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Chris Knutsen was one of the first luthiers to build acoustic lap steels. From his shop in Seattle and later Los Angeles, Knutsen experimented freely with his designs producing lap steels with different shapes and levels of ornamentation. His lap steels have a homemade feel to them, and no two are exactly alike.

The hollow neck on this example extends up to the sixth fret. The top is spruce, and the back and sides are boldly figured koa.  Lower bout is 15 9/16" wide.  The top and back have traditional rope binding, and the bridge is equipped with a metal saddle. The pickguard has an intact original butterfly inlay; however, the shell in the section of the pickguard below the butterfly fell out of the guitar and is missing. A piece of celluloid pickguard has been added to replace the piece of the original pickguard that is missing. There are a few repaired cracks on the top and back, but everything is solid now with no repairs needed. Tuners work fine.  In a certain angle of light, a narrow section of the top (located at the outer edge of the top in the curve of the lower bout treble side, approximately 5 ½” long and ¾” at the widest point) appears to be stained a bit darker than the rest of the top (see photo). Not sure why this is the case but nothing would surprise me on an old Knutsen. There is a repaired crack in this area so perhaps this little section was replaced as part of a repair.  However, the grain seems to be fairly well book-matched with the grain on the other side of the lower bout so I don’t know.   The “C. Knutsen New Hawaiian Family” label has pictures of a guitar, mandolin, harp guitar and ukulele.

The tone of his guitar is loose and lush with tons of sustain, one of the best lap steels I have ever heard. Non-original hardshell case.


Product Specs

Condition:
Very Good (Used)
Brand
Knutsen
Model
New Hawaiian Family Steel Guitar
Year
circa 1920

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Gweetarpicker
Joined Jan 2015
Santa Ana, CA, United States

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Gweetarpicker

Santa Ana, CA, United States
Joined: Jan 2015

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circa 1920 Knutsen New Hawaiian Family Steel Guitar
$3,800
+ Free Shipping