This is a very special soprano from the Forest of Dean’s fantastically talented luthier Phil Davidson. This one is one of my favourite sopranos I’ve seen from Phil. Made in all solid Hawaiian koa with beautiful figuring, and inlaid with a pretty beach scene on the headstock, it feels like a piece of the Islands but made right here in the Forest.
This is a used model from 2007 that one of our lovely customers traded in. It’s been well played so there are small surface scratches that’s you’d expect after some years but the gloss finish ensures that it still looks wonderfully beautiful. It had an Ebony faceplate, fingerboard and bridge and an abalone rosette. The neck is mahogany and features a really attractive maple stripe through the centre.
The previous owner had an LR Baggs pickup fitted, which still works perfectly. When it was fitted the bridge wasn’t altered so Phil has done some work on it, adding a channel for the ribbon pickup and crafting a new higher saddle to compensate for a tiny bit of bellying (common and rightly so in lightly braced instruments like this) so the action is just right – nice low but with no buzzes.
It’s currently set up low G which surprisingly works brilliantly even on a soprano (just like Herb Ohta used to play) but can be strung high G no problem. It has lovely black Gotoh UP Tuners, which look like traditional friction pegs but are actually geared tuners for accurate and smooth tuning. It comes with a hard case included.
If Phil made you one of these new you’d have to pay £1000 more than this!