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Old 10-17-2018, 08:31 AM
ericcsong ericcsong is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 4,361

Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
Are you concerned that the time difference will create a delay in the sound?
Only if it was Mahogany

Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
Wonderful history and pictures. I have half of that concert coming to Texas next March!!! That is so cool.
Thanks! Wish I could make it to your place, but with a newborn, it might be tough!

Originally Posted by Ovation1 View Post

So this guy is really playing Bigfoot guitar? That is cool!
Yes sir! That is Bob Weir's guitar!

A quick update, Karan just got back from Music China in Shanghai, which some say is the world’s biggest musical instrument trade show (like NAMM but bigger)! He brought two guitars to the show and sold them to the top dealer in China, Guitar Square. Guitar Square typically stock Somogyis, Ryans, Buendias, Matsudas, Lowdens, Bourgeois, etc.... They have some pretty phenomenal guitars! Great to see Bigfoot guitars make its way there!

Also at Music China, Joe Glaser, legendary restoration expert in Nashville, was able to check things out! Great to get wonderful feedback from a guy who has restored and repaired enough guitars for a few lifetimes!

When I think of my build coming from India, my first thought is of course Indian Rosewood from its home. What do I think about a builder who lives there? I certainly don’t think of Ireland. When I think guitars and Ireland, my first thought is Lowden guitars. Avalon guitars comes to mid as well. When I think of a great luthier in Ireland, I think of Paul Doyle. Doyle is a highly respected luthier and has been handcrafting instruments for over 30 years.

Karan knew that in order to take his building to the next level, it would be wise to learn more from other builders. Karan reached out to Paul Doyle in Galway Ireland to see if he could study with him. Doyle accepted his request to apprentice so Karan packed up with his wife Hema and 3 month old son Fateh and went off to Ireland. During his apprenticeship with Doyle, there were no molds, jigs, or fixtures. Everything was done old school and by free hand. In his time there, he learned so much and was also able to make four guitars for himself.

After returning to India, Bigfoot Guitars was born. Karan was eager to set up a proper workshop and began building more guitars and taking his work to the next level. As he was growing as a builder, he learned that one of his biggest challenges in India was using familiar tonewoods in the acoustic world. India doesn’t have great wood suppliers like Luthiers Mercantile or RC Tonewoods. Even though Karan could get some nice Spruce shipped to him, shipping and customs costs in India are ridiculous. After much research, Karan found that around 300 species of hardwood grow locally in India and the rest of the world only seems to know East Indian Rosewood!

Karan heard of Jeffrey Yong in Kuala Lumpur doing some amazing work with local tonewoods. Yong was very familiar with Monkey Pod and Karan knew that Money Pod also grew in India. So already having been in Ireland to learn more about building, Karan was off next to Malaysia to learn even more. During his time with Yong, Karan learned saw how Yong worked with these different woods. This also gave him ideas how to work more efficiently, in a country without access to a lot of machines and tools available in the West.

When Karan came home, he spent the next 2 years experimenting with domestic woods (to India). He’s worked with Jack Fruit (as a top as well), Indian Toon (similar to Spanish Cedrella), Spalted Tamarind, Laurel, Bhilwara, Indian Eucalyptus, Flamed Indian Cedar, Indian Padauk, and of course Indian Rosewood. A lot of great local woods to choose from! Here are some pics!
Monkey Pod
Indian Redwood
Spalted Tamarind

I asked Karan about a pivotal moment in how he builds. His response: “A large part of my thinking and way of operating was to change, or be influenced drastically in October 2016, when I attended my first ever Guitar show. Holy Grail Guitar Show, Berlin. My wife and I had just arrived in Berlin and walked a long way with suitcases and guitars, into a budget motel situated close to the exhibition venue. In the hotel lobby, before checking in, was where I first met someone who would help change my life - Jason Kostal.”

Omega Braz MJ, 2011 Omega MJ Braz Baritone
Ryan Cathedral ABW/Bosnian
Build thread: 2011 Kostal Mod D Brazilian/German
Build thread: 2019 Kostal MDW Brazilian/German
Build thread:2019 Bigfoot Mod D

Last edited by ericcsong; 10-18-2018 at 07:53 PM.
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