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audiophil
04-28-2007, 06:28 PM
Anybody knows about them ? Today i went in a music shop and while trying some guitars i saw a "Stonebridge" guitar (can't recall the model name - but it was OM size and sitka/mahogany body) hanging on the wall. I was really surprised by the quality of the instrument. Beautiful woods (all solid) and meticulous craftmanship. And the tone was simply GREAT! Very focused, dry, and balanced tone, in a lovely way, a delight for fingerpicking. I couldn't put it down, but had to leave because the store closed. I wish i could bring it home but it's too much money for now.

These guitars are crafted in Czech Republic.

Any stonebridge owners here? Thoughts?

Phil

daretobesane
04-28-2007, 06:40 PM
I own a Stonebridge D40-CM dreadnaught (cedar/mahogany) and I love it.
Earlier this year I was shopping around and the D40-CM stood out for me and I am very happy I chose it.
Mine is one of the lower end models they make and I find it great for fingerpicking.
Here's a review of one of the higher end models the G23-CR, from AG magazine (its a PDF file)
http://www.stonebridgeguitars.com/AG_Stonebridge_Review.pdf

I would definitely buy another Stonebridge in the future, I think of them very highly.

Marccd
04-28-2007, 06:58 PM
Considering there initial challenge making guitars behind the Iron Curtain, it's amazing to watch their growth as a company. They are building over 3000 guitars a year. That's approx. 10 times more than Goodall. And what I find so interesting is the influence of and homage to American traditional instruments all the way across the world in the Czech Republic.

audiophil
06-04-2007, 09:19 PM
Sorry to bring up an old post but i wanted to let you know i finally pulled the trigger on my first OM guitar, a really great sounding Stonebridge guitar, made in Czech Republic by Furch guitars, one ot the most respected European luthier.

Two days ago i went to the same music shop (mentionned in the first post of this thread), and there was a week-end sale, and this lovely little Stonebridge guitar i really enjoyed playing a few weeks ago had a xx% off rebate.

It was waiting for me!!!

I couldn't resist since the guitar is so lovely and the price was so interesting.

Just to let you know the exact model : OM32-SM - actually pretty much similar to a Martin OM-18V. It has a sitka top over solid mahogany back and sides with scalloped bracing, vintage toner, and pretty nice and classy looking satin-gloss finish. The body contour and rosette is a herringbone inlay. 25.8 scale lenght, ebony fingerboard and bridge. The woods are nicely bookmatched and the grain is even with some nice silking (perfect cut), no runout. The craftmanship is immaculate: no glue residue inside, perfectly cut braces, and nice attention to details. It looks great!

The tone is clear and crisp, direct and woody, but very deep and throaty at the same time, with amazing projection and volume, and the note separation is very well defined. Overall a great balanced sound. Of course, you don't expect a dread-boomy bass in a such a small body, but there is still plenty of thight resonnant bass. I really like this guitar for fingerpicking and flatpicking. Cuts anything in a mix.

It makes a nice complement to my Gibson J50 which is a strummers' delight with its darker and mellower sound, and deep bass.

I will post pictures soon...

Thanks for reading!

Phil

audiophil
06-05-2007, 08:00 AM
Some pictures :)

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/001.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/002.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/003.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/004.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/005.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/006.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/007.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/008.jpg

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l3/audio-phil/009.jpg



Phil

craigster59
06-05-2007, 10:48 AM
That's a beautiful guitar. I own 3, a Furch D-40 Durango (cedar/rosewood) amazing tone for the money, a Stonebridge D34-CR and a G23-CR. They are great guitars, meticulously built as you know. I get nothing but compliments from amatures and professionals alike. The D34 is a "tobacco sunburst" which aren't easy to find. I have a video on my computer from the Namm show w/ Tom Bresch (son of Merle Travis) playing at the Stonebridge booth. I'll post it if I can figure out how. Congratulations!

Mike23
06-05-2007, 11:19 AM
I dunno. I've heard of people having problems with theirs due to their use of green wood. People who bought theirs raving about it's awesome tone and playablility and then a year later complaining about warped tops etc.
I've never tried one myself and my lineage is Czech so I hope it's not true!

craigster59
06-05-2007, 11:25 AM
Well, here's my try at the video link. Hope it works.
http://s120.photobucket.com/albums/o200/craigster59/?action=view&current=stonebridge-wnamm.flv

craigster59
06-05-2007, 11:42 AM
Here's the D34 on the left.

http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o200/craigster59/D34CR001.jpg

Kabeer
06-05-2007, 12:32 PM
I dunno. I've heard of people having problems with theirs due to their use of green wood. People who bought theirs raving about it's awesome tone and playablility and then a year later complaining about warped tops etc.
I've never tried one myself and my lineage is Czech so I hope it's not true!

