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As a professional fingerstyle guitarist Eric learned through experience that all guitars are not created equal. He discovered in the Sixties that the Martin Orchestra Model (OM), produced only from late 1929 through 1933, had qualities possessed by no other guitars. “The tonal wonder of the 1929-30 guitars to me is the explosive response, the full, complete tone from bare fingers. It’s a magic thing, like the guitar is alive and kicking, giving back to the musician as much as he [or] she is putting in,” he says. The balance, projection, and responsiveness of these guitars really stood out to him – and he heard something in these guitars that no one else did. Eric’s strengths as a guitarist led him to these qualities in the first place – especially his superb touch and his near-obsession with creating great tone as he plays. The seeds were planted – Eric had found the archetype for the guitars that would follow – his guitars.
Eric has followed his own muse, guided by an implacable desire to play great instruments. His gift is his ability to imagine what kind of guitar would be a great one and to guide its creation. Yet he has also provided a service. As Eric has said, “I’m not just building a guitar that gets me excited.” He may have begun looking for his own ideal guitar, one that would give him the means to achieve his own deepest musical satisfaction. But his search has created opportunities for every player who has hungered for the perfect guitar (nearly 500 opportunities, in fact). And if Eric’s guitars are capable of producing great tone, exquisite tone, then they have the potential to bring those of us who play closer to a beauty that satisfies. Could it be . . .? With Eric’s guitars we might just get to that music beyond longing.
Today, the Schoenberg Guitars are built one at a time by the capable hands of world-class luthiers Bruce Sexauer, Robert Anderson, James Russell, Sparky Kramer and John Slobod.