Some said that I wanted to have a real klein because of its authenticity. I
do really like klein but the cost and availibility make me think a copy
could easily be had. Are the methods so refined and unique that they cant be
copied? How would a guitar that used the same woods, scale lenght, body
shape and electronics sound any different than a klien?
** well here's the deal about luthiers. they do a lot of trial and error and r&d. the guy doing the knock-off hasn't done that. i guess he could try to reverse-engineer a klein, but i would think that the skill and real understanding of the nuances of the instrument will not be there - - plus who's gonna tear apart a $3k+ guitar?
there's another thing about a "real" luthier and one who will do the knock-off: it's not just the type of wood, it's the quality of wood. if a luthier is good, he/she will know how to tell if a lot of wood is good for making instruments, it gets into tap tones and all sort of other stuff that i don't know enough about. the "real" luthier has developed years and years of experience into the instrument that you purchanse. suffice it to say that your knock-off artist may not have the same attention to detail or experience when it comes to this sort of thing. (i have no knowledge of ed roman, etc., so i don't have an axe to grind here.)
for a parallel: i've been using fodera basses for something like 16/17 years now. there are a lot of people who try to cop their shit and they can't . . . fodera has spent a lot of time in developing and refining their instruments. they are often on the cutting edge of the craft. they have spent a lot of time with pick-up, wiring, woods and all the cominations thereof. there is a lot of love and dedication that many manufacturers cannot match; they are not making a killing on what they do - - dispite their high prices (and they are high). they are head and shoulders above the rest of the manufacturers out there (imho). they also make far fewer instruments than most of the other makers. they don't mass-produce and they don't license to mass producers. because of these last few things the waiting list is long (and interminable, as i'm waiting for something right now) and the cost is high. but, i know that i'm gonna get the best damn instrument that can be made.
if klein is anything like fodera (and i have assumed that they are) these are factors that can be considered versus the knock-off guitar.
i bought my first fodera in 1984 or so for $1,800 - - a lot of money back then. i still have it and have gone on to get others . . . i wonder if you'd have the same experience with a knock-off.