Comparison: Kostal OMC Koa 2021 vs 2018

There's no accounting for all the minute differences that will distinguish two seemingly identical guitars - the exact pieces of wood and the way they were cut, any minor tweaks the luthier makes to a design over the course of years, etc.


But we've never had a better opportunity to hear what time and years of playing can do to change the tone of a guitar than we do today. We briefly and very serendipitously had a brand new Bespoke Kostal OMC in koa and German spruce at the same time that we had a pre-owned 2018 OMC in the same tonewoods. We lined them up and played them side by side, and were struck by the results. If ever you've been skeptical about the obsession with "played in tone", this may put that to rest!

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Jason Kostal himself says that if you're going to have one guitar, it should probably be an OM. And if it's a Kostal OM with cutaway like this one, with German spruce top and subtly figured koa, we don't think that's a hard choice to make. Jason describes his OM as having a warm bass presence and being well-balanced across the tonal spectrum, and we couldn't agree more. But with koa back and sides, there's an added presence in the treble and mids, bringing the dynamic range of this versatile model up a notch. A slightly shorter than standard scale length of 25" (as opposed to 25.5" or similar) makes fretting all that much easier, with no loss in projection. This OMC's voice would be equally satisfying playing solo or in small ensemble performances. Overall, it's an ideal choice for performers who often plug in.


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