dropping by to see how everything is
going. I'm not sure if I sent you a proper email
post-receiving my instrument. I've left the
current set of strings on it for far too long,
and it still sounds fantastic even with dead
strings(!) Here's my mini-review of what I've
found in the instrument you built for me, though
you know how excellent they are for yourself:
It's an amazing, living instrument.
The moment I take it out of the case, it sounds
completely different from the last time it was
picked up. You can tell the instrument is cold
and needs some affection before it starts loving
you back. This is not a complaint, I think it's
a very beautiful thing and shows the delicacy
of the materials, how the instrument was built,
and the kind of care that it needs to care for
you back. It's unlike owning a "guitar", it
feels as if you're in a relationship with another
The tone is fantastic and wide.
It's a very recordable and sensitive instrument.
(I must beware of any small imperfections on
my nails! It is very quick to point of my imperfections.
Also a quality of it's beauty and sensitivity.)
It has a very deep low end and is infinitely
drivable. You can't distort it even if you try,
it's limitation is simply the limitation of
the strings that are equipped to it. The overtones
are beautifully colorful and have a warm darkness,
despite the brightness attributed to spruce
top guitars. It has a beautiful melancholy to
it that sounds unlike any other guitar I've
played. It fits me perfectly in that respect.
(I've also noticed that once the strings have
began to "sag" a bit, and the whole guitar detunes
by a small increment, these melancholic overtones
take on a new life of mournfulness). The highs
are very crystalline and bell-like and the tenor
areas are nicely warm and round, perfect for
melodic solo sections.
The appearance is perfect,
as well. There is no mistake in the construction,
you very clearly put extremely meticulous and
time consuming work (and your heart, most importantly)
into building each one of these. I appreciate
this unit of yourself in the instrument. It's
hard to give a piece of yourself away in a piece
of art; only the greatest of arts do this and
you've accomplished it with finesse and honesty.
The colors are perfect, it looks like an autumnal
breeze. It smells like one, too! Admittedly,
despite how inspiring this entire instrument
is, the aroma is what keeps me from putting
it down! You can be playing and the intensity
has dropped a bit. You'll randomly strike a
chord and a lushness of aromatics comes rushing
at you and just gives you chills. It's one of
the most incredible sensations I've ever had
the pleasure of witnessing.
I hope this wasn't too long
winded, as I could go on for ages about the
beauty and life of this tool. I hope you can
appreciate the gift you give the people who
are interested enough in seeking out your work.
It's a beautiful, honest, meditative process
that enriches the creator and this beauty transfers
from you to those you are serving by building
them these fine instruments.
Thank you so much, I will cherish
your creation hopefully for the rest of my years.
I plan on recording this guitar plenty and featuring
it on my albums to come. I hope you can find
some of yourself within my music as I've found
some of myself within your creation that is
before me. We are all one and with these mediums
this truth becomes very clear!
- August 13, 2014
I just had four days off
from work and practiced hours. I cannot tell
you enough how happy I am with the guitar. Every
time I pick it up, I feel I am handling a sacred
instrument--it inspires reverence, respect,
and a sort of awe. I am completely satisfied
with its playability. My left hand has had an
immediate and dramatic increase in comfort--bar
chords have never felt better!! I love the tone
already and look forward to years of maturing
with it. Even the basic physicality of holding
the instrument is rewarding and pleasing.
I think there were many factors
at play that were preparing me to move on from
my Ramirez of twenty years. I feel immensely
fortunate to have happened upon you at this
time. Your correspondence and advice were very
much appreciated and welcomed. I can tell you
without hesitation that I very much love the
guitar and look forward to years with it.
Enough for now. I am sure
our love of guitars will keep us in touch. Sincerely
and with thanks, Gary
Gary Holmgren - Menlo
Park, California, May 2010
Oberg's guitars are amazingly even in tone from
the lowest to the highest note. His instruments
have great sustain, wonderful projection, and
are very responsive. Oberg's guitars are technically
and musically profound.
Grasso - Davis, California, April 2007
7 and 25-stringed guitarist, composer, arranger,
Tim Littlejohn writes:
Since the last time I spoke
with you, your guitar has opened up very nicely
to the point where after it is warmed up, the
sound just EXPLODES in my hands. The guitar
has considerable volume and dynamic range suitable
for every type of music from all periods in
the guitar repertoire. The projection of the
guitar is exceptionally penetrating. It is already
an assertive instrument, full of personality
and still maturing to its highest potential.
