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Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars

DonMeixner 27 Aug 05 - 04:44 PM
Leadfingers 27 Aug 05 - 04:51 PM
The Borchester Echo 27 Aug 05 - 05:03 PM
Leadfingers 27 Aug 05 - 05:03 PM
DonMeixner 27 Aug 05 - 05:22 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 27 Aug 05 - 05:31 PM
The Borchester Echo 27 Aug 05 - 05:34 PM
michaelr 27 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM
Mooh 27 Aug 05 - 06:47 PM
DonMeixner 27 Aug 05 - 08:16 PM
John P 27 Aug 05 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Boab 27 Aug 05 - 11:38 PM
Dave Hanson 28 Aug 05 - 02:31 AM
van lingle 28 Aug 05 - 04:35 AM
mooman 28 Aug 05 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,jonm sans cookie 28 Aug 05 - 10:50 AM
John P 30 Aug 05 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Greycap 31 Aug 05 - 03:55 AM
GUEST 12 May 07 - 06:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 May 07 - 07:44 AM
Sugwash 12 May 07 - 04:12 PM
Little Robyn 12 May 07 - 04:28 PM
Pete_Standing 13 May 07 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,NK Forster 13 May 07 - 05:30 PM
oombanjo 14 May 07 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Dave Chadwick - Manchester 05 Nov 10 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Jon Strong 14 Feb 11 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,daveh 19 Apr 11 - 02:33 PM
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Subject: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 04:44 PM

I heard a Sobel Guitar and a Cittern today. Both electric but great sounding. Any opinions?

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 04:51 PM

Electric ?? Or DI'd acoustics Don ? Sobell has been making superb instruments of all sorts for YEARS - Wish I could afford one or four !!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 05:03 PM

Stefan Sobell was also a very fine performer (probably still is for all I know as I haven't seen him since he vanished to the wilds of Northumbria) but that's the price that must be paid to allow him time at his bench to produce such amazing instruments. Like Leadfingers, I wish I could afford one (grumble, grumble).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 05:03 PM

Just looked at the website - ALL acoustic stuff - Guitars , Citterns and Mandolins at http://www.stefansobellinstruments.com (and it IS double L !!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 05:22 PM

Thanks Gang.

They are accoustic instruments that have had transducers installed in them. So I heard them electrically through the PA and not purely accoustic. AND I guessed at the spelling of the name as I was unable to read the labells, er.. labels. The musician told me the names so I just winged it regards to splling.

Since I have never heard of these instruments before where else would I go for an opinion?

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 05:31 PM

Martin Simpson used to play a Sobell that had one of the best acoustic sounds I've ever heard (not hindered by being played by Martin Simpon). It wasn't quite as good when it was DId.

You could look at the testimonials on Sobell's site given by Leadfingers above.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 05:34 PM

where else would I go for an opinion?

Martin Simpson? He plays one.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM

Martin Simpson is the US distributor for Sobell instruments. Sobell bouzoukis are de rigeur for Irish musicians (those who have the cash, that is).

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Mooh
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 06:47 PM

Have had the opportunity to inspect several Sobel instruments as they pass through the instrument repair shop part of the Goderich Celtic College. All have been of consistent high quality sound and build. We only see them for re-stringing, minor repair or maybe a set-up, nothing major. Compared to other citterns, the Sobel always seem to have superior sound. From what I've seen and heard of them on stage, they also take a beating without complaint.

Don, if you're in the market, you're safe.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 08:16 PM

I went to the site. Some great looking instruments and some construction philosophy I agree with and appreciate. I even enjoyed the user comments.

But.

I can see the same and read the same at any builders site. Face it, they are gonna put out the best effort into their adverts if they have a half a brain. No one will say we do this the same old way as everyone else and I build them using mediocre wood and secondrate parts.

What I am impressed by is what I saw and heard today. I saw instruments obviously built by a craftsman with well matched woods and a creative eye for detail. And I heard accoustic instruments that sounded great and very accoustic with pick ups and direct amplification. That means more to me than a slick web site no matter how truthful it is.

Thanks Mooh, I am always in the market but not always in the money.
I think I may have to move a Sobell guitar to the top of my wish list.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: John P
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 08:44 PM

I've been playing a Sobell cittern for many years. It's never been any other than superb. Total workhorse, sounds magnificent, and plays like a dream.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 11:38 PM

Stephan's wife, I believe, also makes instruments. Somewhere in the past I think I heard dulcimers mentioned. It may be that her work also bears the name "Sobell".
   And I second the opinion of Countess Richard above---Stephan was--likely still is---an accomplished entertainer in his own right. He was a regular at Hexham folk club 'way back in the sixties and seventies.
   And to those who would trace the "vanished" Stephan, make for Hexham, proceed to the "wilds of Northumberland" village of Whitley Chapel, and ask any resident for directions. Unless he has moved on somewhere, that's where you will find him.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 02:31 AM

It's STEFAN ffs not Stephan.

eric


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: van lingle
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 04:35 AM

You might see one if you go to dreamguitars.com which had one of Simpson's Sobells up for sale.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: mooman
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 05:56 AM

I have heard and worked on set-ups of a number of superb ones but also a few that were not so good.

They are of excellent build quality and use top quality materials. But like all instruments, each one is different and, like all instruments I would recommend playing one before buying it. I have a professional musician friend who ordered one (very long waiting list) on spec and has subsequently been disappointed with the sound (but not the look) of it. It has a strongly characteristic tone but not the one he wanted.

