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Guitar Prices

Ervin Somogyi, Luthier

516 52nd Street, Oakland, California 94609
Phone: (510) 652-5123
Fax: (510) 653-7097

Guitar Price List as of August, 2015

My price for a guitar is currently $35,000, plus whatever customizing features or design elements you want, plus applicable tax and shipping.

This price applies to any of my guitar models (Modified Dreadnought, Jumbo, OM, OOO, OO, Studio, Flamenco, or Classic).

I will discuss with you -- and if needed talk you through -- your preferences of materials, options, design features.

The price includes the following:
  • Brazilian rosewood back and sides; or choice of East Indian rosewood, figured maple, figured koa, padauk, figured mahogany, wenge, or other exotic (information on tonal significance provided on request)

  • Choice of best quality European spruce, or Sitka spruce, or cedar, or redwood (full information on tonal implications provided on request)

  • Choice of 12-fret or 14-fret model (information on tonal significance provided on request)

  • Choice of six string or twelve string (steel string) guitar

  • Choice of slotted or non-slotted peghead

  • Cutaway model of the Florentine (pointy) rather than the Venetian (rounded) type

  • Choice of neck width, shape, and string spacing (full information on ergonomics and playability will be provided on request)

  • Ebony fingerboard with ebony/maple binding, with linear abalone position marker inlays

  • Hard (18% nickel-silver) frets

  • All wood bindings, purflings, and joinery throughout

  • Hand-sculpted bridge and hand-shaped peghead

  • Clear pickguard (or no pickguard)

  • Choice of gold or Chrome Schaller, Gotoh, or Van Gent tuning machines

  • Segmented, sunset, or patio-stone soundhole rosette [NOTE: design details change periodically]

  • Clear French polish finish

  • Hoffee or Calton travel case

  • Full warrantee for as long as you have the guitar

  • Paperwork attesting to the provenance and legality of my Brazilian rosewood

  • A guitar that will be responsive in sound, unique, that will hold its economic value, and that will be worth handing on to your children

  • And last, but not least, information about any and all tonal, ergonomic, and aesthetic implications for anything we discuss.

  • Total Price $35,000
    (plus applicable taxes and shipping)


My instruments are widely known as all having great presence and depth of tone and sensitivity of response. Also, my work is increasingly being sought out by collectors, as it is regarded as being of a quality that any museum would aspire to have in its own collection.

I build a modest number of instruments each year, and I have a modest backlog of guitar orders. Because I am a custom maker hardly any two guitars I make are fully alike. I work closely with my clients to make each one a guitar that fits them as individually as possible.

If you commission a guitar from me, I'd like a tracing of your left hand and information about the average seasonal humidity in your area. I'd also like to know something about you, the kind of music you play, how you play it, what gauge strings you prefer, and also the indoors environment that the guitar is likely to live in.

I will make every effort to incorporate features and elements that you like into your guitar. If any of them is likely to interfere with its sound then I will try to steer you away from that one.

As things stand at present, I would expect the current waiting period to start your instrument to be about 1 to 1-1/2 years from receipt of a deposit. A payment of $3500 (10%) places your order on my list; the payment becomes non-refundable after thirty days.

Once I begin construction of your instrument, I will ask for subsequent payments on completion of significant parts of it, as well as when the box is completed and about to have the finish applied. Balance of the price will be due upon completion of the guitar.

Please come visit me, call or write, and I'll be pleased to answer any questions you might have about my guitars or my work. Many of my custom projects and specially commissioned design/art work are on view on my website, and I have posted quite a few articles, essays, and answers to frequently asked questions there also. Please visit it.


Select Master Grade, figured, or otherwise unique Brazilian
Rosewood back and sides
additional, depending on quality and availability
Hand-carved artistic soundhole rosetteadd $3500, or as negotiated
"Fancy snowflake" or "mosaic block" fingerboard inlaysadd $350.
Back of neck inlay (mosaic block, purfling lines, or other) add $500.
Figured topwoodsas available
Custom-made tuning machines (Alessi, Rodgers, Scheller, etc.) as negotiated
Other woods or materials as agreed on
Eight-, nine-, ten-, (or other) string guitar modelsas agreed on
An entirely new, custom-designed guitar model as agreed on
Fanned-frets (requires modified bridge, neck, fingerboard,
peghead, and bracing)
add $2000.
Ergonomically tapered body add $1250.
Fingerboard extension add $350.
On-board electronicsas negotiated
Non-cutaway guitar deduct $400
Special commission artistic inlays, features, carved ornamentation,
accessories, embellishments, or materials
as negotiated


I'll stand behind my work and will do repairs if there is any failure of structure for reasons that are in my area of responsibility. I ask that the client be responsible for costs of shipping the guitar to me and back in case of such failure. I'll take care of the rest. My responsibility for fixing a problem may be undercut, however, if the guitar has had work done on it by someone else.

The soundbox is a relatively fragile construct. There is wear and tear from use, but most of this tends to be cosmetic. Most actual damage is due to accidental impact or from carelessness in exposing the guitar to severe changes in heat and humidity. I can and will do repairs in such instances should they occur, but I will charge for them as though they were any other repair that I was asked to do.

Some damage may occur from hard-to-explain causes, which places the responsibility for making things right again into a grey area. When this has occurred in the past my client and I usually agree on some compromise level of payment in which responsibility is shared and that everyone can live with. I should point out that the best tonewoods are brittle, and are the likeliest to suffer from cracking if the guitars are pushed past a certain limit. It is precisely their brittleness like glass that makes a sound when struck that makes them so acoustically and dramatically alive . . . as well as likely to crack.

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