A true master of the craft, Ervin Somogyi is possibly one of the most influential guitar builders of the modern day, as with many modern day luthier’s his work can be described as art, he has received numerous honors and awards for his work, hearing and seeing his instruments it is no wonder why his guitars have a starting price of $35,000, they are true art and true craft.
What made Ervin Somogyi to become a luthier?
Although Ervin made his first guitar (out of a cigar box) at the age of eleven, Ervin didn’t have an ambition to become a luthier; such profession didn’t even exist at that time. However, things began to change after he decided to study guitar in Spain by 1966 (before that, he was working at a mental hospital in Wisconsin). Eventually he started his living as a flamenco guitarist. After a couple of years (in 1971), Ervin made his first playable guitar as a hobby project. In fact, Ervin inspired to make a guitar after seeing his friend making a guitar.
At the earlier stage of his career as a luthier, Ervin mainly focused on flamenco guitars (after all, he was a flamenco guitar player). As of today, Ervin has become an expertise luthier who makes both steel string and Spanish guitars. Eventually, his steel string guitars were found to be exceptionally good and they started to take the market by a norm.
The specialty of Ervin Somogyi
Having about 50 years of experience, Ervin is currently known as a luthier’s luthier. His ability to construct responsive guitars, or what is known as voicing the instrument, and his willingness to share his knowlege is one of his greatest attributes, his work has become inspirational for young luthiers across the globe.
Each guitar he makes is unique. Factory made guitars, on the other hand, come with no uniqueness; bulks of guitars are made using the same design and hardly any craftsmanship is involved with such mass productions.
Over the past decades, this legendary luthier has received a large number of honors. He was awarded as the “Best Luthier” by Frets Magazine for four years, one of his acoustic guitars was elected to be the ‘best sounding’ after a test conducted by Boston University, he even has one of his guitars displayed at the Smithsonian Institution.
He has written a comprehensive two-volume book called “The Responsive Guitar” which consists of all the fine points pertaining to making a perfect guitar. There are 34 chapters to describe the functionality of every part of the guitar and all the other aspects. In fact, this particular book can be the most comprehensive guidance for an individual who is enthusiastic about becoming a professional luthier.