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The Somogyi Apprentices

As many of you will know the grand master luthier Ervin Somogyi has produced some of the world's finest luthiers from his apprenticeship programme throughout the years, and we here at The North American Guitar are incredibly proud to have become the home for many of them. From our dearest friend and one of the 'Original Three' luthiers, Jason Kostal, to the youngest apprentice Tom Sands and all in between. They are all in their own right creating some of the finest guitars available in the world right now, all with signature design elements, unique ergonomic features, vast tonal dynamic range and all with their own signature voice. It is no secret that once you've played a Somogyi apprentice instrument, your life will never be quite the same again, and your idea of what you thought a guitar could sound like will be converted to what an acoustic guitar should sound like.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you the Somogyi Apprentices...

Jason Kostal

Based in Phoenix Arizona, luthier Jason Kostal set up independently following four years teaching at the prestigious Roberto-Venn School of Lutherie and an extended three-year apprenticeship with Ervin Somogyi.

Jason Kostal’s rise to the upper echelons of the world lutherie scene has come through years of experience as a player, collector and latterly, builder of some of the finest guitars available today.

Kostal 00 Acoustic Guitar, Padauk & German Spruce - Pre-Owned £13,500

Being big fans of the Jason Kostal's OO model, we have all been incredibly excited to get our hands on this little stunner! Built in a gorgeous set of Padauk for the back and side and German Spruce for the top, this little firecracker delivers a snappy punch with a smooth and articulate voice. Perfect for the fingerstyle player looking to play for those long hours sat comfortably on the couch or at a sell out concert, it is vocally dynamic, versatile and boy oh boy is it loud!

The set of Padauk is from Jason's personal collection and is fast becoming a favourite tonewoods for many players looking for that desirable Rosewood sparkle but with out the price tag! This guitar was inspired by the OO in Padauk Jason recently built for his mentor Ervin Somogyi.

  • Model: 00
  • 2019
  • Top: German Spruce
  • Back & sides: Padauk
  • Top braces: Sitka Spruce
  • Back Braces: Mahogany
  • Neck: One-piece Honduran Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Ebony with Ebony binding
  • Neck join: 12th fret
  • Scale length: 24.75”
  • Nut width: 1.75”
  • Fretwork: Medium Tall
  • Rosette: Stained glass
  • End Graft: Decorative
  • Headcap veneer: Two-tone
  • Binding: Ebony
  • Side position markers: MOP
  • Backstrip: Ebony
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Tuners: Gotoh 510 Cosmo Black/Ebony
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Nut: Bone
  • Case: Hoffee Custom

Kostal MDW Acoustic Guitar, Maple & German Spruce - Pre-Owned - £12,950

This is an absolutely stunning Kostal MDW and the second MDW ever made and commissioned by us here at The North American Guitar in London. Built in 2017 as an exact replica of the very first MDW signature model.

It is an absolutely phenomenal instrument and easy to see why the MDW has gone on to be Jason Kostal's most popular model.

The Kostal MDW is a 12-fret modified dreadnought acoustic guitar that is the result of a collaboration between luthier Jason Kostal and Michael Watts.

The MDW takes Kostal's modified dreadnought design and adds a 12-fret neck, making an intimate-feeling instrument that sings! The German Spruce top is accompanied by stunning Maple back and sides.

The MDW features Kostal's custom stained glass rosette and two-tone headcap veneer. The guitar comes with a decorated Hoffee Custom case.

  • Model: MDW
  • 2017
  • Soundboard: German Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Maple
  • End Graft: Decorative
  • Headcap Veneer: Two-Tone
  • Binding: Ebony
  • Cutaway: Florentine
  • Side Position Markers: Kostal Dots
  • Backstrip: Ebony
  • Bridge: Ebony Top bracing: Sitka Spruce
  • Back Braces: Mahogany
  • Rosette: Stained Glass
  • Back Headcap Veneer: Ebony
  • Fingerboard: Ebony w/ Ebony Binding
  • Body Joint: 14 Fret
  • Neck: 1 piece Honduran Mahogany
  • Scale Length: 25"
  • Nut Width: 1.75"
  • Pickguard: Clear
  • Fretwire: Medium Tall
  • Tuners: Gotoh 510 Cosmo Black/Ebony
  • Fingerboard Inlay: Custom
  • Case: Hoffee Custom

Kostal Modified Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Madagascar Rosewood & German Spruce - Pre-Owned - £13,995

This is an utterly incredible example of just how superb the modified dreadnought from Jason Kostal truly is. Built in a sensational set of Madagascar Rosewood for the back and side with a bright and crisp German spruce for the top. Delivering a silky smooth and a diverse tonal pallet, it is powerful and yet sweet, making it an incredibly well balance and versatile instrument.

With a serial number of No.50 it is very clear Jason made this guitar very special indeed and there is indeed a little magic inside this beautiful music box.

