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Steve's grandfather was an ornamental caster in Austria. He took his family out of Europe to escape the war, settling first in St. Louis and finally in Northern California. Steve has inherited his grandfather's talent of transforming natural elements into practical and beautiful works of art.In 1991, Steve Klein and Bob Taylor began designing the AB series acoustic bass, which is now in production in southern California.Steve's shop is in Vineburg, a hamlet with no sidewalks outside of the town of Sonoma, California.
As far back as his memory takes him Steve Kauffman has been passionate about working with wood. He grew up in San Francisco near Golden Gate Park during the 1960s. It was an amazing social and musical scene, and it was formative in his development both as an artist and a human being. Steve built his first guitar in the early ‘70s when he was still a teenager, and ever since he's been enthralled with lutherie.

Very early in his career Steve Kauffman began exploring the variations which affect the guitars’ tonal qualities, such as bracing systems and wood combinations. When he met, and apprenticed with Steve Klein decades ago, he was very grateful – there are very few original things in the world – the Klein guitar is one of them. The two eventually turned into collaborators; Klein the genius designer and Kauffman the master craftsman.

They worked on a number of projects together including the Taylor Bass and the TransPerformance Self-Tuning Acoustic Guitar, and all of that work has impacted Steve Kauffman's own sense of building.

Steve Kauffman still makes Klein acoustic guitars, which he loves to do, and is increasingly enthusiastic about Kauffman guitars. His instruments are a bit more traditional-looking, yet still incorporate many of the innovative ideas of Dr. Michael Kasha and Steve Klein. Notwithstanding the model, all Kauffman guitars are typified by their beauty of tone and their incisive clarity and power. They are exceedingly efficient and built with utter precision, making for instruments that are at once sensitive and sturdy. Steve makes each guitar one at a time by hand in his own shop in Cottage Grove, Oregon, a method that allows his to have a deep relationship with each instrument, and that he feels produces a superior guitar.
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Steve Miller, Joni Mitchell, Andy Summers, Joe Walsh, Bill Frisell, Lou Reed, David Torn, Stanley Clark, Billy Sheehan, Sting
L-45.7, M-43, "Big Thunder", Acoustic Bass