• ESPEXP

    Forsale: Kenneth Lawrence Chechen Explorer

    So...my latest KL might possibly be up forsale. I recently just got married and we are starting to look to purchase a house, so I might try to sell this guitar to get some cash for a down payment. The guitar is in mint condition and is the best sounding/playing guitar I have ever owned, but it's also the least amount of time guitar I've owned of my current collection so there's no huge attachment to it yet. The case is also brand new and in mint condition. This is a one of a kind unique inlay and was designed by the same artist who did James' "Petroglyph" inlay. Since I paid the artist to design this, Ken said he wouldn't do this inlay on anyone else's guitar. It has the exact same specs as James' KL guitars. It also has the hand cut KL logo like James' "Petroglyph" and "Flaming Sun" guitars, which Ken hasn't done on any of his guitars in the last several years. I can give the specs and more info to those interested. By far the best chechen top I've ever seen, besides Hets. Also, the closest inlay to James' that Ken is allowed to do. The story of the guitar is below.

     

    Looking to get around $9k for it. PM if interested.

     

    You might remember having seen this top before, I think it was one of SYL's guitars. This guitar used to have a tribal inlay. I always loved this top, but didn't really care for the tribal inlay. Once I got the guitar, I called up Ken, told him what guitar I was getting and asked if he would be able to replace the fretboard and do a new inlay for me. He said he could. He mentioned that this guitar was his only quilted chechen top and has changed owners a few times now (I'm guessing because of the tribal inlay). He also mentioned to me that this top was one of the 2 tops James was choosing between when he got his first KL made in 1996. James ultimately went with his current chechen top in the end, but told Ken to save this one for a future guitar. So Ken held onto it for him for 7 years or so...till Het's next KL. James then decided to go with a quilted bubinga top for his next one in 2003. Right after that, Ken decided to sell it. This guitar was originally made in 2004. When I sent it to Ken, he replaced the fretboard and sanded down the whole guitar. I worked on a "Petroglyph" inlay design so that it would be different than the rest out there. During the process I decided to ask him to put on a bone nut and swap out the EMG 81/60 for the EMG JH set to match more of James' "Petroglyph" and "Sun" inlay KL's now. After Ken was finished, he refretted it, re-top coated the whole guitar with oil and replaced the bridge (due to intonation problems). He says the guitar is like new again. This is my 3rd KL, but I sold my first one back in 2004. I also asked him for a new case. Here's some pictures. Enjoy!

    • Breadfan32

      Sweet axe and cool story to it.  Where you not a fan of the IC?  That's one guitar I've always wanted since 09 and haven't been able to get my hands on one. 

    • ESPEXP

      Thanks! To be honest the one problem I had with the IC was the unfinished spot on the back of the neck. I didn’t like the two different feelings it had when I went up and down the neck. My hand would sometimes stick passing through the spot. So that was the main reason. Another reason was that I had just gotten a KL back in my life so when I would switch off playing the two, the quality of the KL was unmatched. So it was an easy decision to swap. Plus the cash helped pay for my new inlay.

      • Breadfan32

        I'd love to try a KL anybody who has ever had one seems to speak highly of it over almost any guitar. 

        Not sure if I would like that neck either.  I really enjoy the satin neck on the Vulture. 

      • ESPEXP

        The KLs are pretty nice man. I bet the satin finish feels awesome! I don’t mind different neck finishes, but it has to be constant throughout. Like I said, it really bothered me that the one spot had a completely different feel...and its in a bad/highly played spot.

    • emg3254

      Sweet guitar, KL.  I've always wanted one but don't think I would have the patience to wait for one new from scratch. 2-3 years is to much of a waiting list for me personally.

      If you hear he has some almost done, that people have backed out on, please let me know!!  Thanks!

      I would love to have a sun inlayed one but not sure if KL does those anymore.

    • ESPEXP

      Will do...yea Ken no longer can do the “Sun” inlay. He has a new “Sun” design which IMO doesn’t resemble a sun..but Ken has his hands tied.

    • HateEvent

      Looks stunning. Will be cool to know how it compares to your others!

       

      Nice one 

      • ESPEXP

        Thanks! This will be the first time one of my guitars has the JH set installed. I played through them once before on someone else’s guitar and they sounded pretty good, so we’ll see. Ken swears by them, and all my other guitars had either double 81s or 81/60s so I thought lets do something different.

      • HateEvent
        ESPEXP wrote:

        Thanks! This will be the first time one of my guitars has the JH set installed. I played through them once before on someone else’s guitar and they sounded pretty good, so we’ll see. Ken swears by them, and all my other guitars had either double 81s or 81/60s so I thought lets do something different.

