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Saturday, April 28, 2012

San Bernardino by K-Line Custom Guitars, ... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $2,299 USD with case + shipping

K-Line Custom Guitars is a Manufacturer of handcrafted custom boutique American built electric guitars.   

This San Bernardino by K-Line Custom Guitars has a solid alder body with a rosewood slab neck dressed with 21 jumbo vintage frets topped with a 1.65" bone nut in an aged ice blue (road worn/relic ) finish.

Gotoh SD91 tuners, aged nickel bridge , (1) road worn/relic volume, (1) road worn/relic tone knob.

Klein 60's bridge & 50's neck p-90's with a CRL 3-way selector switch. CTS pots and Switchcraft jack.


Amp used 
Vox Pathfinder 15R 
Marshall Haze mhz40c
Fender Princeton 65 reissue

Cables used:

Selector position Neck: 
Clear and warm with some twang, great for classic rock, rockabilly, and dirty blues.

Selector position Neck & Bridge: 
Has some spank and rolled back its a nice blend for rhythm.

Selector position Bridge: 
Big, very big--the 1960-1970 P-90 Rock and Roll  sound all the way. 

Action, Fit & Finish: 
The action was low without buzz, and the intonation was dead on. The finish is a 100% nitrocellulose lacquer on body and neck. This guitar had a road worn/relic finish so it looked like someone had played it for many years. 

Reliability & Durability:  
The guitar is a rock, no hum or crackles from the electronics all knobs and hardware installed snug and proper. 

When I opened the case and saw that it was a road worn/relic guitar my heart sank. I really thought it was going to be like half of the other "boutique" guitar builders with their focus on the finish as opposed to the build quality of the guitar. I was dead wrong. There is a lot I really enjoy about this guitar. It has the body shape of a '66 Fender Jazz Master with the neck and attitude of a '60 Gibson Les Paul. The 'C' shaped neck fits nicely in the palm and is just smooth and easy to play. I like the simplicity of the guitar, for example no binding on the neck (I'm not a fan of binding on electric guitars). Everything just fit, it was meant to be played and played hard. The sound was everything I could want from a guitar and the only way to describe it is as a thin line Les Paul with some sound characteristics of a Strat. I used this in my home, and in a music store. I passed her around the store and almost everyone liked her (there is always one jackass that knows it all). So overall this is just flat out a great find and I would be shocked if there is a Gibson or Fender diehard out there that does not concur. 

What I would change:
I'm not one to buy a guitar with a road worn/relic finish, I think it's cheating. I would want mine to look new and I will put the dings, dents, scrapes, and grime on it. Other than that it would be a crime to alter this guitar in any way that would change is playability or tonality.   

My advice:
My advice is, if you do not think you need this guitar in your collection read this review again, visit their website and order one. You will not find anything like this in any big box warehouse music superstore. It is a truly amazing guitar. 

K-Line Custom Guitars 
Ladue, MO
(p) 314-276-7402 

Posted 04/2012