In our opinion, Jochen Rothel
is one of the finest luthiers working out of Germany today. Having grown up in a wood-working family, his passion for guitar making began shortly after high school. His background and training started with an apprenticeship at Lakewood Guitars, and he went on to complete a "Gesellenbrief" and ultimately a "Meisterbrief" (German "Meister" degree awarded by the guild and the state) after training at the famous "Staatliche Geigenbauschule Mittenwald" in the upper Bavarian Alps. Additionally, he has attended the famous Romanillos course. His high level of experience is evident in the quality of his guitars.
As is typical of this makers work, this guitar was built with a level of workmanship and attention to detail that is hard to surpass, and an elegant appearance that is near perfect. The mosaic from the rosette is inlaid on either end of the tieblock - a tip of the hat to Romanillos, whose influence is noticeable. The spruce top is extremely stiff and perfectly quarter-sawn, and the guitar is quite light in weight. The old Bosnian maple used for the 3-piece back and sides is simply stunning. Tuners are made by Klaus Scheller in Germany. The tone is steady and clear in all registers, and very well balanced. It has a punchy, immediate response with a plump and juicy quality to every note - up into the trebles. Jochen likes to build his instrument with a low body resonance which gives the guitar a slightly darker dimension to each note. Additionally the maple adds a nice warm "glow" to the sound which takes away some of the edginess heard in rosewood. With a highly refined sound, excellent volume and sustain, this guitar has it all.
Photos of this guitar taken during construction.
Luthier Bio: Jochen Rothel