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Luthier: Jason Doerr Spotlight


November 9, 2022

Article from Other Magazine: Issue 2

Meet Jason, he’s got music in his blood. Jason Doerr, Studio Other Industrial Engineer, has been perfecting his Luthiery (the construction of stringed instruments) and amp building craft since before he can remember. With a dual love of building and music, he began Kraken Music in partnership with his Uncle Fernando, a retired Aerospace Engineer. Together, they meticulously hand-build wood guitar bodies and amps using locally sourced materials, each piece created with an attention to detail that can only be administered by one with a love for the craft.

How did your interest in guitar and amp building begin?

JD: I've always been a tinkerer and I'm pretty  sure I was born with music in my blood.

Can you describe the design?

JD: I make guitar bodies from scratch, something known by the trade as Partscasters. I'll start with 8/4 wood of different species and route the body shape and cavities for the electronics, ergo and neck using meticulously-created templates. My uncle and business partner, Fernanado, and I make several body styles, including the popular Telecaster, Stratocaster, 51 P-Bass, 57 P-Bass, and J-Bass bodies. I also do custom tube amp design engineering and building for the musical and hi-fi enthusiasts. My home office looks a little like something out of an old sci-fi movie since I restore and use antique electronic test equipment for creating new useful electronic projects. Kind of nerdy, right?

How long does it take you to build the guitars and amps?

JD: Guitar bodies take 2-6 hours depending on how many I do in a batch. Amps take days to weeks.

What materials do you use?

JD: Wood (alder, ash, sugar pine, mahogany, exotic laminates) and electronics

How would you describe the building process?

JD: Arduous and meticulous, but satisfying

What was your greatest obstacle in the process and how did you overcome it?

JD: Amplifier design requires lots of self-paced electronics courses and practice. As for the guitar-building process, my biggest obstacle has been preventing chip out (can Jason explain what ‘chip out’ is?) while routing the peripheral. Luckily, I solved for this issue with a combination of closer band-sawing and designing a custom routing station.  

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