Instruments & Gear: Fine Lutherie

Bourgeois Soloist 30th Commemorative LE

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Eric Schoenberg demonstrates the anniversary edition of the cutaway OM he and Dana Bourgeois designed 30 years ago.

by Teja Gerken
May 08, 2017

Thirty years ago, luthier Dana Bourgeois and guitarist Eric Schoenberg began a unique collaboration that would have a lasting impact on the modern flattop guitar. With the intention of building a guitar optimized for fingerstyle players, the pair created a hand-voiced cutaway guitar based on Martin Guitars’ vintage OM, which hadn’t been in Martin’s catalog since the 1930s. The resulting instrument created a lot of interest in this type of guitar at a time when very few luthiers were offering them. After Dana built the initial guitar, he and Eric began to work with Martin to build the Schoenberg Soloist line, with Dana doing wood selection and top voicing and Eric handling sales and marketing. Dana left the project around 1989 to found Bourgeois Guitars, and the collaboration with Martin ended in 1994, after which Eric began working with different luthiers to build Schoenberg guitars, which continues to this day.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Soloist, Dana and Eric once again collaborated on a special model, with Eric supplying his favorite neck specs and Bourgeois Guitars building a limited run of 12 instruments in its Maine shop. The guitars are built with premium cocobolo back and sides and highly figured bearclaw German spruce tops, and typical Soloist features include a pyramid bridge, Maccaferri-inspired cutaway, and a 1¾-inch nut paired with 2⁵/₁₆-inch string spacing at the saddle.

In this video, shot at Schoenberg Guitars in Tiburon, California, Eric plays the first and 11th guitars in the series, discussing the history of the Soloist project as well as specifics of the commemorative edition.

SPECS: 14-fret 000 body with cutaway. German bearclaw spruce top. Premium cocobolo back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fretboard and pyramid bridge. 25.5-inchscale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gold Waverly tuners. Commemorative label signed by Dana Bourgeois and Eric Schoenberg. Made in the USA. $8,820.;


Category: Instruments & Gear

Comments and Discussion

Posted by Mauricio Duque on
Great video, thanks for that! Nice guitars those by Eric, Alec Stone Sweet plays a soloist on his tumblin gap record...

Could you help me to know the name of the tune Eric plays at the end of the video? Thanks!

And congrats on the fantastic job you do at Peghead Nation, greetings from Mexico City.
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