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Chasson Learn More +

Chasson
I first named my guitar business Eclipse Guitars after a late night of working and watching a lunar eclipse from my shop window. I soon renamed the business Chasson Guitars to make it clear that this is a very personal endeavor. I hand pick every piece of wood from some of the finest available. I build with precision that comes from over 25 years of woodworking experience. My instruments are built with quality and attention to detail that comes from a genuine dedication to the craft.I was first introduced to guitar building in 1979 by my high school shop teacher, Thomas Newsome. Newsome had recently trained under Hascel Haile who was known for guitars he built for Chet Atkins. I built two guitars with Newsome in 1979-80.After 15 years as a professional woodworker, I started building guitars on my own in 1995. I am lucky to live a few blocks from world class builder, Dake Traphagen. I took my first finished instrument to him for an evaluation. He told me flat out it was "ugly" and he was right! His honesty was a gift and I have appreciated the ongoing benefit of his feedback, sound advice, and inspiration over the years.In 1997, I spent a week studying with Charles Fox. I learned an approach to guitar building from him that helped me channel my woodworking experience into a system of production that is ideal for a one-person shop building custom instruments. It combines precision and efficiency with flexibility. By using many of his concepts for jigs and tooling in combination with many of my own, I'm able to build with precision and repeatability that allow me to duplicate previous instruments or easily customize and experiment with new designs.In 1998, I took a guitar repair workshop with Frank Ford. Ford is known far and wide as a master repairman and his web site, www.frets.com is a resource that every guitar owner should be aware of.In trying to achieve the sound that I wanted, I started approaching builders whose guitars I particularly admired. Of all the guitars I've heard, two have stood out clearly. One was a dreadnought by Jim Olson that had the deepest, sweetest bottom end I've ever heard. The other was a dread by Ervin Somogyi that had a life and enveloping presence that's hard to put into words.I went to Minnesota and was generously treated to a shop tour by Jim Olson. It's hard to get tremendous insight from someone in a couple hours but visiting Olson started me on the path of experimenting with building truly flat-top guitars.I then signed up for a 7-day intensive workshop with Ervin Somogyi. Somogyi is certainly one of the world's authorities on guitar building and this class was a hands-on study of his methodology for achieving his signature sound.My current guitars incorporate techniques I've learned from all these sources and more but you won't hear me talking about special techniques or bracing patterns as the key to good sound. I'm convinced that the magic in a guitar is not about secret formulas or tricks and techniques. Great guitars are the product of hard work, dedication, training, experience, and careful listening. I feel lucky every day to be a part of this craft and am grateful to the clients who enable me to keep building and, together, put more music in the world.Kent Chasson
Bellingham, Washington
Steven King
Concert, 12 Fret, Jumbo
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