Delving Into The World of David Eichelbaum Guitars
We've seen a rare collection of guitars arrive in our pre-owned section built by US-luthier David Eichelbaum.
David is a very talented luthier, but his name is not particularly well-known here in the UK, therefore we thought we'd take a closer look at his history and work.
David Eichelbaum began working with guitars 30 years ago now, however this has been manifested within different forms. For 15 years now he has focused mainly upon building instruments, however this venture began with repairing. Despite being very much a maker within his own right, David Eichelbaum continues to repair instruments, specialising in Martins and Gibsons.
This all started with long-term interest in music and lutherie came to his fancy during college when he was surrounded by friends in bands. He very quickly just became “that guy” that was able to fix their guitars. This was a hobby and stayed this way for at least 10 years whilst he pursued other interests and careers.
David was born in Virginia but moved to Santa Barbara in 1991 when he was offered a job with an auto-motive company, producing parts for the British car industry. British cars were a huge passion of his and within this role he worked alongside manufacturers, reproducing parts from original blue prints, as well as doing quality control work. He was incredibly interested in both cars and craft, however, was a business graduate and therefore was not entirely used to this kind of role.
However, this job equipped him and began the foundation of his craftsmanship, honing his hand and manufacturing skills as well as his incredible eye for detail. Alongside this, David had made a few instruments and was experienced in repairing guitars, so about 5 years later took a leap of faith and went into repairing guitars full time. He has a completely self-taught approach. His interest in both cars and craft, gave him practical knowledge as well as friends with similar skills. For example, friends within furniture restoration could help if he came across any questions regarding finishing processes, however his pre-interest in this area led to him having to dig out information and work it out for himself.
In 1995, David attended the very first Hillsborough guitar show, with the intention of meeting guitar builders and getting answers to his questions. This was where he became friends with Kevin Ryan. He continued to make trips to his shop and learnt what he could from him. Kevin was always very helpful and shared what he knew with David, however told him to take it and make it his own. This was the closest he ever got to any form of formal education.
He saw a very ‘hands on’ approach as the way to work, knowing it wasn’t acceptable to experiment on other people’s guitars, David used to go down to the pawn shop and buy batches of 4 $10-$15 guitars. He would take them apart to understand the internal structure and get to grips with the instruments. He learnt to do all types of repairs on all types on a combination of all types of guitars. However, he found that these imported, lower quality guitars were harder to take apart and therefore decided to stop working on them. Gradually David was able to use his foundations of knowledge to do high level restoration work on big name guitars. David said his goal is to “get in and out without anyone knowing that he’s been there”. This therefore means performing meticulous and precise repairs, where you focus only upon repairing what needs to be fixed and trying to avoid any other aspect or feature within the guitar.
Continuing on from this, Eichelbaum became a maker very much within his own right. He is widely known as a fingerstyle acoustic guitar maker. Despite specialising in Martin and Gibson repairs, the instruments which he builds himself are not re-creations of these. David’s deep understanding of instruments means that he can create his own, subtle and nuanced tone within his instruments, which aren’t replicas of what he’s previously worked on.
David started building in the mid-1990s and was hugely inspired by legendary luthier Jim Olson. Although he uses a traditional X-brace pattern on all his soundboards, David braces them fairly lightly with no loss of durability mainly due to three key elements that strengthen the upper bout area, the Bolt-on Neck Joint, adding a "paddle" to support the fingerboard, and lastly supporting the soundhole area under the rosette. These three elements result in gains in volume and sustain as well as more stable necks and action height.
"When I started offering my own line of guitars it was partly because I was fascinated with the idea of making advancements on the designs I had seen as well as building better sounding guitars. Jigs, efficiency, and accuracy were my ethos..." David Eichelbaum
A wonderfully warm and rich voice is guaranteed within David’s guitars as well as jaw-dropping aesthetics and incredible attention to detail.
His reputation is so great that the majority of his work just comes from word of mouth, not being particularly interested in the internet or the marketing side of the business. Not being far from LA and its active music scene, this fuels momentum for Eichelbaum’s business.
We currently have three pre-owned David Eichelbaum guitars in stock:
David Eichelbaum “Super” Grand Concert Cutaway Indian rosewood Manzer Wedge Electro Acoustic Guitar - Pre-Owned
- Back and sides: Master Grade Indian rosewood
- Soundboard: Master Grade Sitka Spruce Soundboard
- Rosette: Brazilian Rosewood
- Binding: Snakewood
- Bracing: Adirondack Spruce
- Scale Length: 25.4”
- Neck: One piece mahogany with two-way adjustment Truss Rod & Carbon Fiber Stiffening Rods
- Headstock Veneer: Ebony
- Fingerboard: Ebony with small Pearl Face Dots
- Fully Compensated Fossilized Walrus Ivory Saddle, Bridge Pins and Nut
- Tuners: Gotoh “510 Delta Series” Gold Tuneres with Ebonized Buttons
- Case: Custom Calton Deluxe
- Rosewood Handled Truss Rod Wrench
- AKG 516c internal confessor mic along with the K&K pure western mini.
- Clear Mylar Pickguard
David Eichelbaum Grand Concert, Cutaway Model Premium Quartersawn Brazilian Rosewood and & Master Grade Adirondack Spruce - Pre-Owned
- Back and sides: Premium Quartersawn Brazilian Rosewood
- Soundboard: Master grade Adirondack spruce
- Rosette: Red Heart Abalone Rosette
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Bridge: Ebony
- Headstock Plate: Brazilian Rosewood
- Genuine Pearl ‘E’ logo
- Binding: Brazilian Rosewood with Cherry Purfling Border
- Bracing: Adirondack Spruce
- Scale Length: 25.7”
- Neck: One piece Mahogany
- Nut Width: 1 3/4”
- Bridge Pin Spacing: 2 1/4
- Medium Jumbo Frets
- Saddle and Nut: Fossilized Ivory
- Bridge Pins: Fossilized Ivory
- Tuners: Gold Gotoh 510 Series Tuning Machines with Synthetic Ebony Buttons
- Case: Custom Colour Carlton Deluxe
David Eichelbaum Grand Concert Cutaway - Old Growth (100 Year est.) Brazilian Rosewood and Master Grade Cedar- Pre-Owned
- Old Growth (100 Year est.) Brazilian Rosewood Back & Sides 2008
- Master-grade Cedar Soundboard w/Flame Koa Rosette
- Flame Koa Body Binding
- Special-Grade "Black Lip Pearl" Top border
- Adirondack Spruce Bracing Throughout
- 25.4" Scale Length
- One-Piece Mahogany Neck with Two-way Adj. Truss Rod & Carbon Fibre
- Stiffening Rods
- Brazilian Rosewood Headstock Veneer with script "Eichelbaum" pearl logo
- 1.3/4 Nut Width
- Medium Jumbo Frets (.095" x.045")
- Brazilian Rosewood Bridge
- Ebony Fingerboard with small Pearl Face Dots
- Fully compensated Fossilised Walrus Ivory Saddle
- Fossilised Walrus Ivory Bridge Pins & Nut
- Gotoh "510 Delta Series" Gold Tuners with Ebonised Buttons
- Custom Calton Deluxe Case
- Rosewood Handled Truss
All three of these guitars are sensational instruments, both aesthetically and tonally. For more information, please do get in touch by calling +44 (0) 207 835 5597 or by emailing us here.