Interviews and Media
September 2013 Interview from the Minnesota Bluegrass newsletter
Mandolin Sessions Interview
“The Mandolin has been part of Hans Brentrup’s life for as long as he can remember. His father was a member of a mandolin orchestra in Germany. He once built a mandolin from an apple crate using tuners salvaged from a destroyed instrument. Hans’ father always had a mandolin around the house and played a lot of classical music.
After serving in the military and deciding that college wasn’t for him, Hans went to a vocational school to study cabinet making. While there he built his first guitar. After completing the course in cabinet making he attended Red Wing Vocational School for their first instrument repair class. At that time the course was strictly violin repair, but Hans built his second guitar and forms for three different sizes of guitars. He worked at a couple of music stores during the 1970’s building guitars, mandolins, and doing repairs. He returned to cabinet making in the 1980’s when the market for acoustic instruments collapsed.”
Read more: Mel Bay Interview with Hans
Guitarmaker Magazine Issue 47 “The Mandolin Issue”
“Hans Brentrup: German or Italian spruce isn’t really any easier to work with than red, Engelmann, Sitka…they’re all about the same. I wouldn’t say that they are better either, what they do is give a different color to the tone. Your basic red spruce gives you that Loar tone, fundemental, woody, some folks even say dry. German spruce warms things up considerably. It’s the richest sounding, very complex with a lot of overtones. Italian seems a great compromise with a solid, rich bass, trebles with screaming clarity, and a moderate amount of complexity.”