My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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rojarosguitar
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My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:43 pm

I just visited Sebastian in his workshop as he finished a batch of four guitars, with a fifth still in the pipeline. I reported briefly here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=116924.

Now I was able to play all four guitars, and the one that caught my attention really strongly (don't get me wrong, all his guitars are marvelous, but this one I'd consider the pinnacle) was the Californian Walnut/Spruce guitar, much to my surprise, because there was strong competition, among them a beautiful Brazil/Spruce (the Brazil of tnis inconspicuous kind with the straigjt grain and perfectly quarter-sawn, that doesn't look like a conference room of some company), which usually are my favourit.

You can see some pics of it during the french polishing on the GSI blog, recent entry about guitars to come.

Absolutely greatest guitar I have ever held in my hands... Ever...

Hope it gets played through a player who can appreciate that instrument!

A flamenca blanca is still awaiting completion, and that one makes me extremely curious, too. I own the only flamenca Sebastian made (apart from his very first piece, which he made for himself), and he kept telling how much he would like to make a flamenca again, and how the classical guitar orders keep him so busy that he can't find the space for such a project. i kept telling him that if he doesn't do it, it'll never happen, because it's unlikely to get an order without having some record. So he finally made the decision to work on it parallel to the running orders.

It's pretty close to completion now. It'll be a very traditionally built light blanca with cypresse body and spruce top, traditional peg head fitted with Wittner flamenco pegs and a newly designed rosette that is in some way a reversed design of his usual rosettes and is as beautiful as these. Can't wait to play it!

That's it...
happy New Year (I alrady hear the fireworks, though it is nowhere near midnight) :merci: :merci:
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...
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MessyTendon
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by MessyTendon » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:22 pm

I was actually looking at buying a billet of Claro Walnut...if I ever find it again for a good price, I'm going all in.

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bacsidoan
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by bacsidoan » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:15 pm

I'm interested in procuring a non-rosewood Stenzel, but not through GSI who is monopolizing the US market right now.

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petermc61
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by petermc61 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 pm

bacsidoan wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:15 pm
I'm interested in procuring a non-rosewood Stenzel, but not through GSI who is monopolizing the US market right now.
Easily solved Doan, I am sure you could go direct to Sebastian. You would be able to get the second best set of maple he has left....

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Paul Janssen
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by Paul Janssen » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:04 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 pm
bacsidoan wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:15 pm
I'm interested in procuring a non-rosewood Stenzel, but not through GSI who is monopolizing the US market right now.
Easily solved Doan, I am sure you could go direct to Sebastian. You would be able to get the second best set of maple he has left....
Second best set of maple? Does this mean what I think it means?

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petermc61
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by petermc61 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:19 pm

Paul Janssen wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:04 pm
petermc61 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 pm
bacsidoan wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:15 pm
I'm interested in procuring a non-rosewood Stenzel, but not through GSI who is monopolizing the US market right now.
Easily solved Doan, I am sure you could go direct to Sebastian. You would be able to get the second best set of maple he has left....
Second best set of maple? Does this mean what I think it means?
Probably :roll:

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bacsidoan
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by bacsidoan » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:56 am

petermc61 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 pm
bacsidoan wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:15 pm
I'm interested in procuring a non-rosewood Stenzel, but not through GSI who is monopolizing the US market right now.
Easily solved Doan, I am sure you could go direct to Sebastian. You would be able to get the second best set of maple he has left....
I asked Stenzel before, he would not sell a guitar directly to a US customer. Of course I could buy one through GSI but decided not to because I detest monopoly.

Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:01 am

Me too; I'm a chutes and ladders man.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

soltirefa
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by soltirefa » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:15 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:01 am
Me too; I'm a chutes and ladders man.
ba-dum tsh!

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bacsidoan
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by bacsidoan » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:46 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:01 am
Me too; I'm a chutes and ladders man.
So you are. Good for you :)

montana
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by montana » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:48 am

bacsidoan wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:56 am
petermc61 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 pm
bacsidoan wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:15 pm
I'm interested in procuring a non-rosewood Stenzel, but not through GSI who is monopolizing the US market right now.
Easily solved Doan, I am sure you could go direct to Sebastian. You would be able to get the second best set of maple he has left....
I asked Stenzel before, he would not sell a guitar directly to a US customer. Of course I could buy one through GSI but decided not to because I detest monopoly.
If your interested , get Sebastian to send it to my address in Canada and I can forward it to you. Canada post is slow however and it my take years and years to ship to the U.S. :D

