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  #76  
Old 04-03-2020, 07:12 AM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Man, I am so happy for you! This looks so freaking incredible. Great choice for figured mahogany to tie things together, really looks great. I have never seen these colors together on a Kraut so I'm sure Ray enjoyed bringing this to life.

His guitars are in the very, very small class of builds that aesthetically and tonally draw an emotional response...hard to explain but man, this just looks SO good. Can't wait to see this finished almost as much as I cant wait for my own, to be honest lol
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  #77  
Old 04-03-2020, 06:25 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Kraut 00

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Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Wow! Mighty nice.

All the rosettes are quite striking. Your instrument will be a peach!!!

Enjoy it in fine health and spirits too...

Cheers and SALUD!

Paul
Thanks so much Paul! I really appreciate everything you said.

Yes, Ray's rosettes are something special. I think that is what first drew me to his guitars, and watching him make a rosette shows just how much talent and artistry he has.

Cheers to you as well!
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John
Tucson, AZ

2020 Kraut 00, Swiss/Brazilian, build
2018 Eady EG Pro Electric, Redwood/Mahogany
2013 Baranik Meridian, Blue Spruce/Cocobolo, build
2009 Beneteau Concert Standard, Englemann/Brazilian
2008 Baranik CX, Blue Spruce/African Blackwood
2008 Breedlove A20 Masterclass 12-string, Adi/IRW
2003 Thames classical, Euro/Brazilian
Fodera Standard 4 Fretless bass, figured walnut
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  #78  
Old 04-03-2020, 06:55 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Kraut 00

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Originally Posted by Dustinfurlow View Post
Man, I am so happy for you! This looks so freaking incredible. Great choice for figured mahogany to tie things together, really looks great. I have never seen these colors together on a Kraut so I'm sure Ray enjoyed bringing this to life.

His guitars are in the very, very small class of builds that aesthetically and tonally draw an emotional response...hard to explain but man, this just looks SO good. Can't wait to see this finished almost as much as I cant wait for my own, to be honest lol
Thanks so much Dustin for taking the time to post such a well thought out response. Yes indeed, mahogany bindings on a Brazilian Kraut is a first for Ray, and you were the only one to notice. I guess you know a thing or two about guitars!

Ray puts dark bindings, like ebony, on his Brazilian guitars, but my Cocobolo Baranik already has dark African Blackwood bindings. Since this set of Brazilian Rosewood was already dark, I asked Ray if he would consider something warmer for the binding, like figured Koa. Ray is very particular about how his guitars look, so it took him a week or so to think about it, but then he really warmed up to the idea. We looked at some highly figured Koa he has, but this particular figured mahogany had almost the same color and had tighter and more uniform figuring. It just looked better for the binding.

Ray has a large scrap wood pile from previously used back and sides, and I went through that and selected a piece of African Blackwood for the rear headstock veneer. I selected this piece because it closely matched the Brazilian rosewood back and side set we were using. However, when it came time to make the headstock, I had second thoughts. I asked Ray his opinion, and he thought that the figured mahogany we used for the binding would be a great choice for the rear headstock veneer and the heal cap. Well, Ray was right, and he blended the heal cap into the binding so well that it looks like one piece.

I think Ray will be making more Brazilian rosewood guitars in the future that use a lighter colored binding like the figured mahogany on this one.

I can't agree more with what you said about Ray's guitars "being in a very, very small class of builds that aesthetically and tonally draw an emotional response." I had always liked Ray's aesthetics, and how he combines simple lines, curves and colors together to make a cohesive, artistic statement. When I first met Ray, and finally got to play his guitars, I was stunned at how much more responsive his guitars could be than the fine guitars I already own. Ray's 00 does not have the power of my Beneteau CS, or the modern, overtone-filled voice of my Baraniks, but it is more nuanced, responsive, and evenly balanced. Ray's 00 seems to allow for so many more gradations of dynamics while playing, which allows the player to be so much more expressive. His 00 also has a unique bloom in the treble that I really, really like. I can only imagine what a player of your talent could do with this guitar!

Trying to patiently wait for this guitar to be completed is extremely difficult. The anticipation is killing me.

With that being said, my Beneteau CS is still my favorite for DADGAD and other C tunings. I love the Beneteau's woody, reverberant and powerful voice. Yours is going to be something special too, and I can't wait to see what songs you create on that guitar.
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Tucson, AZ

2020 Kraut 00, Swiss/Brazilian, build
2018 Eady EG Pro Electric, Redwood/Mahogany
2013 Baranik Meridian, Blue Spruce/Cocobolo, build
2009 Beneteau Concert Standard, Englemann/Brazilian
2008 Baranik CX, Blue Spruce/African Blackwood
2008 Breedlove A20 Masterclass 12-string, Adi/IRW
2003 Thames classical, Euro/Brazilian
Fodera Standard 4 Fretless bass, figured walnut

Last edited by Cocobolo Kid; 04-04-2020 at 02:19 AM.
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  #79  
Old 04-04-2020, 08:36 PM
Carmel Cedar Carmel Cedar is offline
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John, thanks for sharing the perspective on Ray's penchant for dark bindings. My maple 00 even has ebony bindings - he does have a thing that look! I was stuck by the mahogany binding look from the back of your guitar - it is so dramatic with the Brazilian back and sides. Very cool that your request is opening a new aesthetic realm for Ray. The dynamic you have developed with him seems very healthy - he took your guidance on the light binding, and you accepted his suggestion of that same wood for back of headstock. Great give and take for what is shaping up to be an amazing guitar.

