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Old 08-27-2011, 10:16 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 25,195
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Thanks, John.

I've had the guitar for not quite four months now, and it's continuing to open up and get richer-sounding the more I use it.

Last month I was in Cordova, Alaska leading a gospel music camp for a week, and while I was there I got a chance to visit with Mike Mickelson, who was one of the founding members of the group Bearfoot. He's a fine musician, and a very strong player.

Mike's very first comment when I opened the case was "That guitar looks immaculate," which I suppose is accurate enough, given that I take good care of my instruments (though without babying them.) Then when he played it, he looked up and said "This guitar sounds OLD!"

Which, coming from a dedicated bluegrass player like Mike, is high praise indeed.

It was interesting to me how Mike sort of instinctively started playing a lot of 9th chords up the neck on the KJ, which showed off how tonally balanced and even the response is. He was basically playing Western Swing on it, which, though not a style that I play, is a style that works very well on a powerful but clear-sounding instrument like this one. You could hear every note in every chord that he played, which is something I need for my playing, and something I told Howard right at the beginning that I require from any guitar I buy. Howard heard and complied - the guitar has got a marvelous overall balance to it.

Anyway, the guitar is getting used a lot. Last week I gave it the very first truss rod adjustment that it's needed since it got here, which is some sort of record for a new guitar for me. Generally my new guitars go a little haywire within a couple of weeks of arriving in Alaska, factory-built and luthier-built guitars alike.

But the Klepper KJ has proven to be a very stable guitar. Which is great.

So in addition to being a fine-sounding instrument, it's also sturdy and rugged enough to handle the sometimes boisterous use I put it to. It's not destined to be a closet queen that only comes out of its case once in a great while - it's a workhorse guitar, built for everyday use.

Which is what I'm giving it.

So, yeah, I'm pleased, and I really recommend Howard Klepper as a guitarbuilder for anyone who wants a superb instrument hand-built to their requirements and everyday musical needs.


Wade Hampton Miller
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