As director of R&D and Private Stock at Paul Reed Smith, Joe Knaggs designed some of the company’s most compelling guitars—the astonishingly lightweight McCarty Archtop and Hollowbody, the timeless Singlecut and the handsomely retro Mira and Starla, among others. But recently, after two decades at PRS, Knaggs felt it was time to move on. After an amicable split with the company, he started Knaggs Guitars with former PRS Director of Global Sales and Marketing, Peter Wolf.
Knaggs and Wolf set out to create a line of high-performance boutique guitars influenced by timeless Fender, Gibson and Martin designs—instruments they themselves would want to play. “Basically our goal is to make a really good, ergonomically friendly and killer-sounding guitar that’s rooted in tradition, but is more playable and functional than the average vintage instrument,” Knaggs explains.
To that end, Knaggs Guitars include a range of models: the Chesapeake and Quebec series of steel-string acoustics; the Chesapeake series of 25.5-inch-scale, triple-pickup solidbodies; and the Influence series of 24.75-inch-scale, twin-pickup solid- and hollowbodies. Each group includes a nice selection of options.
“There are three different tiers, the third with more basic touches and the first with really fancy things like custom inlay work and intensely figured tops for stronger visuals—something for both the working musician and the serious collector,” says Wolf, who as Knaggs’ right-hand man offers design input while mainly focusing on branding, sales and marketing for the company.
To read the rest of this story, check out the September edition of The Buzz Bin, a new digital monthly magazine dedicated to gear, right here.