Your description of the Kraut tone, being "nuanced, responsive, and evenly balanced" was excellent. Captures his essence well.

Looking forward to the finished guitar and your review (and photos)!
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  #80  
Old 04-08-2020, 01:34 AM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Kraut 00

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Originally Posted by Carmel Cedar View Post
John, thanks for sharing the perspective on Ray's penchant for dark bindings. My maple 00 even has ebony bindings - he does have a thing that look! I was stuck by the mahogany binding look from the back of your guitar - it is so dramatic with the Brazilian back and sides. Very cool that your request is opening a new aesthetic realm for Ray. The dynamic you have developed with him seems very healthy - he took your guidance on the light binding, and you accepted his suggestion of that same wood for back of headstock. Great give and take for what is shaping up to be an amazing guitar.

Your description of the Kraut tone, being "nuanced, responsive, and evenly balanced" was excellent. Captures his essence well.

Looking forward to the finished guitar and your review (and photos)!
Carmel Cedar,

Thank you very much for all your insightful contribution to this thread.

I have been lucky enough to play every guitar Ray has made over the last two plus years. Ray is such a consistently great builder that I knew I would be happy with whatever guitar he made for me, with whatever woods. Luckily, Ray has some great woods in stock to choose from. Ray suggested the back/side set he liked best, so I went with that. I happen to really like the looks of that set too. When Ray's shipment of handpicked Swiss spruce arrived last year, we sat down and went through them together. We both gravitated toward the set we eventually used, so that was an easy choice too.

The only other area where I made a suggestion outside of Ray's comfort zone was on the rosette. He had some green and brown inlay material, and some burled blue inlay material, and I just couldn't decide between the two. Ray almost always does just one strong color combined with other subtler shades of wood, like brown. I asked if he could make the rosette with both the green/brown and blue burled material plus some brown. He had to think about the three colored rosette for a few days, but after playing with some designs, I think he really liked the idea. He gave me three initial rosette designs, and I picked the one I liked best. He then gave me two more variations of that design, and then we settled on one. It was a quick process, much like every design choice has been.

I was also appreciative that Ray was open to using different tuners on the guitar. He only requested that they be open back tuners. I found a set of handmade Reischl tuners that I really liked, and I can't wait to see them on the guitar. I think they are going to be especially beautiful.

Still in Coronavirus self-isolation and hold mode. I will post an update as soon as I am able to see Ray and the guitar.
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John
Tucson, AZ

2020 Kraut 00, Swiss/Brazilian, build
2018 Eady EG Pro Electric, Redwood/Mahogany
2013 Baranik Meridian, Blue Spruce/Cocobolo, build
2009 Beneteau Concert Standard, Englemann/Brazilian
2008 Baranik CX, Blue Spruce/African Blackwood
2008 Breedlove A20 Masterclass 12-string, Adi/IRW
2003 Thames classical, Euro/Brazilian
Fodera Standard 4 Fretless bass, figured walnut
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  #81  
Old 07-15-2020, 04:32 AM
frets4fun frets4fun is offline
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It's a real beauty....tastefully done.
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  #82  
Old 10-11-2020, 11:33 AM
susanstovall susanstovall is offline
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Red face Ray Kraut guitar.

i just bought one from north american guitar... a 00 maple..gorgeous.
i think he is great and loved what you wrote about him..
susan stovall
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  #83  
Old 10-12-2020, 12:45 AM
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colins colins is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susanstovall View Post
i just bought one from north american guitar... a 00 maple..gorgeous.
i think he is great and loved what you wrote about him..
susan stovall
Welcome to the Forum Susan, and buying Kraut 00 makes for a pretty amazing first post!
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  #84  
Old 10-14-2020, 12:38 AM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Kraut 00

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Originally Posted by susanstovall View Post
i just bought one from north american guitar... a 00 maple..gorgeous.
i think he is great and loved what you wrote about him..
susan stovall
Congratulations Susan, and thanks for posting! Yes, Ray is a great guy, and an extremely talented luthier who loves what he does. If you ended up with this maple 00, then you certainly got one amazing guitar.





I watched Ray build this one, and it turned out beautifully. I told him that I thought it was one of the nicest rosettes he has made. Ray designed the "bend-away" or partial cutaway to give better access to the upper frets, but still keep the air volume in the 00 where he wants it for tone. This feature seemed to be very well received, so I am sure he will be doing it again. You got the first one though!

