Instruments available now

  • 1990 Brazilian rosewood Butterfly model

    Donal Clancy is selling his 1990 Brazilian rosewood Butterfly model guitar.  This was based on my then current Model 1 but with a tighter waist and consequent sharper shoulders.  It was described as looking a little butterfly shaped, and the name stuck.

    Donal says:

       I first came across this guitar in about 2004 on the Dreamguitars website. Out of all the sound samples of the beautiful guitars on their site, I thought this one had the most magical sound of the lot. I wasn’t in the market for a Sobell, I just loved the sound and wanted the guitar, but alas someone else got to it first. Then about a year or two later, to my surprise the guitar appeared for sale from a dealer in Texas. I jumped at the opportunity and bought the guitar. I’ve cherished the guitar ever since, using it to record and play it in the privacy of my living room. I used it on 11 of the 13 tracks on my latest album. It has stunning Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a German spruce top.

           I enquired from Stefan if he had any memory of building the guitar and he told me it was a ‘sister’ to one he built for Martin Simpson which Martin played on his album ‘When I was On Horseback’. In my opinion the guitar sound on that particular album of Martin’s is the best of all the albums of his that I’ve heard. I actually had the opportunity to A/B my Butterfly with the one Martin owned and to my ear they were nearly identical in tone, but the playability of mine was far better. It’s in very good condition but for a professionally repaired top crack which is perfectly stable. I believe the repair was done by the luthier, Bill Tippin, in the States but I could be wrong? Apparently, only four of these ‘Butterfly’ models were built, so it’s a rare guitar indeed!

            So, at this point you’re probably wondering why I’d sell a guitar that I cherish so much. There are two reasons actually, the first is that I tour and perform with larger body guitars and I always find the Sobell a huge adjustment when I go back to playing it at home. Secondly, I’ve always dreamed of having a guitar custom built for me and I’ve placed an order with Stefan which I’m very excited about. Unfortunately, in order to pay for a new custom built instrument I’ll have to sell this one to offset the cost.

    This guitar is at present in Ireland, and being Brazilian rosewood, cannot be shipped to the USA.

    For anyone who wishes to hear sound samples or make enquiries please email me at