Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by nichd, Jul 7, 2018.
This will be fun!
Don't mean to derail, but I have two questions for all you lucky Huber owners:
1. Is the bridge pickup in the Krautster II conducive to roots/rock material? I've read they are on the hot side, and I typically like a lower-wound bridge humbucker. Just want to prepare if I would have to swap one out.
2. For those of you that own an Orca and a Krautster, which do you feel has the slinkier feel in terms of string tension? Just want to see if there's any consistency from you guys as that would help me make a decision.
Back to posting those pics!
Yes, the pickup is a little hotter and more compressed. But it's not super hot, as in heavy metal. If you are worried about it being too overwound, you could probably adjust by setting your guitar's volume knob at 8 and set the amp to have a tad more bite.
If you buy new, you could always order the Krautster with a Haussel '59 (what's on the Orca) on the bridge position.
The Krautster bridge pickup IS darker than the Haussel '59. Personally, I am always setting up the bridge tone knob on my Orca at around 6-7, anyway, as I prefer darker tones. I would play a classic rock gig with a Krautster no problem, though.
I suffer with tendinitis, so I am a little too aware of this. The Krautster is slinkier. Even when I top wrap the Orca (which I do most of the time these days). Same guitar string brand and gauge, apples to apples comparison.
The other thing I have done with the Orca is go down half a gauge, 9.5-44, regular wrap. Sometimes, that's too slinky! You can also manage by switching brands, as some have more tension than others. I use coated strings exclusively (my sweat is way too corrosive!). I prefer Curt Mangans for the sound, but Elixirs are slinkier.
As for stuff you didn't ask, but I feel is pertinent:
- The Krautster is lighter on the shoulders. There's a1.5 lb difference between both of my Hubers. Yikes!
- The Krautster is also gentler on the wallet. By, like a 2 to 1 ratio, yowza!
- The Orca goes easier on your fretting hand. The contours are more comfortable for your forearm. I was never a Tele guy, so I had no experience with flat top electrics until this guitar. An adjustment period is required.
Here's my old Huber:
The Krautster bridge was too hot and dark for my tastes so I swapped it for a Tom Holmes PAF (with an antique cover that matches the aesthetic perfectly). Much cleaner, clearer, more articulate and dynamic (ie touch sensitive) now. I have no issues with the Häussel pickups in the Orca '59. Bear in mind that both models also have a push-pull coil tap available on the tone knob.
Both necks are super comfortable. Although they are large, the carve just fits so well into your hand. I also like the narrower nut width (1.67") which puts them half way between a Strat and a Les Paul.
I would agree with cosmic_ape that the Krautster is slinkier, which may be down to the wraptail vs traditional 2 piece bridge. It also has more of that Strat/Tele snap and zing, which I think makes it more fun to play! I don't use heavy string gauges as I like doing Gilmour-style M3 bends, but I'm perfectly happy with 10s on both guitars.
If I had to pick only one, it would be the Krautster based just on how much fun I have with it!
And since it's a picture thread, here's a build shot of the Orca '59:-
I personally found the Krautster bridge HB too dark and compressed for my tastes. I swapped mine for a Suhr Thornbucker+ which definitely works better for my style than the Haussel, although on this guitar I've come to realize I would prefer something a tad hotter in a perfect world. I'm happy enough and haven't figured out a better option but kind of have my eyes peeled for hotter humbuckers that still have a bit of bounce and clarity for this guitar.
then I cam back, didn't recall how much I cried the last time I was in this thread. Oh LORD! what a bunch of beauties!
I joined the club
I was concerned about the neck but no more. After a brief adjusting period is plays very well.
I get what people say about the bridge being hot but a few twists of the amp knobs and the tones are all there.
The quality of this is truly something special as it is hard to pick up an R9 after playing this.
Thanks for all the past posts on Hubers, they were very helpful to a newbie like me.
Welcome to the Huber club @Toosday!
I find the neck on my Krautster to be a real strength. Not sure what made you hesitate over the neck. Was it the girth? I have bigger hands and like meatier necks. As far as meatier necks go, it's not the fattest out there (my Collings', for example, are definitely fatter, as is my R8). But that silky finish on the maple is so smooth - I never struggle at all with this neck.
