Kalamazoo KG-14 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1936)

Kalamazoo  KG-14 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1936)
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Item # 9694
Prices subject to change without notice.
Kalamazoo KG-14 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1936), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, molded black plastic hard shell case.
This is a somewhat worn-in but fine-playing Kalamazoo most likely built in 1936; the factory order number on the neckblock is mostly obscure but appears to end in a B suffix designating that year. The 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. These Kalamazoos tend to have a bright but well-balanced sound with bit of a "twang' adding a slightly bluesy edge.

The KG-14 was the larger of the Kalamazoo flat-top models; the 14 3/4" wide body is the same as used on Gibson's L-00, but the spruce top is ladder-braced and the neck has no adjustable truss rod. The neck on this guitar is a sharp "V" profile typical of 1930s Gibsons. The top is finished in standard Gibson sunburst with a bound sound hole edge and single layer white celluloid outer binding, with a "Firestripe" celluloid pickguard.

Less expensive guitars like the KG-14 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, never to return. This one is more lightly built than some, a good player with plenty of volume and a nice gigging pre-war guitar with a cool vibe.
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 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This guitar has some wear and repair but is in excellent playing condition. The original finish has dings, dents and scrapes but no really heavy wear; the most notable is some deeper scraping to the back and back edges in several places. The top shows heavy checking but very little pickwear and remains quite attractive; the color in the sunburst is strong with very little fade. The top and back are crack free but there is an impact repair to the side on the lower bout below the heel. The area of wood that was pushed in has been sealed neatly but visibly, without any notable overspray.

This Kalamazoo has had the neck reset with the bridge reglued and lowered slightly and a new saddle installed. The original long spruce bridgeplate has had a small maple patch installed over the pinholes as reinforcement. The top has some bellying behind the bridge as is common with these but is structurally sound. The tuners are modern repros, correct in style for the period and there is a strap button added at the heel. This is a depression era guitar playable to a more modern standard while staying true to its original character. While this is perhaps not the cleanest KG-14 we have ever had it is one of the better playing and sounding. Excellent - Condition.