2/11/2016

Workshop: Kalamazoo Trolls


I received a nasty comment a little bit ago on one of my KG-11 posts to the effect that I lied about tuners and saddles and was presenting a guitar incorrectly for some sort of advantage.

I just want to clear something up: Gibson did not always do flawless work on their guitars and all of the Kalamazoos I've had come through (with original saddles) show saddles that are undercut for their slots. I've thus taken some photos of an unmolested KG-11 that's awaiting work right now to share.




See how it's squared-off and doesn't go to the end of the slot?


The other comment was regarding tuners that appeared to be rust-free as being non-original. Huh? The tuners of this type used on Gibsons and Ka'zoos from this period are curious in that they seem to be either 1) some odd alloy or 2) have some sort of coating put on them in that their baseplates look almost aluminum (though they're steel and can get rust-spotting).

My point being; believe me -- if I wanted to lie about instruments and work I've done to my audience I'd just keep my mouth shut and not describe everything odd about a guitar. It'd make for easier and faster sales -- but that's not my only priority in business.

8 comments:

Alex Robinson said...

Yeah Jake. Fair call. I have bought many instruments from you and sent many to you for repair including sending a Guitar all the way from Australia for repair.
I'm either an idiot (we won't go there) or I wholeheartedly trust you and your judgement. You don't always get it perfect, but such is the nature of the instruments you work with that thankfully perfection doesn't exist. That's the Beauty of what you do and what you work with.
I'm behind you 100%. You are more than fair, certainly to me, and VERY TRUSTWORTHY. If freight wasn't as expensive as it is, I would send a lot more from Australia to you.
What I've found in Life is that some people would rather mind other people's business because they can't deal with their own lot.
Keep doing what you do Jake and know that you have a lot of satisfied customers all over The World.
Take Care My Man
ATB
Alex

Michael Mulkern said...

Jake,

For every obnoxious troll who comes here to display his pettiness and ignorance, please realize that there are scores of grateful people like me who see tremendous value in your blog and who have the highest regard for your expertise, professionalism and integrity. Keep doing what you're doing. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Jake, I check out your page nearly daily and love your posts and detail. Apparently this person hasn't looked at your "museum" because they hadn't realized that you have worked on at least 25 documented cases of Kalamazoo guitars, not to mention all the other brand names Gibson used for essentially the same guitars. Haters just be hatin'. Thanks for all you do...-a faithful reader

Shane Johnson said...

Jake has always been fair and honest in my dealings with him, and I have traded and bought several instruments with him over the past few years. His descriptions are always thorough, often describing faults that could make it harder to sell an instrument. As a person who has owned several Kalamazoo guitars and 3 KG-11s I can honestly say that there is no absolute. Gibson was not the most consistent in their guitar making back then. I also have a 1933 KG-11 (the first year of that model guitar), and my tuners have very little rust whatsoever. They look very similar to the ones pictured.

TrueNorth17 said...

Jake- Please know, as I know you do, that I am one of many, many guitar and music lovers who admire your talent and integrity. I am a great admirer of your blog and have learned so much from it. You have deepened my knowledge and appreciation of vintage guitars and all manner of unusual and eccentric fretted instruments. To those of us here in Vermont who have gotten to know you there is no doubt that you are a fellow traveler. And for the record, I have purchased several instruments from you and you are as honest as the day is long. Period. So take these negative comments from whence they come, my friend; there are, sadly, those folks who just don't get it.....

Jake Wildwood said...

Thanks thanks thanks fellas. I didn't mean this to be a rally -- I just wanted to set the record straight on this'n. :)

Nick R said...

I don't own any Gibson made acoustic guitars. However, my guitar man tells me things about the many years of guitar manufacture by Gibson and some of the changes in process that have been less than perfect- and all manner of other little wrinkles that he has seen and picked up in over 50 years of experience- and the experience of other that went before him.
I'm sure that on the cheaper guitars as you have noted there were small corners cut and other aspects that can be identified that do not really affect the guitar but show that these guitars were made to a strict budget when times were very hard. Pointing them out is of interest and is part of the description of the guitar-for somebody to insinuate that you have a vested interest in misrepresenting these guitars for your own ends is at best laughable while at worst is perhaps some form of professional jealousy. If these is an issue than this can be debated by stating facts and not by trading in innuendo. Whoever made the comments should "put up or shut up" and I suppose the latter option is the reality. A drive by troublemaker with an axe to grind.

Anonymous said...

Still lovin my VEGA
& all I wanna say:
Jake for president!

Greetings,
Frank