The Sandberg Biography
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Sandberg Guitars was founded in 1986 by Holger Stonjek and Gerd Gorzellke during their apprenticeship as piano builders. The first workshop was located in an old farm building close to Wolfsburg (Volkswagen City) in a small road called “Am Sandberg”.
After a long and challenging search for a solid and well sounding company name they finally saw the beauty in the name of the street – Sandberg From the beginning, both, Holger and Gerd, created their own bass shapes, pickups and hardware. Besides their own designs they build custom basses upon requests. In the late 80s, during the start up of the company, the focus was mainly on 5 and 6 string bass guitars with throughneck using precious and rare wood tops.At the beginning of the 90s Sandberg started to grow and they moved the workshop to a bigger location in Braunschweig to improve and increase their production and subsequently allow a better respond to the market. New trends formed a variety of new bass models and sounds. In addition to their high end hifi sound models, a new line based on classical bolt-on neck basses was designed. During this time, well known bass player Ken Taylor was looking for a new bass sound.
Sandberg caught his attention and this was the beginning of a prosperous and continous collaboration which has evolved into a deep friendship. His signature model, Basic Ken Taylor, is still one of the most successful and popular Sandberg models.Due to increased demand Sandberg needed a new “colleague” to support them in their work – the CNC router computer operated machine. This router is only used to perform the very basic steps during the creation of a Sandberg bass. His job is to make the neck and pickup pockets and the outlines of the bass bodies only. All other form shaping steps, especially the critical shaping of the neck are still done by hand. A machine is able to operate to exactly 1/100 mm, but it cannot possess that luthiers understanding for when a neck feels right! Currently there are six full time employees at Sandberg. Each one is individually focussed and specialised on different aspects of building a bass. The shaping of the neck, the fretwork, giving the body the right form, the final fine sanding, etc. are all jobs that are done by highly skilled, qualified and specialised workers with their own hands. This is what gives the instrument its unique playing feel and its “soul”.The specialisation and the long-time experience of the workers as both, instrument makers and as active players make sure that Sandberg basses always deliver the best playability. A familiar feeling from the first touch on. In the beginning of the new millennium, Sandberg developed a new bass line – the California series. It is an outstanding combination of traditional shapes with modern components.
During the whole history of Sandberg Guitars an important company philosophy is the ongoing strive to develop and improve all critical details such as function, materials, sound and finish. Besides the special Sandberg custom designed bridge and self developed pickups, other high quality parts, hardware, electronics and pick ups are made for us by other respected German manufacturers such as Delano and Häussel. Other parts are manufactured according to our own specifications like the Glockenklang electronics. Every single step needed to make a bass complete, from choosing the wood to lacquering and assembling is done in our workshop in Braunschweig. The continuous innovation as well as the experimentation with unusual shapes and materials reflects the philosophy and desire of the company to never stand still. Innovation is a bye word in Sandberg with many examples such as the LED lighted acrylic body bass (Plasma) and the special low B E A D tuning bass for Oliver Riedel ( Rammstein )and continuing with the “Fishbass” for Jan S. Eckert (Masterplan).Many exotic finishes are now standard, such as the “aged” finish, the gold and sterling silver plated bass bodies or the 3 dimensional “zebra” finish.