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Kremo-Kustom Double-Neck Guitars

1966 Kauffman Kremo-Kustom Double-Neck

Color: Cream, Rating: 8.75, $19,500.00 (ID# 01481)
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Unique and All Original Kremo-Kustom Double Neck Guitar
Designed and Built by Doc Kauffman "From an Old Generation of Tinkerers"

 

1966 Kauffman Kremo-Kustom Double Neck.

 

This unique 'modern abstract' single cutaway solid body, Kremo-Kustom double-neck weighs just 9.40 lbs. and is just one of eight Kremo-Kustom guitars that were made between 1955 and 1968. Designed and built by Doc Kauffman, this guitar features a 'modern-abstract', solid maple body with rounded edges and two futuristic headstocks - both joined to their respective neck by the Kaufmann 'Finger-Joint' system. Both of the necks are hand-carved from solid maple - the six-string neck has a wonderful thick profile. The twelve-string neck has a medium-to-thick profile and both necks have a nut width of just under 1 3/4 inches and a short scale length of 23 inches. Both necks have rosewood fingerboards with two-layer bone nuts, a 'zero' fret and 22 medium-jumbo frets and cream dot position markers and side-dot markers. The six-string headstock has the "Kremo-Kustom / by Kauffman / Design Recorded" gold, red and black decal. The 'slotted' six-string headstock has Individual Waverly open-back tuners with oval metal buttons and the twelve-string headstock has side-mounted Waverly, open-back strip tuners with oval cream plastic buttons. Each neck secured to the body by four large screws. Both necks have their 'circular' truss-rod adjustment at the neck end. The six-string guitar has two Kauffman Kremo-Kustom Single-Coil pickups with cream 'ridged' plastic covers and outputs of 5.93k and 5.56k. The twelve-string guitar with a single Kauffman Kremo-Kustom Single-Coil pickup with cream 'ridged' plastic cover and an output of 5.88k. Each of the pickups is height adjustable and each has an oval black plastic surround secured by three screws. One single-layer black plastic 'heart-shaped' pickguard with three screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way 'neck' selector slider switch, all mounted on pickguard. Two-way pickup selector slide switch on bass side of body. Cream plastic 'conical' shaped control knobs with ribbed sides and single red line marker. The six-string guitar with a chrome-plated, heavy brass, pre-ridged, height adjustable bridge and the Kauffman 'Vibrola' tailpiece with its original chrome-plated cover engraved "VIB-ROLA" and secured to top of body by two screws. The twelve-string guitar with a chrome-plated, heavy brass, pre-ridged, height adjustable bridge on a rosewood base with its original chrome-plated cover engraved with a "K" and secured to top of body by two screws. This unique guitar is in all original, (8.75) excellent plus condition. Housed in the original Kauffman three-latch, rectangular brown hardshell case with red plush lining (9.00).

This unique instrument was featured in an October 1992 Vintage Guitar Magazine feature. The VG article dated the guitar to 1955 - however we believe that it was made sometime around 1966… see Joe Ganzler's detailed report below…

In March of 2012, Joe Ganzler wrote a detailed report on this guitar in which he stated "On March 13, 2012, I representing Ganzler Incorporated, performed a detailed examination of this guitar. This instrument is, in my opinion, a ≈ 1966 Doc Kauffman Kremo-Kustom Double Neck Guitar with 100% original finish, parts, and case. The guitar is entirely original and unmodified, with the following characteristics: 100% original, opaque cream-colored lacquer finish applied to both body and headstocks, exhibiting fine, "angel-hair" lacquer checking. Instrument demonstrates almost no "yellowing" of the original off-white color to both the body and headstocks. Areas under electronics cavity covers show consistent coloration, a single shade lighter than exposed finish -- this instrument has spent most of its life in its case. Back shows zero evidence of rivet wear, with no invasion to the finish. There is evidence of a single touchup to the back of the body, about the size of a dime; other than that, the necks, headstocks, and the rest of the instrument blacklight 100% perfectly. Both necks exhibit proper and undisturbed "finger-jointing" technique attributed to Doc Kauffman instruments of this period. Headstock decal is 100% original, correct, and unaltered, having been directly applied to [six-string] headstock, then clear-coated over… Virtually all solder joints appear original and factory-applied, demonstrating proper techniques consistent with this era of manufacture. All wiring exhibits factory tape wrapping; a;; wiring appears undisturbed. Potentiometers are unfamiliar to me, nor can I find any reference to their respective maker's marks anywhere. Green "Sangamo Type-33" capacitor and "plastic-coated" wiring throughout is strong evidence that this instrument was made/assembles during the '60's, NOT the '50's; my educated guess is in the 1964-1968 timeframe… In summary, this is a 100% original, exceptionally rare, double neck solidbody electric guitar attributed to Leo Fender's original business partner Doc Kauffman. Kauffman is credited with building only 8 "Kremo Kustom" guitars during the period 1955-1958. Overall condition of parts, plating, frets and finish is entirely consistent, demonstrating very little play wear. It is housed in its original hand-built case, probably also built by Doc Kauffman. It is in dramatically original, unaltered "time machine" condition, demonstrating characteristics of being hand-finished (body shaping/contours, electronics covers, and metal plates) as well as exhibiting very fine attention to assembly detail, fit, paint finish, and critical neck-bridge/other alignments. In my 17 years of examining myriad stringed instruments, I must say that this is one of the most unique and fascinating guitars I have ever documented."

