Act like nobody else… let’s make ’em old !
Why do some artists play a guitar that gives them a super sound although the guitar looks like coming out of car accident? Because they select their “loved one” out of many guitars. They never give up, they travel the world for it. All the time, they look for that one magical sound that makes them feel good. I followed them in that search for the impossible.
I could find out that most artists found their sound into guitars from the fifties. Strange not? Was it for the lower price?
I assure you, no. The guys I travelled with (sorry no names) could afford a hundred oldies. So what could be the difference?
I was left alone with these unknown reasons for many years. And finally I found the answers. One of the major reasons had to do something with the fact that they are “old”. But what is “old”? It had to be something that was able to change over the years.
I said: Lets make em old! (And that’s where people began to doubt about my mental ability!) So I focussed on the wood and the basic electronics… like magnetic fields. In fact wood ages all the time. Magnets do also. And they both change. Wood shrinks, magnets weaken.
But there was more. Dried wood does not sound like old wood. How about that? You can dry the wood for 30 years.
All moisture will be evaporated. That is no problem. But you can’t harden the inside elements like oils and nutritious matter.
This is something that time has to arrange. And it takes a lot of time. You cannot add a catalyser to harden it out, like we do with chemical resins. In fact you can do nothing else but “wait”, for a hundred years… I was not planning to wait that long.
I am an impatient man, you know. So, I made some guitars out of old furniture. Their sound was exactly how I always wanted to hear it. Not in one but in all “older-made” guitars. More dynamics, more harmonics and still sweet, soft basses.
I was convinced from then on that all the research had to be focussed on the making of guitars out of old wood.
The combination of wood that has been “dead” for more than 100 years with our special hand wound, aged pickups provides an astonishing sound. But we missed the look! What to do with cracks and holes? Cover it? Maybe, but we never found it a good idea to cover wood with loads of paint, in order to mask faults. Believe me, loads of paint take the sound away. In fact I love to look at the figures in the wood and I personally find them more attractive when the finish is transparent. We learned how to deal with that totally new concept.
We solved the problem by dividing the guitar into parts. One part is the “sound maker”: wood that comes out of the 19th century (< 1900).
One part is the “nice maker”: which covers the old wood. Our nr 3 goes in between. It’s composite stuff (Carbon, diolene, Kevlar and several resins that we developed to bind all these with wood) It’s a minor part but it’s very important as it serves as reinforcement. It stabilises the wood. We get most of the older wood out of demolitions and old furniture. Belgium, France, you know, its a corner with a living history. Those origins are the safest when we trace the age.
100 years is our minimum age limit. The wood that we use is oak, cedar and ash. Today, we even have ways to define the age.
So nobody can fool us.
Vintage at a fraction of the price… As you know a 1950 … … … … (fill in any guitar label) is expensive.
They resell em much higher than new ones. Sometimes you even don’t find one. If you find one, it generally needs repairs or has been repaired. Sometimes repairs are disastrous for the original sound. More: technology in those days was limited so owners have to live with compromises. When they change things, they have the risk to change the sound. Most of the oldies find their way to collectors.
They look at it; they cherish them, but rarely play them. They buy nostalgia for big money – they force up prices.
It may be a good thing, as history will be well preserved. It’s bad for the hard working musician and his moneybag.
To do a professional job with your instrument, you first need reliability and after this nostalgia. So don’t search for an oldie any more. We make them older and better! Much older (100 years) much better (Research and Development, Digital design & technology NC milling).
Playing a Kritz means that you have taste and that you know what you want. Artists all over the world enjoy playing our instruments.
The craziest stories are told. Some find us great others find us bullshit. That makes the story so fascinating.
We like to be black and white at the same time. Without this research and technology, life would be so boring, so grey.
I hope you will appreciate this journey into a new world of guitar technology. Remember: You can discover much more when you play one.