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Old 01-20-2020, 11:28 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Build: 2020 Ray Kraut 00, Swiss/Brazilian

I am extremely excited to be posting this Raymond Kraut 00 build thread. I have been lucky enough to own and play fine luthier-built acoustic guitars for over ten years, and I have always admired the aesthetics of Kraut guitars. However, I felt they were outside the price range I was willing to pay. That all changed when I met Ray in late 2018 and finally played one of his guitars for the first time. I was floored by the unparalleled response, dynamics and tone. Even more fortunately for me, in 2018 Ray moved and set up shop in Tucson, Arizona, less than ten miles from where I live. I have been visiting Ray's shop every week or two for the last year, and we have become great friends. I cannot speak highly enough about Ray's honesty, openness and loyalty. Ray also loves animals as much as I do. He takes his dog Kees almost everywhere he goes. Ray has been quietly trying to perfect building the most optimally responsive acoustic guitar possible since he apprenticed with Ervin Somogyi over a decade ago.

Ray makes three different models of acoustic guitars, and I selected his newest and smallest design, the 00 model. It is a little less than 14.5 inches across at the lower bout and about 4.25 inches deep at the tail. I liked this model because it has great articulation, bloom and balance with just enough low bass. It is also very comfortable to play.

Enough of the introduction. Here are some photos.

Ray flew to Switzerland last year, and picked out twenty or so master grade spruce tops. Here is the one I chose, with no runout, great silking, uniform fine grain, and a very high stiffness to weight ratio:


This is the set of Brazilian rosewood I selected. Ray has had this set in his shop for several years.




Finally, I located a unique set of handmade Reischl tuning machines for this guitar. Unfortunately, these tuners are not being made any more.


I will post more photos shortly, so thanks for looking and stay tuned.
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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

Last edited by Cocobolo Kid; 01-25-2020 at 11:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:40 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Build Photos - Rosette

The build has started and I am hoping for a March delivery.

Ray and I discussed what I liked about his past rosettes, and after drawing up several designs, this is the design and materials we selected:


Here is the beginning of the rosette:


Here are two pieces of the dyed spalted wood after being inlayed.


Ray is well known for his beautiful and unique rosettes (no two are alike). I am biased, of course, but I think this is one of his best to date:




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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

Last edited by Cocobolo Kid; 01-26-2020 at 04:10 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:46 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Default Build Photo - Back and Sides

Here are a few more build photos.

The sides after being bent:


Closeup of the Brazilian rosewood back after the back braces have been glued and shaped:


The back after the box has been closed up:


That is all I have for now. I should be visiting Ray in the next couple days, so I will post photos as this build progresses. Thanks again for looking.
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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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Old 01-21-2020, 12:46 AM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile Very SWEET

Nice!!! You must be stoked.

Cool to be close enough to visit your builder. What fun!!!

Cheers

Paul
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:18 AM
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So good to see it happening John!

That is going to be an awesome guitar and it is great you can be close to the build.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:13 AM
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Very nice start. Your rosette is beautiful. I look forward to seeing this come together.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:54 AM
Parlorman Parlorman is offline
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Very nice. I’m looking forward to seeing more updates.
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Guitars:

1910's Larson/Stetson 1 size guitar
1920's Larson/Stahl 00 size guitar
1920 Martin 1-28
1963 Gibson Hummingbird
1987 Martin Schoenberg Soloist
2014 Froggy Bottom L Deluxe Koa
2015 Rainsong P12
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:29 AM
Carmel Cedar Carmel Cedar is offline
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John - that is an amazing rosette. Congratulations on what looks to be an amazing build! Great choice on going for a 00, Ray is so proud of that model.

You are indeed lucky to have him in town. I stopped by for a visit to his shop a month ago (he mentioned your build). I was inspired by his passion for excellence in working with wood and crafting flawless and stunningly responsive instruments. Awesome that you can visit him regularly!
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:41 AM
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Bill Kraus Bill Kraus is offline
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Nice, love the rays in that top.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:02 PM
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Very exciting, I have a 2020 Kraut build myself...!!!! I've played numerous of Ray's most recent builds and I'm totally blown away.... Congrats, tuned in
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:24 AM
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Wow, very exciting! I've played a couple Kraut guitars and they really appealed to me. I'll be following closely. This will be fun!
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:41 AM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Kraut 00

Paul, Colin, Cigarfan, Bill, CarmelCedar, Bill Kraus, Diamondave, and Erithon, thanks so much for posting and for the kind words.

CarmelCedar, it is too bad that I did not get to meet you when you were here in Tucson. Maybe next time. Ray is indeed very passionate about his craft, and he is a perfectionist like me, which is great.

Diamondave, I keep admiring the guitar Ray is building for you. I wish I could afford all the upgrades you are getting, like Ray's elegant and gorgeous raised fingerboard. I did spring for the same Brazilian rosewood bridge and fingerboard though.

I do feel extremely fortunate to live so close to a world class luthier like Ray. It is great fun to watch him build guitars. I knew the large steps involved, but it is amazing to see all the little, and equally important, steps in between. The collaboration on a custom build is even more fun when I can pick out every piece of wood and see all the progress as it happens. The fact that Ray is also such a terrific person is the cherry on top.

I will post more progress photos in a couple days. I will also post photos of Ray's shop since he has some amazing shop tools and machines.
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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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Old 01-23-2020, 10:53 AM
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El Conquistador El Conquistador is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobolo Kid View Post

Ray flew to Switzerland last year, and picked out twenty or so master grade spruce tops. Here is the one I chose, with no runout, great silking, and a very high stiffness to weight ratio:

Wow John, that is one good looking piece of spruce!

Looking forward to the next batch of pictures.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2020, 11:12 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Smile Kraut 00

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Conquistador View Post
Wow John, that is one good looking piece of spruce!

Looking forward to the next batch of pictures.

Steve
Thanks so much Steve. Ray and I went through about twenty master grade Swiss spruce tops he had picked out in Switzerland, and we were both attracted to this top.

Posting more pictures in the next half hour.
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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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Old 01-25-2020, 11:33 PM
Cocobolo Kid's Avatar
Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Smile Kraut 00

I visited Ray's shop yesterday, and he had made a lot of progress. He had completed the binding and purfling on the back and front of the guitar. Here are a few 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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