Knutsen Hawaiian Guitar Variations
by Gregg Miner, as part of The Knutsen Archives

A comparison of all of Knutsen’s Hawaiian guitars could well serve as someone’s Thesis.
I’m merely showing some obvious points below.
If one were to examine Knutsen’s "Weissenborn-shaped" Hawaiians, they’d first have to compare the Convertibles, Hollownecks, and Harp Hawaiians. Then - within each of these categories, no two are exactly alike – with minor or major differences in:

One way to compare the instruments is via the main thumbnail galleries. Another is to scroll down the Inventory spreadsheet. Either will offer a fascinating variety of features, from subtle to striking.

hawaiiancompare1.jpg (34405 bytes)
This first row illustrates both the similarity and the differences between:
  • A Knutsen convertible
  • Two random Knutsen hollownecks
  • A Weissenborn
  • A National squareneck

click image to enlarge
(images copyright Gregg Miner, from the collection of Jonathan Kellerman)

hawaiiancompare2.jpg (22838 bytes)

A look at Knutsen’s teardrop style compared to Weissenborn’s teardrop style.

click image to enlarge

(images copyright Gregg Miner. Weissenborn from the collection of Jonathan Kellerman)

compare5.jpg (56624 bytes) Hawaiian guitar bridges:
These are not in any specific order, and are only roughly to scale.
Represented are:
  1. Knutsen HCW1
  2. Knutsen HCW2
  3. Knutsen HCW4
  4. Knutsen HW6
  5. Knutsen HHW13
  6. Knutsen HW7
  7. Knutsen HTD1
  8. Knutsen HW13
  9. Kona ca. 1912-1915
  10. Early Weissenborn
  11. Mid period Weissenborn
  12. Late Teardrop Weissenborn
  13. Shireson Lyric ca. 1918
  14. Hilo ca. 1920s

click image to enlarge
(images copyright Tom Noe and Gregg Miner)

hawaiiancompare3.jpg (38674 bytes) hawaiiancompare4.jpg (52371 bytes)
Like his harp ukes, Knutsen’s "Upper Treble Point" Harp Hawaiians, show a huge variety of one-of-a-kind hand-crafted headstocks and harp arms (left image).
His pointed flares (right image) fall into two main types: a simple silhouette (left column), and the protruding, carved extension (center column). A third variation, seen once, is an even sharper point, with a non-carved extension (right column).
Examining the Inventory sheet, one again sees every possible combination of woods and trim, plus various stringing combinations (3-4 bass strings, 0,3,4 or 5 trebles along with the 6 standard neck strings).

click image to enlarge
(images copyright Gregg Miner)

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