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  #256  
Old 10-26-2015, 02:53 PM
ericcsong ericcsong is online now
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Thanks all for the kind words! The top is indeed German and it is really a beautiful top. There is so much silking in it!

Woodstock was a phenomenal trip! I was able to spend some good time with wonderful friends and was able to meet many more.

I can't say enough great things about Stu and Wendy from Take a Stand. They have become great friends of ours and we were able to spend some good time with them. We drove straight to visit them on Friday. If you need a great Christmas present, they make the most beautiful guitar stands on the market. Contact them here: http://www.takeastandinc.com/


Saturday morning couldn't come quick enough. I drove into town and had breakfast with Mike Baranik, Michi Matsuda, Mario Beauregard, Antoine Dufour, and Jason Kostal! As one who eats, sleeps, breathes guitars, this was a wonderful way to start the day! Thanks to all those guys for putting up with me!



Since this thread is about the Kostal, lets get to that! Here is Jason giving me the guitar!



And Here is Antoine Dufour playing it! If I can only be able to play like that....



I just have to say that this is my 6th commissioned guitar and my second one from Jason. Each time you commission a guitar, you are afraid and think, what if it doesn't meet my expectations. I played two of Jason's guitars from Memphis and they were both great, but I had a fear in the back of my mind thinking, can he keep building them this good?

My first Kostal was asked to be very haunting with a cavernous bass. That's why I went with the Modified Dread. Along my journey, I played a few very nice world class instruments and one of them was a Jeff Traugott Model R. Many of you that have played some of Jeff's more recent work understand what they say when the guitar has super fatty trebles. I really wanted this in my new Kostal. I didn't want Jason to try to make me a Traugott, I wanted him to craft me a Kostal with some super thick trebles that were almost surgically sterile (in a good way). I wanted something that was different from my Modified Dread and something that would be real good behind a microphone. I don't have a ton of experience with recording, but sometimes with all the rosewoody overtones, the recordings can be a bit muffled (I think you know what I mean).

Lets just say that once again, Jason blew me away! This guitar is freakin ridiculous! You have seen the pics and you understand that this is a different guitar from the first. Instead of a crazy back, we get super straight grain (crazy in a different way)! Instead of light rosette, we get dark. Instead of big guitar, we go OM. Instead of crazy super bass, we get those fat, FAT trebles. I think this new guitar complements my first perfectly!

I really can't describe in words how mind blowing this new Kostal is. I'm going to give it a couple days and play until my fingers start to bleed. I recorded a few clips this morning and will share them as soon as I get them uploaded. My friend Jeff played it when I went to his place to record. Hopefully he will chime in soon about this guitar. Also, JR Rogers played it for a good time at woodstock as well and hopefully some words from him about it as well!

And Mau, as for a third....I have to save things for another thread, right?

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Build thread: 2011 Kostal Mod D Brazilian/German
Build thread: 2015 Kostal OM Brazilian/German
Build Thread:2019 Bigfoot Mod D
2017 Osthoff Coco SJ

Last edited by ericcsong; 10-26-2015 at 05:04 PM.
  #257  
Old 10-26-2015, 04:26 PM
iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
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It was very nice to meet you Eric at the show last Saturday. Congrats on your new guitar and thanks for sharing it with the rest of us who attended Woodstock...
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  #258  
Old 10-26-2015, 04:32 PM
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Wish I had been able to stick around to meet you, Eric, but Friday was the only day I could get away. Congratulations on a gorgeous guitar. I did not play it. I really didn't want to find myself tempted by guitars that are outside my reach. However, I appreciate them on display, and am looking forward to hearing the recordings. Enjoy!!
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  #259  
Old 10-27-2015, 04:26 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericcsong View Post
I really can't describe in words how mind blowing this new Kostal is. I'm going to give it a couple days and play until my fingers start to bleed. I recorded a few clips this morning and will share them as soon as I get them uploaded.
Yeah, but do you like it?!

Seriously, can't wait for those clips.

