German luthier Sebastian Stenzel just sent us these photos of the new guitar he’s making for GSI using a tonewood called ziricote. (The first picture is of a fresh set of ziricote that’s not aged enough yet to use – I had previously posted it as the wood he’s using for the current guitar, but Sebastian caught my mistake). He also introduced us to a young American guitarist named Alec Holcomb who is making quite a name for himself and plays a Stenzel guitar. So here’s the guitar in progress (click on photos to enlarge), and then a video of Alec playing ‘Fantasie Hongroise’ by Mertz on his Stenzel guitar (the video is dedicated to Sebastian).

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12 Responses to “Latest From Sebastian Stenzel”

  1. Tom says:

    First time that I’ve heard a Sebastian Stenzel guitar shown to best advantage and well recorded. Very impressive and clear toned. And very impressive playing by Alec Holcomb too.

  2. Lawrence Tendler says:

    I didn’t know Prince Harry played the guitar so well. The guitar sounds loud and clear but a little lacking in warmth.

  3. Lawrence Tendler says:

    Alec Holcomb plays very well. I don’t personally like Mertz ,there is a good reason his compositions found their way in to obscurity,but Alec makes this piece sound exciting.IMHO.

  4. Lawrence Tendler says:

    The guitar sounds rather “piano-like ” on the chords which is a great quality .

  5. Jerry says:

    Whew, that’s some nice looking wood ~ great pictures as well!!

  6. Bruce says:

    Wonderful player of course, and the video shows off the outstanding articulation and sustain of these guitars. It is true, there is a little spark on the attack of a Stenzel, more on the rosewood ones than the maples. And yet what follows is quite rich-in some senses warm. A rounder attack would be more obviously warm, but with this piece, that is a bit showy in the fast passages, the crispness has an emphatic self-assured quality. What the video does not show is the full color range of the guitar. Stenzels are not forgiving guitars, since they will amplify poor technique–bad nails, bad nail placement, angle, tension in final knuckle, etcetera. But if you’ve got control however, they are very exciting, very sensitive, and can be quite sweet.

    These guitars

  7. Charles Suovanen says:

    A lot of consistent work and outstanding training is backing his playing. Natural talent is nothing if it isn’t worked out the way Alec has. A natural and confident guitarist! Hope to hear him live sometime in LA. Sebastian’s guitar is a obviously a top quality compliment to Alec’s playing.

  8. Seung says:

    A wonderful guitar played by a poor guitarist.

    • Kai says:

      I have no idea how you can call this player ‘poor.’ Even if he weren’t 16 years old I’d say he sounds amazing, and for a 16 year old kid he has incredible musicality as well as formidable technique. We’re all entitled to our opinions, of course, but I’m very surprised that anyone would not be impressed by Alec’s playing.

    • peter says:

      If you are not joking then you are an absolute moron

  9. Palmer Hoovestal says:

    Seung, you have to be joking . . .

  10. Rod says:

    Stenzel guitars are nothing short of “breathing entities”, they are powerful, and very sensitive instruments, Sebastian has changed his plantilla slightly over the years to give his bass response more dynamic. The guitars are light and are different to handle, and yes you must play very deliberately, they have great power and lots to offer in sweetness, and with the right strings can sing like a contralto. Volume is not a problem. Alec is playing a newer model and it is a fine demonstration of what Sebastian is doing now. I own #111 “The Tigress”, and yes, it is wondrous. The sound is clear, and direct with a slight edge.


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