Kehlet Guitars proudly present the Kehlet Grand Folk “Finn Olafsson Signature” model.
This new, unique guitar type has been developed in close co-operation between Kehlet Guitars and Danish guitarist Finn Olafsson.
Finn Olafsson requested the ultimative Kehlet Guitar which offers both the fastness of the Kehlet Folk, in terms of playing ease, and the full sound power of the Kehlet Concert (see pictures to the right).
The resulting instrument has a slender body with a narrow waist and a deep body behind the bridge. Sound-wise, the Grand Folk has the big and warm tone of the Kehlet Concert with a very voluminous low end, plenty of mid-tone and a super-distinct high range.
About the design
The Kehlet Grand Folk “Finn Olafsson Signature” Model in the signature version is mainly special in its unique form. The guitar is available with different forms of ornamentation and in different woods. The shape of the body and the open headstock are standard features.
Ole Kehlet has designed a unique scalloped bracing for the Kehlet Grand Folk “Finn Olafsson Signature” model and only the best materials are used throughout. The “Finn Olafsson Signature” model cannot be ordered in a “basic” version, and the swan/club rush motive is only used on Finn Olafsson's personal “Signature” guitars.
All Kehlet Grand Folk “Finn Olafsson Signature” models are signed by Finn Olafsson on the Kehlet Guitars label inside the guitar.
Read Finn Olafsson's presentation and description of the Kehlet Grand Folk “Finn Olafsson Signature” below.
About the Kehlet Grand Folk
“Finn Olafsson Signature”
By Finn Olafsson
The idea of designing a Kehlet guitar as a cross between the shape of a Dreadnought and a Folk model came to me after having played Martin Dreadnoughts for many years. Combining the advantages of the Dreadnought - its volume, low and top ends - with the advantages of the Folk - its middle range, lightness, clearly defined sound, beautiful (i.e. feminine) appearance, and its more comfortable shape - seemed like an interesting thing to explore. The ultimate acoustic guitar, in my mind, would be one that gave you all these advantages in one guitar.
Ole Kehlet and I discussed this and then tried to enlarge the body of the Folk model to the length of the Dreadnought. We made a few corrections and finally arrived at a body with the approximate cubic content of a Dreadnought, but one in which the soft shoulders and the slim waist of the Folk model are predominant features over the heavy, angular lines of the Dreadnought. The enlarged cubic content and the subsequent increased volume lies mainly behind the bridge - in the lower body - which makes it as comfortable to hold as the small Folk model. It also looks very elegant, despite its size.
As I have often admitted, I am a bit of an inlay-freak, and my own personal “signature” guitars needed a very special design. I already knew what I didn't want: Celtic patterns, snowflakes on the fretboard and bridge or vines on the headstock and fretboard and so on. These are ornaments which can look very nice in the right quantities - but in my opinion they are over-used and un-original. I wanted the ornamentation to express something Danish - after all, the builder in question and the guitarist are both Danes. I wanted a motive taken from Nature, since I spend a lot of time outdoors and is often inspired by Nature when writing music.
I kept returning to the motive of a swan - the Danish national bird. The swan has a proud appearance and gracious movements. It is always a sight to behold. So I approached Marianne Olafsson who is a wonderful painter and told her of my idea to let a swan adorn the top of the headstock. She immediately agreed and added a club rush on the mid-section of the headstock between the strings. Club rushes and swans both have long necks. The club rush stretches upwards, towards the swan, and the swan looks down towards its nest between the rushes.
I also wanted ornamentation on the wings of the bridge, and Marianne and I quickly agreed that rushes would be appropriate here as well, creating a natural counterpoint to the wings of the swan, creating a triangle with the club rush in the middle of the headstock. Marianne then drew the motives very accurately. Ole Kehlet transferred them to the headstock and the bridge. He then milled out the shape, and with abalone, mother of pearl and brass he finished the motives in a piece of beautiful inlay-work of great depth. The ornamentation also includes abalone binding on the body, rosette, fretboard and around the open headstock. The abalone bindings are laid free 1.5 milimeters from the edge, and the overall impression of the guitar is completed by the fact that the bottom edge of the fretboard follows the curve of the soundhole.
The sides and the three-piece back is made of Brazilian rosewood * with a light-quilted American sitka top, scalloped braces of European spruce on the top and back, bird's eye maple/ebony bindings, mahogany neck/headstock and fretboard and a headplate and bridge of ebony. The finish is polished high-gloss cellulose lacquer.
So how does it sound - my Kehlet “Signature”? Well, it is difficult to describe sounds with words, but let me try: The middle range is warm and dominant, the top is nicely soft and rounded and the low range is firm - without any thunderous dominance, it simply adds an octave. The volume and sustain is long and pleasing. Above all, the tonal ranges are perfectly balanced. The intonation is perfect, it plays like a dream, looks like a million. In short, this is my dream of the ultimate guitar.
So many thanks to Marianne for her designs and our creative cooperation - and thanks to Ole for the many, many hours of guitar talk as we created this guitar. This is indeed craftsmanship of the highest order!
* 1957 Brazilian rosewood from the Rio Delta