Green wood?

nelly green
06-05-2007, 01:15 PM
Hi
Hope you all don't mind me adding my experience, most of it already said but I hope it's of some benefit to you all by me adding it to this post. I've had the 22CM since November and before purchasing I sought lots of advice from Forums and in general. I still am amazed at it's value and depth and as someone earlier mentioned it does attract a lot of positive comments. It looks as plain as anything so it can only be the tone their commenting on (can't be my playing!!)

I know in the UK it carries a lifetime waranty and if you search the furch website http://www.furch.cz/eng/historie.php there are numerous testimonies to it's build and craftmanship.

One happy player
neal

cotten
06-05-2007, 02:06 PM
Thanks for the update, Neal. I've not had opportunity to audition a Stonebridge, but it sounds like something I would enjoy. How would you compare yours to other less expensive, Martinesque guitars, such as Blueridge?

cotten

kitsinni
06-05-2007, 02:21 PM
If that D-34 sounds as good as it looks it is one nice guitar!

Kabeer
06-05-2007, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the update, Neal. I've not had opportunity to audition a Stonebridge, but it sounds like something I would enjoy. How would you compare yours to other less expensive, Martinesque guitars, such as Blueridge?

cotten

I also havent auditioned them. But word from everyone (including a lot of guitar shops) is they are at the same build quality as Taylor and Martin.

Celtic Johnny
06-05-2007, 03:29 PM
Green wood?

Most fine wood is left to dry. Whether for instruments or furniture you never build with wood that hasn't dried all the sap and moisture out of it. You may have heard of kiln dried lumber. As wood dries it shrinks somewhat and may warp or crack so builders wait until it stabilizes. Wet wood is referred to as green.

nelly green
06-05-2007, 04:39 PM
Hi Cotten
Certainly I tried it against Taylors and Martins. Also Garrisons, Freshmans, Epiphone, S&P, Certainly for the it was comparitable to the 2k instruments I compared. (In trying many I didn't find one example that was duff!!) Mine was just over one third of the compared prices! I know it is all subjective but to me it fulfills all my requirements. Don't be worried about the build or quality in general- people with problems tend to share their experiences/concerns but I've yet to come across any.

I'm happy to say that I would vouch for it. Again look at the web site- an interesting development and story of a luthier stepping out from behing the Curtain!

Neal

craigster59
06-05-2007, 05:04 PM
For a luthier to be in business for 26 years, craft guitars, mandolins and acoustic basses with the build quality that Frantisek Furch does..it would be ludicrous to think that "green wood" is used.

I bought the Furch at a local music store and the 2 Stonebridges on the web, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Stonebridge on the internet. The quality is consistent, and the dealers I bought them through were as enthusiastic for these instruments as I am. "Where did you hear about these guitars" and "people who come in and play them are blown away" are usually the first parts of the conversation. They see more action than any of my other acoustics, including the Martin J-40 in the pic with my D34.

A little tough to find in USA, but Smoky Mountain Guitar and Sylvan Music are the 2 dealers that I bought from, and both were pleasant and professional to deal with. They're worth taking a look at. And no, I don't work for them, just a satisfied picker.

cotten
06-05-2007, 08:43 PM
Neal, your vote of confidence, and that of others, is enough to convince me that this is one that I shouldn't pass up the chance to dance with. I look forward to the opportunity!

cotten

Elfina
06-06-2007, 08:38 AM
I just played the Stonebridge OM 32 sitka mahogany and I thought it was was one of the best guitars I had ever tried in any price range, the only other mahogany OM I liked as much was Collings OM1A which was nearly a couple of thousand pounds more expensive. The build was excellent and it was a dream to play, I am saving for one right now!

ttimm
06-06-2007, 10:49 AM
I know and love their sound already many years. Especially I always wonder at stores, that Furch guitars are all, 100% good ones. You have to search among tens of Martins, to find real one, but I never played poor sounding Furch. So, it's a bit funny to read here how Czech masters can now make 'American national instruments'. Hey, they made guitars in 18..., (and Dobro was invented by Czech immigrant) and I always thought that 'American national instruments' are made by Indians and were not guitars.
Hope that good and friendly rivalry is what we players really need to get larger
assortment of really great guitars.

audiophil
06-07-2007, 09:18 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone.

Craigster59: nice guitars! And thanks for the link.

Elfina: thanks for your comment. Let us know your impressions and some pictures when you will find the one!

Regarding quality, i never read any negative review or comment about Furch/Stonebridge guitars. They are certainely well constructed and very solid. I inspected mine inside with a mirror and it's top nouch. No glue residue, nice joints, solid and nicely sanded braces, ... etc. And the top wood and solid mahogany are high grade, perfectly quatersawn too. After so many years in business and such a reputation i don't see why we someone consider these guitars "inferior" in any way.

Regarding the tone, i choosed this one after trying several much more expensive guitars, and although they were all grat guitars, the Stonebridge voice and punch stood out of the crowd, at least to my ears.

Regards
Phil