2/27/2016

1930s Gibson-made Kalamazoo KTG-11 Tenor Guitar




Sorry, folks! I know these Kalamazoo tenors are very popular but this one isn't for sale -- it's a customer's instrument. It's miraculously crack-free and the only work it really needed was a fret level/dress, bridge reglue, and good setup. I also swapped-in some geared, older, banjo pegs for the owner to replace the original friction pegs.

The squat form of the KTG-11 body is immediately comparable to a Martin 0-18T's shape, though the Kalamazoo is a bit wider on the lower bout and ladder-braced instead. Tonally, these have a great, punchy, clear, and warm-bottomed tone that suits octave mandolin "GDAE" tuning quite well -- which is how I've strung this for the owner.

I think this guitar dates from around 1937-1938 considering its looks and build, though there's no factory order number stamped inside to trace it exactly.


These are solid spruce over solid mahogany. This one is all-original save tuners and bridge/endpins.



Nice Brazilian rosewood is used for the board and bridge.

I've got this strung up with a custom GDAE tuning set at 46w, 30w, 18w, 12. It's a nice match for the ladder bracing as these guitars can get a bit "huffy" if strung more heavily. The scale is 22 7/8" per Gibson standard lengths.



Like a lot of Gibson's Kalamazoo guitars, the original bone saddle is under-cut for the saddle-slot length. I've recompensated the top of it, too, for better intonation with the GDAE string set. Action is dialed a flat 1/16" 12th fret, though the low G string is just a hair higher.







1 comment:

Aaron C Keim said...

Hey Jake- I have the same one labeled Kalamazoo Senior with slightly different appointments. Great guitar!