They tend towards the very expensive and I think there are a number of equal instruments from other makers about now (at least based on what has passed through my hands or workshop).

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST,jonm sans cookie
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 10:50 AM

I've never played one of his guitars - never seen a lefty and I imagine I would have to pay for it before I'd get the opportunity. People I have spoken with all say it's a matter of taste - they either suit your style or not.

I have tried a bouzouki (I play those upside down) and found the tone rich and warm for Celtic accompaniment but just too much - too busy, too many harmonics and overtones - for some of the more complicated stuff I tried.

Try before you buy, horses for courses etc.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: John P
Date: 30 Aug 05 - 09:29 AM

Stefan Sobell also built the lap dulcimers. He doesn't make them anymore, but that's where he started. I think his wife plays the dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 31 Aug 05 - 03:55 AM

Stefan's instruments are great - I cannot speak too highly of his talent.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 07 - 06:42 AM


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 May 07 - 07:44 AM

Generally I think if the DI sound isn't up to the acoustic sound - then perhaps its a mismatch of guitar and transducer.

Its not a case of one size fits all. there are happy accidents, and unfortunate pairings.

At the moment I'm a big fan of the k&k product - I have two of the pure western models. It works like a dream for the guitar I play at present (Faith Jupiter off e-bay for £150).

I also have an LR Baggs system which came with my upmarket Yamaha which is good.

However a Martin Thinline didn't seem to suit a D35 that passed through my hands and a Shadow didn't really hit it off with a Rob Armstrong - earlier in my career.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Sugwash
Date: 12 May 07 - 04:12 PM

I have two Sobell guitars. One is a guitar-bouzouki which was designed by Stefan in consultation with Andy Irvine. The other is a plectrum guitar, 4 strings similar to a tenor guitar but a couple of inches longer. They're both marvellous instuments, beautifully made, great sounding and lovely to play.

Both instruments have under the bridge Lloyd-Baggs pickups which work well enough. I believe that he now uses Highlander pickups in his guitars.

I also have two mandolins and a cittern by him. His workmanship his superb. If I could afford one I'd get a six string guitar from him; I fear his prices have now made this unlikely, I got all my instruments whilst his prices were more affordable, the first, a 10 string mandolin cost £340 in 1982, the last, an 8 string mandolin, a heck of a lot more in 2004.

But my favourite instrument is my beat up old Fylde Falstaff guitar which has been with me since 1978.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Little Robyn
Date: 12 May 07 - 04:28 PM

In 1972 he was looking after the bagpipe museum in Newcastle when I visited it and he lived upstairs. He was in the process of making dulcimer fingerboards from old piano keys - the black ones, which he was gluing together. Maybe he ran out of old pianos???
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 13 May 07 - 04:46 PM

Pete Coe has a dulcimer made by Sobell.

Martin Simpson has stated that if he is only able to use one guitar for a performance, it would be a Sobell. Martin says that his playing has been influenced by developments in Sobell's manufacture and vice versa. Martin also states that he chooses Highlander pickups. I have never heard a nicer sounding guitar than Martin's Sobell, though some Sobell owners I have met have said that Nick Benjamin (of Lewes in Sussex) is a worthy alternative, and considerably cheaper!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST,NK Forster
Date: 13 May 07 - 05:30 PM

Just to let you all know that after many years of working for Stefan (1988-2003) I set up my own workshop in 2004. The work is my own, but is a developement of Stefan's style of building. Many qualities are shared - workmanship, power, seperation and clarity, but with perhaps more softness and warmth. I build Guitars, cittern, Bouzouki, Mandolin and Dulcimer.
http://www.nkforsterguitars.com

sound samples on
http://www.myspace.com/nkforsterguitars

Nigel Forster
Newcastle upon Tyne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: oombanjo
Date: 14 May 07 - 12:03 PM

I have a friend that is a top class mandolin maker, one time I visited he had 6 mandolins in cases with the tops open he asked me to run my finger over the strings and give him an opinion did and chose number 5. he said "shit that's the only Sobel in and the rest are mine" as a rider to this, the guitar that he made for me and I picked up 10 years ago when this happened is amazing and I have never wanted another since.Cheers Oombanjo


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST,Dave Chadwick - Manchester
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 01:02 PM

I bought 2 Sobell guitars Sicilian Model 1 & Archtop over 10 year's ago. They are sounding better with age - I wouldn't buy anything else now. I wish I could afford another!
Stefan is a great man to deal with and makes you very welcome.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST,Jon Strong
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 06:15 PM

I have the last Dulcimer Stefan ever made and the largest, custom made for me in 1975, has anyone got any idea what it's worth?

Cheers JOn.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Stefan Sobel Guitars
From: GUEST,daveh
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 02:33 PM

re Stefan Sobel Dulcimers
He made the last batch of 5 in the mid 80's around 1984. 4 Rosewoods and a mahogany , all 6 stringers. The late Phil Ranson got one of the rosewoods and I got the mahogany. Since then it has been thrashed in sessions and at festivals sometimes without mercy. It stays in tune and I only have had to change the strings twice in 20 plus years. I waited more than 2 years to get it, with much pestering from me. I would not change it for the world.
As far as value I guess £600 would NOT replace it.
I am first time blogger but have read many of the articles
Cheers daveh


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