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2015 Solomon Phidelity
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Serial#: 1574, hand signed by the builder
Body size at lower bout: 16 " Body Depth: 3" Scale length: 25" Nut: 1 7/8" Neck Depth, 1st/10th frets: .93/.91
Materials: Solid bookmatched Alpine spruce soundboard; solid carved curly black walnut back and sides; one-piece cherry neck; solid ebony fingerboard; curly walnut body binding.
Hardware: Gold Waverly 16X1 tuners with ebony keys; compensated adjustable African blackwood bridge, Kent Armstrong Handwound floating PAF humbucking pickup with endpin jack; machined brass tailpiece; Tatsuta beta-titanium truss rod; EVO alloy gold fretwire; Tusq synthetic ivory nut.
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 product line now includes some nine different models, which incorporate advanced components such as beta-titanium truss rods, alloy gold fretwire, and synthetic ivory nuts.
Solomon's Phidelity model combines classic archtop design features with advanced contemporary technology to produce is an unusually versatile, and notably handsome, instrument. The all carved, arched 16" body sports an oval soundhole, in the fashion of Orville Gibson's original L-series guitars, enhancing both sustain and bass response in the traditional archtop design.
With a bookmatched, quartersawn Euro spruce soundboard, the body is carved of solid black walnut, echoing the renowned prewar Epi Broadways, with their trumpet-like projection. The intense, chevron matched curly figuration is exceedingly rare in this tonewood as well, and is complemented by the one-piece cherry neck, with its solid ebony fingerboard.
At a mere 4lb 13oz, the instrument is phenomenally light in weight, and floats effortlessly on the lap. (A strap pin at the heel may be added by request, with our compliments.) Like fine viol family instruments, the guitar is hand rubbed with a French polish shellac finish, a laborious technique that can leave the soundboard more open and flexible than spray lacquer finishes. Neck profile is a comfy gentle D, with a generous 1 3/4" nut ideal for pick or fingerstyle play, and smooth low action over highly polished EVO alloy gold fretwire.
The voice of the X-braced soundboard is bright, lively, and focused, with notable clarity and detail. The beveled bass side soundport is a handy acoustic monitor under the ear, and the Kent Armstrong floating PAF pickup is transparent and faithful through the amp as well.
Finally, the builder has been guided in the proportions (and the name) of the guitar by the mathematical Golden Ratio of Phi, a concept of Euclidean geometry variously employed in classical architecture, DaVinci drawings, and even, it is said, Stradivari violins. Not to mention nautilus shells, DNA helices, and assorted occurrences throughout the natural world. Go figure.
This very instrument is highlighted in a feature profile and video in Acoustic Guitar Magazine online here. Carefully maintained, the instrument is in 100% original condition, and apart from a few incidental nicks, shows few signs of play altogether. A striking work of contemporary luthiery, the Solomon Phidelity is a bold and imaginative design for the 21st Century player. One only, call now.
Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze roundwound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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 premium Cedar Creek arched plush lined hardshell case.