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The K-Bass design/shape with the extended horn (about 3 ½ inches from the body), came about in the early 90’s, there’s a mention of that in the 1990 Guitar Player Review by Roger Sadowsky page 139, [I believe this to be the first time the bass was mentioned on print!!!].Looking closely, one can see that this bass as well as the electric Klein guitar, that the elongated body came directly from the MK designs started as early as 1986, adding a cutout for the Steinberger bridge and an extended Horn, there you’ll have a very forward thinking ergonomic bass.This was a favorite (at least from the aesthetic view) of Steve Miller, having a K-Bass himself, he commissioned several guitars with the Horn, also known as MKM [which stands for Montrose-Klein-Miller] and here’s the guitars a White 19-strings Sitar sporting a GS Steinberger neck, a Red 6-string Guitar with Strat-like bridge also sporting a GS Steinberger neck, a Sunburst Guitar with Tele Bridge again sporting a GS Steinberger neck [later replaced with a wooden neck], and a Golden Harp with 32-string one [sporting once again a GS Steinberger neck] that didn’t get built until 2006 and now belongs to Jeff Doctorow (publisher of the book Art That Sings: The Life and Times of Luthier Steve Klein by Paul Schmidt) [link to Paul’s website].Also, another costumer had a guitar built with the K-Bass body shape, the well-known pickup maker Joe Barden, who call the guitar Barden-caster, Tele-like pickups and bridge and wooden neck much like the one that Steve Miller has, this guitar is also part of Jeff Doctorow’s collection.

1994 K-Bass Bodies Being Built

[Photos from Japanese staff magazine on a tour to Klein Guitars shop]

1993 K-Bass Blue Zolatone [Colin Kaminsky show at Bay Area]

1994 K-Bass Rusty Red Zolatone

K-Bass Blue Zolatone [Serial #ZK 015]

1996 K-Bass Rusty Red Zolatone [Serial # K020]

K-Bass Blue Zolatone [Serial #025]

K-Bass Gloss Blue [Serial #024]

K-Bass Red Gloss [Lynn Copeland]

1996 K-Bass Gloss Black [Bass Player February ‘96]

K-Bass Gloss Black

K-Bass Sunburst [Wooden neck]

K-Bass Greenburst Zolatone

K-Bass 5-strings Blue Zolatone

K-Bass 5-strings Natural Gloss Fretless [Stomu Takeishi]

K-Bass Black Gloss [notice the Pickguard and Jazz pickups instead of the EMGs soapbars]

K-Bass Prototype [Tetsuya]



Jazz Pickups Black Gloss Moses Neck [Note the position of the knobs]

Zolatone finishes were used in car trunks, boats and trailers in the 40s and 50s. However Steve Klein was not the first to use on instruments, Rickenbacker used on their Lap Steel guitars from late 40s, on models 102/6 and 100/6.

Mats Eriksson KX bass [inspired by Klein’s K-bass]