This is the 100th guitar 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 this very appropriate moment. The redwood top was given to Tobias as a gift from his friend Peter Oberg in 1998 during a visit to the United States and Tobias has been able to date the age of the tree back to the year 1711. So this is very old wood. He acquired this maple for the back and sides also in 1998 from his friend Francois Leonard, while they were studying lutherie together in England. Here is the full account of the background story
in Berg's own words.
This guitar features Berg's use of double-sides that he has integrated into the design of his guitars for some time now. For #100, he chose to use pear wood on the inside instead of Alaskan yellow cedar (which he normally uses), mainly for aesthetic purposes - a look inside this guitar reveals a lovely color contrast between the pear and maple. To see more on the technique, see our blog post
for the full story. For tone, the double-sides give the guitar a deeper, almost "cathedral-like" presence to the sound, a quality we've only heard before in modern Friederich guitars. The maple back has a beautiful contrasting wedge of CSA rosewood running down the center, and the tuners are a custom set built by Rodgers. Apart from these unique features, the guitar carries Berg's trademark designs in his headshape, rosette and bridge. These reveal a fondness for traditional Japanese architecture which Tobias admires for its understated elegance in its usage of perfect lines and sharp edges. He has seamlessly and delicately integrated elements of this into his unique and beautiful design. This guitar has a deep, rich quality of sound - in this instance, the redwood produces tone somehow blending the best of both spruce and cedar - the clarity of spruce and the richness of cedar.
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 impressed and amazed us as he continues to strive for the best in sound and craftsmanship in the artistry of guitar making.
Photos of this guitar taken during construction.
Luthier Bio: Tobias Berg