I am hoping to post an update to this build thread with photos in a few weeks. Since I last updated this build thread, a lot has gone on in Ray's life, both personally and professionally. Partially due to the COVID pandemic, Ray closed his shop in Tucson several months ago. He had previously purchased over ten acres of land in rural Tucson (near the beautiful Tortolita Mountains), and he has been planning to build his forever home and shop on that land. He has been busy with many projects on his land, and just completed the first of several buildings.

To obtain the best quality finish, Ray also decided to drive his latest batch of guitars, including mine, to Addam Stark in Santa Cruz, California for final finishing and buffing. Addam was affected by the California fires near Santa Cruz, so there has been a delay in the finishing. Luckily, Addam's shop and the guitars are safe. Hopefully, Ray will be picking up the guitars in a week or two.

Thanks for being patient and for following this build thread.
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John
Tucson, AZ

2020 Kraut 00, Swiss/Brazilian, build
2018 Eady EG Pro Electric, Redwood/Mahogany
2013 Baranik Meridian, Blue Spruce/Cocobolo, build
2009 Beneteau Concert Standard, Englemann/Brazilian
2008 Baranik CX, Blue Spruce/African Blackwood
2008 Breedlove A20 Masterclass 12-string, Adi/IRW
2003 Thames classical, Euro/Brazilian
Fodera Standard 4 Fretless bass, figured walnut
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  #85  
Old 01-04-2021, 10:41 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Kraut 00 in Hand!

I finally have this beauty in my hands, and it is spectacular in all respects! I am drawn to the shape and design Ray created for his 00, and it is extremely comfortable to play. Mine has a 25 inch scale, with 2-1/4 inch spacing at the saddle and 1-3/4 inches at the nut. The nut and neck are set up for 1-25/32 inch string spacing, but I had Ray leave the extra room (1/32 inch) on the treble side of the nut as a personal preference (so I don't accidently mute the high E string with my fretting hand when I don't intend to).

Ray delivered the guitar with medium gauge strings, but I plan to try out light gauge as well, which has typically been my preference. After the guitar has settled in and I decide what gauge strings I prefer, I will post an audio recording to this thread.

Ray surprised me on New Years Eve with this guitar, so I have only had a few days to play it. What a great holiday surprise! The guitar turned out better than my high expectations, and hopefully my photos below capture some of the beauty of this instrument.

I am already in love with the sound and playability of this guitar. IMO, Ray builds one of the most responsive and evenly balanced guitars (certainly the best I have played in these two areas). With this body size, in both standard and dropped D tunings, there is perfect balance between the bass, midrange and trebles. There is also perfect balance between the fundamental note and supporting overtones. Finally, there is also balance between immediate responsiveness and sustain. Notes on every part of the fingerboard have similar properties of volume and sustain.

For me, the one area that I enjoy most about Ray's guitars is that I feel I can play with more expression and nuance. His guitars seem to respond to even the smallest changes in right hand attack, and reward the player with more shades of color to paint with. This is hard to express in words, but it is something I immediately felt.

I look forward to playing this fine guitar for years to come, and I cannot thank Ray enough for building me such a fine instrument.

Now the photos!

















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John
Tucson, AZ

2020 Kraut 00, Swiss/Brazilian, build
2018 Eady EG Pro Electric, Redwood/Mahogany
2013 Baranik Meridian, Blue Spruce/Cocobolo, build
2009 Beneteau Concert Standard, Englemann/Brazilian
2008 Baranik CX, Blue Spruce/African Blackwood
2008 Breedlove A20 Masterclass 12-string, Adi/IRW
2003 Thames classical, Euro/Brazilian
Fodera Standard 4 Fretless bass, figured walnut
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  #86  
Old 01-05-2021, 01:26 AM
Vaillant75 Vaillant75 is offline
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Looks wonderful congratulations. I am yet to play one of Ray's instruments, but the lines and aesthetics have always stood out for me.

May you enjoy it for years to come, and looking forward to that sound clip.
Cheers,
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  #87  
Old 01-05-2021, 04:21 AM
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colins colins is offline
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John, so glad it has finally arrived

I like all of Ray's rosettes and headstocks but yours have to be the nicest I have ever seen. And speaking of cool designs, can you post another photo of the bridge?

Looking forward to the sound clip in due course.

Col
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  #88  
Old 01-05-2021, 05:29 AM
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Fantastic John! And what a beauty she is. I only know Ray's guitars by reputation but, from your description, it certainly sounds like a winner. Glad your New Year is starting out right.
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  #89  
Old 01-05-2021, 09:08 AM
Kenny B Kenny B is offline
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That is really exquisite in beauty and functionality. Congrats on such a great instrument. Can't wait to hear some sound samples.
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  #90  
Old 01-05-2021, 09:30 AM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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Wow, wow and wow!
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