NAMM 2024: “It does everything a Strandberg can do but redefines accessibility for all levels of players”: Strandberg reveals the Boden Essential, its most affordable guitar yet

Strandberg Boden Essential
(Image credit: Strandberg)

NAMM 2024: Strandberg has been teasing its “biggest news ever” for some time. Now, it has finally revealed its trump card in the Boden Essential range, its most affordable guitars yet. The latest addition to the Swedish luthier’s ergonomic guitar family "redefines accessibility in innovative guitar design".

Strandberg is calling it “a significant milestone” in terms of accessibility. The guitars retain much of the magic that makes Strandberg’s headless guitars so well-loved, but deliver them at a reduced price point of $999.

That’s a fair reduction, with the Boden Standard fetching up to $2,000 apiece. It contrasts with some of its other new editions, too: the Futur range, for instance, goes for $6,250.

Manufactured in Indonesia, it features Strandberg’s signature EndurNeck profile, which can be seen across its range of guitars, in a bolt-on construction with sculpted neck joint heel. The budget 'bergs, which come in Black Granite, Astro Dust (red), and Elemental Blue Satin acrylic finishes, comprise a solid meranti body.

Strandberg Boden Essential

(Image credit: Strandberg)

This medium-density wood is seen as an affordable alternative to mahogany and a key reason for its chopped-down price. It’s also considerably lighter in weight than its pricier counterpart, with the entire guitar weighing approximately 2.15kg – that's around just 4.7lbs. It’s complemented by a roasted one-piece maple neck and rosewood fingerboard.

With a 20" fretboard radius and 25.5" scale length, there are 24 frets to dance across, separated by DHP stainless steel fretwire. It also features glow-in-the-dark inlays and side dots for shredding in pesky poorly-lit venues.

Strandberg Boden Essential

(Image credit: Strandberg)

Its six strings are fixed in place by Strandberg's new EGS Arc cast zink fixed bridge and string locks. This new hardware is designed to make string changes and minor adjustments near-effortless. It builds on its standard hardware with a new heel for the strings to sit into.

Over to its sonic profile, this is where a little more of the cost-saving can be noticed. Its twin humbuckers are Strandberg-branded custom OEM pickups, rather than the futuristic Fishmans seen in more premium builds. There is no sign of the usual battery compartment on the guitar’s rear, either, which insinuates these are passive pickups.

Strandberg Boden Essential

(Image credit: Strandberg)

Players can tap into tonal diversity through its five-way pickup selector. Those modes go from bridge only, to the outer coil of the bridge, the outer coils of both, the outer coil of the neck, and the full neck humbucker only. As is standard in Strandbergs, there’s a singular tone knob and volume control.

“It does everything a Strandberg can do, but bridges the gap to a more traditional playing style," says company founder, Old Strandberg of the Boden Essential. "The Boden Essential embodies a commitment to inclusivity and innovation. It's not just a guitar; it's an invitation for musicians of all levels to experience the iconic design features of Strandberg to facilitate a more enjoyable playing experience.”  

These lightweight guitars come with a free gig bag and Allen key set for string changes. They come strung with D’Addario NYXL 10-46 strings in standard tunings.

As things stand, it is only available as a six-string model. However, given Strandberg’s penchant for extended-range guitars, this is likely to change in the future.

Founded nearly 15 years ago by Ola Strandberg, Strandberg’s ergonomically shaped and headless guitars have become ever-present in the contemporary guitar scene. Played by modern innovators like Plini, Sarah Longfield, Haken duo Richard Henshall and Charlie Griffiths, and Alex Machacek, Strandberg instruments have continually pushed the boundaries of guitar norms.

Cynic guitarist Paul Masvidal has been a key contributor to the brand’s growth and development for over a decade. However, it was announced in early January that he had moved over to Kiesel Guitars, with Ola Strandberg championing his legacy.

“I want to offer Paul Masvidal my best wishes for his future artistry as an endorser of Kiesel Guitars,” he said in an Instagram post. “When Paul teamed up with us at Strandberg over 10 years ago, we had a production of 20 or so guitars [per] month.

“We have gone through at least five iterations of his Masvidalien signature guitar together, including the one based on the now highly sought-after Varberg model. No matter what tools he uses to create his music, I look forward to following his creative endeavors!”

For more information about the Boden Essential range, head to Strandberg.  

Keep up to speed with all gear releases during NAMM 2024 via our guide to the latest NAMM 2024 news.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.