Today, many guitarists are adding nylon string classical acoustic guitars to their arsenals, largely due to the mellow tone and silky playability these guitars are known to have. Players who are used to electric guitars and steel string acoustics go to nylon string guitars because they know that they can’t get that soft, warm, yet mellow nylon string tone any other way.
With this in mind, many traditional classical guitar manufacturers are now creating hybrid products that offer the best of both worlds -- nylon string guitars with steel string appointments like thinner necks and onboard preamps to make them stage ready. Kremona Guitars is an industry leader in this regard, creating handcrafted classical acoustic guitars with the appointments that make them appeal to guitarists beyond the traditional Classical and Flamenco genres.
Kremona is the nylon string guitar of choice for a wide array of artists including Lulo Reinhardt, Eliot Easton of The Cars, Xavier Padilla of the Gypsy Kings, Russian 7-string virtuoso Vadim Kolpakov and pop artist Marc Ballas. In this article we are going to take a closer look at what makes Kremona Guitars such an amazing value.
Kremona, known for their industry-leading nylon string classical acoustic guitars, was established in 1924 by a master luthier named Dimitar Georgiev. Beginning his career as a journeyman gunsmith, Georgiev had once taken the view that the weapons he produced were examples of mechanical works of art. However, being compelled to serve in the Bulgarian military during World War I and seeing the results of that his ‘art’ wrought in combat, he soon changed his view on weapons of war.
During his military service, Georgiev found his only relief in music. While on the front lines, he played his mandolin, which he learned how to fix himself when it was damaged by the harsh environmental conditions. At the conclusion of World War I Georgiev took his beloved mandolin and began an apprenticeship at the bench of the Markneukirchen masters, a legendary league of master luthiers founded in Germany.
After working his way to the status of Master Luthier, in 1924 Georgiev returned home to Bulgaria with the hand-carved examples of his latest work. The examples he brought home gave him the credibility to establish his own luthiery. With the help of his entrepreneurial brothers, the Kremona company was born and would soon become one of Europe’s leading producers of acoustic instruments, including mandolins, violins, and later nylon string classical guitars, for which they are best known today.
Kremona History Video
Kramona Lutherie 1954
While Kremona has been building incredible handcrafted acoustic instruments for almost a century, after World War II Bulgaria was one of the Eastern European countries that fell behind the Iron Curtain, and trade with European countries and the United States was almost unheard-of. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990‘s, Bulgaria became a fully independent state and a member of the European Union, and trade opened again with the West. Since 1999, Kremona has again become a privately owned and operated company that employs about 120 people, including master craftspeople with a reputation for crafting some of the best acoustic instruments in production today.
Kremona carries their long history of traditional workmanship and handcrafted excellence into the 21st century, using only the finest local building materials available, as well as imported materials that breathe new life into Kremona’s ever expanding line of instruments. New materials and methods are continually improving the looks, feel and playability of Kremona’s line of handcrafted guitars and other acoustic and bowed instruments. This expansion has led to innovative and great sounding acoustic electric nylon string classical guitars, and a brand new line of steel string guitars that are really making waves in the international market. Kremona’s main goal is to produce instruments of incredible quality, with flexible production methods, to build on their already successful history of custom projects.
Kremona Artist Series guitars are the flagship models of the Kremona line of nylon string acoustics, with a reputation for high quality craftsmanship and a versatile tone, these high quality nylon string acoustics feature solid tops, backs and sides built with superior tonewoods like Cedar, Indian Rosewood, West African Sapele, and Spruce, delivering a balanced sound with rich lows and clear mids perfect for classical, jazz, pop and more.
Handcrafted with a solid Western Red Cedar top and Solid Indian Rosewood back and sides, the Kremona Artist Series Fiesta FC is a favorite of guitarists around the world for its tone and playability. Featuring a 52mm (2-inch) width at nut and 650mm (25.6-inch) scale length, the Fiesta FC offers a balanced sound and silky smooth playability.