When my MD arrived I was a little cautious about it - like all who commission a guitar, I had so much invested in it (both financially and psychologically) and had built it up to be the best guitar ever made. It also sounded a little tight, which, on reflection, is absolutely to be expected. In contrast, when my OM turned up 18 months later, I knew it was a great guitar from the very first note.

A couple of years down the line, things are a bit different. The MD has relaxed, opened-up and deepened (just as Jason said it would), whereas the OM has moved a little less, being already great to start with. I thought the MD would be a bit of a freak-show guitar (at times it's like playing a baritone) whereas the OM would be more balanced. However, I find myself reaching for the MD more than I thought I ever would. I'll be really interested to have your take on both once you've owned them for a while and the honeymoon is over.

I know Mau is taunting you re another Kostal but it did occur to me after playing Jason's 00 (a fabulous guitar) that an MD and 00 would cover more of a sonic spectrum than an MD and OM. At the time of writing I've resisted that particular "hit" but I don't know how much longer I can stay clean...

Cheers,
Steve
  #260  
Old 10-27-2015, 06:59 AM
ericcsong ericcsong is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
Yeah, but do you like it?!
Steve, I absolutely Love it! And that's an understatement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
I know Mau is taunting you re another Kostal but it did occur to me after playing Jason's 00 (a fabulous guitar) that an MD and 00 would cover more of a sonic spectrum than an MD and OM.
I think Mau is just reminding me that I said I had two on order These two guitars are very different. There are so many choices on the third, but I think I have a surprise up my sleeve

The surprising thing is that this guitar is only a week old. For it to be so expressive and so thick already, I really can't imagine how it will be when it opens up. As luthiers say, the guitar is still learning how to be a guitar! I'm not waiting for something magical to happen because believe me, its there! This guitar is really a freak of nature!

Now I'm not a professional player and I didn't have time to practice. But people do enjoy recordings. I apologize in advance for the sloppy playing and maybe the slight out of tune(ness). But I think the sample will give a good idea of how the guitars are different. You can really hear the clarity when I strum between the two (all with my fingernails and no pick). This was just a first take and done very quickly because I wanted to at least get something to you guys! I can't believe this guitar is ONLY A WEEK OLD! More will come soon when I have a little more time!

https://soundcloud.com/ericcsong/kostal-comparison-1015
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Build thread: 2011 Kostal Mod D Brazilian/German
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Build Thread:2019 Bigfoot Mod D
2017 Osthoff Coco SJ

Last edited by ericcsong; 10-27-2015 at 01:28 PM.
  #261  
Old 10-27-2015, 08:22 AM
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Beautiful sounding guitar, mic friendly, can't imagine what it's going to sound like in a few years as its already a monster. Liked the neck too, easy to play, warm trebles, not as much boom in the lower register as your other Kostal and that's good news as far as recording it.

I think of all the guitars we've played through the years, it's going to be hard to top this. Congrats!
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  #262  
Old 10-27-2015, 01:26 PM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericcsong View Post
Now I'm not a professional player and I didn't have time to practice. But people do enjoy recordings. I apologize in advance for the sloppy playing and maybe the slight out of tune(ness). But I think the sample will give a good idea of how the guitars are different. You can really hear the clarity when I strum between the two (all with my fingernails and no pick). This was just a first take and done very quickly because I wanted to at least get something to you guys!
Hey, much appreciated by us all. There's nothing wrong with the playing, especially when you are tackling Hedges! Good stuff here.

No mistaking that deep, low-end grunt of the MD. As I expected, they sound very different despite there being only a few cm difference in size. I think you can also hear that the MD is looser, which is expected given that you've had it several years longer. Lots of clarity and sustain to both.

So glad you're happy with it. Like I said earlier in this thread, the last OM I played from Jason ripped my head off.

Cheers,
Steve
  #263  
Old 10-29-2015, 10:04 AM
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I played Eric's new Kostal OM this week and it is absolutely stunning, both aesthetically and tonally. The bass is fuller than most dreads I've played, the trebles are amazing as you would expect, and the sustain lasted forever. It is an incredibly comfy guitar. The smaller body, combined with the wedge, are really easy on the arm, but the timbre feel more substantial than its size.

