Kalamazoo KEH Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1939)

Kalamazoo  KEH Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1939)
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Item # 8997
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Kalamazoo KEH Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1939), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # EKE-2667, brown lacquer finish, mahogany body, original tweed hard shell case.

Gibson's 1935-8 model EH-150 with the "Charlie Christian" style blade pickup is generally considered the best sounding lap steel guitar in the company's history. This 1939 Kalamazoo "KES" model is its direct descendant, offering many of the same features at a much lower price. It uses has the second generation blade pickup with the smaller magnet underneath but the same coil structure as the earlier models. This is mounted on a shaped metal plate with tone and volume knobs on either side.

The fingerboard is stenciled with simulated frets and a simple dot pattern. The bridge and nut are nickel plated metal. This is a fairly plain looking steel but built of solid mahogany to a simple but effective design, with the same peaked headstock as the better known Kalamazoo flat tops of the same period. Not flashy but a great sounding electric Hawaiian guitar nonetheless, a testament to Gibson's success in the early electric instrument field.
 
Overall length is 32 in. (81.3 cm.), 9 in. (22.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 1/2 in. (572 mm.). Width of nut is 2 in. (51 mm.).
This guitar shows general wear and tear but remains original except for a set of correct style repro tuners. The finish shows dings, dents, scrapes and some bar marks on the top. The plating has some minor corrosion but nothing too bad. The sound is great, like all the steels that share Gibson's early blade pickup, hot and sweet at the same time. A great budget steel, then and now complete in a battered but original tweed case with some actual Hawaiian travel stickers on it. Very Good + Condition.