Its character can be described as quick and
responsive, sensitive but bold. When the need
arises it can be BOLDLY aggressive especially
when played FORTE.
One can instantly hear the
separation of notes, which is clearly defined.
The guitar's trebles are sweet and clear with
cello like basses that continue to sing. I look
forward to playing it each day and watching
its progress (just like a child growing into
an adult!). I wanted to take the time to say
thank you and express my deep appreciation for
building me an instrument of the highest caliber!!!
Tim Littlejohn, Classical
Guitarist - Aiea, Hawai'i, October 2008
Visscher, Guitar Instructor, writes:
I recently completed a month
of recitals, playing on my new Oberg guitar.
The instrument is just awesome. Although less
than a year old, the guitar is wide open, surrounding
me with sound and offering a broad range of
tonal color, resulting in very satisfying performing
At every venue I received
comments on the guitar’s presence. I was
told that even from the back of the room it
sounded as though I were only ten feet away.
This guitar is truly a joy
to play, and almost as much fun to simply admire.
I’m very happy to have it and I would
give a full recommendation to anyone who is
considering placing an order. You won’t
Mount Royal College Conservatory
Calgary AB Canada
Keith Kubena, Classcical/Spanish
This guitar is magical and
the workmanship is second to none that I have
ever experienced. The sound is vibrant yet so
gentle allowing the true intended expressions
to come out on all registers. I have been playing
guitar intensely for over twenty five years
and each time I pick this one up I always feel
an anticipation of excitement, something I have
never experienced with any other guitar I have
Keith Kubena, Professional
Guitarist - Stockdale, Texas, February 2008
Alexander Dunn, Ph.D. writes:
As an owner of a guitar built
by Peter Oberg, I would like to express my enthusiasm
and admiration for this superb luthier.
My main concern in selecting
instruments is 'projection of musicality': a
term I use to describe a combination of power
and sustain, along with musical flexibility.
I have found that Peter's guitars display considerable
volume and fullness of sound, without sacrificing
quality; they also retain evenness throughout
their dynamic range. They are true instruments
in the sense that they can be used in any type
of repertoire, from Renaissance polyphony, Bach,
19th century music to contemporary music, with
clarity, projection, beauty of sound, and great
musicality. In fact, I have found that playing
an Oberg sharpens my hearing and stimulates
creativity through its warmth and separation.
I would recommend an Oberg guitar to anyone
who seeks a gorgeous sound, tremendous dynamic
range, and a clean, expressive playing experience.
Dr. Alexander Dunn, Ph.D.
Head of Guitar - University of Victoria
Head of Guitar - Victoria Conservatory of Music
De Innocentis, Professional Guitarist writes:
For me, it is a great pleasure
to describe the gifts of the instrument Peter
Oberg built for me a bit more than two years
ago…in fact, I am really happy to own
and play that wonderful guitar. It is a cedar
top guitar with the two characteristic sound
holes on the sides, which I call “eyes”.
The tone is warm and you get amazed by how much
“body” it has. The power of the
sound is astonishing: anyone who listens to
it for the first time gets almost “shocked”
by this feature-it is almost “aggressive”.
Sound projection is excellent. Having had the
chance to test the guitar in the most different
situations and conditions, everywhere my Oberg
sound arrives always clear and perceptible,
even when I play “piano”. With this
instrument it is possible to carry out wide
dynamic ranges and its response to tonal changes
is extremely sensitive.
Another important feature
of this guitar is polyphonic clearness: I mean,
the possibility to hear single voices in a chord
and, even more, when I play counterpoint pieces,
like Bach and Scarlatti. The Oberg has become
a faithful mate in my job and wherever I play
people appreciate it very much; also because
this guitar allows me to completely express
myself in my interpretations.
I would like to end this
short note by saying that I consider myself
lucky and honoured to be entered on the roll
of his friends, and I am convinced that he will
meet with success an even greater part of classical
guitar professionals, as he richly deserves,
and I feel up to recommend Peter’s fine
instruments to everybody, because it just can
do a lot of good to your playing!
Antonio De Innocentis,
Professional Guitarist - Caserta, Italy, June