Ervin Somogyi DC #1, Brazilian Rosewood & Sitka Spruce
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Crafted in 1978, this D.C. #1 is one of the first twelve instruments, and one of the first steel string guitars, Ervin Somogyi ever made. Modeled after the Martin dreadnought, it's the precursor to the modified dreadnought design he would later pioneer. The original owner of this guitar brought it back to Ervin himself for a complete overhaul. The original finish was stripped and all wear marks and scratches were sanded out. Cracks were repaired, and holes that were made for a pickup system were filled. Ervin reshaped the neck, "streamlining [it] at both ends so that its contours flowed more seamlessly into the heel and peghead", and reconstructed the peghead. The fretwork was cleaned up, and the bridge and nut were improved and proper intonated. It was revoiced and the action reset to make it easier to play. A new rosette was installed, and the entire instrument was refinished in French polish. Finally, it was completed with new gold Schaller tuners and a clear pickguard. As Ervin puts it:
"This guitar is NEW despite the date on its label. It looks new and sounds like my new guitars. I had been both charmed and embarrassed by how amateurish my work was in those days. But, as I said, this instrument has been re-worked from the ground up and the only completely original part left, truthfully, is the label."
Quite the backstory for what would already be an enticing collector's guitar on its own! And the tone? With a flatpick, it's all rumbling D-28 power, with a commanding bass and crackle in the trebles. But tune it down and play it fingerstyle, and you get a responsive, complex soloist's guitar. We'd be surprised, but if ever a luthier could deliver a guitar that could handle both ends of the spectrum, it's Ervin Somogyi.
- Body: Dreadnought with cutaway
- Top: Sitka spruce
- Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
- Neck: Honduran mahogany
- Binding: Rosewood
- Pickguard: Clear
- Tuners: Gold Schaller with ebony buttons
- Scale length: 25.4"
- Nut width: 1-3/4"
- String spacing: 2-1/8"
- Year of build: 1978, overhauled in 2021
- Case: Hoffee hardshell
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Ervin Somogyi is widely regarded as the Godfather of Modern Lutherie, and his guitars are seen as some of the very best ever made. Mentor to many of the greatest luthiers on the scene, Ervin's work is highly regarded by luthiers, guitarists and collectors alike.