Hans van den Berg was born in Orkney, South Africa, on March 1st, 1960. He always loved working with wood, mainly involving furniture, but it wasn’t until later in life that his sister, a classical guitar teacher, introduced him to a book about guitar making, which to him seemed the ultimate in woodworking: bringing the material back to life in the form of a musical instrument.
He threw himself into luthiery and built his first guitar in 1996. He studied the work of the masters from books and built various instruments based on the work of Jose Romanillos for his spruce guitars and Daniel Friederich for his cedar guitars, with a focus on improving upon traditional methods. Abri Jordaan, a leading South African guitar teacher, helped him better understand the player’s needs in terms of feel and sound. In 2007 he built a workshop next to his house in Meyerton, South Africa, where he now works full time.
In 2008, a guitarist commissioned van den Berg to make a double-top classical guitar. Inspired by the recordings of David Russell, he took on the challenge and made the first of what would become his most popular model. The sides of this double-top model consist of two layers – each 2 mm thick – of rosewood and kiaat bent separately and then laminated in a jig under high clamping pressure. This feature was inspired by the Friederich design to improve sustain.
This lovely brand new “Supreme Double-top” model by Hans is splendid. The craftsmanship is exquisite, and one gets a sense of Hans’ woodworking background. With an unusual spruce/cedar double-top and a radial bracing pattern, this guitar stands out in terms of construction and sound. The volume is generous, and most of all, the playability is exceptional. With its warm textured sound, this guitar is an excellent double-top pick.
|Luthier:||Hans van den Berg|
|Back and sides:||Indian rosewood|
|Case:||Hiscox Pro II|