Bourgeois Schoenberg Soloist 30th Commemorative LE – NAMM 2017

Dana Bourgeois is celebrating 30 years of the Schoenberg Soloist cutaway OM with a very special model for 2017

Limited to just 12 instruments

The Soloist 30th Commemorative LE is made with premium cocobolo back and sides and a bearclaw German spruce top. According to Bourgeois, “Both are the finest examples of their species and rare in this grade! The elegant “Soloist” triangle inlay not only adorns the heel as it has traditionally, but it has also been added to both sides of the pyramid bridge as a finishing touch.”

Bourgeois Soloist 30 LE One Man's Guitar onemanz NAMM 2017
photo: Bourgeois Guitars

And it has a label signed by Dana Bourgeois and Eric Schoenberg.

Bourgeois did the majority of the work on the very first Soloists, which were made for joint venture between C. F. Martin & Co. and Schoenberg’s shop. At that time Martin was focused on contemporary acoustic guitars, and was neither trained or tooled up to do vintage features like hand-carved pyramid bridges, hand-planed and “voiced” back and soundboard, and the special neck shaping Schoenberg required. So Bourgeois handled the detailed work and then the guitars were sent to Martin for assembly and finishing.

Both Schoenberg and Bourgeois have offered world-class cutaway OM fingerstyle instruments ever since.

The Schoenberg Soloists were the first Martin flattop acoustic guitars to have a cutaway. I used to own the first Soloist made with pearl top trim, which is now in Chris Martin’s private collection. It has outrageous bearclaw waterfalls in the Sitka top, reminiscent of the stuff being used on this wonderful and historic new Soloist.

Schoenberg guitars have had the Soloist model built by a succession of small-shop luthiers. And now it comes full circle, as Dana Bourgeois brings his own personal interpretation after decades of evolving exclusive methods and philosophy of guitarmaking.

Courtney Hartman made an appearance at the Bourgeois NAMM booth to play some guitars. And here she is in a promotional video for this amazing limited edition.

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Schoenberg Quartet – Our Exclusive Review

The Schoenberg Quartet Stephen Bruton model combines the expanded tonal range of a large guitar with the response and dynamics of a small guitar, thanks to its 12-fret 0000 design.

“A mightily successful combination of traditional and contemporary design and construction, the Schoenberg Quartet wide-top, 12-fret cutaway guitar is light of weight but large in voice. With impressive projection and effortless volume, it has the woody, full-bodied lows of a cello, trebles that sustain like of a well-played violin and some of the most richly complex chords this side of a baby grand piano.”

Guitarist Eric Schoenberg designed the guitar based on the concept originally suggested by his friend, the late Austin session man and touring sideman, Stephen Bruton. The guitar is named the Stephen Bruton model in his honor. It is available exclusively through Schoenberg’s shop in Tiburon, California, north of San Francisco.

California luthier Randall Kramer was engaged to built the entire line of Quartets. This particular example is made with Brazilian rosewood back and sides and an Adirondack spruce top. It also includes several custom-ordered features. It is the result of pre-war guitar traditions, cutting edge luthiery technology, and the scientific method of Chladni plate resonant frequency tuning, which inspired Benjamin Franklin to invent the harmonium, and was used by nineteenth-century violin makers.

The Schoenberg Standard and Schoenberg Soloist now have a big brother for those seeking a bigger, fuller voice with all the comfort of a classic fingerstyle lap-piano.

“This guitar is so finely tuned in terms of dynamics and response that it is basically effortless to play, in any tuning. There is a gorgeous complexity to the harmonics, but an unperturbed clarity to the fundamentals, and an organic sensibility to the sustain and decay of each, which makes it a delight to play.”

Read the Full Review of the Schoenberg Quartet

The Schoenberg Quartet