  • Model Modified Dreadnought (MD)
  • Back and Sides Madagascar Rosewood
  • Soundboard German Spruce
  • Sitka Spruce
  • Mahogany
  • Headcap Veneer Ebony
  • Headcap Veneer Madagascar Rosewood
  • Rosette Stained Glass
  • Neck One piece mahogany
  • Backstrip Ebony
  • End Graft Decorative
  • Fingerboard Ebony w/ Ebony Binding
  • Tapered Body Manzer style wedge
  • Cutaway Florentine
  • Binding Ebony
  • Body Joint 14 Fret
  • Scale Length 25.25"
  • Nut Width 1.75"
  • Strings John Pearse
  • Pickguard Clear
  • Side Position Markers Colored Dots
  • Nut Sculpted Bone
  • Saddle Compensated Bone
  • Tuners Gotoh 510 Chrome/Ebony
  • Orientation Right Handed
  • Fretwire Med Tall Nickel
  • Bridge Sculpted Ebony
  • Case Hoffee Custom

Kostal Bespoke Build Slot for 2020 (35% Deposit) - £4,725

Michi Matsuda

Former Somogyi apprentice Michihiro Matsuda was born and raised in Japan, before moving to the US to study at the Roberto-Venn School of Lutherie in Phoenix, Arizona, then with Ervin Somogyi in San Francisco.

After his apprenticeship, Michi then studied guitar repair with renowned instrument repairman Frank Ford of Gryphon Stringed Instruments where he is now part of the repair staff.

Michi builds a small run of guitars each year in his own workshop in Oakland, California, and we are delighted to represent Matsuda Guitars in the UK.

Matsuda Bespoke Build Slot for 2020 (35% Deposit)

£4,650.00

Tom Sands
After six years of working in some of the UK’s top workshops, Tom found himself increasingly unsatisfied with the disconnect between final product and client. Looking to amend this and find a more rewarding process of making, Tom decided to transfer his craftsmanship into a different commodity. He left his job and built his first ever acoustic guitar in his grandfather’s shop, where he had often spent time as a child learning to fashion things out of wood.

By June 2015, Tom had made contact with renowned luthier Ervin Somogyi, Mr Somogyi was impressed with Tom’s developing portfolios and invited him out to Oakland, California. During a two-week period, he undertook the challenging interview for a position as Somogyi's apprentice, thereafter securing a highly sought-after place on the team.

Tom’s philosophy is a holistic one, he believes truly great guitars are born of great relationships. In a relatively short time, Tom's guitars have earned the acclaim of players, builders and clients alike with meticulously honed designs informed by an equally skilled hand for woodwork, as well a musical ear.

Tom Sands Bespoke Build Slot for 2021 (35% Deposit)

£3,500

Julian Gaffney

Julian graduated from the Galloup school of lutherie then worked for Sadowsky Guitars for nearly eight years before beginning his apprenticeship at the Somogyi workshop.

As you'd expect of a luthier with his pedigree, Julian's work is beautifully executed with a super-fast response and a full, rich tone.

Gaffney OM Cutaway Acoustic Guitar, Palo Escrito & Swiss Moon Spruce - £12,995

We are huge fans of Julian's OM having already delivered several to TNAG clients over the past few years. They offer a wide dynamic range and are incredibly versatile all rounder instruments. This beautiful OM Cutaway in Palo Escrito and Swiss Moon Spruce is going be a real show stopper offering a lot of shimmer in the highs and plenty of depth in the mids and low end.

  • Model/#: OM/27
  • Back & Sides Palo Escrito
  • Top Swiss Moon Spruce
  • Fingerboard Ebony
  • Binding Ebony
  • Inlays Segmented Abalone Rosette
  • Abalone Peghead Inlay
  • Fret Markers Silver
  • Tuners Gotoh
  • Bridge Ebony
  • Extras Tapered Backstrip
  • French Polish Face
  • Cutaway

Gaffney Bespoke Build Slot for 2019 (35% Deposit) - £3,037.50

Leo Buendia

Leo grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina before moving to the US to study under Ervin for three years. During this time, Leo was building his own guitars and continued after his apprenticeship finished, building an excellent reputation in his own right ever since.

Buendia Guitars Bespoke Build Slot for 2021 (35% Deposit)

£4,025.00

Mario Beauregard

One of the first ever Somogyi apprentice's, Mario Beauregard is the most recent to join us here at The North American Guitar and we could not be prouder to represent his work.

Mario's luthier journey started in the 1990s, when a grant from The Art Council of Quebec enabled him to attend the Roberto-Venn School of Lutherie where he met Ervin Somogyi in one of his master classes. He was then invited to study with Ervin, which represented a turning point in his career.

During weekdays Mario would work and study with Ervin Somogyi and during the weekends he would drive up to Taku Sakashta’s workshop to learn about building archtops. He also went on to work as the designer in the R&D department of Lasido (Godin) for a period of years. Now, Mario is a one-man operation in the small town of St-Denis-sur-Richelieu near Montreal, Quebec while continuing to act as a consultant in the industry.

For more information on all our available bespoke build slots please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our team will be more than happy to take your through the bespoke process to help we are here to help build you your dream guitar.

Here is a quick video on our Bespoke Service:

Have a wonderful weekend.

Kind regards,

Ben

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