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  #181  
Old 07-19-2012, 03:53 AM
ocarolan ocarolan is offline
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3 hours and counting.....

Have a great day Steve - many congrats on the imminent arrival. Won't be expecting you to be spending much time on Forums over the next few days!

Keith
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  #182  
Old 07-19-2012, 06:55 AM
nobo nobo is offline
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Originally Posted by ocarolan View Post
Have a great day Steve - many congrats on the imminent arrival. Won't be expecting you to be spending much time on Forums over the next few days!

Keith
Ditto! Last 5 mins! Looks stunning! Whilst I suspect it'll be tough to tear yourselves away from new arrival (and Jason and Michael's company), do keep us posted!
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  #183  
Old 07-19-2012, 02:21 PM
Huckleberry Huckleberry is offline
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Ahem?!

Update please! I know you're probably busy playing your new guitar or entertaining some luthier or something, but aren't you forgetting your primary responsibility - updating us here on the forum?
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  #184  
Old 07-19-2012, 02:53 PM
vicov vicov is offline
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Steve!!!!!!!
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  #185  
Old 07-20-2012, 06:30 AM
KolayaGuitars KolayaGuitars is offline
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Nitro? Are these pictures are coming through 3-4 weeks delayed? Unless, is it a post-cat Nitro?
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  #186  
Old 07-20-2012, 12:53 PM
UKPhil UKPhil is offline
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Well, has anything happened Steve? This waiting is hard work

(pct57)
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  #187  
Old 07-20-2012, 01:33 PM
steveh steveh is offline
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Originally Posted by UKPhil View Post
Well, has anything happened Steve?


Yeah Phil, I guess you could say that...!

Seriously guys; thanks for the interest - I appreciate it. I know what it's like to be watching these threads, there's a countdown (this one in hours!)...and then silence. Bummer!

Seriously, the guitar arrived 2 minutes early at precisely 1358 British Summer Time yesterday. We spent a lot of time giving Jason real British tea made by a real British guy and politely ignoring the large box in the corner. It did get opened eventually, once Jason was settled (he'd been traveling for hours and hours), there was lots of ooohing and aaahing, lots of guitar playing, chit-chat, more guitar playing, and then I cooked for everyone. Jason and Michael left at about 2230 and then I stayed up playing the guitar until 0110. Today I had to go to something called work! Came home, played the guitar some more, and now I guess it's time for The Forum.

This guitar is very new and I clearly haven't had enough time to form sensible opinions about how it sounds - that takes weeks and even months. I'm very wary of the "honeymoon period" which can result in the "best guitar I've ever heard" and statements like that. I have a lot tied up in this guitar and clearly it's in my best interests for it to sound stellar. That's bias and very understandable given the circumstances. "Reviewers" have to be aware of that (and readers!).

At this stage I can say some things with certainty though:

It's a beautifully made guitar. Very crisp work and much better in the flesh than in the photos. Sometimes, when you get a guitar real up-close, all sorts of little details inapparent on photos spring up and bite you on the butt: Not here. Very crisp work. The blackwood is just that - black - like staring down into an inky pool. A very classy but understated instrument I think (which is what I wanted). The end graft is lovely in person.

It plays very well indeed. I was very specific about my needs here and Jason has set it up beautifully. One of the easiest instruments I've played. Completely UNLIKE Michael's MD in feel. I like 'em wide and thin; Michael likes 'em narrow and fat. That's the beauty of getting a luthier to build you a guitar - you can specify what YOU want.

There are certain things it clearly does from the outset. Firstly, it definitely has that bottom end grunt that MDs have. Secondly, it is not short of sustain...not at all. Thirdly, it's very responsive. I've played two of Jason's own MDs - his own madrose guitar and Michael's "tree" guitar. They are VERY different sounding instruments. Michael's is all about projection and clarity. You can dig in and it doesn't mush up. That's important because Michael performs in public. Jason's madrose guitar is much more "vitreous" - warmer, smoother, and the sound hangs around the guitar more (in a rather "reverby" way if that makes sense?), whereas Michael's pumps it out and forwards. I was very specific to Jason that I wanted the rosewood sound vs the mahogany alternative (bearing in mind the top is 90%; this is European spruce), and he's delivered exactly that. We didn't have Jason's MD to hand yesterday (not least because it currently resides in an exhibition case in a museum!), but my recollection is that my guitar is much closer to that sound than Michaels - I play at home for my own amusement and want a guitar that sounds best to the player rather than the audience. Horses for courses.

