Magazine: Akustik Gitarre 05/2021 | Author: Franz Holtmann
With the Evidence model, Christian Stoll bears witness to the craftsmanship and design skills that have long since become the high standard of guitars from his workshop. The design of the Evidence is "state of the art", but by no means targets only new agers or percussive fingerstyle fans.
"Mini jumbo -high performance machine for guitar nerds" - that's how Christian Stoll calls his modern design with moderate fan fretting . Of course, the customer also has access to various high-quality woods for the Evidence. Optional features such as an armrest, high-gloss finish, or a left-handed version are also part of the available features.
The concept behind the Evidence seeks to create a happy marriage of the classically proven, full-tone STOLL Steelstring Ambition Core with the innovative Fanned Frets IQ Jumbo .
Despite the asymmetrical aspects, this cutaway model is designed for easy access and also delivers high tonal power and delicacy. This is in no small part owed to the construction with an arched back, yet also slightly arched top supported by a X-bracing. The proven tonewoods Rosewood and Sitka Spruce of best quality were joined in the middle bookmatched, the body is almost 10 centimeters deep at the base of the neck, has a well-cut waist and a round cutaway.
Fine-striped bindings of Anigré protect the outer edges and support the noble look. Rosewood and Anigré are used for the stylish rosette, framed by two-tone rings.
The Spanish Cedar neck, set into the body with a U-shaped neck foot (Spanish Heel Neck Joint) at the level of the 14th fret, was given a Rosewood fingerboard that accommodates carefully crafted fan frets - 20 regular and one additional on the fingerboard extension at the soundhole rim - as well as conspicuously large, cream-colored bone inlays for no-doubt orientation.
The headstock, long and with a good angle (22 degrees) coming out over a flat worked out volute, is covered with a Rosewood veneer including an inlaid "S" company emblem. Its elegant and strongly waisted shape allows the strings to be guided with a straight line and good pressure on the shaft of Gotoh's luxurious, pleasantly smooth-running 510 single tuners to the diagonally placed nut made of polished bone.
Its complement, the counter angled string-bearing bridge inlay of length-compensated bone in the asymmetrically cut, curved bridge of Rosewood, already visually suggests the strong gradient in the scale lengths of the strings between 628 millimeters at treble and 662 millimeters at bass range. The strings are held by bone bridge pins with a classic "Parisian eye".
The guitar, made in masterful STOLL quality with attention to detail, is perfectly sealed all around with a thin satingloss nitro finish.
Handling and Sound
This Evidence Mini Jumbo is a pleasingly comfortable guitar to play and, despite the perhaps unfamiliar fanned frets arrangement, should absolutely not put anyone off. Starting at eighth fret, the fan-shaped frets make ergonomic sense and one quickly gets used to them. Thanks to the flat string action on the especially fluffy shaped neck with velvety feel, we get into business with the guitar joyfully right away.
Moreover, the mini-jumbo fits snugly to the player, and the fanned frets ensure 100% intonation across the entire fingerboard. The well-tailored guitar, thanks to its moderate fanned fretting, is by no means only for New Age fans. To any form of modern fingerstyle, but also the conventional approach with the plectrum, Evidence opens effortlessly with powerful tone and decidedly differentiated sound.
The overall sound is rich and deep. Due to the extended scale length, the basses appear highly defined and powerful. Combined with substantially warm mids and silvery open trebles, the chords exude harmonic roundness, the guitar's response is as fast as it is precise, the dynamic behavior is simply great.
Finger and pick actions are implemented in a multifaceted manner, the instrument follows the player's intention willingly and supportively. Chords benefit from the perfect string separation with harmonically coherent resolution, held notes develop - as well as polyphonics - breathily and smoothly. The extremely light tone production also corresponds to the colorfully changing overtones that can be called up depending on the attacks posture and intensity.
The almost ethereal floating ambience with the final notes is also to be praised. What already works very well with traditional playing techniques becomes a promising gateway for all kinds of new sounds and percussive escapades through the intended opening for tapping and slapping.
On one hand, this versatile guitar is no stranger to angelic tongues. Sweetly and lyrically it likes to sing the old romantic song played with fingers, competently and dynamically it handles robust strummings. On the other hand it immediately stands at attention with more committed approaches. And then it is really no problem to break through the fresh colorful forest of notes of the avant-garde with Evidence as a rhythmic locomotive.
If the guitarist feels addressed as a dedicated enthusiast and open-minded sound researcher, he is right with the STOLL Evidence. The modern and coherent" state of the art" design requires neither acclimatisation nor special knowledge to be happy with it.
The guitar is no less than a crackerjack in terms of sound and presents itself as immensely comfortable and elegant in handling, despite or even because of the moderate fretting - not to mention the fidelity of intonation across the entire fingerboard. When it comes to the use of materials and craftsmanship, there is never anything to complain about with instruments from Christian Stoll's workshop anyway.
So if you have retained some curiosity about broadening your guitaristic horizons and are prepared to embark on new paths, you can look forward to a rich return on your sound digging - the claim is staked, the sinecure promises high profits. In short: a great instrument, bound to tradition and forward-looking at the same time!