Kepma Research and Development
Kepma's founders' engineering backgrounds coupled with a love and passion for the guitar give guitar making a whole new twist. From studying wood microscopically down to the alignment of the medullary rays to maintaining the proper moisture content for optimum tonal response, Kepma craftsmen and technicians mix a rare combination of science and art. There is a universal agreement on what typically "sounds good" and our R&D department's goal is to be able to replicate it over and over in every guitar we make.
The Kepma R&D facility is where all the magic happens. Every innovation in guitar design and construction starts right here in this room…
It takes constant commitment to the quest for great acoustic sound to produce Kepma quality… and the right combination of wood, hands and heart.
At Kepma we experiment with multiple combinations of woods to get the right sound — balanced, rich sound with just the right amount of low end fullness, midrange punch and sparkle at the top end that cuts through the mix.
Every detail of a Kepma Elite Series Guitar is created and fine-tuned by hand before converting over to more efficient production methods. This is what makes Kepma Elite Guitars special… and affordable.
We spend countless hours dedicated to the pursuit of handcrafting the perfect guitar. It’s just what we do… every time.
Studying the grain structure of various tonewoods gives us insight into how we can build better guitars — from the microscopic level up.
An intense evaluation of every wood source helps keep Kepma Elite guitars perfect every time. Many times we’ll reject shipments of raw materials if they don’t meet our quality and integrity standards.
Pressure testing helps us determine the strength, resilience and even predict to a certain extent the tonal balance and response of our solid top guitars.
Yes, we really do this. All of our raw materials go through an intense and rigorous testing process to ensure they’re up to our standards of excellence.
We hand carve and test all of our bracing patterns to ensure they provide the strength where needed without impeding the tonal response of the top.
Every Kepma Elite solid top is thoroughly tested and evaluated for frequency response which ensures that every Kepma Elite Guitar will deliver a sound and performance that will exceed your expectations and quite frankly just put a smile on your face while you’re playing.
What a perfect sounding top looks like to a guitar nerd…
We don’t just use computers either. The golden ears of our R&D specialists can predict what areas of a top need to be adjusted before heading to the fitting rooms…
Actually, not true. Every piece of wood has moisture content which helps it resonate and perform at optimum levels. We moisture-test all of our tonewoods to ensure that they’re “ready for primetime.”
In our R&D labs, we audio test every electronic component to ensure you’re getting the best acoustic sound from the pickup systems we install…
Before entering into the R&D labs, every foreign dust particle is removed from our bodies ensuring that nothing gets into a Kepma that isn’t supposed to be there.
A giant Alaskan Sitka Spruce plug sits next to bodies headed off to the finishing booths…
Yes, we really do wear them in the R&D department… it makes us feel like “tone doctors”… doh!
We have 3 Plek® machines that we use both on the R&D side for analysis and development of the perfect neck profile, and in the manufacturing process to ensure the perfect neck leaves our factory… well, perfect.
Talk about a dead room! We also have one of the world’s largest anechoic chambers in our R&D facility for comprehensive testing and analyzing of the sonic character of the guitars we build.
You’ve heard about CEOs who aren’t involved in the day to day? Well, not here buddy. On any given day, you’ll find Jack in the R&D facility tinkering with designs, hand carving a new bracing pattern and genuinely inspiring our craftsmen to produce the best sounding instruments they can. It’s the Kepma way!