Joscho Stephan's setup



  • edited November 2017 Posts: 3,003
    I just used Django's analogy to say that these guys have an emotional connection with their instruments.
    Few years ago Gonzalo offered his personal Marin for sale here on forum. Said he was ready to move on. To me that said that the magic was gone but also that he was or used to be very connected to this instrument.
    This is all philosophical but in my mind it's posited that they're not emotionally connected.
    At that time I'm sure it was perfectly playable guitar and the sound, in his hands, was to die for. Yet he sold it.
    To me as well playability is a number one deciding factor whether I like a guitar or not. But it's not the end of the story for these guys. I heard recently that Adrien has a Favino, Busato and a few Marin's being built for now. Are these guitars known for their sound or playability?
    I also think that in the grand scheme of things, the player comes first then the playability then the specific sound signature of the guitar is the magic dust on the top. But that sound signature I believe is what inspires everybody to make the best music they can
    I just read in other thread how Bireli loved that modified Maccaferri and wanted to buy it for himself. What was he struck by, the sound or a playability?
    In my mind after having heard so many times about so and so can play any guitar and make it sound awesome and sound like the same player every time, makes it sound all the other qualities a great instrument poses aren't important and the top guys don't consider them important.
    You could get an Altamira, a reasonably well built guitar, for a thousand and pay the top luthier another thousand and make it supremely playable but that's not what anyone is interested in.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,155
    Buco wrote: »
    At that time I'm sure it was perfectly playable guitar and the sound, in his hands, was to die for. Yet he sold it.

    Opinions differ. Gonzalo's tone from that period was horribly buzzy and poor, if you ask me. When he switched to the Holo his sound improved dramatically.

    I don't think he changed technique - maybe that Marin had neck issues or maybe the action was just setup too low, I don't know, it's a shame because the tunes and the playing from that period was fantastic (~2011, Simplicated).
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,535
    Fun thread! I've got a couple of stories on this subject...

    Story one: Stephane Wrembel... showed up unannounced at Django in June 2008, walked into a dorm lounge where a bunch of us were lounging around, sat on the sofa and asked to borrow somebody's guitar.

    My buddy Dan immediately handed him his "Fina" Asian Selmer copy, which he'd recently bought for $300 CDN and which I bought from him a few years later for $250 CDN and which I still own to this day....

    Well, would it surprise you to learn that in Stephane Wrembel's hands this cheap guitar sounded like a million bucks?

    "How much did you pay for this, man?" he asked.
    "Three hundred bucks."
    "Not bad!"


    Story two: radio interview with Keith Richards

    When asked how many guitars he owns, Keef said he didn't know, but would estimate the number at about five thousand.

    Then he went on to say, "But give me fifteen minutes with any guitar, and I can make it sound just like all my other guitars!"

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
    BucoBill Da Costa Williams
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."
  • Posts: 3,003
    Wim Glenn wrote: »
    [Gonzalo's tone from that period was horribly buzzy and poor, if you ask me.

    But it was the most awesome buzz ever!!!
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,001
    I played Gonzalo's Marin years ago and also his previous Gallato. Both were great guitars. I think the buzzing that Wim is talking about was due to his very strong picking technique. Possibly there were very minor setup issues on those guitars but I don't recall anything particularly out of the ordinary. Personally I liked that 'sitar' effect he would get at times. I think it is just a fact of life that if you pick an acoustic guitar with light strings hard enough you will get some buzzing unless your action is really high. I think Gonzalo just has amazing right hand technique and can really get the strings to vibrate certainly much more than us mere mortals. Yeah what Buco said, the most awesome buzz ever.
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,155
    Haha Bones, maybe I can learn to like it if I just imagine he's playing a Sitar =)
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited November 2017 Posts: 3,001
  • edited November 2017 Posts: 3,003
    It always reminded me of a sitar. Maybe that's the descriptive I picked up on the forum but that's the sound I associated with Gonzalo and loved. It gave his overall sound signature another layer of originality I thought. So much so that when I heard his stuff post Marin I was like "oh man that sound is gone : (/"
    In general I'm very much bothered by super low action and the buzz it generates, like for example on Angelo's recordings. But Gonzalo's to me was very pleasing and musical.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Posts: 449
    I have some guitars that I used to find difficult to play and am often amazed that when I go back to them they seem to have improved so much.

    Practicing on a 'medium' set up seems to be best for technique. It makes one face up to technical deficiencies but without the unrewarding feel of a guitar with a hard setup.

    Practicing on an extremely light guitar can encourage bad habits and when one goes to a guitar which is even moderately more difficult to play those bad habits come to light in a way that the easy set up had allowed us to ignore. But that isn't the guitar's fault.

    No matter what guitar I am playing I think that it is a really good idea to play it like it is the only guitar in the world and blame myself ENTIRELY for the sound and the music produced. I think that that is the frequently unstated point that people are trying to make when they seem uninterested in talking too much about set up.

  • RichWinerRichWiner New
    Posts: 3

    This is an old thread, however, Joscho performed in my home two weeks ago and I asked him what gauge strings he uses...

    The answer is 11s. What a super nice guy and a monster player.

    Bill Da Costa WilliamsBuco
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