2023 Klein & Kauffman Guitars Build Slot
Our 2023 build slot with Klein & Kauffman Guitars is currently available! Simply purchase this deposit price, and we will reach out to discuss your custom build, what your needs are, and any special features you’re interested in exploring.
Our process is straightforward:
1. Place the deposit amount to secure the spot on the calendar
2. Paul will get in touch directly to make additional choices of materials and upgrades
3. We will stay in touch all the way until delivery
About Klein & Kauffman Guitars
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.
A note from Paul on the build process:
I really enjoy the process of custom building instruments for players. I got into this whole business because I’m a player first and a songwriter. As a player, I have intimate knowledge of what makers, body shapes, woods, and other attributes of a guitar will most help a player get to their dream instrument. It’s really important to me that a guitar inspires a player to make music. That’s the whole reason I started this business long ago.
I see this process of working with a client and a builder as service. To me, it’s an important part of my life and something I’m really passionate about. The process along the way can be as detailed or relaxed as you want and I guarantee you it is always fun. We start usually by talking about the woods that will get the tone that you want after I hear more about what you play and what you’d like to be able to play. Then we will go on to looking at photos of actual sets of materials and talk about everything from the nut width to the saddle width to the case color that you want. We will then get into the details of the instrument as far as the feel goes and the ergonomics. There’s a lot to talk about here and we have a lot of experience again because of all the guitars we’ve played over the years. We’ll talk about the contour of the neck and we have a special process for that where we use a tool that we can send you to give us shapes of your favorite guitar necks which we can then use as a basis or even completely copy.
Another big value that Dream Guitars has to offer in this process is our shop full of amazing guitars. After we get your initial specs down, you’re welcome to visit the shop as sometimes we will have months before the build starts. You and I can sit and play the world’s finest guitars and confirm that the choices we made are right for you as far as the wood types and specs and you also might find some ideas you want to Incorporate, maybe an armrest bevel, a soundport, or even something you’ve never tried before. Along the way my team and I will be talking to the builder on your behalf and making sure that you get exactly what you want in the end.
The custom guitar world can be really confusing. There’s so many makers now and so many different materials and body shapes, you need someone to really guide you through all the options. One of the big parts of my job is to go to various guitar shows every year all around the world so that I can see what’s happening. I meet with all the makers I’ve been working with for sometimes decades and I stay in touch with what they’re changing, what their new models are, what they have to offer, and what their sounds are evolving into. I also get a chance to visit many of the maker’s shops so that I can be very familiar with what they do, what they love to do, what they don’t want to do, what woods they like, what woods they don’t like, so that I can give you really objective third-party advice all along the way.
By working with you directly myself I allow the builder to stay at the workbench whittling wood and making guitars. While this frees them up a bit, they are always available as well should you really want to have a conversation with the builder. We will facilitate that as well. We always see it as a three way partnership.
Another thing that’s really important to me is the personalities involved in each instrument so I get to know the makers really well year year after year, every time I visit with them at guitar shows, visit their shops, or just have a meal with them. I think their personalities come through in the end result of the guitar so as I’m getting to know you and matching you with the builder I’ll be keeping all of that in mind as well.
The bottom line is this. I’ve been playing guitar since I was ten years old. Every time I have the opportunity to help a client find a guitar of their dreams, that inspires them to make music, it feels like my life’s purpose.
I look forward to helping you build a guitar that will inspire you and I promise we’ll have fun all along the way.
Our 2023 build slot with Klein & Kauffman Guitars is currently available. Simply purchase this deposit price, and we will reach out to discuss your custom build, what your needs are, and any special features you're interested in exploring