The Return of Steve Klein and the Klein Electric Guitar?

It seems the rumors are true – guitar maker Steve Klein, creator of the Klein electric guitar, intends to resume production!

The News

Word came in the form of comments by guitar builder Rick Canton following a question by Mats Erikson – the man behind this Klein guitar replica. Mats wondered why someone had not taken up the mantle of at least producing after market Klein guitar bodies. We had recently covered Rick’s Canton Klein Guitar Body Upgrade so this was fresh on our minds. Rather than paraphrase, I’ll let Rick’s reply speak for itself:

I have recently been talking with Steve Klein. Steve and I were talking about working together, I was going to be making the Klein bodies with my CNC machine but the distance between us was too much of a hassle factor with the cost of shipping wood back and forth etc., and he has found a more local approach.
What does this mean? All I should really say, because I do not want to talk for Steve, is that Steve is 100% definitely actively planning on starting up again, most likely within 6-9 months from now. His new shop is being organized right now. I should not say much more than that but he is alive and well, a great guy, and is set on jumping in again.

Clearly, exciting times lie ahead for ergonomic guitar true believers, Klein electric guitar connoisseurs and just plain admirers of Steve Klein’s guitar building art. As many of you know, the gold standard of ergonomic guitars hasn’t been in production for years with used Klein guitars selling for $5K-6K regularly.

A Bit of History

Following the sale of the company to Lorenzo German, the brand fell on hard times. Production became non-existent and reports started to appear of orders that were never fulfilled. Then in October 2006, a small update went up on the site – Note: Klein Electric Guitars is no longer taking new orders at this time. Things only got worse in May 2007 when the Klein electric guitars site went down. The domain is still registered but a visit to the site only takes you to a configuration screen. Meanwhile, Lorenzo German remains listed as its administrative contact.

Will the domain kleinelectricguitars.com just whither and die or will it be transferred to Steve Klein and be brought back to life?

Remaining Questions

Overall its exciting news and I’m anxious to see what Steve Klein will come up with. Will it be refinements to the standard design? Will he continue to evolve the design – possibly come out with a Klein Electric Guitar II or a “super Klein”? Time will tell…

However, one burning question still remains – “What ever happened to Lorenzo German?”

For the original comment thread, see Mat’s question under the article – Making The Klein Electric Guitar Template.

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12 Responses to “The Return of Steve Klein and the Klein Electric Guitar?”

  1. Great news. I’ll need to start saving money now to be able to afford one!

    1. I think a few of us will be checking in with our financial consultants – our wives – on this one. :)

  2. Did Steve Klein have acoustic guitar building operations in the last several years? I thought a friend had told me he demonstrated some kliens at NAMM in recent years, maybe that was Kiso-Klien or some other thing? Newbie Brad

  3. Yeah, whatever happened to Kiso-Klein?
    What was a Kiso-Klein anyway?

    Was that a licensed out acoustic Klein?
    What about doing the same thing to electrics?

    I’ve heard that Kleins most overseas customers, especially the electric bass, were japanese. I can’t verify this though. But if you look at his acoustics and the embellishments and inlays, and the shape of the KX-bass, little wonder. The bass looks like a Takana sword (sp?) only a musical instrument.

    Regarding acoustic guitar innovation, I think Steve Klein should team up with BABICZ guitars, or even the COMPOSITE ACOUSTICS guitars, or RAINSONG guitars. Although headstocked ones, they have more in common with Steinbergers than you think. 😉

    Composite Acoustics
    Rainsong Composite Guitars

    Look at the BACK of the composite acoustic guitar. How it’s shaped. Although it’s not that much about ergonomics it’s VERY intriguing. Steve Klein has stated in interviews, that only 5 % of a strings energy transforms into acoustic sound. And he has worked to remedy this, but his outrageous designs has been too much of a giving this one precent extra loudness a hard time. They just became too big, bulky and outrageous.

    Kleins acoustic guitars are all, BUT ergonomic. I’ve tried one of the Taylor/Kleins acoustic bass guitars, the one that they made in collaboration, and that was the most unwieldy, and unbalanced thing I’ve ever played. Neck dived, dead spots and bulky, and no good acoustic BASS notes at all.

    But I don’t like acoustic bass guitars anyway if they aren’t equipped with electronic pickups. One don’t get any fundamental at all, just overtones and harmonics. You just have to have an upright bass to produce any bass tone at all. Acoustically.

    But Kleins acoustics are one of the most beautiful to look at, anyway. If not the most beautiful. And, looks, counts for many people. Alas, not me.

  4. So maybe I should offload my Klein before Steve comes back, fires up production, and reduces the market value of “Pre-Klein Re-emergence” Kleins?!? My head hurts. But really, this is is great news for the Klein faithful. Hope it actually comes to fruition.

    Roger

    1. @Roger – Who knows? Maybe the collector types will claim there’s something magical about the pre-Steve Klein return guitars that will push their prices even higher. You know how much the wrong alloy humbucker ring mounting screws impact the sound of an instrument. 😀

  5. Any updates on this one?

    1. Nothing to report at this point.

      1. As I posted on another site, I heard from Steve today who said that we should “keep our eyes peeled” for design/ production of a Klein electric.

  6. Steve is indeed making prototypes. I’ve played them and they are beautifully designed. Not sure about the time frame for production, but they are close; and there will be different models. A wise person would prepare for purchase so when they become available, purchase would be swift. I don’t think they’ll be as expensive as one might think (though they’ll be worth it).

    I wrote the book on Steve’s life and work – “Art That Sings” (Doctorow Communications, 2003). They can be ordered from my website – http://www.artofmusicinstruments.com. Happy to sign one if you wish.

    1. That would be great Paul but forgive folks if they’re skeptical. The returns of both Steve Klein and Lorenzo German have been heralded for quite some time never to actually come to pass. Steve Klein’s return was imminent when this article was written – back in February 2008. It’s almost a year and a half later.

      That said, a great many would be thrilled to see either or both return to building. Meanwhile there are a number of talented luthiers delivering ergonomics and musicality in their guitars and basses.

  7. Last I heard was in August, and Steve said that he was going to begin building electrics again. You know how life goes, though….