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Stories, culture, friends and community

May 20, 2014

Tobias Berg Guitar #100


We have a beautiful instrument in the works – #100 from Swedish luthier Tobias Berg. For this “milestone” guitar, Tobias has decided to pull out all the stops and use some very special materials that he’s been saving for the appropriate moment – please read Tobias’ report below of the meaning behind what is going into this very special instrument. This is a pivotal instrument not just for Tobias, but also for us – we have been working with Tobias and representing his work ever since 2005 when he sent us his 20th guitar. Every guitar he has sent us since has continued to impress and amaze us as he continues to strive for the best in sound, craftsmanship, and the art of the guitar.

-David Collett, GSI

And here’s an update that Tobias sent us just the other day:

I’ve started work on #100 and it’s coming along quite well. Below are some pictures. A funny side note, on the 24th of April it was 10 years ago that I passed my “Master Examination“. In the morning, not remembering it myself, I pulled out the woods and started working on arranging and gluing the back together, etc. Around lunchtime, a former colleague of mine sent me an e-mail and congratulated me on the ten years (we did the examination together). So, exactly on the day 10 years after my examination I started on #100! The woods as you know, are Redwood for the top and Maple for the back and sides. The Redwood was given to me by a friend and fellow luthier Peter Oberg in 1998 while visiting him on a trip to the U.S. We went to a guitar-making school together in Canada and he gave me the top as a gift. As you can see, it spans 283 years of history. I counted the annular rings and it was cut in 1994, so doing the math, this takes us back to the year 1711. My friend Francois Leonard bought the back for me while we were both in the U.K. attending guitar-making school together. Francois went to Germany to buy wood and I only had enough money for him to buy me one back, also from 1998 – the year I met Sandra, my wife. So the woods have a special meaning to me. It also somehow shows how important friends are in this otherwise rather lonely journey of becoming a luthier and making a living from it. The back is ready, and the sides are being laminated in my vacuum rig this very moment. They will feature Pearwood for the inside lining instead of the usual Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Pear in my opinion gives a nicer color contrast when looking inside the guitar. The back wasn’t wide enough as you can see so I’ve added a wedge of CSA Rosewood! The tuners from Rodgers are here and they are of course very nice. I’ve also secured an attractive white BAM case to accompany it all. So, I must head back to the workshop and get some more things done. -Tobias Berg

Comments (5)

I love my Tobias Berg that I bought from Guitar Salon in 2012. It sounds so, so good! Makes me want to play and play. Beautiful complexity of tone is what I care about most in a guitar. Excuse me now while I pick it up and play.

Congratulations Tobias on this awesome milestone! Wishing you all the best for the next 100.

I have been fortunate enough to own two of Tobias’ guitars – the #20 mentioned above (I didn’t know that the #20 was the first one received by GSI) and I currently own #77 which I believe was the first in his double top models. Both are wonderful and unique instruments with life and personality. Now I’m going to do like James and go play mine for a while. – Cheers –

Exciting news! Congratulations to Tobias for all that he has accomplished. I can’t wait to see #100 when it’s finished.

Thomas, I own #76, which is also a double top (and not the first one at that… I think the first was an instrument in the low 70s). Just beautiful.

Think you guys mean “double sides,” not “double top.” He’s making his guitars with super strong sides so the top can resonate with beautiful tone.

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