The Kasha - Schneider - Krimmel Guitars

Sometime in the 1960's Dr. Michael Kasha, a biophysicist at Florida State University, became interested in the classical guitar. As the story goes he took a look inside one and was surprised at the structure of the top. One thought lead to another and soon he had a great many ideas for improving the mechanics of the instrument. Kasha was not a luthier and needed the skills of one in order to see and hear his design innovations realized. At some point he made contact with Richard Schneider who was very intrigued with Kasha's ideas. The Kasha/Schneider team designed and built many instruments from the late 1960's until Schneider's death in 1997. I attended a lecture given by Kasha at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1973. Schneider was there and a Kasha/Schneider guitar was demonstrated in concert by Leona Boyd. Sometime after the lecture I contacted Kasha about his designs and he sent me a packet of information. My first Kasha design guitar was built shortly after that in 1973. The design was intended for nylon strings so I beefed things up a bit for the tension of steel. All I can say about that first guitar is that it had an unusual sound, and, as far as I know, is still in use. Somewhere around this time the Kasha design was licensed by Gibson and the minimal production people like myself were discouraged from pursuing the Kasha concepts. I finally met Schneider at a GAL convention in 1976. The two of us hit it off pretty well and had many great visits at both Wallstreet and Lost Mountain. As Gibson became less interested in the Kasha design Schneider became more forthcoming about the ideas. So, Kasha's ideas were interpreted into classical guitars by Schneider and I would then work Schneider's ideas about steel string modifications into my guitars. I think I built a total of eight instruments with different versions of the design. I recently found pictures of four of them.



Two views of the first one c.1974, this was the design in the Kasha information packet, beefed up some for the added tension of steel strings.


The second one, not all that different form the first, as I remember it was beefed up even more.


A later version c.1979, built after I had connected with Richard Schneider.


Possibly the last one c.1980, next to the X-brace pattern I was using at the time. (The diagonal line at the bottom is a fault in the print).

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© 2003 Max Krimmel, non-comercial duplication and distribution expected and encouraged

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