The wood is gorgeous --it's actually better than it appears in the photos Eric's posted. The Maple endpiece design is a knockout. The rosewood grain running perpendicular to the back and sides complements Jason's generally subtle taste. I've never played a better guitar than this (although Eric's Kostal MD is as good).

I haven't gone back to my own guitars since playing out of fear of what the comparison will feel like, like going from riding in a Maserati to a PT cruiser. (No offense intended to Chrysler owners.) I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse, Eric, for you to have to choose which one of your Kostals to play at any given time. My regret is that I don't own either.
  #264  
Old 11-03-2015, 09:12 AM
ericcsong ericcsong is online now
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I have been really enjoying this new OM and absolutely am in love with this guitar. I have been playing it everyday

A full review coming soon!

Some have been wanting to see the rosette under finish. No editing in pics, just straight from my phone.







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Build thread: 2011 Kostal Mod D Brazilian/German
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Build Thread:2019 Bigfoot Mod D
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  #265  
Old 11-03-2015, 10:46 AM
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Pure class. Love the depth and texture his rosettes bring
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  #266  
Old 11-09-2015, 06:02 PM
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That rosette is stunning, iridescent - Jason is a true artist.

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  #267  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:27 AM
ericcsong ericcsong is online now
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2015 Kostal Brazilian/German Review:

So I've had the guitar about 3 and a half weeks and I wanted to give the guitar some good time at home and many hours of playing before I posted my review. I've been getting a lot of questions about how does this compare to my Mod D, but that comparison will come later! As you have read, this guitar was AGF's Guitar of the year. J.R. Rogers made a post and his review here: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=405977

Here is my review for my 2015 Kostal Brazilian/German OM.

Trebles, Trebles, Trebles!

You love those thick trebles, this guitar certainly has it! I'm not talking about a bright guitar by any means, but I'm talking stupid thick and very robust. We get notes that hit hard and sustain. I will be playing the guitar and hit a higher note and just say wow. As stated before, after I played a Tragott, I understood what people meant by an acoustic guitar with a crazy thick treble. I didn't want Jason to build me one of Jeff's guitars. I wanted a Kostal and he gave me more than I expected on this front! All of this and not taking away from the overall balance of the guitar.

Balance, Balance, Balance!

All across the board, this guitar is just so very balanced. Each and every note rings clear as a bell. When I try to say clear and balanced, on paper, that can mean the same on a Epiphone to a Larrivee to a Collings. In words, it can mean the same on a Taylor or a Martin, or a Bourgeois or a Santa Cruz. Balanced on paper is hard to convey because you don't have the guitar in your lap and feel it in your chest. So I'm trying my best to describe my balance.

If you ever made the jump from a $300 guitar to a $1500 guitar, you hear and feel the difference. If you ever made the jump from a $1200ish guitar to a $3000 guitar, you feel and hear the difference. If you ever made the jump from a $3000 guitar to a higher end boutique, its a different kind of feeling. When you make the jump to a Ryan or Claxton, you know there is something very different about this caliber of instrument.

And I am not bringing up these brands to talk badly about any of them because they are all awesome guitars and each guitar brings something great to the table! If you are into vintage guitars or less modern guitars, this analogy might not work for you. But to me, these are guitars I've played along the journey and it makes sense in my head.

The first time I played a Ryan, I had to have one. I didn't want just any Ryan, but I wanted this particular African Blackwood Cathedral that knocked my socks off (by the way, I am keeping my Ryan since I found a way to afford to keep it!). I have never played anything like it and it was incredible in every way. That higher end world class guitar had a clarity that was ridiculously awesome. That kind of feeling.

With the Kostal OM, I get that same kind of feeling. Something that words can't fully describe, but that incremental increase as you go up the acoustic guitar ladder and as you move up the handmade ladder. This guitar evokes emotion and inspires me to play more and more. The guitar sounds pre-eq'ed if that even makes sense and is hauntingly beautiful the more and more I play it.

