PJ Doland’s Klein Electric Guitar Build

Reader PJ Doland recently completed a beautiful Klein Electric Guitar replica. PJ was inspired by Bill Frisell’s Nashville album which was recorded largely with a Klein. As you can see in the following images, the first time guitar builder did a marvelous job!

Doland Klein Guitar Replica Front
Doland Klein Guitar Replica Back

For his electric guitar, PJ chose the following:

1. Swamp ash body
2. Moses Graphite neck with Steinberger headpiece
3. Steinberger Synapse bridge
4. Tru Oil finish

As someone interested in guitar ergonomics, it’s great to see someone build a Klein guitar. As a general guitar enthusiast and amateur builder, I’m thrilled to see something other than the usual Strat or Les Paul copies.

Apart from that, it’s important to note that PJ successfully mated a Steinberger Synapse bridge with the older Steinberger headpiece which opens up some possibilities. While I went with the R-trem bridge for my first guitar build, I’m not a particular fan of tremolo bridges. My next build will either use a Synapse bridge (also available with piezo pickups) or one of the alternative headless setups I’ve covered in the past such as this one by TK Instruments or this one by Scott French.

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11 Responses to “PJ Doland’s Klein Electric Guitar Build”

  1. Gorgeous!!! Well done, PJ. Two questions; what does it sound like, and what’s the total weight?

    Rob Fawcett

  2. Great looking guitar. It must be comfortable playing this sitting down.

  3. I love the way the swamp ash body looks with the natural finish as well. I’m thinking that my next build will be swamp ash…

  4. Suh-weeeeet!

    The natural finish looks great.

  5. I have to admit, I do prefer this design with a pickguard.

  6. You can order Klein pickguards directly from Chandler, if you’re interested.

  7. I like the inset behind the bridge, but it looks a bit bulky to be ergonomic?

    1. Actually, the Klein is considered to be one of the more ergonomic designs out there. In my opinion, the “appearance” of bulkiness is related to the unfamiliar shape and the fact that its headless. Both of these throw our expectations.

      In reality, the form provides wonderful balance either seated or standing, excellent picking arm support, an upward neck angle (rather than the tendency of most guitars to sit horizontally), etc. You can read more in Important Elements for An Ergonomic Guitar. You may also want to look at a similar design built for Adrian Legg – Adrian Legg’s Ergonomic Guitar. There are other articles related to the subject on the blog but these should get you started.

  8. Beautiful guitar!!! How many coats of the tru-oil did you apply/ how long did it take you? I am making my second guitar for year 12 industrial tech wood and trying to find the best option for finishing. Also how thick is the final coat compared to a lacquer finish?
    Thanks heaps, ben.

  9. This guitar is for sale on eBay right now. I’ve decided I like building guitars as much (or possibly more) than playing them.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, PJ. Curious to hear what you’re next project will be.