        I just put a Het Set into my LPC and love them. They sound (and look) great!

        Enjoy! Very envious!

      • ESPEXP

        That's good to hear! I played them through the SW Iron Cross and they sounded killer so I think they'll be amazing in this KL. Hopefully get it today or tomorrow.

    • Pushead

      Congrats man, that's a beauty. I've never happened to get my hands on one of Ken's guitars. Someday I wish to remedy that.

    • RaulTx

      Congrats mate!!!! I ordered a KL explorer in 2012, bubinga top, tribal sun inlay, received it on 2014. Best guitar I own!

    • ESP 348

      Congrats man, that is a very nice guitar.

    • Sephiroth

      This guitar looked amazing when I saw it in Kens shop last year (before the fretboard change). The pics still don't do it justice to how good that top is in real life. Nice one ESPEXP! Any chance when you get it,you could take some videos of it so it shows off what it looks like when you see it in person?

    • Luke22

      Very cool story, and congrats! I think I remember seeing that top years ago actually. The new take on that inlay is interesting too. JH is awesome. I really recommend the SS frets on the KLs.

      Ken really builds the best, flawless instruments. He is a fantastic person with a great amount of knowledge to help people with throughout the process. Highly looking forward to my next ones!

      • ESPEXP

        Maybe next time I'll get SS frets on one of my KLs. Yea I worked on the inlay a bit to put a story together. Ken definitely is the best and spends countless amounts of time in perfecting everything. That's why the builds take so long...but IMO well worth the wait! Did you decide on specs/inlays for yours yet?

      • Luke22
        ESPEXP wrote:

        Maybe next time I'll get SS frets on one of my KLs. Yea I worked on the inlay a bit to put a story together. Ken definitely is the best and spends countless amounts of time in perfecting everything. That's why the builds take so long...but IMO well worth the wait! Did you decide on specs/inlays for yours yet?

        Yeah the SS are well worth the upgrade. Outside of some kind of damage they will last you a lifetime. No wear or tarnishing etc. is very nice not to deal with. And I wouldn't want anyone working on my KL personally! 

         

        Specs are pretty much mostly  finalized for woods. Too early still for inlay thoughts haha. 

      • ESPEXP

        Lol yea I know but SS frets have a different sound to them in my opinion. They are more "pingy" and a little larger so they feel a little bulkier. Whenever I need a refret, it'll go back to Ken to do. It's never too early. It'll sneak up on you then the guitar will just sit in his shop while you wait on figuring out your inlay design! 

    • ESP 348

      How much extra are SS frets on any guitar?

      They should ALL have SS frets if they really do last a lifetime.

    • ESPEXP

      Here's a quick pic I took of the guitar. More to follow when I get time to get some good shots of it. Also, hoping to put together a "family" shot of my exps..but need a better couch first . First thoughts are that it's really amazing...but all KL's are IMO. The EMG JH set is unbelievable. It feels like it has a lot more gain, which I love. I'm really happy I got them put in. I am debating putting them in my other KL now, but I'll have to actually compare them first. Like Seph said, the pictures don't do it justice. You can kind of see it is more a darker red than the pics Ken sent me. I'll get more pics and information soon.  

    • Big Daddy B
      ESPEXP wrote:

      Here's a quick pic I took of the guitar. More to follow when I get time to get some good shots of it. Also, hoping to put together a "family" shot of my exps..but need a better couch first . First thoughts are that it's really amazing...but all KL's are IMO. The EMG JH set is unbelievable. It feels like it has a lot more gain, which I love. I'm really happy I got them put in. I am debating putting them in my other KL now, but I'll have to actually compare them first. Like Seph said, the pictures don't do it justice. You can kind of see it is more a darker red than the pics Ken sent me. I'll get more pics and information soon.  

      Looks nice. When you post more pics can you post one of the case as well? Looks pretty cool.

      • ESPEXP

        Will do. The case is a Custom-fit Ameritage case. His standard ones come in this beige color. Heavy duty as hell and will dent walls if you aren't careful.

      • Big Daddy B
        ESPEXP wrote:

        Will do. The case is a Custom-fit Ameritage case. His standard ones come in this beige color. Heavy duty as hell and will dent walls if you aren't careful.

        Yeah it looks raw as hell.

    • Mazze F.

      Thanx for sharing both awesome pics and backstory to that guitar... I'm getting a KL next year!! :-)

    • ESPEXP

      Looking to get around $9k for it. PM if interested.


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