Kalamazoo KG11 c 1933 | $1450 |
Kalamazoo KG11 c 1933 | $1450 | It’s pretty well known that the Great Depression caused Gibson to rethink its marketing strategy and create a ‘budget’ line of instruments. The line was called the Kalamazoo, named after the hometown of the venerable guitar factory. Included in the production were flat tops, arch tops and mandolins, among others. The earliest we’ve seen date to about 1933 and continue through the end of the ‘30s and into the early ‘40s. They must have been good sellers, because many seem to appear on the market today.
What differentiated the Kalamazoo line from the general Gibson line? The quality of the materials and workmanship were the same as most Gibsons. But Kalamazoos lacked a truss rod and were ladder braced, which saved the company a bit of material and production costs.
This example is among the earliest we’ve seen. Besides the ‘800’ series FON the guitar exhibits the squared-off and tapered head stock, both top and back binding, un-kerffed lining, and an attractive small sunburst, typical of early ‘30 Gibson flat tops. An astute observer might ask, “But why does this KG have a Gibson logo in scrip on the headstock?” Yeah, it looks ‘factory’, but it appears to have been done (and quite well) years ago by a prior owner who just couldn’t live with the fact he owned a ‘budget’ guitar.
Any Gibson from this time period is generally a well-made guitar constructed with top quality materials, and this KG is no exception. Beautiful small sunburst spruce top, complete with a fire stripe pickguard, and a one piece mahogany back. Both top and back are bound in white celluloid, as is the sound hole. The neck is mahogany. The fingerboard and bridge are Brazilian rosewood. All components on the guitar appear original except for the saddle: tuners, nut, bridge pins and finish.
The lower bout measures 14 3/4” across. Scale length is 24 7/8” and fingerboard is 1 3/4” across at the nut.
This guitar sparkles. There are no apparent repairs, and only a few nick, dings or scratches to reveal its age and use. The frets show minimal play wear. The neck was recently reset, and the frets leveled and dressed.
It plays easily, is very lightweight, and puts out a solid acoustic sound, a great finger style guitar!
Comes with its original Geib soft case in very good condition.
Check out the sound clip.