2015 Sebastian Stenzel SP/CO
|Back & Sides
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This instrument was built by German maker Sebastian Stenzel. It is worth noting that each guitar Sebastian has built for GSI the past several years has its own unique and interesting back story, particularly with regards to the materials he sources and how he builds appropriately to the material. This instrument features a beautiful spruce top flanked by a set of stunning Mexican cocobolo for the back and sides. The neck is made of Brazilian mahogany (darker and heavier than the Cuban swietenia) which allowed Sebastian to make the neck a little thinner - lovely for the left hand. The binding of the guitar is made from a very special and rare wood called Speierling in German, known in English as "whitty pear". It is probably the most durable and also the most expensive wood grown in Europe. In the past, tools or parts of machines that were greatly stressed were made from it, e.g. weaver's shuttles, or wooden gears. Recently, Sebastian visited an old wind mill in France, and learned that the teeth of its huge wooden cogwheels were also made from Speierling. Sebastian cut the bindings for this guitar from what he says is the most beautiful plank of flamed Speierling he's even seen - and it will darken with age, deepening the beauty over time. The bridge is made with flamed pear, which Sebastian has been using for some time now. For centuries, pear has been the standard wood of choice for all the great lute makers.
As with all Stenzel guitars, the fingerboard features the compensated fret spacing and relief setup of the Frisch-Stenzel method yielding the best possible intonation. For playability, Sebastian incorporates several modifications to maximize ergonomic ease to the player - including an asymmetrical neck shape for easier access to the higher frets. Sound is rich and layered. Up front, there is a nice, crisp quality to the attack of every note which really helps give the instrument great clarity and separation. The "body" of the note that follows the attack is thick, full and "creamy" in character. So this combined sound has both big-bodied warmth and clear definition at the same time. Sides are doubled, giving it added projection, perfect for concert settings in larger venues or with ensemble. Extremely enjoyable to play, hear or simply gaze at. Although a second-hand guitar, it's in excellent condition with only minor signs of prior use.Photos of this guitar taken just after completion.