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In Stock - SKU: GUCLSOR-08022 - Youri Soroka

2022 Youri Soroka "Templars Oak" SP/OA

Year 2022
Top Spruce
Back & Sides Oak
Scale Length 650 mm
Nut width 52 mm
Finish French Polish
Country France
Condition New
Exchange ExchangePlus
Luthier Youri Soroka


See more from Youri Soroka

As with many of Youri's instruments, the materials used on this instrument have a very interesting back story. In the summer of 2020, Youri met with a group of visitors in his workshop in France. One of them was Monsieur Guerrier - a retired doctor from Lyon, France. Monsieur Guerrier asked Youri if he’d be interested in building a guitar with 900-year-old oak wood salvaged from the house of a Templar knight. This seemed to be unbelievable at first, but after listening further to his story, Youri found out that this wood had been stored for decades in a shack next to this man's house. And indeed it was confirmed that it was sourced from a Templar knight’s house located in the region of Bugey. In the early 13th century, there was a large presence of Knights Templar in this area (e.g., in the communes of Ambérieu-en-Bugey, Saint-Rambert-en-Bugey) who left behind plenty of houses, temples, and commanderies (Read more).

In the 1960s, Monsieur Guerrier’s father-in-law lived in the small village of Resinan, France, located next to Saint-Rambert-en-Bugey. One day, while coming back home, he witnessed a group of workers demolishing a historical house of the Knights Templar – Demeure des Templiers. Carpentry beams were lying around. He acquired them and cut them into planks in a sawmill. After that, he stored them at his house for many years, and after his passing, they were stored in the house of Monsieur Guerrier.

Youri instantly fell in love with the idea of using this wood to make a guitar. He visited Monsieur Guerrier and retrieved the wood in February 2021. Monsieur Guerrier’s only condition was to be able to see the final guitar completed from these precious materials. Youri told us that for him it was an unforgettable experience to work with wood from such a unique source. We are very pleased to report that the guitar sounds as beautiful as it looks - Youri was able to achieve his usual high standard of tonal characteristics - including a large palette of tonal colors, excellent balance and clear separation between voices while retaining a nice plump, juicy quality of sound. It also has a low body resonance which he favors as well as a lightweight build which gives the guitar a very quick attack, making it a breeze to play. Overall a really stunning instrument in every way... with a great story as well!

Photos taken during construction.

We met French-Ukrainian guitar builder Youri Soroka at the 2nd International "Antonio Marin Montero" Guitar Building Competition in Granada, Spain in 2018 and were immediately impressed with both the person and his work, and indeed ordered our first guitar from him at that time. He returned to Granada again in 2019 where he took second prize in the same competition. Youri’s backstory is almost as beautiful as the look and sound of his instruments. Here he describes how he went from a career in technology to falling in love with the craft of guitar building:"I was a computer software developer and came to guitar making by accident. Initially, I just wanted to repair my old classical guitar which led me to retable it. Impressed by the resulting sound and having then bought a few tools, I wanted to build one entirely from scratch. I completed my first guitar in less than a month working at night in my garage. Then the second, then third… I was starting to fall in love with the process. At some point, I realized that this was really something I wanted to do for a living as this was the first time in my life – when at work – I was saddened by the fact that it was 6 p.m. and time to go home. I always admired traditional and historical woodworking, and starting from my third build, I tried using hide glue and traditional methods for overall construction. Since then, I’ve stuck with these methods. Another thing important to me is building guitars in a planet friendly way with the least waste generated possible and no chemicals used – no gluing bindings with scotch, etc. The main ingredients are wood, hide glue and shellac. This also led to my interest in using local woods."