I thought I would wait 48 hours before I put down my thoughts about the
Stonebridge G23 CR leftie that has finally arrived. WOW. Like many of
us I expect, I have wistfully played £2500- £3000 guitars in shops and
then thought 'is this really that much better than my guitar'? But the
Stonebridge is something else. The finish is impeccable. The attention
to detail, inside and out is all there. She is quietly stunning. But
how does she sound?
It is like cleaning your glasses! Everything that was hinted at is now there, without you straining, and in abundance. The intonation is spot on at all points of the compass (that might be down to Richards set up of course). The voice is full, round and as clear as a bell. The sustain goes on into next week. The guitar is powerful, so you can play quietly, but then move to a crescendo without her losing grip. String separation is perfectly balanced, each note is the same volume, clearly focussed and its overtones work with the other notes being played rather than against them. The extra 2mm width at the nut really works for me - there seems to be so much more room to place cleanly and swiftly. The guitar is so easy to play, I do not feel I am fighting in complicated passages (set up again?). She will also take strumming comfortably, either with a pick or with fingers. But this guitar is a fingerstyle players dream.
A word about buying from Richard. It is counter intuitive. His website acknowledges how easy it is to go wrong in music shops. Add to that buying unseen over the internet! Insanity. But honestly, it does not feel like you are buying a guitar from Richard. He is the bloke you take along with you to make sure you don't lose your head. It will take longer than most transactions because his judgement is cooler than yours. But I have come to the conclusion that for most of us, he is our best chance of getting the guitar of our dreams. All in all it is disconcerting. But the result is amazing. Thanks Richard.