Jan Kouba – C.11 Maple #096

Ahoj! Chtěl bych vám představit můj nový nástroj od mistra Začala. Strašně moc jsem toužil po javorovém dobru. Ta barva, zvuk, vzhled – vše se mi to líbilo tak moc, až jsem si řekl: teď, nebo nikdy. Karel mi postavil tak krásný nástroj; dřevo je úplně boží, zvuk je boží, všechno je boží 😁. Dal si s tím velkou práci ( perleť na desce a hlavě) moření, celkový vzhled a ten zvuk který z toho leze… Všem, kteří chtějí mít extrémně dobrý nástroj jak zvukově, tak na oko, doporučuji dobra i jiné nástroje od mistra Začala. Věřte mi, nebudete litovat – toho zvuku nedosáhli nikde na světě. Jsem šťastný, že mohu posílat melodie do světa právě s tímto nástrojem. Děkuju!

Jan Kouba

Luboš Novotný

“I would like to introduce you my new resophonic guitar made by Karel Začal. It is a beautiful instrument with awesome sound!”




With a long history in the folk band Duo Cis as well as with the legendary Czech newgrass group Prudusky, Lubos Novotny (1991-present) plays dobro. (The Dobro was actually invented by a Slovak family, the Dopyeras.) He has been named “Dobro Player of the Year” from 1992 until 1997 by the Banjo Jamboree Festival as well by the Slovak Association of Country Music in 1992 and 1993.

His first solo recording, Joy of the Sorrowful, was released in 1995 and his second recording, Venku z travy (Out from the Grass) was released in 2000. Lubos also performs with a group called Testify. When Druha Trava returned to the Banjo Jamboree Festival in 2004 after their long absence, Lubos was once again named Dobro Player of the Year. The Bluegrass Association of Czech Republic has designated Lubos Novotny as “Best Dobro Player” every year from 2000-2006!

Luboš Novotný

Jan Kouba

“Dobro od mistra Karla Začala mám od roku 2013 a jsem velmi spokojený! Nástroj má krásný kulatý zvuk, okořeněný specifickou barvou, kterou když pustím do světa, tak se všichni lidé pozastaví a soustředěně poslouchají mé melodie. Jsem velice rád a moc mě baví hrát na nástroj, který má srdce i duši! Vzhledově je nástroj samozřejmě také krasný díky pečlivému výběru dřeva, perleťi a kovových komponentů. Stojím si za tím, že na Karlova dobra nemá ani konkurence ze zahraničí, protože nikde na světě nedosáhli takového vyváženého barevného zvuku jako on, ať se jedná o nástroje ze smrku/palisandru nebo javoru. Přikládám odkaz na záznam koncertu s triem, kde se můžete zaposlouchat do mého užasného nástroje z dílny Karla Začala:

Na závěr bych řekl, že bez tohoto nastroje nemůžu žít… Je to taková doživotní pravá láska, co mě dělá šťastným;)”

Jan Kouba
Monogram,Víťa Troníček trio,Elixír

Manu Bertrand

“I’m totally in love with my Začal C11 Master Model #62 !
It was a dream came true as soon as I took it out of its case !

I use it now for 2 months and it’s as good as it looks ! I used it acoustically, plugged, for small and big stages, on studio recordings… it fits everywhere ! The sound is warm and woody, just as I was dreaming about ! Great playability and great building ! Wow I’m so glad to have ordered this pure beauty ! I also own a 2001 Tim Scheerhorn’s squareneck resonator and my Začal doesn’t have to be ashamed of the comparison at all !

Karel, you’ve made such a great work with this guitar !
Thanks and keep doing our dreams come true !

Manu Bertrand from France”

Manu Bertrand has played with artists as Eric Bibb, Martha Fields, Erik Sitbon & The Ghost Band, Wayne Law, Mary Reynaud, Tom Frager, Gildas Arzel… check

Manu Bertrand

Murat Kayi (Murat Kayi Band)

Squareneck Model C.11 Master #063 (Spruce/Rosewood/Mahogany)


This might very well be the most beautiful object I ever purchased. The craftsmanship on this guitar is so devoted to details, the parts look as if they had been molten in place. There is not a single careless spot to be found anywhere. We may all feel that sound and playability are the most important things, but if we’re honest, the admiring sounds of surprise and awe when fellow musicians just look at our instrument always makes us fall in love with our instrument all over again. And this guitar inspired quite a few cries of amazement just for how beautifully it has been put together and set up.


