K-Line San Bernardino

First, this is not my guitar.
Yeah, let’s get that straight. Second, I wish it was.

Chris from over at K-Line guitars has been nice enough to let folks try out his instruments and I had the joy of playing his Jaguar/Jazzmaster style-copy: the San Bernardino.

Let me say that this guitar looks and feels great. When I got it out of the case I was immediately intrigued by the smoothness of the neck, the body and the fretboard. There isn’t an edge on the guitar any where! Chris has done an excellent job making these instruments feel as though they have been around and “broken in” several years (as opposed to “shamelessly relic’d”?). This one feels as though it could play itself!

Its a boy!

This one presented with slightly aged hardware and Firebird pickups. I have never played Firebirds before and was pleasantly surprised. Firebirds are a type of humbucker, but with a more vintage, lower-output sound and a “fat” single coil vibe. I seriously was impressed by the neck pickup when I plugged this guitar into my little 6v6 Fender Super Champ with a touch of reverb. Jazz/blues that just melt the very air!

When I first saw this guitar I thought it was a definite rocker, but once I played it clean there is no doubt that it can do the sweet-stuff as well.

On the down-side, I wasn’t too impressed with the bridge Firebird clean. It just felt too… twangy, but without sustain? Or without power? I would really love to see this with a humbucker in the bridge and the Fbird in the neck. I think that would be a sweet combo.

Worn in and smoooooth....

So, I plugged in my TIM (overdrive/boost) to see what this thing can do… and  yeah, it can rock too! A bit more mellow, but a great grind/vibe to it– particularly for layering electric guitar parts. By that I mean this definitely has its own presence and would sit in a mix well without overriding another guitar.
And of course- that complaint I had on the “clean” bridge pup was nonexistent on the overdrive. It really held its own and gave a solid grind with some definition and sparkle.

I think my favorite piece of this guitar is the neck/fretwork. Chris has taken the time to edge and polish all fret ends so there is not a sharp piece anywhere on the neck. The workmanship here has reduced drag and made the strings easy to grasp onto, even for some extreme-type bends. The neck is what made it easy to play.

like a chilled stick o' butter.

A secondary aspect I noticed was while I was trying out licks on this thing, I stepped on my cord and unplugged myself. So I kept strumming and trying out licks and to my surprise, this guitar is loud! I mean, acoustically, naturally, and with tons of sustain! Great tone wood here! I really was hearing the wood through my amp. Very nice.

As for the style of the guitar- I like it! I have never really played a guitar quite like this- off the traditional Les Paul/Tele/Strat combos. I really like my LesPaul and this guitar really is its own thing.  I am absent a strat, and Chris makes that style too… so that is definitely tempting. I guess I’m saying that if I had to keep this guitar, no feelings would be hurt… but it has definitely led me to think about his other models!
Thanks Chris for a great instrument and letting me try it! I’ll keep my eye on the “Springfield” for the future.

Do it. Yes.


3 Responses

  1. nice! what happened to the hunt for amp? you switched to looking at getting another guitar? or both 🙂

  2. Always on the hunt Rhoy. Always 🙂

  3. Thanks for the review!

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