Kirn and Whitfill players - convince me on which one to buy!

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,848
Just re-read the OP. If playability is paramount, you'll have a hard time finding anything better than a Kirn.
It is easily the best playing guitar I have ever played. Incredible really.
 

chrism27

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
47
Thanks everyone for the advice and thoughts. I'm not totally in the vintage camp or the modern camp, as I tend to like factory fresh or VERY lightly reliced finishes but I do gravitate towards the classic finishes and appointments: unbound ash white-blonde whiteguards, or double bound bursts are my favorites. Also prefer the vintage 3-saddles bridges. But I do like necks that are more modern with headstock truss-rod adjustment, 9.5 or compound radii, and bigger frets (but not higher - hate those Fender "narrow talls"!). I also much prefer 5-way switching layouts and any guitar I get is going to be converted to a Nashville setup right away. Most of these choices are why I am leaning towards a custom build vs Fender. Fender got really close with the American Original '60s, but I hate the tall frets and by the time I pay to get a middle pickup routed I may as well look at a boutique builder - especially if I can find a good deal used.

I did see the Kirn in the Emporium, but I'm not looking for a Pine body. I'm crossing my fingers that Ron runs his holiday sale again this year and has a guitar that's close to what I like. Otherwise I think I may just start saving up and hoping something that meets my needs pops up used in the meantime. I'm not the most patient when it comes to hunting though!

I'll have to take another look at K-line as well. I really like the vibe of them but hate the large headstock logo (I know it's vain and stupid to care that much about a logo, but it matters to me!). Maybe there are other logo options I don't know about for his guitars...
 

sjwieczorkow

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
519
I can attest to the fact that Ron's fretwork is unmatched. The man is a walking PLEK machine diamond cutter. Could probably carve a dozen Fabergé egg's while riding on a rollercoaster.
 

chrism27

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
47
Maybe it's just a marketing thing, but why are Ron's guitars not in the hands of more visible players if, by all accounts, his guitars play so effortlessly?? I see Scofield, Guthrie Trapp, etc. playing K-Line, some bigger Nashville guys playing Whitfill, but no one of renown playing Kirns! Is he just the best kept secret in the Tele world even after 40 years or is there something "missing" from his builds that the others possess??
 

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,848
Maybe it's just a marketing thing, but why are Ron's guitars not in the hands of more visible players if, by all accounts, his guitars play so effortlessly?? I see Scofield, Guthrie Trapp, etc. playing K-Line, some bigger Nashville guys playing Whitfill, but no one of renown playing Kirns! Is he just the best kept secret in the Tele world even after 40 years or is there something "missing" from his builds that the others possess??
Seriously?
 

chrism27

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
47
Seriously?
Yes, seriously. Was that a dumb question? Seems to me like a well-known player that could choose anything they want choosing your guitar is a pretty big endorsement. Most of the other builders have a list of artists on their site. Just curious if anyone has experienced negatives around Kirns - honestly I've never seen any specific negatives mentioned around them, yet they don't seem as popular as K-Line, Grosh, LSL, Whitfill, etc. Just trying to figure out why that may be the case. Is it something about the guitars, or simply coincidental?
 

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,848
Yes, seriously. Was that a dumb question? Seems to me like a well-known player that could choose anything they want choosing your guitar is a pretty big endorsement. Most of the other builders have a list of artists on their site. Just curious if anyone has experienced negatives around Kirns - honestly I've never seen any specific negatives mentioned around them, yet they don't seem as popular as K-Line, Grosh, LSL, Whitfill, etc. Just trying to figure out why that may be the case. Is it something about the guitars, or simply coincidental?
No of course it's not dumb, I just think it is a meaningless distinction. I don't know Kirn's business model, but the idea that something is "missing" with his guitars because he doesn't have an "artist" page seems silly to me considering the reputation of his guitars.
 

chrism27

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
47
@chrism27 What is your budget?
$3K or less for a new build. I'm hoping I'll find something that looks right for me in the used market in the low to mid $2K range while I'm saving up for the build, honestly. Seems like there's a wealth of good builders at that range.