Jason went into some detail about how the sound will change over the "next two to three months", stating that the zingy trebles will soften and that the bass will get even deeper as the whole instrument settles down and loosens up: At that stage I'll be able to make a balanced decision about where this stands in the hierarchy of instruments I've played. At this stage I can say that it's one of the very best instruments I've played, and I'm very happy with it. It's a lot of guitar for the money. I've sold some stellar instruments to be able to fund this MD and after playing it, I don't regret it.

Tomorrow it wings it's way to Southampton where it will meet Jason and Michael again, and also several people who have been posting on this thread; Let's hear what they have to say...

Cheers,
Steve

PS: The other thing I can say with certainty is that Jason is a stellar bloke; anyone who can smile like that after 36 hours of traveling must be...or he's getting delirious?! Indeed my wife was particularly impressed by him, declaring him (after he had left) polite, erudite, intelligent, and very entertaining. Should I be worried? At least he lives across the Pond.

Last edited by steveh; 07-20-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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  #188  
Old 07-20-2012, 03:32 PM
Welshboy Welshboy is offline
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So disappointed I can't be there tomorrow - it was going to be my first visit too. Sadly i have to work. (Note to self - get a life). Please say hello to Jason and everyone for me.

The guitar looks truly stunning. Hope i get to see it some time.
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  #189  
Old 07-20-2012, 03:33 PM
JoeCharter JoeCharter is offline
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Great story, great guitar. Thanks for sharing.
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  #190  
Old 07-20-2012, 03:47 PM
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Michael Watts Michael Watts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post


Yeah Phil, I guess you could say that...!

Seriously guys; thanks for the interest - I appreciate it. I know what it's like to be watching these threads, there's a countdown (this one in hours!)...and then silence. Bummer!

Seriously, the guitar arrived 2 minutes early at precisely 1358 British Summer Time yesterday. We spent a lot of time giving Jason real British tea made by a real British guy and politely ignoring the large box in the corner. It did get opened eventually, once Jason was settled (he'd been traveling for hours and hours), there was lots of ooohing and aaahing, lots of guitar playing, chit-chat, more guitar playing, and then I cooked for everyone. Jason and Michael left at about 2230 and then I stayed up playing the guitar until 0110. Today I had to go to something called work! Came home, played the guitar some more, and now I guess it's time for The Forum.

This guitar is very new and I clearly haven't had enough time to form sensible opinions about how it sounds - that takes weeks and even months. I'm very wary of the "honeymoon period" which can result in the "best guitar I've ever heard" and statements like that. I have a lot tied up in this guitar and clearly it's in my best interests for it to sound stellar. That's bias and very understandable given the circumstances. "Reviewers" have to be aware of that (and readers!).

At this stage I can say some things with certainty though:

It's a beautifully made guitar. Very crisp work and much better in the flesh than in the photos. Sometimes, when you get a guitar real up-close, all sorts of little details inapparent on photos spring up and bite you on the butt: Not here. Very crisp work. The blackwood is just that - black - like staring down into an inky pool. A very classy but understated instrument I think (which is what I wanted). The end graft is lovely in person.

It plays very well indeed. I was very specific about my needs here and Jason has set it up beautifully. One of the easiest instruments I've played. Completely UNLIKE Michael's MD in feel. I like 'em wide and thin; Michael likes 'em narrow and fat. That's the beauty of getting a luthier to build you a guitar - you can specify what YOU want.

There are certain things it clearly does from the outset. Firstly, it definitely has that bottom end grunt that MDs have. Secondly, it is not short of sustain...not at all. Thirdly, it's very responsive. I've played two of Jason's own MDs - his own madrose guitar and Michael's "tree" guitar. They are VERY different sounding instruments. Michael's is all about projection and clarity. You can dig in and it doesn't mush up. That's important because Michael performs in public. Jason's madrose guitar is much more "vitreous" - warmer, smoother, and the sound hangs around the guitar more (in a rather "reverby" way if that makes sense?), whereas Michael's pumps it out and forwards. I was very specific to Jason that I wanted the rosewood sound vs the mahogany alternative (bearing in mind the top is 90%; this is European spruce), and he's delivered exactly that. We didn't have Jason's MD to hand yesterday (not least because it currently resides in an exhibition case in a museum!), but my recollection is that my guitar is much closer to that sound than Michaels - I play at home for my own amusement and want a guitar that sounds best to the player rather than the audience. Horses for courses.