Or perhaps your concern with the neck was it is maple and not as "Gibson-y"? There are, of course, maple neck LP customs out there, but I'd get that hesitation. There is something a bit more percussive about this guitar than a LP Special. Given the general similarities it is likely the maple neck that gives it that extra "ping". I find that too to be a strength - it can cop a LP special type tone but it can also cop something in the zip code of a Tele's tone or even a bit in the Strat zone with the coil split bridge with the P90 with the volume turned back. I am not a Fender style guy - have owned a few over the years and all have gone but for a Grosh Electrajet which is kind of an offset Fender style guitar with P90 type pickups. But I definitely use the coil split bridge and P90 on the Krautster dialed back to get some spanky Fender-y tones and I dig 'em. Go figure.
These look fantastic. Thought I'd dig into them a bit after seeing them mentioned on the Novo thread. There was a pic I downloaded years ago of a gold leaf guitar, I think it may have been a Huber Krautster. Wish I could find it, it was one of the coolest looking guitars I've ever seen. If anyone here happens to have it, post a pic!
My concern was that I have a couple of smaller necks, measurement-wise I really like. But I really do like this one. It is highly playable. I agree that the tone contribution from the neck fits the overall guitar very well.
Congratulations to a great guitar! I also got a black krautster.
They are really great! I haven’t touched my R8 since I bought the krautster.
I can never get enough of this. Maybe my fave orca top of all time!
Ok, I play along ... Huber guitars are perfect in every imaginable way. I have three of them:
From the Left: 2018 Custom Krautster 2, 2015 Custom Orca, an older Krautster 2 that I got in a trade.
This Orca was my first Huber. I was looking for the perfect single cut guitar and since I have a special connection to ORCA, this was the obvious choice. It has the nice Orca inlays and also custom Jimmy Page electronics in which I can split the hum buckers, put them out of phase or run them in series. Outstanding sounding and playing guitar. If I want the dual hum bucker thing, this is the one I am grabbing.
The black Krautster was the second Huber I got. I got more or less by chance in a trade and quickly figured that it is just perfect for playing with my cover rock band. it ticked pretty much all boxes. It is light, plays like butter, has powerful pickups with the P90 giving more clarity than a humbucker and it sits perfect in a band mix. The split works great for single coil'ish tones.
... then I decided that I custom order another one that is tweaked in a few places. Hence, I got this:
Relative to the regular Krautster, it has:
- Ebony fretboard
- Fretboard binding
- Trapeze inlays
- Four knob electronics
This was partially for the bling and partially because I wanted that extra functionality. The four knob layout makes the guitar a whole lot more versatile IMHO.
I did not play them as much in the band as I wanted to as the P90 was picking up quite a bit of noise in high gain sounds and I did not know how to properly handle that. However, for a while now I am running a Decimator G-string and after figuring out how to use it right, there is no noise anymore with either the Huber or my Strats and I am a happy camper.
Huber's aren't cheap, but they are totally worth the money in my opinion ... but I guess I don't need to convince anyone on this thread
I am not very familiar with "roots" music. But the Krautster Humbucker is definitely a smoking', rockin' pickup. It is on the hot side, but not heavy metal shredder hot.
I feel that it is about the same. They both have 25'' scale length. The Krautster has a more hefty neck (I like that). hence, the Orca may feel a bit more slinky. But we are talking details here rather than major differences.
The Krautster is a very light guitar if that helps you decision. The Orca is not Les Paul heavy by any means, but noticeably heavier than the Krautster.
Is this a black and white picture, or has the color faded?
It was basically a charcoal. Yeah the lighting is kinda weird there
I've got a Gold Top Krautster II and a Custom Black (Back and neck painted black) Krautster II in Cedar. The cedar seems to be brighter. . .I find the humbucker compresses and doesn't quite cut through a mix as much as coil tapping it does, so I mostly leave it as a single coil. . .It reminds me of a tele. . .I also run through a Keeley Compressor, into a Matchless Lightning. This is really a dream rig. Anyway, I keep the Krautster's volume on 3-4 and crank it to 10 for a lead/solo. It's a fantastic guitar and my current number one.
I have admired the Krautster for a long time. Just found there is a Canadian dealer. It is within the attainable realm...Perhaps next year.