Simon Ambridge was born in 1951 in London. He comes from a family with a long cabinet-making tradition dating back to the 18th century. Although a keen woodworker from an early age, he studied graphic design before setting up a successful furniture-making business in London. In 1978 he made his first acoustic guitar based on a Martin 0045, then soon after, I made a small Torres-style classical with help from Kevin Aram, who has since established himself as a leading luthier. At this point, his path was clear; he was hooked. However, it was ten years before he could devote himself to guitar-making full-time.
Becoming a full-time guitar maker coincided with his move to Devon in the southwest of England, thanks to a setting up grant from the Crafts Council of Great Britain. He was particularly honored by this grant since the selectors included Jose Romanillos, David Rubio, and Paul Fischer. In 1991 he received awards from the David Canter Memorial fund and Southwest Arts. In 1995 he moved into a studio on the Dartington estate in South Devon, home of the renowned Dartington International Summer School. Over the years, he has enjoyed a growing international reputation with customers in North and South America, Canada, the Far East, Australia, mainland Europe, and the UK.
His concert guitars (like this one) owe their appearance to the instruments of Antonio de Torres, the early 20th-century Spanish makers. Combining these guitar-makers design elements with his ideas, he produces traditional instruments in style, lightly built, and very responsive. He’s aiming for a sound with natural beauty, with the notes evenly focused and well-balanced across the musical spectrum.
This superb guitar number 280 comes directly from Simon Ambridge’s workshop. Its striking beauty shows fine and abundant marquetry and a fantastic selection of woods. Moreover, the spruce soundboard shows only a couple of almost invisible nail marks, and the stunning Indian rosewood back and sides also only show very superficial playing wear, making this instrument in excellent condition. The German Scheller tuners with their Silver Nickel plate underline the unique character of this instrument. From the first notes, this guitar captivates the ear with its powerful and open tone, which is impressive for such a young instrument. This aspect is very promising for the development of sound. The playability is perfect, and you can feel that Simon Ambridge puts the guitarist in the foreground. This concert guitar is effortless to control and offers the discerning concert guitarist many possibilities for sound creation. The quality of the timbre and the subtlety of the resonances add a charming final note to the overall appearance of this guitar.
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|
|Case:||Hiscox Pro II|