5/22/2015

1939 Gibson-made Kalamazoo KG-14 Flattop Guitar




So, this is #3 KG-14 guitar in the last few days and it's also a consignment. This one is the most played-in of the batch and has the most general use-wear, though it's also the most "classic" of the bunch. Typical KG-14 style applies: L-00 body shape with ladder-bracing, 24 3/4" Gibson scale, and 1 3/4" nut width. Because this is a '39, the neck profile is a little more of a hybrid C/V shape rather than a typical V neck. It feels closer to that 40s/50s Gibson profile.

My work included a bridge shave and reglue, new bone saddle, new ebony pins all around, fret level/dress, tuner lube, and general setup. It plays like a champ and sounds especially nice for fingerpicked ragtime, blues, and folky styles. As usual, when used as a flatpicker it has a punchy, loud voice that sits nicely in a mix if you want some clarity and volume to cut through.



The top is solid spruce and the back and sides are solid mahogany. The only top cracks are an "along the pickguard" crack which I cleated-up and filled and a couple tiny not-through hairlines above the soundhole near the fretboard end.


This has the later Kalamazoo peghead shape. The ebony nut is original.


Brazilian rosewood, radiused fretboard with pearl dots. The frets are the usual vintage smallish Gibson stock and even after the fret level/dress are in good order height-wise.



As you can see, the bridge had been and needed a bit more shaving to deal with the somewhat bellied top. The top is stable in service, though, and action is dialed-in at 3/32" bass and 1/16" treble. I added a bridge plate cap made of "strapping brace" stock (soundboard spruce) just like the bridge plate/flat brace itself. This is to give the ball-ends a bit more grab before the saddle.


Pretty nice sunburst, huh?



The back is one-piece and has only one hairline crack -- about 3" right in the middle -- which is not visible inside and good to go/tight. No need to cleat it as it isn't through.


The EK factory order number stamp dates this to '39.


Check out all that fun old crazing to the finish.







The only side crack is this small little old-repair "ding" near the heel.

1 comment:

Warren Grice said...

This machine is awesome! Wow!