Kalamazoo Model KG Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1933)

Kalamazoo  Model KG Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1933)
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Item # 8437
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Kalamazoo Model KG Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1933), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 652, sunburst lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown chipboard case.

This guitar is a very early example of the unique smaller-bodied flat top from Gibson's pre-WWII budget Kalamazoo line, the KG-11. This first-year version from 1933 was actually simply called the 'Model KG" and has no Gibson brand equivalent; it was specifically designed as no-frills as possible. All versions feature an oddly truncated body; compared to the more upscale KG-14 or Gibson's L-00 it looks rather like the top of the upper bouts were simply lopped off. It is actually quite a sensible and good-sounding design, built of the same quality materials as period Gibson flat tops but simply ladder-braced and without an adjustable truss rod.

The top is single-bound with a dark sunburst finish showing a very small highlighted area typical of the mid-1930's, a triple-bound soundhole, and on this earliest version no pickguard. The headstock is sharply squared on the top with a white screened Kalamazoo logo and black plastic button strip tuners. The fairly chunky neck has a typical Gibson "V" profile and 14 frets to the body. This guitar plays very well and is an excellent choice for finger-style or slide blues playing; the ladder-braced top results in a sound perhaps best described as halfway between a Gibson and an old Stella. A cool and fairly rare first-generation version of this depression-era gem.
Overall length is 37 1/2 in. (95.2 cm.), 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 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.). Overall a very well preserved Kalamazoo, amazingly original and an excellent player. It has had a neck set and refret, and the original bridge lacquered-over looks to have been reglued. There is one long repaired crack on the bass side from the waist area back ; no other cracks are evident. The dark sunburst finish shows numerous dings, dents and scrapes but remains quite attractive with no large areas of loss. This guitar even retains often missing components including the original tuners, bridge pins and endpin, and still resides in the original chipboard case. Excellent - Condition.