Sold – Jeff Kemp Classical 1999


This instrument is built in the same style as all of Jeff’s guitars from 1990 to his current creations.
The philosophy behind this style of building is to

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Jeff Kemp Classical 1999

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Please talk with us 02 6696 3530
Tony Elder / Steve Jackson
Black Dot Music
Est 1985


This instrument is built in the same style as all of Jeff’s guitars from 1990 to his current creations.

The philosophy behind this style of building is to create a consistent stiffness, size and volume within the body of the instrument, which allows many of the normally variable parameters of the guitar, to be tightly controlled in a consistent way.

This allows the soundboard to be built as a very light and stiff structure. Approaching building in this way, creates an instrument with a huge dynamic range. It can be played with a light touch whilst producing meaningful musical tones and can be played very hard producing an unusually powerful and loud output with strong projection, without overpowering the instrument.

The body is constructed from Brazilian Rosewood outer veneers, with laminated veneers and epoxy resin, pressed into an arching similar to the shape of a cello back, with no internal bracing. The Soundboard is selected quartersawn, Western Red Cedar with lattice bracing of Balsa and Carbon Fibre.

The neck is Central American Mahogany with an Indian Ebony fretboard. The finish is a very hard and durable gloss lacquer on the back, sides and neck. The soundboard is finished in a different way. To provide protection whilst allowing the soundboard to remain light in weight and therefore maintain maximum responsiveness, it has a minimal application of low gloss lacquer.

Jeff’s current guitars are designed to give a well balanced sound with clarity and definition. Energy efficiency is another aspect that is addressed in his design, allowing great volume and projection with a wide dynamic range.


The overall design idea is to build an instrument with heavy and extremely stiff back and sides, allowing greater freedom in soundboard construction. Using this method, less energy is taken from the soundboard by thin sides and there is less interaction between the back and the top via the air volume. This means that the back is not trying to behave like a second soundboard. The result of this is a more efficient soundboard capable of greater volume and dynamic range. This gives the guitarist a very usable palette of tonal possiblities which span the entire (extremely wide) dynamic range of the instrument.

The backs and sides are made of Brazilian Rosewood with the backs being arched in the same style as a cello back. This is acheived by laminating Brazilian Rosewood with epoxy resin to a critical thickness allowing the desired stiffness with no internal bracing. With the thickness involved in achieving the desired effect, it is almost impossible to construct using solid wood. The forces of expansion and contraction of solid wood construction at these thicknesses would eventually result in joint failure and severe cracking.

Jeff uses cedar for soundboards almost exclusively as he prefers the warmer, darker sounds inherent in cedar. He does make spruce guitars but continues to receive more orders for cedar than spruce. All braces are Balsa/Carbon Fibre composite and bracing patterns are of non traditional design.

Necks are made from Honduras Mahogany and incorporate an adjustable truss rod which adjusts in both directions to counteract both back and forward bow. This allows Jeff to build the correct curvature into the fingerboard when he is making the guitar, and to allow for neck adjustment if necessary. Temperature and humidity changes do affect the neck, so the truss rod is available to allow adjustment if needed.

Material selection is of an extremely high standard and only the best ‘Master’ grade woods are selected and utilised in the construction of Jeff’s instruments.

Unique guitar “a joy to make music on” 06 AUGUST 2012


Strumming beauty: James Grace strokes the hand-made guitar he acquired recently from a renowned Australian luthier. Classical guitars are not only capable of producing breathtakingly beautiful sound; they are also instruments of exquisite elegance. All the more so when the instrument has been handcrafted by a master luthier who produces only four to six instruments per year.

This is the kind of masterpiece James Grace (head of classical guitar studies at UCT’s South African College of Music) acquired recently. His handmade six-string classical guitar was produced by Jeff Kemp in a remote town near Armidale, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Australia. Grace says Kemp played his CDs in the workshop while he was making the guitar so that “he (Kemp) could try and recreate the same type of sound I was used to”. Grace is no stranger to Kemp’s craftsmanship. He bought one of Kemp’s guitars in 1995, second-hand.

His latest acquisition cost upward of R100 000.

After he fetched the guitar from Australia, all he wanted to do was to start playing it. “It felt a bit unfamiliar, but after spending a few hours just exploring the different sounds I could get from the guitar, I started to get used to it, and it became a joy to make music on,” says Grace.