the idea that something is "missing" with his guitars because he doesn't have an "artist" page seems silly to me considering the reputation of his guitars.
I'm not at all implying that something's missing because he doesn't have an artist page. it's just more the curiosity that I have literally never heard anything other than absolutely glowing reviews of his guitars, yet I don't see them in the hands of any players that are recognized on a national level. That's not to say they aren't in those players hands, I've just been unable to find evidence of it online. He definitely seems like a low-key, no nonsense guy. I could totally see him not feeling the need to flout any artist endorsements, as such. He is quite obviously a fine builder, but I'm just trying my best to find any distinction between these guitars since I'm unable to play them before purchasing. I'd be lying to say that seeing somebody like John Scofield choosing to play a certain builder's guitar doesn't sway me at least in part.
 

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,848
$3K or less for a new build. I'm hoping I'll find something that looks right for me in the used market in the low to mid $2K range while I'm saving up for the build, honestly. Seems like there's a wealth of good builders at that range.


I'm not at all implying that something's missing because he doesn't have an artist page. it's just more the curiosity that I have literally never heard anything other than absolutely glowing reviews of his guitars, yet I don't see them in the hands of any players that are recognized on a national level. That's not to say they aren't in those players hands, I've just been unable to find evidence of it online. He definitely seems like a low-key, no nonsense guy. I could totally see him not feeling the need to flout any artist endorsements, as such. He is quite obviously a fine builder, but I'm just trying my best to find any distinction between these guitars since I'm unable to play them before purchasing. I'd be lying to say that seeing somebody like John Scofield choosing to play a certain builder's guitar doesn't sway me at least in part.
I hear you man. You are looking at some fine guitar builders, so you really can't go wrong whatever you decide. Good luck.
 

tostyj

Member
Messages
331
$3K or less for a new build. I'm hoping I'll find something that looks right for me in the used market in the low to mid $2K range while I'm saving up for the build, honestly. Seems like there's a wealth of good builders at that range.
A lot of great builders mentioned here; I think I've actually tried at least one tele from all of them and own a Dano. Considering your budget, I'll throw another suggestion into the mix: an Xotic XTC.
 

chrism27

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
47
I've given them a look and I love the vibe, but I can't find any used at the moment. They are definitely on my radar along with the others.
 

tostyj

Member
Messages
331
There's one used and a bunch new under $3K on Reverb. I actually haven't played an XTC, but I own a XSC and love it. Anyway, happy huntin'.
 

sjwieczorkow

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
519
Yes, seriously. Was that a dumb question? Seems to me like a well-known player that could choose anything they want choosing your guitar is a pretty big endorsement. Most of the other builders have a list of artists on their site. Just curious if anyone has experienced negatives around Kirns - honestly I've never seen any specific negatives mentioned around them, yet they don't seem as popular as K-Line, Grosh, LSL, Whitfill, etc. Just trying to figure out why that may be the case. Is it something about the guitars, or simply coincidental?
What constitutes a well-know player in 2020? What is the ratio of these "Well Known Players" compared to the amount of available K-Line's, GVCG's, DeTemples, Whitfill's, LSL's Rice's, Nash's, Glendale's, and well built partscaster?

For a builder to get their product into the hands of a "pro player" involves a bit of schmoozing. That is not Ron's style.

Not a dumb question by the way.
 
Last edited:

hank57

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,509
I have a Kirn Barnbuster and an ash Koll Tele. They fabulous guitars. The Koll is modded but traditional telecaster. The Kirn is an incredible light pine experience That i think every tele lover could gain from.
I’ve has under a dozen Teles and I’ll have some more im sure.
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,226
What constitutes a well-know player in 2020? What is the ratio of these "Well Known Players" compared to the amount of available K-Line's, GVCG's, DeTemples, Whitfill's, LSL's Rice's, Nash's, Glendale's, and well built partscaster?

For a builder to get their product into the hands of a "pro player" involves a bit of schmoozing. That is not Ron's style.

Not a dumb question by the way.
Agree.
 

deech54

Member
Messages
354
I've never played a Whitfill. I had a killer 67 Tele that I regretted selling for years but I think my Kirn is as good as any Tele I've ever played.
 




Trending Topics

Top