Podcast 107: Luthier Jason Kostal


Grit Laskin and Jason Kostal.

Jason Kostal is, by our estimation, one of the most fascinating builders around: Before becoming a full-time luthier, he graduated from West Point, served in the Army, earned an MBA from Emory and did his time working for a Fortune 500 company. Eventually, he found himself at Roberto-Venn in Phoenix, apprenticing for Ervin Somagyi (who will be featured in the next issue of the Journal) and starting his own guitar company.

Today, even though his guitars command top dollar and his wait list is several years long, he’s not done learning his craft. On this Fretboard Journal Podcast, we hear about the inlay master class Kostal just took with Grit Laskin. Over the course of this talk, Kostal describes the classes, Laskin’s approach to teaching inlay artistry and whether he’ll use his newfound skillset.

In addition to describing his time with Laskin, Kostal tells us a bit about his build philosophy, his advice on how to be a successful luthier and the state of boutique guitarmaking in general. It’s a fun talk with one of today’s best acoustic guitar builders.


This episode is sponsored by D’Addario’s new Nickel Bronze Wound strings. Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal print edition here. And don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly podcast via iTunes.