Tony Klassen is
a gifted and unique luthier. He retired from a career in graphic design
several years ago and began his new journey: building guitars inspired
some of his favorite vintage builders, including guitars from the
& Day and others. He has
built stunning reproductions of Prairie
guitars, based on pieces from his own collection. He has also done some
designs including this model, the Kel
Klassen. The Kel
Klassen is his take on the 1930 and '31 Kel Kroydon guitars,
a rare Gibson offshoot.
lightweight build at just over 3 lbs., the Kel is the classic L-OO body
shape with Mahogany back, sides, and neck and Adirondack
This model, the KK-3 is a stenciled and handpainted top that faithfully
reproduces the two-volcano scene of the original Kel Kroydons.
He also does the version with the two birds (KK-2) as well as a plain
topped version (KK-1). The KK-3 guitar has a pearloid fingerboard with
original jaunty brown and orange rectangle design. A gorgeous, fantasy
tropical scene! I love it.
The sound is big, the tone is well rounded and warm with a satisfying
power to it. The neck feels great, and a nice width at the nut for me
of 1 13/16."
and I first met at a gig in Vaparaiso, Indiana over 25 years ago. I had
been looking at his work online, and when I saw the Kel, I
just knew I had to have Tony make me one! I'm so glad I did. It is such
a beautiful and joy-filled guitar.
reputation has been growing. His guitars are played by myself and Roy Book Binder, Bob Carlin,
Peter Frampton, Stefan Grossman, Country Joe MacDonald, Henry Kaiser,
Chris Valillo, Joe Henry, Dakota Dave Hull and others.
your Kel Klassen through Catfish
UPDATED Sept. 25, 2015
I am offering two Kel
Klassens for sale here. Tony has scheduled the next
builds for completion March
of 2019. Start the order now, email or call me for
details. You can
get any neck width, scale length or any of the three Kel designs.
Prices below include hard
case. Shipping is additional and is the
actual cost. Call me at 319-338-3614
for more info regarding deposit, options, etc. NOTE: Prices subject to
change, build times are now approximately 3 1/2 years.
Prices below include Mahogany
back & sides and Adirondack
Spruce top. Inquire for other wood prices.
KK-1 $3725.00 (plain top and wooden fingerboard, painted headstock) KK-2 $4825.00 (two birds design, pearloid fingerboard and headstock) KK-3 $4825.00 (tropical scene, pearloid fingerboard and headstock)
BELOW LEFT: the Kel
Klassen KK-3, completed, front and back. BELOW
RIGHT: Luthier Tony Klassen stencilled, then handpainted
the two-volcano tropical scene, as well as the dancing rectangles and
headstock, a beatiful modern reproduction of the old Kel Kroydon KK-3
Below is the KK-2, or
Birds design, with the super-cool pearloid fingerboard and headstock.
Also available by order through me, to be completed by March 2019.
Call me anytime at 319-338-3614
me for more info. Thanks, always, for tuning in!