Previewing Our Kostal OMC in Indian Rosewood & German Spruce
We're eagerly awaiting the arrival of a brand new OMC model from master-luthier Jason Kostal, and in preparation for it landing at TNAG HQ, we caught up with Jason to find out a bit more about the build.
It's very rare for us to have a build slot available with Jason to build a guitar to our own specs as stock for our showroom, so we're excited for this one to arrive and, judging by these teasing photos that Jason sent us before he shipped us the guitar, this is one truly remarkable guitar, with gorgeous colours in Jason's signature segmented rosette, not to mention the sensational end graft!
Find out more about this incoming guitar from Jason himself below:
TNAG: Hi Jason, how are you keeping in the current climate?
Jason Kostal: Things are going as well as can be right now. I think the entire world feels uncertain and anxious right now, which is an even better reason to create beautiful guitars, and make music with them right now. The world needs continued connection, compassion, and hope, and music and art provide those things in ways that transcend music and global borders. When I served in the military, I saw some of the darkness that humanity can create, but I also saw some of the amazing beauty and love that we are capable of. In these uncertain times, I choose to be a part of the light that helps to guide others and remind them that we will get through this together and we will come out of it better than we were when we went into it if we can work together and look out for one another.
TNAG: We're eagerly anticipating the arrival of your OMC in Indian Rosewood and German Spruce. Can you talk us through the build process of this guitar?
JK: This guitar was a lot of fun to make. It really is the foundation of what my guitars are capable of. For years, all of the guitars that I owned were East Indian Rosewood, and so this wood has a very special place for me. I love the beauty of this set as it has some amazing color and variations within in, and the tonality is pure and articulate, which I love. This guitar doesn't have the fancy exotic woods that I normally build with, or the inlays or design elements that many other luthiers are known for... its a very elegant guitar that allowed me to focus on the tone and voice of the guitar, knowing that the sound it created would be what it came to be known for. I like that in a guitar, and this one does not disappoint.
TNAG: While we chose the model and tonewoods, the decoration was very much left as a blank canvas, how did you approach the colouration choice for the rosette?
JK: As with every guitar I make, I try to not address the design elements until it is time to execute them. As I build a guitar, certain things just start to come to light... colors that work, elements that seem like they need to be a part of the guitar, etc. This guitar was no different. I was drawn to the intense purple and red hues that were found in this set of East Indian Rosewood and I wanted to accent them, and draw attention to them in a bold way. As I started to build the guitar itself, things just started to feel right and the color palette fit exactly as I wanted it to.
TNAG: The end graft is sensational, can you talk us through the process of creating it?
JK: I have been using dyed woods for years now and my rosettes and end grafts have changed a bit over the years. My early guitars found me using a brand of dye that tended to oxidize and darken more than I would have thought originally, so a few years ago I set out to find a dye that had less color loss or change in color over time. I have really enjoyed the rosettes that I have been creating over the last few years and love the color combinations that I have been getting. About 6 months ago I started combining acrylic resin with natural wood. You see this technique used in furniture making to fill voids and knots and make river-like effects as well. I can add dye directly to the acrylic and its thickness allows me to pair it with natural woods, and still get the wood itself to shine through as well. That is what is going on with this rosette and end graft... its a combination of natural wood, and dyed resin that makes for some truly spectacular images.
TNAG: As an exceptionally talented guitarist yourself, what would you say sets this guitar apart tonally from your others?
JK: As I mentioned above, this is just a wonderful, all around guitar, which is exactly how I wanted it to be. Spec guitars are interesting for me as I don't know where the guitar will ultimately end up, and so I have to build it in a way that allows it to be capable of anything. OMs already seem to have this inherent property within them, but then I work with it to give it a little boost. This guitar will be perfectly suited to someone that plays fingerstyle, which is my normal focus for my guitars, but also just at home strumming chords, playing lead or rhythm guitar in a band, or anything else you can throw at it. The combination of woods give it projection and clarity while still maintaining warmth and am openness that is important to me.
TNAG: Is there anything else you'd like to add about this build?
JK: This guitar was a spec build, meaning that it was scheduled as a build slot for TNAG, and as you mentioned, the woods were chosen by you. One of the things I love most about spec builds is that, after the wood selection, the rest is left up to me. I don't have to reach out to you and ask you about an idea I want to try or a direction that I want to take the guitar in... I am essentially given free reign as to where I want to take things. When I build a commissioned guitar for a client, I am building for their playing style, interests, and desired end state. It focuses me in many ways, and allows me to continue to grow in my understanding of the guitar, but the instrument is ultimately what that person wants, and it is my job to create it. With a spec build, I get to build what I want to build, and that allows me to try new things, or venture off in a new direction in some ways. These guitars are just as exciting to me because they represent my own understanding of the guitar itself, but more specifically, my own instruments, and allow me to build the best guitar that I am capable of without parameters or constraints. The person that welcomes this guitar into their family is getting a very special instrument that I enjoyed creating very much.
TNAG: Thanks Jason!
Kostal OMC Acoustic Guitar in Indian Rosewood and German Spruce - £20,450 inc VAT | $20,750
- Model: OM
- Top: German Spruce
- Back & sides: East Indian Rosewood
- Top braces: Sitka Spruce
- Back Braces: Mahogany
- Neck: One-piece Honduran Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Ebony with Ebony binding
- Body join: 14 fret
- Scale length: 25”
- Nut width: 1.75”
- Fretwork: Medium Tall
- Rosette: Stained glass
- End Graft: Decorative
- Headcap veneer: Two-tone
- Binding: Ebony
- Cutaway: Florentine
- Tapered body: Manzer-style wedge
- Side position markers: MOP
- Backstrip: Ebony
- Bridge: Ebony
- Tuners: Gotoh 510 Cosmo Chrome/Ebony
- Saddle: Bone
- Nut: Bone
- Case: Hoffee Custom