Luthier Erich Solomon combines innovative design and time-honored construction techniques to build heirloom-quality acoustic archtop guitars—guitars that are characterized by their simple elegance and refined form and function and, most importantly, by their distinctive sound.
The creation of a Solomon guitar begins with the careful selection of tonewoods. For the top plate of the instrument, European spruce is most often used because of its excellent volume, warmth, clarity and more gradual onset of tone. European spruce lends itself best to fingerstyle playing, and its attributes are especially apparent when a player uses a wide dynamic range. Adirondack spruce is chosen if a bit more volume, headroom, a quicker onset of sound and a brighter attack are desired.
The backs and sides are usually flamed European maple, which is a softer, lighter weight maple than many American varieties. It has a creamy white texture which develops a warm, rich golden patina after a short time. Sometimes, other woods such as curly walnut, curly koa, and mahogany are used. All tonewoods impart slightly different tonal qualities to the overall sound of the guitar, and can be selected to further “shape” the sound of the finished instrument.
Most Solomon guitars have a one-piece quartersawn cherry neck which is halfway in density between the traditional maple and mahogany necks used on most guitars. Cherry is more dimensionally stable than maple, and is also lighter in weight, while being a little stiffer and more resistant to deflection from string tension than mahogany. There is perhaps no more ideal tonewood for necks; however, maple or mahogany is also available. A quartersawn ebony fretboard and headplate are also standard, although there are many other alternatives available as well.
Solomon guitars are made the old-fashioned way— meticulously handcrafted, one at a time, with an unyielding quest for perfection. Each individual component is carved out gradually over a long period of time. This slow method of construction allows the internal stresses that exist in the wood to be released gradually and ensures that each finished component is “tempered”. The components are then assembled in a completely climate-controlled environment, which, in concert with the tempered parts, results in an exceptionally stable finished instrument that is more resistant to gradual changes in temperature and humidity.
The soundboard or top is the heart and soul of the guitar. Exceptional care is taken in joining, carving, and bracing the top. In the tradition of the great Italian violinmakers, it is precision-graduated, contoured such that it is thicker in the middle and thinner toward the edges, allowing it to vibrate freely. Throughout the carving process, the top is tap-tuned, selectively removing material until the plate vibrates with a clear, bell like tone when tapped, resulting in an instrument that is exceptionally well balanced across the sonic spectrum, possessing a piano-like bass, resonant midrange, and brilliant treble.
Every Solomon guitar receives a hand-rubbed, shellac finish to best bring out the natural beauty of the tonewoods. French polish is a centuries-old process of applying shellac by hand. It is unmatched visually for its clarity and depth and for the rich patina it develops over time. This organic, non-toxic finish is much thinner and more flexible than nitrocellulose lacquer, making it acoustically superior. Applying French polish is an art in itself, and all Solomon guitars are hand-finished by Sandra Ricardo.
The logo that graces the headstock of most Solomon guitars symbolizes the synergy between the gifts of nature, the craftsmanship of the builder, the skill and creativity of the player, and finally, the beautiful music that is played on the guitar.
No compromises are made in materials or labor, and every Solomon guitar is backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed, limited lifetime warranty to the original owner.