About This Listing

Jeff Kemp began building guitars in 1982. His workshop is located at Rockvale, 35km from Armidale in the New England Area of NSW Australia. The area is part of the Northern Tablelands with an elevation of 1000 metres and a dry climate ideal for guitar making.His approach to building is to combine the finest elements of a traditionally built guitar with contemporary materials, building methods and design. The result is a powerful, well balanced guitar with enhanced volume and projection. These guitars have been described as “New Generation” instruments which are capable of projecting their rich sound in very large concert spaces. Jeff has a book currently in print on the characteristics of wood available in the Australian market called appropriately enough “The Australian Timber Buyers Guide” Commissioned by – Skills Book Publishing. Sydney 1994 . Current production is around ten guitars per year. “I was planning to record on guitar but due to the current global situation i decided to sell off some of my guitar collection.”

Guitar Specs: Greg Smallman style “Lattice” bracing  Top: Cedar (very thin)

Back and Sides: Rosewood.   Fingerboard: Ebony. Tuners: Sloane Ebony knobs.

Finish: Back & Sides only: Very thick Lacquer used on Yacht hulls.

Guitar Case: Original Hiscox case included



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After a long period of testing and consultation, we finally released the The Jeff Kemp Guitar test report. This report synthesizes the impressions and evaluations of The Jeff Kemp Guitar from ourselves, the teachers and students of the Conservatory of Music, professional guitarists, senior guitar teachers and guitar friends. We believe that these evaluations are comprehensive, objective, and exciting.

We are here to talk to Mr. He Qing from Tianjin Conservatory of Music, Mr. Lai Kangkang and Mr. Guo Yucheng from Beijing Philharmonic Guitar Orchestra, Mr. Yang, Mr. Xu from Zhongqing Musical Instrument, Mr. Raimundo, Director of the Guitar China Club and his two friends, as well as other participants who participated in the test. My friend expressed my heartfelt thanks.

Guitar Scenery officially began to provide the ordering service of Jeff Kemp concert guitars in Asia. The Jeff Kemp Guitar’s 2003 international guitar sold for $6000-6500. The guitar scenery line and Master Jeff Kemp decided together to provide a substantial discount for his friends who buy the first The Jeff Kemp Guitar in China.

Jeff Kemp Concert Guitar test report

Compared with guitars made in factories and small workshops, concert guitars emphasize personality and art, which incorporates the unique personality and philosophy of the producer. The Jeff Kemp Guitar is the first concert guitar launched by Guitar Scenery. From the shocking feeling when I first got it, to the trial playing of more than a dozen friends and experts in the past month, and our own deepening and deepening To experience and evaluate this guitar rationally and objectively. We have every reason to believe that The Jeff Kemp Guitar is one of the best and most individual concert guitars. We unreservedly ask professionals who are considering buying concert guitars. People and enthusiasts recommend it!

Some friends, when dealing with a guitar, first focus on the appearance, material, and even smell. When evaluating a guitar, the texture of the front panel and back panel, and even the aroma of wood turned out to be a favorite. An important indicator of the guitar; it is undeniable that when you open the case and the longawaited guitar appears in front of you, the psychological impact caused by the visual and olfactory sensory stimulation is very strong, but the life of the guitar is not Therefore, when we are writing this report, we start with the introduction of the feel and tone of the life of the guitar:

Feel: The Jeff Kemp Guitar has a very comfortable left hand feel. Not only do we think so, but all the teachers and students of professional colleges, professional players, and guitar friends and guitar lovers from non-professional colleges all praise the Kemp guitar. It feels very comfortable in playing. This is the result of years of accumulated experience in guitar making and continuous innovation and design. Mr. Yang, who used to study guitar with Mr. Chen Zhi and now engaged in instrument promotion of Zhongqing Musical Instruments, said: “Including Grieg Smallman guitar, this is the heaviest guitar I have ever touched, and it is also the one I have come into contact with. The most comfortable guitar in the middle of the hand!” He Qing from the Classical Guitar Department of Tianjin Conservatory of Music commented: “The Kemp Guitar feels very good in his hand and is very comfortable to play. The weight of the guitar body allows the player to get a very good performance when playing. Stability, the left hand can be fully immersed in the performance without having to spend extra’actions’ to adjust the position of the guitar.”

Raimundo, director of the Guitar China Club said: “The feel of Jeff Kemp is very good, and the string pitch is very, very low. “In addition to the design factors of the guitar itself will affect the hand feel, the comfort of the hand feel is also very closely related to the strings of the instrument.

Master Jeff Kemp’s recommended string scheme for his guitar is: D’Addario EJ46 for the 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 strings, and Savarez for the 3rd string .Arian treble (Alliance). It is not a rare phenomenon in China to use Savarez treble with Daddario bass. A well-known method is: 1-3 strings with Savarez Arian treble. 4-6 strings with Daddario J45 or J46 bass. This kind of collocation reflects to some extent the player’s pursuit of sound and timbre rather than the consideration of hand feeling, but the thickness, tension, and degree of polishing of strings of different brands will naturally have a huge impact on hand feeling.

