Stochelo Rosenberg and Eimers Guitars.
I met Leo Eimers at a gypsy festival in the Netherlands. Back stage I was playing guitar together with Nous’che waiting for our turn to perform. Leo introduced himself to me. He told me he is a guitar builder of Selmer style guitars and if I could give my opinion about the guitar he had with him. It was a copy of a Selmer guitar with a oval sound hole. We had several hours before our performance.
I never stopped playing his guitar. I was very impressed, especially by the sound and volume of the guitar. During playing the guitar we had a conversation. He told me he builds and restores Selmer style guitars for several years now. He did this beside his regular job. He gained his knowledge about the Selmer style guitars by restoring of numerous guitars like Favino, Busato, Di Mauro, Castelluccia and may others. Just before we had to go on stage he did a proposal. He offered me to build an exact replica of my Selmer (504). His only condition was if I liked the guitar we could talk further regarding a possible cooperation. His timing was perfect since I was looking for another guitar, beside my Selmer.
Following week he came over to our campsite in the town of Nuenen with pencil paper and measuring equipment. Many measurements were taken and he took many digital photo’s of the Selmer. Several times he came back because he wanted to verify a small detail. It must have bee a strange sight, two grown up man on their knees lookin into that small sound hole !
Two months later I visited Leo and received the guitar. I played many replica Selmer guitars in the past years, this guitar was something different. The sound and playability were outstanding for a newly build guitar. The same night I played the guitar during a performance of The Rosenberg Trio.
For me it was a acknowledgement of the qualities of Leo as a guitar builder. There are only a few words needed to explain what I want to have changed about a guitar, wether it affects sound, playability or cosmetics. It helps a lot that he plays the guitar himself. How do you explain to someone the ‘feel’ of the neck of a guitar ? He is a good listener and is always open for the needs of the musician. All options are discussed before a final decision is taken always in benefit for me as the player.
The guitar he build for me was the prototype of the Stochelo Rosenberg Signature Model. A copy of my Selmer en build according to my directions. From that moment I only work with Leo as my guitar builder. He also maintenance my Selmer and the Maccaferri of Nous’che.
Leo is a full time luthier and specialized in Selmer style guitars. Beside the Stochelo Rosenberg Signature Model he offers an impressive line of models all based on the Selmer design.
The Stochelo Rosenberg Signature Model is well accepted. We have a lot of positive respons from customers all over the world that ordered this guitar. Fortunately Leo receives many orders for this model. This has to do with the fact that I play a lot of concerts on the guitar. But also with the fine promotion on the web site of Eimers Guitars and the outstanding brochure of the guitar.
Recently we spoke about the capacity of Leo’s workshop. He is still building his guitars completely by hand in the old tradition of the French school. All parts are made by hand. He works alone, what influences the production capacity. On the other side he maintains a high quality level. I respect his principles and philosophy of guitar construction. Production is not his motivation. He builds about 30 guitars a year. He is one of the last luthiers in the traditional style. His guitars are exclusive and worthwhile to wait for a couple of months.