Most people look for increased low-end when they go for a custom built guitar. And this instrument offers a lot of it. In fact, it almost feels as if you get additional three strings, because I can now use the bass strings for soloing, fills and even more intricate rhythm work in a way that simply did not make sense before, because on my previous instruments there was not efficient volume and punch to the bass strings. But apart from the low-end which you would probably expect, the treble is what really surprised me: The ease with which you can make a note rise above a full string band setting in a purely acoustic setup is overwhelming. I have had many people comment on how the dobro/steel sound finally can be heard clearly and smoothly. This is especially important. The treble is not harsh or annoying. The whole upper range is smooth and full of clarity. The wonderful thing soundwise about this guitar is that you have easy access to a wide full range of low to high frequencies at any fret (up to the 20th…actually even higher) just by varying your right-hand. Wether you dig in or barely touch the strings, if you strum a full chord between the screens or pick single notes right next to the bridge…any position offers a different useful sound. It is inspiring to be able to explore all these new possibilities. Likewise, I also feel as if I got ten (or more) additional frets than on my previous guitar. Most squarenecks have a sweet range up to a certain fret and decline in sound quality upwards of this certain fret. You then learn how to avoid ranges that do not sound nice anymore. On this instrument, however, everything from the 12th fret upwards sounds just as sweet and full as anything below…it’s just higher notes, not decreasing in quality. It opens up octaves I did not consider before. Even playing in the range above the last indicated fret yielded musically useful sounds. How Karel did that is a mystery to me.

Also, this thing is loud which means you can relax your right hand, more than anything. No need to squeeze your guitar, this instrument makes it easy to play.


I found you, Karel, to be responsive, friendly, patient and competent. Frankly, you sound just like a nice guy who happens to be able to build fantastic guitars. It really helped from the first moments of decision-making up to now, a few days after my instrument arrived and I had a few additional questions about maintenance and the like. All in all, it was a very nice shopping and purchase experience, which I would trustfully recommend to anyone looking for a masterbuilt instrument with no compromise.”

Murat Kayi played with people like: Peter Freiberg, Paul Joses, Die Feuersteins. In his radio show he had as guests and played with people like Enno Bunger, Cynthia Nikschas and „Berge”.

DSC 0007
Murat Kayi
Murat Kayi Band

Henrich Novák (Bill Faster, Fragment, The Bricks Trio)

I have a new instrument at home (yes, I own it) made ​​by a young Czech builder (and an excellent resonator guitar player) Karel Začal. Model C11, serial number #040, material – maple in a elegant dark design. Beautiful, clear and velvety sound – typical of maple resoguitars, well balanced across whole fingerboard – indeed to such an instrument I have long been waiting for! Thank you Karel!

Henrich Novák
Bill Faster, Fragment, The Bricks Trio

Rob Ickes tests resophonic guitar (C.11 #020)

Karel Začal: It is a great honour for me, that a guitar made by myself has been tested by a world-wide known and highly respected dobro player Mr. Rob Ickes. He has played the C.11 Master model (#020) rosewood/spruce/mahogany. See the video recorded by a friend of mine and great dobro player from Germany Ralf Wolterhoff.

Rob Ickes

Peter Mečiar (Poutníci)

Hi Karel! Thank you for my new Maple C11 Master Model #46 Black. It is unbelievable what a difference it is to say a resophonic guitar or resophonic guitar. The sound of the guitar you’ve made is nice balanced over the whole range of frequencies. The tone is rich and has a wide variety of colors. It is especially worth mentioning the ease of playing the instrument. Due to the strength and clarity of tones, I do not worry away at finding an optimal position of my hands to produce fine tone when playing it. The tones just readily sound at every single moment! Last but not least,  I take my hat off to you for your craftsmanship! It is not just the sound but also the design that make the guitar look so professional and well worked-out in every detail. Once more, I would like to thank you, Karel! May you grow two more hands, because if you go on bulding such great instruments,  I bet you need them to meet the demand!
With kind regards,

Peter Mečiar

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