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Passion Project: Jason Doerr + Kraken Music

Post by 
Noosha Hodges
June 30, 2020
Jason Doerr, Studio Other Industrial Engineer, has been perfecting his luthiery 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, 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.
Q: 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.

Q: Can you describe the design?

JD: I make guitar bodies from scratch 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?

Q: 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.

Q: What materials do you use?

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

Q: How would you describe the building process?

JD: Arduous and meticulous but satisfying

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

JD: Amplifier design takes lots of self-paced electronics courses and practice. As for the guitar-building process, my biggest obstacle as been preventing chip out while routing the peripheral. Luckily, I solved this with a combination of closer bandsawing and designing a custom routing station.

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