to make these available as entry level harp guitars for aspiring players

-Gregg Miner, the "harp guitar pope"


  • Spruce top
  • Maple back & sides
  • Necks unknown (painted black)
  • Fingerboard, Bridge unknown (dyed ?)
  • Tuners: Geared
  • Strung in nylon, 4 basses tuned descending D-C-B-A
  • 24-3/4" scale
  • 1-11/16" nut width
  • Dimensions: 14" lower bout, 2-7/8" depth at tail block, ~43-1/2" total length
  • No case

    Price: $425 SOLD

    Shipping not included

    Email to place a hold or obtain payment terms and conditions.

    On Consignment

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