COMFORT:

This OM seems a little bit bigger than your standard OM. Martin's OM is 15 inches across the lower bout where the Kostal OM is 15.562. Martin's upper bout is 11.25 while the Kostal is 11.375. The Martin's depth at the neck is 3 11/32 while the Kostal is 3.5. The Martin is 4 1/8 deep at the tail block where the Kostal is 4.5. It does seem bigger in every way compared to a typical Martin OM. While Martin's scale is 25.4, the Kostal has a little shorter scale at 25". When comparing to higher built luthier guitars, its close to a Traugott Model R or a Claxton EM.

The guitar has a wedge so that tapers the guitar in slightly on the bass side and tapers the treble side out a bit. This certainly adds to comfort. At first, I didn't know if I wanted a wedge on a "smaller" guitar. I'm a bigger guy so a guitar this size is plenty small enough for me. But the added comfort of a wedge is absolutely perfect. It is also transparent as well. You can't even tell that the wedge is there and that exactly how it should be executed.

PROJECTION:

This guitar is also LOUD! Just like a great OM should be, it projects extremely well. It responds to the slightest touch and it rings and rings and rings! I asked Jason how this guitar projects so well and he says that every little thing from the dome of the top to the height of the bridge to the bracing to the saddle height and much more that I can't remember! You can attack this guitar like an Adirondack topped guitar and it just wants to be played more! The German top gives is a little complexity in the tone and richens things up to my liking. Things just come together so very well!

AESTHETICS:

One of Jason's mottos is beauty through simplicity. I absolutely love Jason's design from his hand carved headstock to his carved bridge. From a distance, the guitar looks very simple and the bridge looks symmetrical. When you get a closer look at his bridge, it is carved with an asymmetric design on top of a symmetrical outline. The heel cap runs flush with the back of the guitar (which I absolutely love) and there is a carve out on the heel cap that mimics the cutout on his headstock. That headstock cutout mimics the cutaway on the body. The volute on the back of the headstock is unique yet simple. And his stained glass rosettes continue to amaze me. The straight grain Brazilian is ridiculously straight and some of the best I've seen. I think the top on this guitar is super special as well. The German Spruce is extremely white and creamy and there is a lot of silking going on. I love the piece of burled maple he uses on the end graft. He went with a simple asymmetric design where the pick up jack breaks up the maple with a simple piece of Brazilian on the other side. Even the grain on this Brazilian piece is running the same way as the back but contrasts with the perpendicular running of the sides. Simply beautiful and beautifully simple!


CONCLUSION:

I once was told that some guitars are just more musical. The same reason you can play 20 d28s and one of them really sticks out. The same reason that you can play 20 Olson guitars and even though all of them are world class instruments, that will be that one will be a knock out. I really feel as though this one is one that is that kind of special. The one that will haunt you for years and the one you can't get out of your mind. Again, it inspires me to play more and more each day. I absolutely love this guitar! I get lost in the tone, amazed at the balance, and frightened by the trebles. The complexity of this guitar is hard to put into words, but to me, Jason really did build the guitar of the year!

More recordings are coming tomorrow and here are some outside pics!

The next commentary will be differences I find between my new OM and my 4 year old Modified Dread. Stay tuned!





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Omega Braz MJ, 2011 Omega MJ Braz Baritone
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Build thread: 2011 Kostal Mod D Brazilian/German
Build thread: 2015 Kostal OM Brazilian/German
Build Thread:2019 Bigfoot Mod D
2017 Osthoff Coco SJ

Last edited by ericcsong; 11-17-2015 at 09:50 PM.
  #268  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:36 AM
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So, in short, you seem pretty disappointed.
  #269  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:47 AM
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Fantastic review...
Im glad you love your Kostal OM
  #270  
Old 11-17-2015, 04:44 PM
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Great review Eric. You're a lucky guy.

Cheers
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