2017 Thomas Ochs Konzert model

Woods: figured Madagascar rosewood back and sides, western red cedar over cedar double top, oiled/waxed Spanish cedar neck. Body is finished in hand polished lacquer. Ebony bindings and fingerboard; rosewood rosette insets. Maple lined sides. Elevated fingerboard.

Specs: 650mm scale, elevated fingerboard, Scheller tuners, fret markers at 5 and 7 fret, 52mm wide neck at nut, 62mm wide at body.  Twelve hole tie block with pearl inlay detail. Hiscox case.

Comment: this is my first Thomas Ochs guitar.  He has been building for over 20 years in Bamberg, Germany, and cites Friedrich, Romanillos, and Boaz Elkayam as his primary influence.  In many ways it resembles other laminated sides guitars, in particular those by Thomas Malapanis. There is a natural sustain and sweetness that is not tricked up by lattice bracing, but the extra mass in the sides adds substance and weight to the intonation. Many builders, including Connor, deJonge, Allan Bull, Tim Harris use this idea, and it always adds sustain and warmth, to my ear.  At the same time, the double top design adds to the quick response and volume German double top guitars are well known for. Ochs hits the mid point between guitars that are crisp, dry, with quick note bloom but also fast decay, and others that are boomy, bass heavy, and round. I like the clarity I hear, the volume, and even voicing between the strings, up the neck. His decision to not apply a lacquer finish to the neck, using oil and wax, is interesting–a winning idea. As with other oiled neck guitars here, such as the Rzepka and the Mrdalj, there is comfortable, secure purchase with the thumb, and the base of the fingers slide easily over the side of the neck without ever having the stickiness that can occur in warm conditions.

From the Ochs website, he describes design features of his Konzert guitars: “The construction of the soundboard with seven symmetrical fan-braces and a tunneled bar below the sound hole supports the sound reflection and the volume of the bass. The stiff bracing of the soundboard above the sound hole promotes the sound duration in the treble.

The soundboard as well as the back of the guitar is furnished with domes. Four cross bars are used to brace the back. Together with the braced frames, this feature enables the soundboard to resonate, similar to a clamped membrane. These construction features increase the projection of the instrument.

The neck of the guitar, which is reinforced with carbon bars and made from Spanish cedar, is fitted into the headstock and connected with the body in a Spanish way of construction. The upper nut made from bone is not located at the end of the fret board but inserted into the fret board. Through this way of construction an additional support of the transition of the neck and the head is reached.”

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Price: $7995
Sale Price: $7295

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