Why Choose a Kanto?


Burman Kanto, wedge and ash


Most players have an ideal guitar in mind. For many that might be the guitar played by one of their heroes, or the player that inspired them to pick up the instrument. That one style, or that one year of the particular guitar, becomes the zenith of all guitars!

If you were inspired by James Burton, Brad Paisley or Jimmy Page, you may have your hear set on a Telecaster. Listening to Gary Moore, Paul Kossoff or Jimmy Page (wait a minute…) could make you dream of playing a particular Les Paul. And any player who needs to have a specific Stratocaster are more likely to have been big fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mark Knopfler or Hank Marvin. And Jimmy Page. . 

And this, of course, is how signature guitars come about. Players want to sound like their idols.

For me, it was Brian May. The bright yet warm tones of his home built guitar are THE sound of an electric guitar. Because his tone is so unique, only a copy of his guitar would ever come close. But every time I play a Brian May guitar, it makes me feel like playing Queen songs. Anything else just doesn’t seem right. I suppose I could play a telecaster, which is arguably the most versatile guitar played in the widest range of genres from country to blues to metal. When it came to my pursuit of a famous guitar, I gave up and designed my own in order to make something unique to me. 

So what if you had an instrument that made you think differently? One that doesn’t have a history (for better or for worse)? 


The Kanto was designed as a more modern version of a double cutaway guitar. It’s a format I’ve always found comfortable, even positioning the strap buttons in locations that held the strap in just the right place. Having the tuners on the same side makes them easier to get to and lets the strings line up straight through the nut slots. The rear and front edge bevels make it comfortable to hold, which is paramount as what we’re talking about here is a handheld device. It has to feel right, and be balanced. 

Some fine tuning of things like the edge radius makes it appear more contemporary too. In essence, I was looking at ways of taking a design that worked so well in so many ways and making it more suitable for modern players. This included a flatter radius fingerboard and an output jack that is angled for easy access (and made to make it impossible to accidentally unplug when standing on the cable!). 


The redesigned scratch plate uses more straight lines. It’s also smaller, without covering too much of the top surface on lower horn. However, it’s still big enough to accommodate any combination of pickup. 

Being a custom made guitar, it can be ordered with any pickup combination, custom neck carve, or scale lengths, including multi scale. 

One benefit of a scratch plate design is that the electrics can be wired up  more easily, in one place (no need to thread pickup wires through the body) and be easily replaceable. Fancy a completely different guitar without the added cost? Simply get another scratch plate!

The custom cavity routing can also make use of whatever wiring you want, rather than trying to shoehorn in things like preamps. If you’ve ever tried finding space for 9v inside a strat you know what I mean. It wasn’t designed for batteries and other upgrades!

Your Signature Guitar

Hopefully a Kanto will inspire you to make music the world hasn’t yet heard!

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