|Gustav Fredell Guitars
I heard that Gustav was going to finish his 30 months with the one and only Ervin Somogyi soon so I asked him if he would like me to represent him in the UK. I was delighted when he agreed. We spent a crazy few days exchanging emails where we seemed to agree on just about everything! From the under appreciation of the commoner/cheaper woods such as sitka, mahogany and Indian rosewood to design features and models there was a meeting of minds.
Here's what the Fretboard Journal had to say about the guitar Gustav took to the 2012 Montreal Guitar Show.
"Gustav Fredell size 0. My favorite. Gustav spent four years studying the craft of furniture and guitar-making in his homeland of Sweden. A little over a year ago he began a 30 month apprenticeship with Ervin Somogyi. Given the quality of this instrument that he has completed while halfway through his studies, this young man has unlimited potential. This 0 sized guitar was the most responsive guitar I played. A beautiful, sensitive, little thing. Not for the blues, but perfect for some quiet, late-night fingerstyle on the deck out back, under a clear sky, with a glass of fine wine close at hand."
I am expecting my first guitar from Gustav next year and am really looking forward to working with him.
Fredell XSSoldThis is the very guitar mentioned above. Its here in the UK throughout October for anyone to try. Gustav is keen to have as much feedback as possible so come and try out a guitar by a rising star in the world of renowned luthiers and perhaps have some influence on his path.
Here's my thoughts.
As widely reported it has very strong and well defined bass. I have compared it to many OM sized guitars and its stands its ground easily. Gustav's aim was to get the sound of a bigger guitar form a baby and he has achieved that, with perhaps the only exception being that it (unsurprisingly) has a little less sustain than some. It has warmth, projection and definition up there with the very best, the playability is excellent and its very responsive.. but its what you think that matters. Do come and let Gustav know what you think.
David Browne: This very special little guitar is much more attractive in person than it looks in the photos. It achieves that most difficult thing; a remarkably deep bass without sacrificing rich, sweet trebles. You can hear Ervin Somogyi's influence, particularly in the bass response but it's clearly Gustav's own design, and is quite unique.
Steve Bennett: Feels like an old friend from the moment you pick it up. Clean and precise with a lovely clear definition and a surprisingly big sound from such a small body. Looks beautiful and has the sweet, gentle manners to match. A little beauty.
Simon Youdale: The trebles are very strong, the overall balance is remarkable and surprisingly strong bass. It has some Somogyi magic.
Richard Thomas: I really don't like parlour guitars very much - with a few notable exceptions (Baranik, in particular), but this Fredell has really impressed me. It has a really big sound, but it's totally controllable, a really dynamic instrument. The bass manages to be both warm and well defined and the mids are superb. The best small guitar I've played.
Vic Griffin: The XS is immense, it is so responsive. Playing this guitar has dispelled any doubts or prejudices that I had about small guitars. It sounds big & warm with a surprisingly deep bass. I love it!
• Engelmann top
• Rosewood back and sides
• K & K pure mini pickup
• 14 frets to the body
• 25” scale
• 1.75” nut width
• 2.25” string spacing at saddle
• 13.4” lower bout
• Mahogany neck
• Black/white purfling
• Ebony bindings
• Rosewood headstock veneer
• Ebony rear headstock veneer
• Ebony backstrip
• No position markers (with side dots)
• Golden segment, Ebony/Spalted maple rosette
• Ebony fretboard
• Rosewood bridge
• Schertler black tuners
• Ebony tuner buttons
• Bone nut and saddle
• Titanium bridge pins
• No pickguard
• Karura case