Chihoe, you ____! I got my new Hahn in June 2010. Since then, I have played 3 of my vintage teles twice each total. I hate you! I might as well sell them now… I’ve played lots of Nocaster reissues and I have a real ’51 NC and I play my Hahn a whole lot more than any of my guitars, I love it!
- Redd Volkart, 2009 Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance
Chihoe Hahn is a master builder, producing some of the finest guitars of this type in the world. I feel that his instruments reveal a level of finesse and sensitivity equivalent to those of the finest archtop builders. This is a rare quality to find in a bolt-on neck solidbody. I knew after playing one for just a few moments that something very special was going on here!
- Elliot Easton
“They’re [228 and 1229] actually my only two guitars now, (two still on sale but getting there) and i plan to keep it that way for the time being as well, they do what i need across the pair to be honest. I can go from a super fat 57 strat sound on the 228 neck pickup, through to sizzling, rasping 60′s tele crossed with a LP junior on the 1229 bridge pickup.The great thing about the 1229 is it doesn’t have congested honk of most mahogany designs (a sound that ultimately gets on my nerves after a while), so when you lighten up it’s open and clear and articulate (it’s wierd how you can actually hear ‘through’ a 1229). When you attack the strings you get the mid response from the bridge and the mahogany. It gets so rude with gain- rasping, barking rock and roll lead tones. Then you can even get a little BB King, tweaking about with the tone knob a bit, mellow and hollow (the thin body) but you still have the bright sizzle (i think it’s the rosewood), and the 6150s let you round off the front of the note and get the sustain.
I did change to the Glendale from the stainless. Still has the high snap and articulation but i like the mid response and the slightly more rounded off high a bit better. It’s just a personal preference thing though, the stainless is great on there too.
One thing i could do with changing, although i’m not in any major hurry to do it, is to find a brighter, more strat sounding neck pickup for the 1229. It’s a Fralin std wind at the moment, it’s a great sound but i’d have more use for a strattier sounding pickup i think. The Fralin +2% in the bridge is perfect (see above!).
The 228 is perfect. Complete. Honestly, I could bore you about that one all day. Has been my number one for nearly a year now and i don’t see that changing. This could actually be the relationship! … It is asking a lot from two guitars i know but they can do it :) The clarity of the Hahns i can’t do without now, i don’t want to rave on about that too much but basically aside from being a joy to play it’s a massive advantage when recording. It’s a huge time saver AND the results are way better ultimately. (i can engineer the mud out of other guitars’ sound but it then takes longer and the result isn’t going to be as good). Even if the guitar is in the back of the mix i still want the clarity and detail in the sound (especially then in fact).
– David H.
Well I got it and I have to say the it was definitely worth the wait. The word gets tossed around a lot, but you made an awesome guitar. It’s beautiful, it sustains forever, it’s full of tone and super responsive. Thankyou so much. You are a true artist!
THANK YOU!!! i played the guitar in a rehearsal today and when i strummed the first chord everyone in the band was staring at me as i stood there open mouthed… incredible! you can hear every note in a chord and it keeps ringing for days on end. i can dial in tones with the tone and volume knob that never really worked that well with other guitars. i love this thing! and it plays fantastic. love the neck, love the weight. perfect.
“Still madly in love. In fact, the love grows rather than subsides! That’s a VERY good sign.
I’m having so much fun adjusting my attack – lightening my touch. 40+ years of playing guitars very hard is hard to change! But doing this I’m learning a LOT about the dynamics available from this guitar and they are phenomenal. It also means I don’t have to fret the strings so hard. Amazing stuff!
The acoustic tone is just terrifyingly cool. The notes in chords hold together so well. It’s sort of like the difference between a cheap digital reverb and a great reverb. A great reverb sort of unites with the signal being modified and sounds real – a bad reverb sounds like it’s tacked onto the sound – it doesn’t glue together well with the signal. So the chords on this guitar are so even and balanced it’s amazing. Really different. All the notes glue together phenomenally. ALL SIX strings sound immaculate.”
“These teles are twang machines!”
– Solon Smith (Johnny Hiland Band)
“Absolute killer tone… nails it on all levels.” – The Rev. Danny G (Blazing Guitars) “I’ve played teles for years. This is the crisp 50s Tele Tone you cannot find at any price." – Richard Moore (Troggs) “This is as good as it gets… an oasis for tele fans."
– Cash Calloway
“Stopped by the Hahn Booth at NAMM. Wow! These guitars are wonderful to play and to see!”
– Arlo West
“I Have a 52 Tele. This guitar sounds better and plays great.”
– Carl Nielsen
“This is definitely one of the best teles I have ever played. Sound. Playability… perfect.”
– Hiro Sase
“I can’t believe a guy can get this good that fast.” – Dan Erlewine “Outstanding quality. As nice as anything out there."
– Cesar Sermiento
– Tim Wallis
“Walking this year’s NAMM gave me an opportunity to play a huge variety of guitars ranging from carved archtops and flat tops to “Blues” and “Metal” guitars and designer instruments incorporating the latest in technology. This year, however, I continued to find myself back with Chihoe Hahn at Hahn Guitars four or five different times during my one day visit.
For me, this oasis of tranquility and familiarity were his 228′s, instruments that, at first glance, bear a striking resemblance to a Telecaster. This, however, is where the similarities end. His butterscotch beauties-maple neck and board, swamp ash bodies and Lollar pickups offer the perfect marriage of form and function. The neck begins with a vintage “V” which gently gives way to a “C” allowing for more comfort and enhanced playability. A nicely radiused fingerboard has all strings, open and fretted, vibrating cleanly. String bending couldn’t be easier and cleaner and much to my surprise not one string fretted out! (If only all my guitars played like that). The Lollar pickups combined with “hand-tuned” bodies bring out the true tonal characteristics of these instruments. Sweet, twangy, biting, chimey, liquid, glassy are some of tones that come to mind.
Physically, the instruments are very well balanced, comfortable and easy to play. In fact, it felt as if these instruments played themselves.
Upon my last visit with Chihoe, as I was really getting to know the instrument, we were visited by a member of the NAMM music police who, with a dB meter, placed some music in front of me in an attempt to get me to turn down. As an excellent sight reader, this ploy proved unsuccessful as Lovely Rita stood, listened, smiled then sauntered away. Apparently she knows not to get in between a guitarist and a great guitar. Now, if only he made amps also.”
- Darryl Berk