Raimundo, the director of the Guitar China Club, compared his own guitar after playing The Jeff Kemp Guitar. He mentioned that his own guitar uses Savalez 500AJ treble for 1-3 strings and Daddario EJ46 bass on 4-6 strings. The sound can be satisfied, but the left hand feels “quite great tension” when playing (because these two strings are both high tension strings), and when he plays The Jeff Kemp Guitar, although the string collocation is slightly different , But the original feeling of “very tension” in the left hand disappeared. He felt that the strings became easy to press at this time, and it was very comfortable to press the strings with the left hand. The strings “seemed to be soft.” This subtle difference brings not only the superiority of the fingers to the player, but also plays a huge auxiliary role in better interpretation and performance of music; it is like when you drive an excellent F1 car racing, You just need to concentrate on driving without worrying about mechanical failures that will drag you back. Similarly, when you are playing, what you want is to express the music as much as you want, and The Jeff Kemp Guitar allows you to achieve this easily

Tone: If you can express sound in words, what else is music for? Here, we only truthfully write down the personal experience and evaluation of ourselves and some teachers and guitar friends for your reference. After a considerable period of testing, we feel that the Jeff Kemp Guitar’s bass is vigorous and powerful, thick and simple, and the note duration can be extended arbitrarily within a reasonable range . This incredible feeling is like a cello!

Teacher Qing He from the Tianjin Conservatory of Music said: “The Jeff Kemp Guitar’s bass sustain is very satisfying. It is indeed possible to extend the duration of the note at will within a reasonable range. It seems to have the temperament of a bowed stringed instrument, making a long sound. “We think this is closely related to the heavy back and side panels and the overall design of The Jeff Kemp Guitar, especially the protruding back panel like a cello. The Jeff Kemp Guitar’s treble tone is crystal clear, clear and sweet. When playing a single tone, he has a strong graininess, sweet but not greasy. The separation of the high and low voices is good, the overall dynamic range is wide, and the reach performance is very good .

Teachers Lai Kangkang and Guo Yucheng of the Beijing Philharmonic Guitar Orchestra said after playing The Jeff Kemp Guitar, the treble of Jeff Kemp is close to tradition, and the treble and bass are very constant. On the whole I feel that The Jeff Kemp Guitar can play effortlessly, with loud volume and impeccable tone!

They have also come into contact with some Australian guitars before, but the Jeff Kemp high pitch left them a very good impression, and they think this design is very flattering and individual. Mr. Xu, who is currently studying guitar with Professor Chen Zhi, played different styles of music with The Jeff Kemp Guitar. When he played Spanish music, he praised the guitar’s full, bright and very sweet treble grains, without the Spanish guitar at all. A sharp sound and a dry feeling (this kind of sharp sound is often seen in Julian BreamHearing it in his record), he can surprise people unconsciously, the bass is thick and graceful, the high and low sounds are well-arranged, and the lines are clear.

Then he played works from the Baroque period, such as Bach’s Chakon, together Lane, who tried the guitar, described her feelings like this: “The cello-like bass shook my soul, and the crystal clear treble made me suffocate… It’s almost like a dream…” Teacher Xu played Qiakong. After the clip, he kept complimenting that the dynamic range of this guitar is very good, it is simply great! A student of Teacher Xu, who was learning audio equipment, said during the test: “I can clearly feel my right hand being shaken by the sound waves from the sound hole. The sound of this guitar is very similar to the sound on the record. When recording this guitar, not only the sound engineer can do part-time work, but also the audio equipment can be halved!”.

The teachers and friends present all agreed that after the guitar is turned on, it will be unimaginable. There is a little tidbit of the test: Lane found out that his ears had paid the price for being fascinated by Jeff Kempbell after the test. On the way home, Lane suddenly felt a buzzing in his left ear because During the 30 minutes of listening to them, Lane has been sitting 1.5-2 meters to the right of the player. Lane still had a faint pain in his left ear until he got home! It has such a powerful “lethality” even when it is not directly facing the player.

The Jeff Kemp Guitar’s grand volume comes from the Smolman style ultra-thin panel, mesh sound beam, and thick arched back panel design. . These timbre and volume characteristics make The Jeff Kemp Guitar not only very suitable for playing music from the Baroque period, classicism period, and romantic period, but his interpretation of modern works is also exceptional.

Front panel and back side panel: The front panel is the most important part that affects the sound and tone of the guitar. The Jeff Kemp Guitar uses a light brown master-grade cedar panel with fine and uniform texture; the picturesque Brazilian rosewood back side panel is particularly eye-catching Under the effect of paint craftsmanship, it is elegant and gorgeous, showing the noble style, especially the arched backboard is like a dolphin’s back, which makes this guitar alive.

Raimundo, the head of the Guitar China Club, described The Jeff Kemp Guitar’s appearance: “Because I rarely touched guitars with Brazilian rosewood back and side panels before, the few wood grains that I have seen are also freehand like landscape paintings. The almost straight wood grain of the side panels made me mistakenly thought that Indian rosewood was used at first. When it was confirmed from Lane that it was Brazilian rosewood, it was the first time I stared at such a high-grade Brazilian rosewood. There is nothing to say. In other respects, Jeff Kemp still retains the usual traditions of Australian guitars.

The large body, heavy weight, matt paint, and rigid reinforcement structure under the sound hole ring are all classics. Australian design. Australian-made guitars have a strange aesthetic orientation, such as the nitro matte spray established by Smallman, and Jeff Kemp’s rubber leaf-shaped sound hole ring ornaments, which give people a kind of unruly characteristic The impression of standing alone. This is perhaps like the United States 200 years ago, hiding the strong Chong-Europe complex in the crazy subversion of tradition. Hehe, the new world of classical guitar production in Australia always brings people unexpected surprise and joy .”

Specifications: Jeff Kemp used a 52mm fingerboard width at the pillow and 62mm at a 12-fret fingerboard width, and an effective chord length of 648mm. The Jeff Kemp Guitar, like most concert guitars, can customise the width and thickness of the fingerboard as well as the string spacing according to the size of the user’s hand. Generally, the hand shape of the Oriental is suitable for the width of the winding pillow of 52mm. The Jeff Kemp Guitar’s upper and lower pillows are made of animal bones, and two animal bones are specially added to the perforation of the lower pillow to protect the wooden bridge. In addition, Master Jeff Kemp customised 20 frets according to our requirements to suit the performance of modern works that require this note, such as “Forest Dream”.

Fingerboard: African ebony, looks very uniform density, black in colour without losing luster. Guitars using African ebony fingerboards are better in terms of bass clarity and sustain performance than guitars using non-ebony fingerboards (such as rosewood, etc.). Neck: The material of the neck is Honduras mahogany, and a metal truss is embedded in the centre to prevent the neck from bending and deforming toward the front panel or back panel. The Jeff Kemp Guitar uses German Shaller gold-plated Hauser-type tuning buttons, and there are other options according to users’ preferences, such as David Rogers from the United Kingdom. The German Charel head is one of the most popular guitar knob sets in the world. It has good mechanical performance, simple and generous appearance, and affordable price. It is the first choice of many guitar makers.

Guitar case : The most famous Hiscox case (glass fiber and custom wooden cases can also be provided upon request, but Mr. Jeff Kemp strongly recommends Hiscox case, because the fiberglass case has strong elasticity, but not enough rigidity. Although the wooden guitar case is good-looking, it is not practical. Mr. Jeff Kemp believes that the case is used to protect the guitar and is convenient for transportation and carrying. If the case is heavy, you can’t walk, and you have to think about it. Look for a bag and cover to protect the guitar case, then the guitar case becomes a burden instead). There is no sliding or shaking of standard- sized classical guitars in this case. Teacher Lai Kangkang of the Beijing Philharmonic Guitar Orchestra loves this kind of guitar box very much. He once tried to put his Almansa guitar in the Hiscox box, and there was no sliding or shaking. In addition, the Hiscox case is known for its lightness and sturdiness, which saves effort and is assured.

Generally speaking, although Jeff Kemp’s mesh support system guitar adopts Smallman’s design concept, it has formed a style different from other Australians due to its own pursuit of sound/timbre and continuous experimentation and innovation. Features. If you like the loud and wide volume like the Smallman guitar, the long and thick bass like the cello, and the crystal clear, clear and sweet treble, The Jeff Kemp Guitar is undoubtedly your ideal choice. Let us sum up Jeff Kemp Guitar with the description of Mr. Max Gaussell, one of the duo of Future Plans : “When the Jeff Kemp Guitar is playing fast scales, it responds as fast as a flamenco guitar, but for slow The swift movement can also play a long sustain. It can clearly distinguish the various parts of the counterpoint work, the volume is vivid and loud, and at the same time it can express the lightly played passages in detail, and it can not only sound the sound during live performances. It can be projected to the entire hall, and it can also be projected to the microphone close at hand in the recording room…All in all, it is a guitar full of contradictions and impossible to exist!”

Additional information

Weight 14 kg
Dimensions 118 × 50 × 20 cm