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Murray Kuun Archtop Guitar, Sophia



Murray Kuun: ‘I made violins long before I made guitars but, being a designer, I got bored making exactly the same thing over and over.  Moving to guitars gave me more scope for design work.”

Murray continues: Sophia is an evolution of my early Norma Jeane archtop.  Similar shape but Sophia is quite different, in that she is very slim.  She has a Swiss spruce carved top and a hollow kiaat body (kiaat is a very pretty and versatile African wood).  African mahogany neck and imbuia fingerboard.  Unusually, I opted for a hollow headstock – no particular technical advantage, other that a bit of weight saving.  The peripherals (bridge, finger rest, knobs, fingerboard inlays and part of the tailstock) are birds-eye maple.  As in my Roxanne archtop, I have added side “fillets” which are one of my few concessions to ornamentation.  I try to let the overall design do the talking.


Sophia has a Schaller floating pickup.  I like the idea of using a floating pickup so that the soundboard can move freely, as it does in violins and cello’s.  My contention is that the strings “hear” the sound the cavity + soundboard transfer through the bridge.


For more on Murray Kuun and his guitars.

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