Before producing the best noise cancelling pickups for strats Chris Kinman was a guitar maker.
Chris Kinman was making one off guitars as early as 1972-1973. My bass player and I knew Chris who did setups etc for local Brisbane guitarists back in the early 70’s. He had made a couple of guitars that I knew of using the brand name Kamwood. Roy (our bass player) asked him to make a guitar for him and he told us to go home and draw the type of bass he wanted. We ended up drawing a Bass that looked a little like a cross between a Gibson Thunderbird and a EB3. Single cutaway with a pointy horn, like EB3/SG.
The neck was like an EB3. It was one of the most beautiful basses I’ve seen with the slimmest fastest easiest to play neck. Phase switches etc.I know he made a Les Paul type guitar for the singer/guitarist in another band but the body was smaller than a LP.
See pictures attached of Roy Hicks and his Chris Kinman made Kamwood Bass. BTW he did a really stupid thing and sold the guitar to a kid who was learning. He probably didn’t know who Chris Kinman was. I wonder where the guitar is now. Roy has been regretting selling it ever since.
[Source & images Kamwood guitar: Dallas McDonald, email 8/9/2011]
In the early 1980s Chris produced the Blueprint series based on 60s strats. Telecasters also reported also.
Dating Kinman guitars
According to a thread at the Gear Page guitars were signed and dated by Chris Kinman under the neck where it bolts onto the guitar body. This is confirmed by photo at bottom.
Images Kinman LA Rock guitar from ebay 2009 with the following text:
“Custom built rare one off Kinman LA ROCK PRO 2. It features an American red alder body, rock maple neck with Indian rosewood fretboard and 22 medium jumbo frets, genuine schaller floyd rose tailpiece, a Di Marzio super 3 in the bridge and two Kinman genuine single coil pickups in the neck and middle positions. Kinman also fitted a passive noise cancelling system to these pickups (I think he dubbed it the humbuster). In my opinion, it is superior to the later noise cancelling pickups as you retain genuine single coil tone.
The body is about 7/8th size to a normal S style guiar body. It’s lightweight and a real rock monster. The tone runs from funky to screaming.
The bridge pup is high gain heaven.
Image of a 1989 Kinman bass guitar neck showing makers information and date of manufacture from eBay: