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Images from the Study-Storage Collection
Modified Dreadnought model. Serial number 59.
Gift of Dream Guitars, Weaverville, North Carolina, 2009.
Ervin Somogyi, who immigrated from Budapest as a teenager, built his first guitar in 1971. He is widely respected as a luthier and instructor, and has published several books, as well as numerous articles about guitar making. His instruments command a premium as fine, hand-built modern American guitars, notable for their exceptional materials and workmanship. While this guitar is a relatively plain and early example, Somogyi’s later works have included extensive decoration in the form of inlays and delicately carved, lute-like roses. These techniques are also evident in Somogyi’s decorative artworks. The modified dreadnought is a signature Somogyi model, incorporating the influence of the classical guitar in the placement and tapering of the waist. A cutaway enables accessibility to the upper fingerboard, which facilitates a wide range of playing techniques.
Inscriptions: Printed in black ink on paper label with double-line border, the year and serial number written in black ink on banner over leaves in upper right corner of label: ERVIN [date and serial number in unfurling banner] 1980 No 59 / [Japanese honko signature stamped in red ink] SOMOGYI [maker's signature written in blue ink over SOMOGYI] / OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA
Written on inside of top, upper bass bout: IV – 80 / # 59
Stamped on Schaller tuner covers: S / Made in Germany
Rosette: dyed hardwood mosaic surrounded on each side with two bands of rosewood and light hardwood, and black-stained hardwood strips.
Head: Spanish cedar peghead veneered with burled, open-pored light hardwood over black hardwood; scarf jointed onto neck under veneer.
Tuners: six chrome-plated-steel, Schaller-covered, worm-gear machine tuners with ebony heads.
Neck: Spanish cedar.
Fingerboard: ebony; 21 nickel-silver frets; single-slotted diamonds behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 15th and 18th frets; double-slotted diamonds behind 12th fret.
Heel cap: ebony inlaid with mother-of-pearl, slotted diamond with light and dark hardwood trim on inside edge.
Stringing: six steel strings.
Soundboard: two-piece spruce, fine grain.
Back: two-piece, book-matched, figured Indian rosewood; rosewood back stripe surrounded on each side by light and black hardwood strips.
Ribs: two-piece Indian rosewood divided by rosewood end graft surrounded on each side by light and black hardwood strips; end graft wider at top; four small rosewood plugs in bass rib near neck (under finish).
Binding: rosewood with rosewood trim surrounded on each side by light and black hardwood strips on top and ribs; rosewood with light hardwood trim on back and light and dark hardwood trims on ribs.
Endpin: brass jack plug.
Linings: kerfed Spanish cedar.
Neck block: Spanish cedar; rounded profile.
End block: Spanish cedar; rounded profile.
Top braces: spruce X-brace; cross braces above and below soundhole; two transverse braces below X, two transverse braces on each side of X; rosewood bridge plate.
Back braces: Spanish cedar back graft; three Spanish cedar back braces.
Bridge: Brazilian rosewood with belly and decoratively carved lower edge; bone compensated saddle; bone pins with abalone eyes.
Total guitar length: 1049 mm (41-5/16")
Back length: 513 mm (20-3/16")
Upper bout width: 302 mm (11-29/32")
Waist width: 266 mm (10-15/32")
Lower bout width: 406 mm (16")
Rib height (including edging) at heel: 102 mm (4")
Rib height, at waist: 111 mm (4-3/8")
Rib height, at end block: 125 mm (4-15/16")
Head length: 184 mm (7-1/4")
Head width, top: 75 mm (2-31/32")
Head width, bottom: 69 mm (2-23/32")
Neck length (nut to ribs): 353 mm (13-29/32")
Neck width, nut: 46 mm (1-13/16")
Neck width, heel: 56 mm (2-3/16")
Soundhole diameter: 103 mm (4-1/32")
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge): high E: 645 mm (25-3/8"); low E: 647 mm (25-15/32")