Hozen Guitars by Ho Zen Yong Interview
NAME: Ho Zen Yong
NICK NAME : Hozen
LIVING IN : Singapore
TRAINING & BACKGROUND: Basic Training done with UK luthier Chris Horton follow by advance lessons from Ervin Somogyi.
Most of it is self-taught with no formal structured training.
PLAYING: Piano. Not good ! 🙂
LUTHIER YOU ADMIRE THE MOST: Ervin Somogyi
INSTRUMENT YOU DREAM TO HAVE ONE DAY: Ervin Somogyi !!!
LAST ALBUM YOU BOUGHT: NA. Everything is streaming now thru spotify/apple music
LAST SHOW YOU WENT TO : Tommy Emmanuael
MOST IMPRESSIVE INSTRUMENT YOU EVER HAD IN HAND: Masuda Drop-D
MOST STRANGE RESTORATION OR REPAIR YOU HAD TO DO : Asking a guitar guy to plane a violin fingerboard.
To me tone and responsiveness is everything in a handcrafted guitar.
It’s something most factory made instruments doesn’t have and many individual luthiers struggle with.
The School don’t teach you how to make a good responsive guitar, they only teach you how to build one. Many factories can already build a good instrument.
Size,shape and tonewood of the instrument are all critical elements in achieving the tone I want to deliver.
My creation starts with the client on what he/she wants then i will give my recommendations and many of the design elements are their personal choice. There is no limit and no restrictions on what I can deliver to the clients in terms of design elements. I am not an artistic guy so creation from sketching is impossible for me, but I always borrow and adapt various elements from other builders or things I see around me.e plans.
I have no flagship models but my personal favourite is the small jumbo size. I believe in making boutique guitars accessible to all and will put it as my lifelong goal to deliver the best instrument possible for my asking price.
The control of the stiffness of the board is everything to the response of the instrument.
If the board is too stiff, it doesn’t ring, if the board is too loose, it will have problem in the future and sound muddy. It’s the feel for the material and how you put everything together and crave the bracing.
There is no magic formulae but to build many instruments to find out.
The buyer should try as many instruments as possible to fine-tune what he wants. Many times buyers don’t know what they want and what they are buying.
I will ask what type of music he usually plays and who are the guitarists that he likes and usually follows.
Next his finger-sizing and body sizing is important in recommending the right body shape and scale length.
Next will be what he likes on his guitars. I will try my best to put everything my client asks for in his guitar but stop short of doing illegal things like putting someone else’s brand name on it.
The client can expect regular build update pictures along the cause of the build process, although many things cannot be changed once the build process starts but I will always try to accommodate and advise additional change cost if there is any. It takes approx 6 months for me to finish an instrument properly.
Zarek Silberschmidt is one of my fav fingerstylist playing on my Small Jumbo-Raffles model
My home country singapore has very little resources for guitar building and the market is small. We need to reach out to the world market.
My instruments are available directly from me and I will list them online as soon as I can on my website www.hozenguitars.com
My Singapore dealer, The Guitar Shop, carries a number of my guitars. In Thailand, CIN Guitars represents me. In China, Wood Pecker Music represents me.
I will probably go to NAMM 2023 next year.
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