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bacsidoan
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by bacsidoan » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:35 pm

montana wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:48 am
bacsidoan wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:56 am
petermc61 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 pm


Easily solved Doan, I am sure you could go direct to Sebastian. You would be able to get the second best set of maple he has left....
I asked Stenzel before, he would not sell a guitar directly to a US customer. Of course I could buy one through GSI but decided not to because I detest monopoly.
If your interested , get Sebastian to send it to my address in Canada and I can forward it to you. Canada post is slow however and it my take years and years to ship to the U.S. :D
Thank you for the offer. That was a few years ago. Now, a 3 year wait is a little long for a 63 year old man; I could be dead by then :)

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rojarosguitar
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by rojarosguitar » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:27 pm

bacsidoan wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:35 pm

Thank you for the offer. That was a few years ago. Now, a 3 year wait is a little long for a 63 year old man; I could be dead by then :)
Well, thats a reason to maybe re-reflect the whole issue.

I must admit that I don't understand the whole chain of arguments. You don't resign from shopping your vegetables from your local market just because it belongs to some huge company that maybe is even monopolizing the market in your city.

But here were are even talking about quite different things: You maybe can avoid buying your vegetables in the shop X by driving to the shop Y that is farther away (and using gas sold by another monopolistic company).

But what about singular pieces of art? Imagine you would fall in love with "Perishable Vase" by Marcin Rusak. It's on auction at Sotheby's. Imagine, you could afford it, but for some reason you don't like Sotheby's; but you love that vase! Are you going to buy a vase at Walmart instead, or to be more fair, at some local pottery? Just because you don't like the seller?

If you understand that guitars are as singular pieces of art as any piece of art, and in no way to be substituted by another instrument sold by another guy you are more sympathetic with, I think you will go to the shop that happens to have that singular piece of art that just can't be had elsewhere, and you'll buy it, if you can afford it. Of course, if you can't afford it, it's another story, than we all have to accept our limits, at least temporarily.

I have always had a feeling of awe how these things come together: to have the chance to have a certain instrument, to have, so to speak, the sufficient connection to it, so that you can actually obtain it.

We also have to understand IMHO that there are economical/commercial aspects of the trade that are not easy to circumnavigate. As for Sebastian Stenzel, he would be probably unknown in the USA (like many other great European luthiers) if not for the GSI. I think a bit of gratitude and loyalty on his side is quite alright.

I'm really sorry for our self-imposed limitations of any kind, limitations we all have and that sometimes unnecessarily block in our paths...

Recently I was told about a guy who fell in love with a Robert Bouchet guitar, and went through the pains to travel back and forth from Europe to New York and get that guitar for quite a substantial money, just because he loved it, although there are plenty other guitars that are cheaper and - as people would argue - 'at least as good' as the Bouchet. I very much respect that attitude (we don't discuss the money side of the transaction here... :lol: )

Maybe you just go there, try the guitar and decide? If you are lucky it is not yet sold or reserved... Maybe you'll love it and buy it despite your objections; maybe you will find out that it's not at all for you and you will find another great guitar there, that you love and buy and have a big big laugh, maybe you don't find any guitar for you and just have a huge laugh ...

Just some thoughts...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...
My Youtube Channel is: TheMusicalEvents

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rojarosguitar
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Re: My Periodic Visit In Sebastain Stenzels' Workshop

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:30 am

I had an exchange with Sebastian Stenzel about the economic issues discussed in my last post yesterday.

He pointed out, that, first of all, it is absolutely not so that he is not permitted to sell directly to US citizens; he is just not supposed to ship to the US other than via the mediation of the GSI. So you can order directly, if you are prepared to pick it up or let it be picked up or shipped to another country.

Secondly, usually the additional costs of shipping, insurances and customs are greatly underestimated. If you take these into consideration, and add the facts of 'assumption of liability' and the 'purchase on approval' policy, and the fact that they provide you with the possibility of even see the instruments in person before you buy them, maybe the daemonic picture of them shrinks a bit to the normal size of a well led small enterprise, that hopefully makes enough income to pay their personnel and continue to exist.

So all in all there seem to be two possibilities to obtain a Stenzel guitar: directly with pick-up at his workshop or via GSI with all the comforts and additional securities it entails ...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...
My Youtube Channel is: TheMusicalEvents

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