7/24/2015

1930s Gibson-made Kalamazoo KG-11 Flattop Guitar




With a squashed-00 size, Gibson 24 3/4" scale, and 14-fret neck joint, these KG-11s make a perfect "cozy on the couch" guitar while also having plenty of volume and tone for a jam. They've become very popular guitars these days and their sound suits fingerpickers, especially, while also being able to hop around in old-time, early country, and blues genres quite easily.

This particular guitar lacks a factory order number inside so I can't for sure date it, but the small sunburst finish and general style makes me assume 1933-1935 production -- which is a little earlier-on. This guitar is (amazingly) crack-free and the finish is in overall great shape, though it does have the usual pickwear around the soundhole that these non-pickguard KG-11s tend to have. Everything is original equipment on the guitar save the strings and new bone saddle.


Work on the guitar included a light bridge shave/polish, new bone saddle, fret level/dress, pin-hole fill/re-drill, cleaning, and general setup. The bridge is only 1/16" lower than it was to begin with, which was necessitated by the deflection of the top after stringing (unfortunately). It plays well with a straight neck at 1/16" treble and 3/32" bass action height at the 12th fret. I've got it strung with GHS 50w-11 strings as I don't recommend 54w-12 on the earlier Kalamazoos (they seem to be more lightly braced) for standard tuning.


The mahogany on the neck gets a nice "show-through" via a sunbursted headstock. The ebony nut is original and nut width is 1 3/4" with a medium rounded-V neck profile.


Pearl dots in a radiused Brazilian rosewood board. These frets are the original Gibson stock and are low and small, just like usual.


Who doesn't like the look of that tuxedo binding on the big soundhole?



The bridge pins and endpin are original -- which is pretty nice to have.





The original tuners lubed-up just fine.








The guitar comes with its original old faux-gator brown chip case.

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