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2003 Solomon Imperial
Status: Pricing and hold status for all instruments currently available is shown on our Instruments page here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold, and is no longer available. Photos and descriptions of Previously Sold instruments may be found here. To be notified of examples of this model or similar instruments in the future, please contact [email protected],. Please be specific on which instrument(s) you're looking for, and we'll be happy to contact you as soon as they become available.
Serial#: 0324, hand signed by the builder
Body size at lower bout: 16 " Body Depth: 3 1/2" Scale length: 25" Nut: 1 3/4"
Finish: Hand rubbed French polish shellac
Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved European spruce top; solid Brazilian rosewood back and sides; one-piece hard maple neck; solid ebony fingerboard; pearl headstock logo; 3-ply grained ivoroid body binding; TUSQ synthetic ivory nut.
Hardware: Hardware includes gold Waverly prewar style 16X1 tuners; compensated adjustable African blackwood bridge and tailpiece; Tatsuta beta-titanium truss rod; EVO alloy gold fretwire; Kent Armstrong floating Ultraslim humbucking pickup with endpin jack.
Notes: The historic Yankee village of Epping, New Hampshire dates to the early colonial era, and is known by its inhabitants as 'The Center of the Universe'. It's also the nexus of operations for luthier Erich Solomon, whose innovative and meticulously constructed instruments have been featured in such publications as Fretboard Journal, Just Jazz Guitar and Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
His Imperial model archtop is distinctive in a number of ways. The leaf-shaped soundholes in the upper treble bout allow the soundboard to vibrate freely, and the oval soundport in the upper treble side gives the player an acoustic monitor, right under the ear. Most remarkable however is the body itself: crafted from solid Brazilian rosewood, it's the rarest sight in an archtop guitar. Prohibitively expensive and notoriously difficult to work, Brazilian rosewood has remained virtually unseen in either vintage or contemporary archtops. Just slightly arched, like the classic Larson Brothers guitars, the wood here is of exceptional figure: ranging in color from onyx to cafe-au-lait, it shows dramatic grain structure with faint turquoise highlights at the margins.
The 16 inch body features a parallel braced, hand carved soundboard, tap-tuned and graduated of fine-grained European spruce. Like fine viol family instruments, the guitar is hand rubbed with a French polish shellac finish, a laborious technique that many feel leaves the soundboard more open and flexible than traditional spray lacquer finishes. Neck profile is a comfy gentle D, with smooth low action over highly polished EVO alloy gold fretwire, on a solid ebony fingerboard. The voice is warm and woody, with notably greater sustain and bass response than most conventional acoustic archtops, faithfully amplified by the Kent Armstrong floating Ultraslim pickup.
This example is 100% original and apart from a few superficial nicks, shows little signs of play. A striking work of contemporary luthiery, the Solomon Imperial is a bold and imaginative design for the 21st Century player. The builder's guitars now start at $7250 with a considerable wait. Grab this one now at an unbeatable price. One only, call now.
Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze roundwound strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.
Case: Original deluxe Cedar Creek arched plush lined hardshell case.