This exceptionally rare Doc Kauffman - Kremo-Kustom 'Double-Neck' guitar is one of just eight 'Kremo-Kustom' guitars made between 1955 and 1968 and is most likely the only 'Double-Neck' that he made. This guitar was featured in the September/October 1992 issues of Vintage Guitar Magazine (front cover of the September issue and pages 30-31 of the October issue). "Featured on the cover of last months V.G. was a very rare guitar indeed! A 1955 Doc Kauffman KREMO-KUSTOM double neck. KREMO-KUSTOM is the brand name for a small number of cream color, sold body guitars custom made by Doc Kauffman during the 1950's and 60's. Kauffman continued making guitars into the early 1980's and passed away on June 26th, 1990 at age 89… Soon after the Kauffman Fender (K & F) split in Feb. 1946, Kauffman moved from Fullerton to Santa Ana, California. In the workshop behind his home he continued to invent, do patent and product research and development, make tools, machinery, and, of course, guitars. The KREMO-KUSTOM guitars were made from 1955 to 1968. Up until now, few people knew about these guitars. According to Doc's close friend, musician Gene Galien, no more than eight KREMO-KUSOMS were made, including the double neck. All KREMO-KUSTOMS are cream color and, with the exception of the tuning gears, entirely custom made by Doc Kauffman: bodies, necks, pickups, bridges, tailpieces, vibratos, plastic guards, and cover plates. All these guitars have the KREMO-KUSTOM decal, an identical asymmetric headstock design, and modern abstract solid maple bodies. They all come standard with Doc's vibrola tailpiece and chrome plated heavy brass bridges. The bridges were ahead of their time and are very similar to those made by modern day manufacturers. All KREMO-KUSTOMS have short scale, 22 fret, maple necks, rosewood fingerboards, and an overall scale length of 23"; somewhere between a Fender Mustang and a Jaguar. All the pickups are single coil. The 1955 KREMO-KUSTOM double neck is lightweight and compact measuring 12 1/2" wide. It has some very modern innovations including a slightly scalloped fingerboard on the treble side of the six string neck, and a hole in the back of the guitar for attaching a stand or belt. The 1955 KREMO-KUSTOM double neck may be the first 6/12 double neck ever made. That same year, (1955) the Stratosphere Guitar Company of Springfield, Missouri, made a 6/12 double neck called the Stratosphere Twin.

Doc Kauffman (1901?-1990) was a renaissance man, a modern day Leonardo DaVinci. He invented the portable dishwasher, a record changer, powered his workshop with a turbo engine, and even made an electric car! He was also a professional musician, having a long career playing various instruments in small bands and combos from his early teens to his late eighties!. He finally retired in the last year of his life, but continued playing at home, up to the day he died, often playing his favorite electric guitar in bed. Kauffman is best known for his association with Leo Fender and their mid 1940's partnership called K & F. But Kauffman began making solid body electrics as early as the mid 1930's on his own, and as a chief designer for Electro String (Rickenbacker), a decade before going into business with Fender. In fact it was because of Doc's guitar making experience that Fender asked him to become a partner. Kaufmann was the first to make guitar effects, inventing the vibrato (Vibrola) tailpiece, patent filed Aug. 19, 1929. The vibrola soon became standard on Electro String (Rickenbacker) guitars and mandolins. In 1936 he designed the Vibrola Spanish Guitar. Manufactured by Electro String (Rickenbacker), it had a motorized vibrato that automatically changed the pitch of the strings while the player strummed. Some of the most predominate guitarists in the 1930's show business played them, including Les Paul. Kauffman also contributed significantly to the research and development of the first solid body electric violin and bass designed by George Beauchamp. Doc Kauffman has many inovations in many fields. He is certainly one of the heavyweights, and early pioneers of electric guitar history." (Art Daugherty. Vintage Guitar Magazine, October 1992, pp. 30-31).

Copies of the Vintage Guitar Magazine article and Joe Ganzler's full report supplied with instrument.

 

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