The Kremona Performer series takes their Artist Series one step further by taking Kremona Nylon String favorites, like the Fiesta FC, and outfitting them with a Fishman preamp and dual-source pickup system. The result is a nylon string acoustic with the premium appointments that make it ready for the stage from the moment you take it out of the box.
The left handed Kremona F65CW-SB is handcrafted with a solid German spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides giving it a great tone and nice projection. The lefty Fiesta F65CW-SB is a stage-ready lefty cutaway equipped with a Fishman preamp and dual-source pickup system. The left handed Fiesta F65CW-SB offers a balanced sound making it versatile enough to cover anything from classical to jazz and pop or anything else you may want to toss at it.
“The F65CW is hands-down my favorite. A guitar this soulful makes me wish for more hours in the day.” --Slick Aguilar, guitarist who has recorded with Buddy Miles, David Crosby, Jefferson Starship and many others.
In 2014 Kremona created two new signature models for jazz guitarist Lulo Reinhardt, grand-nephew of Gypsy Jazz legend Django Reinhardt. The Lulo Reinhardt Signature Series guitars are built with an exotic look and familiar tone, perfectly suited to Lulo Reinhardt’s style of Jazz.
Lulo Reinhardt - Kiano, No. 2 (Audio Only)
Kremona Lulo Signature Series Kiano
The Lulo Signature Series Kiano is named for Reinhardt’s eldest grandson Kiano, and is the more traditional of the two Lulo Reinhardt Signature models. Featuring a 1.9 inch (50 mm) neck width at the nut, and a gentle 19 inch (500 mm) fingerboard radius, the Kremona Kiano is perfect for nylon players looking for a fast neck and easy playability. The Kiano also features Fishman Presys preamp system, giving performers the ability to plug in and be heard from the stage.
At Kremona the stated objective is “...to craft instruments that blossom fully with tonal colors and musicality.” With this in mind, Kremona introduced their first steel string acoustic guitars in 2016. Kremona has come out with three new D-style guitars that have been built to deliver the optimal amount of clarity, power and responsiveness.
Kremona M series steel string acoustic guitars deliver a wide range of tonal characteristics with the power and responsiveness that is hard to beat. Play just one chord on the M25E Venetian Style Cutaway acoustic electric and you will be in love with the tone and feel of this handcrafted instrument.
The left handed Kremona M25E steel string acoustic guitar features a solid Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides, giving it bright and singing treble tones with world class projection, with a sense of softness around the edges. With classic dovetail neck construction, you are assured of a faultless transfer of tone, while the 24.4 inch scale length delivers easy playability and perfect intonation.
The satin finish Mahogany neck feels solid and comfortable in the hand while the lefty M25E’s Venetian cutaway allows easy access to the highest frets of the 20 fret Rosewood fingerboard, making this steel string acoustic perfect for chording and lead playing. With a TUSQ nut and saddle and proprietary satin gold tuning machines, you will enjoy rock solid tuning and impeccable intonation.
The lefty Kremona M25E acoustic electric comes equipped with LR Baggs EAS-VTC Element preamp, an active system with volume and tone control (VTC) pairs the Element undersaddle transducer with a preamp that includes a small, removable soundhole-mounted volume and tone control for additional convenience and sonic versatility. The VTC is designed to tame unnatural low-end thump by mimicking the actual dynamic response of the guitar, giving the M25E a natural, realistic acoustic sound when plugged in.
All of us at Adirondack Guitar are happy to carry handcrafted Kremona guitars in out Hudson Falls store and online on our website. Kremona offers an impressive selection of left handed classical acoustics, classical acoustic-electrics, and new steel string classical guitars. Featuring premium tone woods, high quality craftsmanship, and premium components, Kremona Guitars are impressively appointed, professional quality instruments that are surprisingly affordable. To find out more about the left handed and right handed Kremona guitars that we carry, or to see if we can order any for you, contact us and we will be happy to help you discover more about these incredible handcrafted classical acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars.