TL;DR With the Höfner HM83, you’re getting an unusual guitar that I personally find to be delightful both visually and tonally. The guitar should come with a case though.
The overall look of the guitar is very different than most other classical guitars. The photos online can’t and don't really represent the “matte” finish very well, especially in comparison with the standard high gloss of most classical and acoustic guitars. The matte finish is - as far as I can tell - an oil finish, and when you hold the guitar, the sense that you’re holding an object made of assembled wood pieces is very strong. The high gloss of other guitars, to my mind, serves to obfuscate the essential nature of the instrument. With the HM83, it feels like wood grain in your hands, and there’s an immediacy to the instrument that’s exciting. The spruce, maple, and rosewood pieces give the instrument a honeyed tan aesthetic. It even has a light and pleasant new guitar smell.
Hearing the first tones from the guitar felt electrifying. I’d been testing a Cordoba C9 at the time, and I found that to be pleasant but not very thrilling. The trebles were especially bland, and the sustain not very good. In contrast, the Höfner HM83 felt like an explosion of sound right out of the box. If you’re used to a darker/oscuro tone, it might even feel controversial. It can be driven to quite loud volumes, and there’s a definite bias towards satisfying mid-range tones (I assume that’s the maple back and sides influence).
That said, the separation between notes is crystal clear, the bass tones are very satisfying (especially with Höfner Premium strings), and the trebles can - especially as you work up the fret board - really bloom into rich singing tones.
For those who care, the tap tone and the open air tone are around G#.
* The intonation, neck relief, and action are good.
* The Höfner strings that were on the guitar by default sounded great but were absolutely unforgiving when fretting on the wound strings if you didn’t get right up to the fret. I changed those to D’Addario Pro Arte Carbon HT strings, and that improved (though I don’t like the sound as much). I plan on trying the Höfner strings again though.
* The machines are shiny, solid, and serve their purpose very well.
My one disappointing is that the guitar doesn’t come with a case. For a guitar that costs over €1000 to be shipping in various layers of cardboard boxes is not a hypothetical risk: the first copy of the guitar I received had a shattered headstock and cracked neck due to negligence by the shipping company. Thomann’s excellent customer service provided a replacement quickly, but it was such a waste of a good instrument. The Cordoba C9 I tested came in a case, and this should as well.
With all that said, when I’m playing the guitar I’m happy. When I’m not playing the guitar, I want to be playing the guitar.