Klira "Red King", 1962

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Instrument: A beautiful archtop from Klira - the Red King was the flagship of the Klira serial... more
Product information Klira "Red King", 1962

A beautiful archtop from Klira - the Red King was the flagship of the Klira serial archtops. Very elaborately built and in a beautiful design. This guitar was the dream of many guitarists at the beginning of the sixties, but only a few could realize it. Rare and typically German is the third, small sound hole.

Everything on this guitar is very elaborate and of the highest quality. One piece solid spruce top, body completely made of maple. Three-piece maple neck glued lengthwise with a continuous headstock. Dark rosewood fretboard with six trapezoid inlays of perloid, on the 12th fret two-tone with red stripe. Matching perloid inlays in the headstock as well as the perloid fingerboard. Luxurious multi-ply bindings all around the body, sound holes, fingerboard and headstock, around the top in black and white checkerboard design. Tailpiece made of black stained pearwood, five-ply nut. Solid lyre tailpiece and open tuners with butterfly grips.

Instruments history:
Oh dear - this guitar almost didn't survive... We found it piled up in the back of a music store's stockroom, just a piece of the top with the binding visible. It was immediately clear to us, that this must be something special. The friendly store owner gave us the guitar as a present with the words: "It's been lying around in my shop for at least 10 years now, it's quite broken, take it with you and make something nice out of it again, I would be happy". Sure - we don't abandon a Red King! The pickguard was missing, a wrong metal bridge was mounted, but the worst thing was the inside of the body. Someone had written/scratched "Hoyer" in the wood under the upper pickguard with a ballpoint pen! (Unfortunately a misjudgement.) Then a piezo pickup including preamplifier and battery was glued under the ceiling - all over with a cloth completely soaked in synthetic resin. I don't know how they got it in there at that time... The cables came out of the body and were attached to the end of the lower sound hole with plenty of silicone. A closed jack socket was also simply glued to the body with silicone. And lots of dust and greasy dirt everywhere - ouch ouch ouch! Apart from that, the substance was surprisingly good, the varnish under the greasy dirt obviously well protected.

Restoration work:
Extensive complete cleaning. All wrong fixtures in and on the body carefully removed, Hoyer lettering sanded down, interior cleaned and blown out. Original nitrocellulose lacquer of body and neck polished in several passes. Once again it has been shown that dirt, grease and nicotine preserve very well - the original paint is very well conserved and shines wonderfully. Various dents, scratches and blemishes were retouched. Frets are sanded and polished, fretboard is sanded and oiled. The beautiful tuners were disassembled, cleaned, made well usable and oiled. Old, original Klira pickguard and original Klira/Framus bridge with individually adjustable string adjusters mounted. Solid tailpiece cleaned and polished. Finally new strings mounted and setup done.

Current condition:
This beautiful and high-class Klira is today again a feast for the eyes and a perfectly playable jazz guitar! The look of the guitar is very noble and harmonic, especially top and back show their beautiful patina with some small scratches and dents. Considering its almost sixty years and the sometimes rough treatment, this is still very little. Of course all glued areas are stable and firm, there are no more cracks or other serious damages. The tuners work perfectly, everything is clean and odorless. The sound is clear, brilliant, with a fast response, yet loud and assertive. In this condition it is the first choice for collectors of unusual and rare German jazz guitars, an eye-catcher of every collection and above all a great player with modern playability.

Overall length 106 cm/41.7”, body length 52 cm/20.5”, lower bout width 41,5 cm/16.3”, waist width 26 cm/10.2”, upper bout width 31 cm/12.2”; body depth 8 cm/3.1”, scale length 64 cm/25.2” (zero fret to saddle), fingerboard width 4,3 cm/1.7” at nut, 5,3 cm/2.1” at 12th fret; overall weight 2.500 g, string action on 12th fret 2-3 mm/0.08-0.12” (adjustable).

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