Ervin Somogyi Acoustic Guitars

I am absolutely delighted to be representing master luthier Ervin Somogyi .

Ervin Somogyi has been making acoustic guitars for more than 40 years and is one of the most prominent and highly respected of the first-generation American luthiers.  A true icon in the world of modern luthery  Ervin's guitars have featured on many landmark acoustic guitar recordings perhaps most notably Michael Hedges' "Breakfast in the Field".

Somogyi's close collaboration with several artists on the legendary Windham Hill record label led to the design of his "Modified Dreadnought" (first built for Danel Hecht) which was the first steel-string guitar expressedly built to provide a sound that would do justice to the "classical quality" recording ethos at Windham Hill.

It is no exaggeration to say that this was the first flat-top steel-string acoustic guitar expressedly built with the advanced solo fingerstyle player in mind and the missing link between the factory built acoustic guitars of the past and the luthier built instruments of today. 

Thanks to Galli Films and Ervin Somogyi for the use of this video.

  1. Legendary Luthiers: Ervin Somogyi Visit 12 July 2014

    Legendary Luthiers: Ervin Somogyi Visit 12 July 2014

    We all had a great time and immensely enjoyed Ervin's visit. I've known him for a while now since living at his workshop for three days. He give many fascinating insights into guitar building and was his usual very entertaining self.

    Legendary Luthiers: Ervin Somogyi Visit 12 July 2014Legendary Luthiers: Ervin Somogyi Visit 12 July 2014Legendary Luthiers: Ervin Somogyi Visit 12 July 2014
  2. Somogyi SJ quilted maple 1989 #117 acoustic guitar - sold

    Somogyi SJ quilted maple 1989 #117 acoustic guitar - sold

    Out of stock

    Re-voiced by Ervin over the summer of 2015, a letter from Ervin explaining his thinking is included (see photo). This is effectively a new Somogyi that would cost over £30 000 to order now.

    Its in excellent condition and has the classic Somogyi tone that Ervin is famous for. It is very rich and full, almost impossible to describe. I have used the expression before that Ervin's guitars sound like a choir of angels with a full orchestra. I still can't think of a better way to put it.

    • European spruce top
    • Quilted maple back and sides
    • Somogyi slotted headstock
    • Sharp cutaway
    • 14 frets to the body
    • 25” scale
    • 1 11/16” nut width
    • 2 1/8” string spacing at saddle
    • 16 3/8” lower bout
    • Mahogany neck
    • Rosewood purfling
    • Rosewood bindings
    • Birdseye maple headstock veneer
    • Birdseye maple rear headstock veneer
    • Rosewood backstrip
    • MoP patterned position markers (with side dots)
    • Rosewood and abalone rosette
    • Ebony fretboard
    • Rosewood bridge
    • Single tuners
    • Bone nut and saddle
    • Ebony bridge pins
    • Clear pickguard
    • New Hiscox Artist series case

    Somogyi SJ quilted maple 1989 #117 acoustic guitar - soldSomogyi SJ quilted maple 1989 #117 acoustic guitar - soldSomogyi SJ quilted maple 1989 #117 acoustic guitar - sold

  3. Somogyi OM - sold

    Somogyi OM - sold

    Out of stock
    SOLD. OO and OM both in African blackwood due summer 2015.

    What can you say about the sound of a Somogyi? There's nothing else like it! Here's my best shot but I can't possibly get even close in words..

    It has a richness of tone that I've not heard in any other guitar, I've used the word orchestral to describe the Somogyi sound before and I still can't think of better description. There's a depth and complexity that that's hard to believe if you haven't heard it for your self. It responds magnificently to the lightest touch and overwhelms with luscious tone with a little more input. This all comes with exceptional balance, projection and clarity.. from a lingering single note to a rapid succession or a full chord, there's music in perfect harmony.

    Here's an edited version of Ervin's thoughts on wenge.

    "Brazilian rosewood, that traditional "Holy Grail" of fine guitar making woods is getting scarce.. [Many woods] are marketed as being desirable and adequate substitutes. In my view, some are and some aren't. As a guitar maker, my own preferences are for woods that are "live" rather than not, regardless of their grain, figure or color. What that means is that one can elicit a live and musical tone from a particular slice or chunk when one taps on it. Some woods can make sound on the order of thummmmmmmm or thimmmmmmmm (ginnnnnnnng, gonnnnnng, pinnnnnnng or ponnnnnnnng also work; I think you get the idea), with bell-like sustain; others go "thwick" or "thud". There are "live" woods that look rather plain, and there are "dead" woods that look like Raquel Welch in 3-D.

    My own searches have brought me to wenge (pronounced WHEN-gay). It's a dark, purplish-brown colored African … The thing that appeals to me about wenge is that it is very live. That is, when you hold a piece of it up and tap on it.. it'll ring like a piece of glass, plate of steel, or a crystal brandy snifter. This quality is known as "vitreousness", which literally means "glasslike-ness". And wenge will make such a sound… Wenge's vitreousness is a function of the wood's being brittle on the level of its cellular structure. In fact, it's that very brittleness that makes the vibrational action, and the sound that this produces, possible… it is this.. that puts wenge in the same category as that most prized of traditional guitar making woods, Brazilian rosewood."

    • European spruce top
    • Wenge back and sides
    • Sharp cutaway
    • French polish finish
    • 14 frets to the body
    • 25 ¼” scale
    • 1 13/16” nut width
    • 2 ¼” string spacing at saddle
    • 15 3/4" lower bout
    • Mahogany neck
    • Black and white purfling
    • Rosewood bindings
    • Rosewood headstock veneer
    • Rosewood rear headstock veneer
    • Rosewood backstrip
    • Position markers (with side dots)
    • Sunset mosaic rosette
    • Ebony fretboard
    • Wenge bridge
    • Schaller tuners
    • Ebony tuner buttons
    • Bone nut and saddle
    • Ebony bridge pins
    • Clear pickguard
    • Hoffee case

    Somogyi OM - soldSomogyi OM - soldSomogyi OM - sold

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