Based in the U.K and established in 2008, Stephen Eden is a skilled and highly regarded luthier now working from his home in Bexhill-on-Sea. Stephen explains here the very beginning.
"The conceptual idea for what would become the Cadenza came from a discussion with an apprentice I had at the time in 2014. At his college, they ran a competition where 3 of them were tasked to build a guitar in 24 hours. I wondered how quickly I could build a guitar using my now extensive building knowledge. The resulting guitar was very exciting and thought provoking. I built this guitar to the same structural design as my standard concert model. I knew I had the ability to utilize my building capabilities to make a great sounding guitar of simple aesthetic. I love to build and strive to spend maximum time in the workshop. At the time I had my guitars stocked with Miles Roberts of Kent Guitar Classics and so I presented him with the guitar. Miles's opinion was something I valued and respected and I hoped he would embrace the possibilities the guitar represented. Miles was impressed."
~ Stephen Eden
Miles Roberts established Kent Guitar Classics in 2001 which traded until his retirement at the end of 2020. Miles's guitar knowledge and highly-regarded reputation made Kent Guitar Classics the ideal dealership through which to market the Cadenza guitars. The concept of the guitar proposed by Stephen was just what Miles had been looking for - an artisan hand-built guitar of concert quality and projection at a price that was affordable for talented, young players who needed a refined instrument but were unable to afford more expensive instruments. Miles and Stephen collaborated together on developing the appearance and sound quality resulting in the Cadenza that has proved to be so popular with guitarists of all ages around the world including professional players such as Mark Eden and Gaelle Solal.
"These are the very opposite of so many guitars on the market that seem to be more about what they look like than what they sound like. These Cadenza guitars on the other hand, have refined trebles that are crisp, clear and sustaining, with balanced middle range, pleasing depth of bass and facilitate a wide variety of tone colour. This is achieved by using the very highest quality timbers, hand-crafted and shellac-polished with the skill and experience of Stephen Eden. Nearly all the guitars in the market at 50% higher price than the Cadenza model, are factory-made or in workshops where not made by an individual artisan. The competitive price of these genuinely hand-made instruments is achieved by unusually efficient workshop practices, some well-judged cosmetic simplification and efficient material purchasing.
According to all that have played them, they have unbeatable sound quality at their price ... which is the whole idea!"
~ Miles Roberts
Sabrina Holt now handles all Cadenza enquiries and orders since January 2021. Having been with Stephen since the start of his career, she continues the never-ending process of absorbing knowledge of this guitar-making business. When Kent Guitar Classics handled the exhibiting, enquiries, orders and stock, Stephen was able to totally focus on construction, resulting in high efficiency and a very competitive selling price. This will continue with Sabrina taking over the Kent Guitar Classics role.
"I will provide the same high level of integrity, care and attention to every enquiry and order as Miles did at Kent Guitar Classics. He has been an exemplary guiding hand, not only in the establishment of the Cadenza but the handover following his retirement.
To mark the dawn of this new marketing era Stephen and I have refreshed the Cadenza head shape and rosette design; the construction and quality otherwise remains unchanged. The rosette is much in keeping with other models within Stephen's range such as the Solea budget flamenco.
One of the things that has always impressed me about the Cadenza, like all of Stephen's models, is the consistency in build and sound quality. The Cadenza is a very well balanced guitar, immersing the player in it's sound and offers exceptional response and sustain even above the 12th fret.
If you choose to make the Cadenza your first or next exciting guitar purchase I am here for you. This is a guitar for guitarists!"
~ Sabrina Holt