Stay Connected

Hand Made Guitars by Luthier Dan Koentopp

A 2016 Chicagoan

In order to have something that represents my current strategies in both sound and visual aesthetics, I built this Chicagoan for the shop to allow me to showcase at future guitar shows and for clients. This instrument incorporates evolving ideas including an adjusted cutaway to allow for more access to the upper register. In general, I have been experimenting with reducing the tension on the top with a lower neck set angle and a higher tailpiece saddle. The result is a top that sounds a little more relaxed with more bass support.

This guitar was built with woods that I held off using on other commissioned builds. The maple back had some pretty severe staining on the outer bouts which was slightly challenging for some clients to look past. It’s a nice example of how birthmarks and natural wood stains can disappear and in fact, create even more beauty when under a finish. The top is made from a exquisite set of Sitka Spruce. This spruce has a wider grain pattern and lovely bear claw figuring. It’s tone, prior to being a guitar, was lush and a little on the darker side. I’m generally not a huge fan of Sitka spruce on archtops, as they can sound a little too dry for my taste, but this top exceeds all those preconceptions. I could’t be happier with this guitar and I am excited to see where it goes!


Here you can see some mineral staining in the maple backs


Here are some Specifications for the Chicagoan 

  • Master grade, figured Sitka spruce top
  • Master grade, select European maple back and sides
  • X-braced
  • Flame maple laminated neck with bone nut width of 1.72″  (.83″.93″)
  • Macassar ebony fingerboard with scale length 25.25″ (String .012-.052)
  • Standard Fhole bound in flamed maple
  • Truss rod with carbon fiber reinforcements
  • Macassar ebony headstock face veneer
  • Macassar ebony veneer on rear of headstock
  • Macassar ebony heal cap
  • Flame maple body binding with violin style purfling
  • Maple neck/headstock binding inner purfling line
  • Medium jumbo frets
  • Unadorned Fretboard
  • Edge position elliptical ebony inlay markers in Macassar ebony
  • Schaller Tuners with ebony buttons
  • Macassar Ebony finger rest (volume knob on top, stealth tone beneath)
  • Kent Armstrong Floating Humbucker
  • Hand cut and intonated adjustable Macassar ebony
  • Macassar ebony tailpiece
  • Finish, gloss lacquer- red/brown
  • Custom fit Hoffee carbon fiber case




Koentopp Chicagoan (051)


Figured Sitka Top with Flame Maple Edging


Back arching


Fire Maple Back and Sides


Chicagoan in Perspective


Fhole Detail


Archings of Fire


A life cycle of wood

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

© Copyright 2012 Dan Koentopp/Koentopp Guitars. All Rights Reserved.

Videos & Photos by Paul Hamilton and Caleb Vinson

Design by Monique Carbajal || Development by Alexander Nied