Kritz started its activity in 1976 with a major participation in the Belgian recording business.
3 recording studios were build between 1976 and 1987. In 1991 Kritz decided to go into the musical instrument business and started a large research and development plan to update musical instruments and Commercialise them. Kritz focused its know-how towards the electric guitar.
From 93 up to now, many solutions to tuning and sound problems were realised. This resulted in unseen instruments. Now, some are world’s most sought-after instruments. From the beginning we already decided to use all digital means possible to achieve one goal: try to make a guitar that one can “feel” Without influencing the feelings of the musician. For this we needed to be very selective. So, we use computers only for high precision jobs. Not for fast jobs. We use composite materials only for their properties and not because they speed up production. We do not listen to tales, legends or guitar stories. We do not follow trends or designs. Nevertheless, we respect the wishes of the guitarist. So don’t expect plastic guitars or space shuttle bodies. Our changings always are “careful”. We sometimes do “reverse research”. That is the old principle of “trial and error” + the “answer why”: we make the craziest things out of an idea. Then we try it, until we hear something “unusually” nice. We trace the origin of this sound and we apply this new “whatever-it-is” on one of our existing, Kritzguitars. This is how the 4Everneck, the Smile frets, the Kritzwood, the Blower pickups, the Complex radius and our Kritz Intonation Compensation (K.I.C) became reality. The reason for this “reverse research” generates from the fact that we cannot make a bar graph of a musicians “feeling”. We have no computers who can tell us what a “nice” guitar sound is. So we must take the best out of everything and put it all together.If you design computer software, you do it with a 0 and a 1.A guitar can be made with computers, but it always has to become a good instrument. So the instrument will always have to caress our inside feelings. We will look at it, touch it, play it hear it and feel its vibrations. We will expect it to give us the music that our brains want to express. That is where we become involved. The right combination of different woods. The right pickups for the right musical style. So many details that make the difference. Our guitars are made to express exactly what you feel inside. Always, everywhere.
That’s why they sound like no other guitar on earth.
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.
Value for money
Every Kritz has its own technical data sheet with all specs on it. It goes together with the guitar. Every older Kritz ever made can still be remade (special order) because the specs are archived. No models disappear.
It is impossible to have them all in stock. In 1993 the first Kritz guitars were launched. Few were made in these days. Prices were around 1000 euro. Now, some ten years later, the same model is priced around 2200 euro.
The value of the old ones is even the double, because of their rarity. And still it is under priced compared to the high quality guitars that are distributed. Indeed, we are proud to offer guitars that normally, if sold in shops, would be priced the double. Building a Kritz takes 40 to 60 hours of time.
Most of this goes into the wood selection, the sanding, finishing, the wiring and the adjustment. All this is handwork and is done in our country.
(No children’s labour or low paid labour involved). Add to this the R&D, the NC machine work, the hardware, the electronics, all equipment + administration and you can see that our guitars are without competition. This is because expenses stop here. Normal channels would double this price.
Expenses as: importers, distributors and ect… are minimalised.
We don’t. We supply from scratch within 8 weeks.
Worldwide distribution via Internet
We give most information needed on the Internet site. If you need more details and want to go into customising, then we are there to give you advice. You cannot find us in shops. Nowhere. Our product is too specialised and too personal to sell it like some amp or DVD. That’s why we decided to sell directly to the artists.
It saves a lot of money for the interested and we have the necessary direct contact with the ones we serve.
The world became so small since we have the Internet… So, just like we did with our guitars, we took no compromise for the sale. You can’t stop evolution. Direct sale is our thing. Directly “the best” in everything, and this is also the same for the price. We always advise: compare, compare… plug-in and plug-out when you go into a store.
They all gleam, but do they also steam? You don’t have to buy and resell 10 guitars before you find the one that fulfils your demands.
I am sure a Kritz will do.
We usually work directly with our clients. For payment we create a link between your and our bank. Every E-mail that we receive is different. We have no fixed forms with fixed possibilities. If you wish to order, we want to know your wishes one by one!
So, we also can work openly and securely and in confidence with your bank. Problems? Shoot… we will try to find the best for you! So, to avoid mistakes and to work with security in a private context it is better that you send us your requirements and wishes by e-mail. We will study your aims with all the attention needed and answer you accordingly without any obligation.
We will give you our account information to do the payment as an International Money order, at the moment that you wish to order a well-agreed and satisfactory deal. You can find a lot of standard information with our different guitar examples.
If you wish something in between, we will try to work it out. Remember, the more info we get from you the better guitar we can make for you.
If you get serious, we always need: Your name, your address, your phone number, your detailed order, your delivery instructions.
Once we have your location and the details of the ordered items, we can calculate the weight and shipping charges. We search for you the best shipper with the best price. We will inform you accordingly and execute your orders. Duties or taxes and custom clearances in the country of destination are on behalf of the client. Should you have a good deal with a particular courier and should you want us to use his services, please include shipping and charging instructions with your order. We will gladly use your courier.