With one foot in tradition and another in innovative techniques, luthier John Koehler has learned time-tested methods of instrument making while also constantly engaging in new ways to improve and hone bass instruments. A bass player himself, Koehler is inspired by the many musicians who have improved the bass substantially over the past few decades. Through the basses he creates, Koehler combines ease of playing with craftsmanship and a resonant voice.
Koehler follows a similar old-meets-new approach in the materials he selects for his basses, using traditional spruce and maple while also incorporating non-traditional woods such as black walnut and sycamore. In addition, he has used repurposed wood in his basses, taking advantage of existing resources without harming those in short supply. He is currently exploring alternatives for ebony.
John graduated from the luthier program at Red Wing, Minnesota, and started working for Blakerby Violin Shop in Austin, Texas. John practiced everything from re-hairs to complete restorations. After finishing a two-year restoration of a mid-1920s Juzek bass, John started building his own instruments. John now builds basses in a variety of styles and materials to suit the needs of any player.