2014 Chris Sobel CD/CSAR
|Back & Sides||CSA Rosewood|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||53 mm|
We first heard of Chris Sobel as a luthier back in 2017 when Andy Culpepper told us of a project they were doing together - the sharing of woods between these 2 makers on opposite coasts, to see how the same materials in different hands would turn out. So it's nice to finally see a finished instrument from Chris, which was built in 2014. It's a traditional guitar with 7 fans under the top, and they pass through a modified and sculpted Bouchet-style brace that runs just under the bridge to enhance dynamic range and sustain. Chris has copied numerous guitars from important historical makers, among those Antonio Torres, Herman Hauser, and Robert Bouchet but patterns his guitars after more contemporary makers such as Jeffrey Elliott, Daniel Friederich, and Paul Fischer, which is evidenced in this guitar.
His experimentation with both traditional and contemporary designs has given him the confidence in the beauty and longevity of the tradition passed down to Chris through his mentor, Jeffrey Elliott. Drawing deep from the wells of the Spanish and Romantic traditions, he says that his concert model remains faithful to its roots. Like its predecessors from the 19th and 20th centuries, it pushes the envelope of classical and steel string acoustic guitar sound and playability through this very day.
Chris describes his sound as having a strong presence, shades of dark and light, and with a balance of fundamental and overtone notes from string to string. This overtone balance is crucial to him, as he wants each note to sound full in itself, yet also maintain its separation and distinctness from other notes. He always builds for clarity and nuance of tone first, but without neglecting volume which results in a guitar that is both loud and clear, and invites you to play it for hours. Precise intonation and a lack of dissonant or conflicting overtones are also important to Chris, and he strives to build this into his instruments.
This guitar has been played considerably and has playing wear in the finish, but is otherwise structurally sound with no damage or repairs. One interesting feature we noticed was the wider neck at 53mm yet with a 41.5mm string spacing, with extra fingerboard on either side of the first and sixth strings, with some extra on the bass side, making it nearly impossible to pull the string off the side of the fingerboard while doing trills and pull-offs.