Tony Klassen is
and unique luthier. He retired from a career in graphic
several years ago and began his new journey: building guitars
some of his favorite vintage builders, including guitars from
& Day and others. He has
built stunning reproductions of Prairie
guitars, based on pieces from his own collection. He has also
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
shape with Mahogany back, sides, and neck and
This model, the KK-3 is a stenciled and handpainted top that
reproduces the two-volcano scene of the original Kel
He also does the version with the two birds (KK-2) as well as
topped version (KK-1). The KK-3 guitar has a pearloid
original jaunty brown and orange rectangle design. A gorgeous,
tropical scene! I love it.
The sound is big, the tone is well rounded and warm with a
power to it. The neck feels great, and a nice width at the nut
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,
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
Peter Frampton, Stefan Grossman, Country Joe MacDonald,
Chris Valillo, Joe Henry, Dakota Dave Hull and
your Kel Klassen through Catfish
Updated July 18, 2019
One New Build Slot available for April 2020:
I am offering one Kel Klassen (or any model Tony makes) for sale here. Tony has scheduled the next build for April of 2020. 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. Or, most any model he builds. Just ask me!
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.
change, Tony's build times are now approximately 4 years.
I ordered the two for March 2019 back in 2015; this is a great
opportunity to get one of these in only a few months instead
of years! These are rare models; mine, pictured left, is the
second one Tony has built, the two in March will be fourth Kel
Kroyden with palms and volcanos, and maybe the second one with
the birds design reproductions.
Prices below include Mahogany
back & sides and Adirondack
Spruce top. Inquire for other wood prices.
(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
headstock, a beatiful modern reproduction of the old Kel Kroydon
Below is the KK-2, or
Birds design, with the super-cool pearloid fingerboard and
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!