SUHR

Guitars, amps and pedals

Quality Is all about the details

Being a veteran of the guitar business, John Suhr has inspected, researched, and de-constructed vintage Fenders with scientific rigor. He quantified what gives them that renowned vibe, as well as what makes the originals problematic, such as their notoriously finicky tuning systems and small neck radiuses. By taking his findings and applying them to his own craft of building guitars, Suhr Guitars was born. Today, Suhr Guitars are played by greats such as Mark Knopfler and Peter Frampton, and the company has even added a signature line of tube amplifiers to complete the Suhr Guitars experience.

Why we sell Suhr

At KGS, we only carry brands we truly believe in. Here are the some of the key reasons we sell Suhr Guitars:

  • Suhr developed the strat and tele where Fender left off. Fender leans on their great heritage. Suhr developed the better guitar based on the platform Fender offered.
  • Solid guitars with loads of features that make it a better guitar. Think compound radius, stainless steel frets, locking tuners, silent electronics, superior tremelo system for in tune playing and a great range of different sounding guitars. From classic single coil to modern humbucker sounds.
  • Superb build quality. Every guitar is rock solid straight out of the box.

In his four decades in the guitar business, John Suhr has approached vintage Fenders with scientific rigor. Quantifying what gives them that vibe and rejecting what makes the originals problematic,. Things as their notoriously finicky tuning systems and small neck radiuses. He’s repaired and made guitars for greats like Mark Knopfler and Peter Frampton and, if that weren’t enough, he’s also given sound reinforcement a similar treatment in his line of tube amplifiers.

SUHR VERSUS FENDER VERSUS PRS SILVER SKY 

At first sight they look very alike. But they are not. Not even close. So what it is that sets Suhr apart from Fender, Nash and the PRS Silver Sky? 

SUHR CORSO RECORDING AMP

Let me introduce the new Corso amp from Suhr. It is small. Il looks lovely and it blends in wonderfully in your living room. Or at your office for that matter. But make no mistake this is a serious 5 watt recording amp.  

A Brief History of Suhr Guitars

An all-original 1950s Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster is the ultimate instrument for many guitarists when it comes to sound and vibe. Suhr Guitars founder John Suhr, however, is not among this devoted Fender fan club. As a teenager in the 1970s, John Suhr bought his first guitar in order to play songs by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Who. With his new found passion taking a hold of him, he upgraded to a Fender Stratocaster, but quickly grew frustrated with its tendency to go out of tune, as well as the fact that it kept fretting out. Taking matters into his own hands, he had himself a new neck made, by none other than legendary archtop builder, Bob Benedetto. As he started hanging around Bob’s shop, John started down the path of building his own guitars.

In his 20s, John moved to New York, where he initially worked in the restaurant business to pay rent, but quickly got himself a gig at Rudy’s Music Shop, where he started in the repair department. While working at Rudy’s John got to know hundreds, if not thousands, of electric guitars, many of them classic vintage builds. This exposure to such a vast variety of guitars gave him insight into what worked on these guitars, and what didn’t. It was this insight that would lay the foundation for Suhr Guitars later on. But his learning didn’t stop there.

In 1995, John was offered a job as a senior master builder at the Fender’s Custom Shop, where he was involved in some very cool projects, and heavily invested in pushing for Research & Development for pick-ups and finishes, within the Fender organization. He quickly realised that working for a large organisation such as Fender did come with it’s limits, and after a few years he started to crave for more autonomy and freedom to experiment. During his time at the Custom Shop, John met Steve Smith, a representative and programmer at a CNC software company, with whom he started Suhr Guitars/JS Technologies in 1997.

The early days of Suhr Guitars were exciting ones, though not easy. John did all the finishing touches, from sanding bodies, fretting necks, to finishing the guitars himself – often working up to 20 hours a day to meet customer demand for Suhr Guitars. But the effort and long hours paid off eventually. Suhr Guitars continued to grow, and now employs just over 100 people who operate the company’s 27,000 square foot, state of the art facilities in Lake Elsinore, California.

Suhr Guitars production lines include the Professional, Antique, and Satin series, all of which are made with impressive standards of craftsmanship. This is, in part, thanks to Suhr Guitars innovation and application of CNC machinery and a Plek – in other words, computer controlled – fret treatment. Today, Suhr Guitars is known for incorporating vintage-approved specs such as nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, in combination with modern touches like compound-radius fretboards and stainless-steel frets.

Over the years, founders Bob and Kurt have attracted a vast number of talented, like-minded individuals, many of which ended up joining the Taylor family as employees. This constant involvement of new talent has allowed the Taylor brand to continuously shape and evolve a widely admired culture of creativity and innovation which has never lost sight of the philosophy that it was founded on; to improve the guitar-playing experience. Today, Taylor employs over 1200 people world wide. Another notable achievement for the company is that it became fully employee-owned as of January 12th, 2021 through an EOSP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Rather than selling the company to a mega guitar conglomerate or brand, Bob and Kurt felt that it was best to position the company for future success by entrusting it to the people who are the lifeblood of Taylor Guitars’ innovative culture, growth and success. The decision to go this route demonstrates that the brand has the best interest at heart for what makes Taylor Guitars, Taylor Guitars; its employees. At Kauffmann’s Guitar Store we firmly believe that this is a key reason the brand will continue to provide customers with the best possible Taylor experience for years to come.

And there you have it; several of the many reasons we are proud to be an official Taylor Guitar dealer. Kudos to the Taylor team for working so hard to help the brand expand its mission of making great, innovative guitars for enthusiasts around the world, and doing so in the most sustainable way possible.

REVIEWS EN DEMO’S

SUHR CLASSIC ANTIQUE DEMO

N Stuff Music runs tru the specs and sounds of this Classic Antique S. 

BAAS KAUFFMANN ON THE  ANDY WOOD SIGNATURE T

With a finish called Whiskey Barrel this guitar fascinated “Baas Kauffmann” from the moment he layed his hands on her. “Whiskey never sounded better” he finds. 

KOKO BOOST, SHIBA DRIVE AND  RIOT PEDALS

The guys at Andertons put these new(ish) pedals to the test. 

SUHR BADGER AMP REVIEW

The Badger amps are put to the test by Rob Chapman and Lee Anderton. See what they discover.

SUHR BELLA AMP TEST

Shawn Tubbs takes us around the features and sounds of the Suhr Bella amp.

CLASSIC PRO AND CLASSIC ANTIQUE DEMO

A complete breakdown of the Suhr Classic Pro and Classic Antique models by Pete Thorn.