Daniel Friederich was born on the sixteenth of January 1932 and regrettably passed away in 2020. Although he had a strong desire to play the guitar, he lacked money. But at the age of 23, Friederich solved this dilemma by building his first guitar himself: a copy of a Simplicio guitar. Daniel’s guitar teacher and excellent guitar maker, Christian Aubin, was a great help to him. After building tools and gaining some experience in guitar making, Daniel Friederich showed his fifteenth guitar to Robert Bouchet. Since then, Robert Bouchet has inspired his work, and Daniel Friederich has personally developed some of R. Bouchet’s ideas throughout his career.
Daniel Friederich was one of the world’s most important and respected active luthiers for decades. After a long and successful career, he stopped making guitars in 2015 and sold all his tools. Today, he is undoubtedly one of history’s most respected and admired guitar makers.
The 1979 “Expérimentale” No. 504 by Daniel Friederich stands as a testament to musical craftsmanship, embodying the pinnacle of guitar artistry. This mesmerizing instrument, nestled in the annals of guitar history, is among the rarest treasures a guitar aficionado can discover.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Daniel Friederich, the esteemed French master luthier, ventured beyond his traditional work to experiment with innovative designs to elevate sound quality. These “guitare expérimentale” are rare gems; between 1970 and 1986, a mere dozen or so were crafted. Each guitar is distinct: some bear the consistent DF numbering accompanied by the year, occasionally adorned with handwritten notes, while others solely feature the year of creation.
The sound of this guitar is nothing short of transcendent. Its treble tones exude clarity, enriched with overtones that chime with a bell-like brilliance and a sustain that heightens its aural allure. This is complemented by the warm, robust basses that provide depth without overpowering the treble, resulting in a harmonically balanced and well-rounded sound. Strumming its open strings evokes the feeling of being enveloped within the grandeur of a cathedral, a testament to the profound resonance and depth this instrument offers.
From a physical perspective, the guitar has been preserved in excellent condition, albeit with two professionally repaired aesthetic cracks. One is adjacent to the fingerboard on the bass side, and the other near the edge of the lower bout. These are positioned on the soundboard’s “dead spot,” and have been meticulously mended without cleats to uphold their structural integrity.
The guitar boasts some distinct features. The unsculpted head, understated bone decorations on the bridge, and a multicolored wooden rosette encircling the soundhole lend it a unique charm. Seven fan-bracings and a petite diagonal bar on the lower-bout treble side reinforce the soundboard.
Of special note is the guitar’s double-side construction, which incorporates an extra mahogany layer on the inner side. This enhances durability and augments its acoustic attributes, a hallmark characteristic reminiscent of Friederich’s renowned “Concert” model.
In conclusion, the 1979 “Expérimentale” No. 504 by Daniel Friederich is more than just an instrument; it’s an emblem of unparalleled craftsmanship and sonic excellence.
Watch the presentation video of this particular guitar below, where you will find a lot of additional information about its playability and sound.
|Back and sides:||Indian rosewood|
|Air body frequency:||F#/G|
|Strings:||Knobloch EDC 34.0|