It was only by chance (or maybe it was fate
?) that I started to learn to play the hurdy gurdy and by the same chance - as I live in Frankfurt am Main - that I bought a Reichmann hurdy gurdy. Initially, I had wanted to buy a renaissance HG (as these were the most inexpensive he has) but Kurt Reichmann didn't have any at that time. However, he was working on a series of lute backed ones. As he needed someone to help him in his workshop (sanding and polishing) it was a case of being at the right place at the right time - it saved me EUR 500 and was very interesting . In addition, I had "first choice" so to speak out of the series of approx. 18 lute backed HGs. That was spring 2006. Although I've heard from other players that it can take some time before a new HG sounds good, I didn't have that problem with mine.
Then I ordered one of the soft HG cases that Neil Brook sells - it really is fantastic. As it's made to fit a large lute backed HG but mine is smaller, I was able to get almost all of my clothes in there as well when I went home by train to London to visit my family last year. And two years ago I had a capo added (for the trompette to change from c to d) and exchanged the second chanterelle for a low g. I'd never played the two high chanterelles together as it was far too loud!
Here are some pictures of my gurdy: