My thoughts on the new Stromberg Guitars:
This past winter I was in the market for a good, sturdy gig guitar that wouldn't be too fragile
to take into a club or an outdoor gig. Sound and playability were also important to me and so was cost. I knew that most good
instruments would meet my criteria, but the price tag needed to make it worthwhile. Around that time a student of mine brought
a Stromberg Newport to his lesson and I found what I was looking for.
When I saw the guitar I was immediately impressed by three things. First, the instrument itself
looked great. It was spotless. The finish was very well done. The binding, pick guard and accessories were very classy looking.
Second, it sounded great. The Newport is about the size of a Gibson ES 125, so it is slightly smaller than a full sized arch
top. I thought its size might affect the tone, but it did not. The Newport actually sounded noticeably more full than
my re-issue Epiphone Emperor. The third thing that I realized was that this guitar played fantastically. It was set up beautifully
and the neck felt very comfortable.
I then discovered that even though the Strombergs are imports, the guitars come with all US
parts (Kent Armstrong pickups, WD pick guards and parts, as well as Kluson tuners). The guitars are also individually set
up in Florida by a luthier. The nuts are cut for medium flat wound strings (not light gauge, round wounds like many imports).
I realized that even though the list price on my Epiphone Emperor was slightly cheaper, I had sunk more that $300 into new
parts for it: a Kent Armstrong pick up, a new tail piece, nut, tuners and an ebony bridge. Essentially I had paid to make
my Epiphone more like the Stromberg. Overall, it cost me more than it would have if I had just bought a Stromberg in the first
place. It turns out, the Epiphone was still not as comfortable to me and didnt sound as nice either.
I bought a Newport about a week later. I can't say enough good things about
Stromberg guitars. If youre interested, you can check them out for yourself. Visit the Stromberg web site to find a dealer
near you or buy direct from the web site. You can also check my gig schedule for upcoming in-store clinics, shows and
workshops to hear a Stromberg guitar in person.