Jason went into some detail about how the sound will change over the "next two to three months", stating that the zingy trebles will soften and that the bass will get even deeper as the whole instrument settles down and loosens up: At that stage I'll be able to make a balanced decision about where this stands in the hierarchy of instruments I've played. At this stage I can say that it's one of the very best instruments I've played, and I'm very happy with it. It's a lot of guitar for the money. I've sold some stellar instruments to be able to fund this MD and after playing it, I don't regret it.

Tomorrow it wings it's way to Southampton where it will meet Jason and Michael again, and also several people who have been posting on this thread; Let's hear what they have to say...

Cheers,
Steve

PS: The other thing I can say with certainty is that Jason is a stellar bloke; anyone who can smile like that after 36 hours of traveling must be...or he's getting delirious?! Indeed my wife was particularly impressed by him, declaring him (after he had left) polite, erudite, intelligent, and very entertaining. Should I be worried? At least he lives across the Pond.
Jason and I have just returned from a packed day in London including a performance (me) and meet and greet (him) in the Square Mile as well as catching up with another AGF'er and client for a quick pint and a chat. Always a pleasure. Jetlag has hit both us pretty hard (I too just returned from the US, more about which at a later date) so you'll have to forgive the brevity of this initial post...

Thank you Steve, this post has been a great end to the day!

I'd just like to say at this juncture that Steve is an extraordinarily good cook and the meal he prepared was absolutely delicious.

We'll see some of you guys tomorrow, looking forward to it already

MW
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Last edited by Michael Watts; 07-20-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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  #191  
Old 07-22-2012, 08:44 AM
ocarolan ocarolan is offline
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Lovely pic there! An end to the waiting Steve - thanks for the first impressions, and congrats again. I'm sure your music will be enriched by this instrument.
Keith
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  #192  
Old 07-22-2012, 02:32 PM
Huckleberry Huckleberry is offline
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I went. I saw. I played. I heard (courtesy of the fantastic Michael Watts)

Jason Kostal has built my dream guitar. And then he went and delivered it to the wrong person...

It's phenomenal. It's still only days old, and has some maturing to do. But as guitars go, this one is a Great One.
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Baranik Meridian "Aurora" fan-fret - Celebes ebony / Colorado blue spruce
Baranik JX - Indian rosewood / German spruce
Sheppard GA - African blackwood / Bosnian spruce
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  #193  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:33 AM
geordie geordie is offline
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great stuff Huck and Steve - but we need to hear these 'golden age' wonders
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  #194  
Old 07-23-2012, 11:40 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry View Post
Jason Kostal has built my dream guitar. And then he went and delivered it to the wrong person...
Sorry Dave, but I have picture proof that he didn't! - the pics below have just come through from Micheal, taken the day the guitar was delivered.

Seriously, I very much appreciate your comments about the guitar - you have some stellar instruments yourself; the Sheppard Dream Series and fan-fret Baranik were two of my personal highlights from Saturday's get-together at Ian's. Seriously...they were really great guitars and opened my ears to both of these great builders even though they had serious competition at that meet. You're a lucky guy!

...and so am I:



I've had twins!



I wish I could build a guitar as nice as this one...



Oh...I just did!



Cheers,
Steve
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  #195  
Old 07-23-2012, 11:45 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocarolan View Post
Lovely pic there! An end to the waiting Steve - thanks for the first impressions, and congrats again. I'm sure your music will be enriched by this instrument.
Keith
Thanks Keith. Yes, "the waiting" is over. It's a strange feeling because I've been thinking about this guitar almost daily since I commissioned it, wondering what it would sound like, how it'd feel to play, how I felt about it; and now that day has come and gone. Weird feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geordie View Post
great stuff Huck and Steve - but we need to hear these 'golden age' wonders
No problem there; I have a couple of weeks holiday coming up and this guitar is coming with me. I'll return with a couple of new (old) tunes worked up and I'll stick 'em up on YouTube and post the link here. I'll apologise in advance Geo: One of them will be a Tony McManus arrangement.

Cheers,
Steve
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