Stay Connected

Hand Made Guitars by Luthier Dan Koentopp

2019 Summer Oval Hole Chicagoan #064


This guitar has a modern and simplistic aesthetic and is built with aged European tonewoods throughout. For a while I called this guitar the “Canon” for obvious reasons. The client wanted a dual pickup configuration which is tricky to do with an Oval hole. Most times, guitar makers move the sound hole further south to incorporate a humbucker pickup. I like to avoid interfering with the soundboard and bracing design so the best and most non-invasive solution is giving up a few frets at the end of the fingerboard to mount the pickup with clearance from the sound hole. It features a slightly deeper body depth which helps add more bass support by lowering the pitch of the body resonance. You can feel this thing breath and vibrate against your ribs as you play it, even with the slightest touch.

The dual pickup configuration and sound port also make it a challenge to keep all those wires in order and tidied up so things don’t look bad and more importantly so the wires don’t vibrate. The pickup wires are neatly tucked away with custom wire clip-side braces while they go from pickup to tone and volume controls located at the sound port and then to the offset stereo output jack. It’s a dream to play this thing into two separate amplifiers. The Barbera saddle pickup is one of the most accurate and versatile acoustic pickups I’ve ever heard or worked with. Having the low powered 6.8k Kent Armstrong pickup adds another great flavor of sound.

Another feature that I have started to do is rub down my necks after the finish has cured and been buffed to a polish. This is essentially what is done on violins after brushing lacquer has been applied. The feel is soft, smooth and fast. This guitar was set up with coated Phosphor Bronze strings (.012’s) and it just sings with clarity, note separation, and sparkle.

I really like how this guitar came to be. Everything flowed from start to finish in an organic way. The simple accents support this clean and modern aesthetic with much respect to the beautiful materials and clean form.


Chicagoan Oval Hole Archtop #064

  • Cutaway
  • X brace
  • Master grade, select European spruce top
  • Master grade, Maple back and sides (3.125″ depth)
  • One piece neck 1 23/32″ Nut width
  • 12″ Fingerboard radius
  • String spacing at bridge 2 3/32″
  • C Shape neck profile
  • Macassar Ebony Fingerboard with scale length 25.25″
  • 2 way truss rod with carbon fiber reinforcements
  • Macassar Ebony headstock face veneer
  • Macassar Ebony veneer on rear of headstock
  • Maple heal cap
  • Flame maple body binding with violin style purfling -simplistic Rosette
  • Ebony Neck Binding with Black/Maple side purfling lines
  • straight extension
  • Sound port with controls
  • Medium jumbo frets – No Fretboard Inlay
  • Turned and tapered aluminum endpin with 6-32 thread screw Ebony strap button
  • Fingerboard Edge position elliptical markers in maple
  • Fingerboard shortened to 19 for pickup placement
  • Waverly Tuners with ebony knobs
  • No Chicagoan Logo, DK Logo in wood
  • Hand cut compensated Ebony bridge adjustable
  • Hand carved ebony fittings (Macassar ebony option)
  • Floating Kent Armstrong with stealth volume and tone, oil in paper capacitor
  • Barbera Pickup with controls
  • Natural Honey Gloss lacquer, rubbed down neck




#064 Chicagoan Front and Back


Romanian Spruce top with Maple accents. A 6.8k Kent Armstrong humbucker is stealthily mounted to front of neck extension.


Maple bound sound port with access to controls for the humbucker and Barbera saddle pickup.


Ebony fittings with Ebony binding on fingerboard. A simple black inner line sets off the contrast of the maple bindings.


A deeply flamed Romanian hand carved maple back. The neck was sanded down to a matte finish for a smoother and faster feel.


Flame Maple body, sides, bindings, and a one-piece neck.


That Maple!


A small glimpse of the maple elliptical fret markers that adorn the edge of the fingerboard


A dual stereo split system comprised of a low wind Kent Armstrong Humbucker and a Barbera Pickup installed in a custom bridge saddle. Wires are hardly noticed inside with controls for both pickups located at the sound port.


More of that gorgeous maple under that honey varnish


A hand turned aluminum endpin completes the electrical ground but also provides a strong mount for an ebony strap button. The output jack is located off to the side, in a more convenient location and less problematic location.


Ebony veneered headstock with stinger transition into carved maple neck


Macassar Ebony headstock face with maple purfling and Maple DK inlay


The Koentopp “System”


The full shot!










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