The Kalos is a design that had been in the back of my mind for quite some time after I stumbled upon a guitar built by the late great master luthier Taku Sakashta. The smooth rounded edges and set-in top and back construction of his archtop guitars intrigued me and slowly became an obsession. "How do i go about building that?" When i first met Mihali Savoulidis of the VT based band Twiddle, insprisation was almost immediate. I knew exacatly what I needed to build. With input from Mihali, I went home that night after the show and drew up the first blueprint for what was to become the Kalos.
The solid body Kalos is an animal all its own. Different from the semi hollow and full hollow, it has a natural solid body sustain not found in my other models. The solid maple body adds snap and presence and is heavy in the upper mid area of the tonal spectrum. Rock Blues and Jazz tones all come easy from the solid Kalos. Adding a DGN Tru-JG middle pickup, Buffer or Blaster and an OBEL turns this into the ultimate Jerry style guitar that is super versatile due to my unique electronics switching options.
The semi hollow Kalos is reminiscent of those very popular late 50's semi hollow guitars. Big woody tone, with controlable sustain and feedback while retaining a strong solid body tone. The semi hollow bridges the gap between the Solid and Full Hollow models.
The full hollow Kalos is the culmination of 15 years building custom guitars. Its the most lively and alive guitar ive ever built. The acoustic tone is huge for its size, and this transfers over when plugged in. The top is tap tuned to perfection to produce natural harmonic sustain and a fatness like no other. The notes practically jump off of the fingerboard.. Although this guitar covers a ton of tonal territory, its small body double cutaway contruction is designed with the Jam Band and blues guitarist in mind. And it loves loves loves overdrive. With the added DGN Tru-JG middle pickup and DGN Blaster circuit, the Full Hollow Kalos will take you from Trey to Jerry and back again all in one long strange weekapaug groove.
About the Full Hollow Construction
To start off, the body of the Kalos, or soundbox, is built using a modern style of archtop construction. Traditional archop guitars feature sides that are bent using heat or steam with kerfing and blocks at the neck joint and end pin area to create a ledge wide enought to support the top and back. In most cases these sides are very thin and the soundbox overall is very fragile.
With the Kalos, I took a very different approach. The body of the Kalos was designed and built around a laminated solid maple rim assembly thats radiused on the inside and out. The top and back are set into, not on top of, the rim assembly resulting in a sound box that is increadibly strong and most importantly very resonant with less glue joints connecting everything together. The other huge advantage to a top and back that are set into the rim assembly is the body doesn't require a binding edge to protect the fragile glue joint between the top/kerfing/sides. Instead, the edge of the body can be heavily rounded resulting in a guitar that in increadibly comfortable. Its like an old friend from the moment you pick it up.
The necks are contructed by laminating 3-5 pieces of eastern figured maple which makes them incredibly strong and stable. The heart of the neck is a low profile 2 way truss rod that keeps the neck straight as an arrow no matter the thickness.
The top and back wood has a profound effect on the overall tone of this instrument. A hard wood like Cocobolo or Rosewood gives the Kalos an upper mid bite. Throw a little (or a lot) of overdrive on it and you are guaranteed to cut through the mix like a hot knife through butter. Single notes have a very distinct fatness and clarity towards the brighter side of the spectrum without even a hint of harshness. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a softer wood such as Redwood or Spruce gives the Kalos acoustic guitar like properties. The overall feel of the guitar leans towards the low mid of the tonal spectrum. Full strummed chords are huge and single notes are fat and snappy. A Maple, Walnut or Hawaiian Koa top ends up somewhere right in the middle of the spectrum, being an excelent all around choice with a heavy mid tone that sits in the mix perfectly. Single notes and chords alike are full and bloom with overtones.