Kalamazoo KG-14 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1942)

Kalamazoo  KG-14 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1942)
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Item # 10242
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Kalamazoo KG-14 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1942), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 7026H-4 (FON), sunburst top, natural back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

The Kalamazoo KG-14 flat-top was Gibson's best "budget" guitar for the Depression era; a good-sounding and playing solid wood flat-top at an affordable price. They offered excellent value for the dollar and were popular at the time among pro and semi-pro players in many styles beyond Gibson's intended student market. These KG-14s tend to have a bright-midrange accented tone but well-balanced with a slightly "bluesy" edge.

The KG-14 was the larger of the Kalamazoo flat-tops; the 14 3/4" wide body is the same as used Gibson's L-00, but the spruce top is ladder-braced and the neck has no truss rod. The neck on this example has a comfortably rounded and surprisingly modern profile; earlier KGs had a sharp "V" style many players now find uncomfortable. The top is finished in a dark sunburst with tortoise celluloid binding, an unusual combination seen only on the very late examples. The soundhole has the outer edge bound in white celluloid.

Less expensive guitars like this were a major factor in Gibson's survival during the worst years of the great Depression but were phased out shortly after the US entered WWII. This 1942 model is a fairly rare find compared to earlier examples and would be one of the very last ones made. It has remained in better condition than many and plays well with the typical punchy midrange tone these KGs are known for.
 
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This is a nice, clean, original guitar overall with some light finish wear in the form of dings, chips, and scrapes, but no major loss. The neck has been cleanly reset and the frets dressed, making for an especially good-playing example. The bridge is original and has been reglued but never cut down, and the wartime openback Kluson tuners are intact and fully functional.

The top has some typical bellying behind the bridge (almost always the case with these ladder braced Gibsons) but is completely stable, and there are no cracks or other repairs. This is a cool example of an end-of-the-line Kalamazoo, and one of the nicer ones we have had. Overall Excellent Condition.