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Old 04-18-2024, 02:22 AM
PineMarten PineMarten is offline
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Location: Scotland
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Default Kalamazoo KG-21 archtop 1936 Gibson-built SOLD

NOW SOLD LOCALLY


Kalamazoo KG-21 archtop guitar, these were a lower priced line in the 30s and 40s made in the same factory as the full fat Gibsons. This one has a factory order number stamped inside ending in B, which most sources say means 1936. It's a small bodied archtop, solid spruce and mahogany, with a rosewood (likely Brazilian) fingerboard and bridge. The top arching on the Kalamazoo models is formed by pressing the tops over an X brace rather than carving them, which is probably the main difference from the Gibson badged models - the materials seem to be of equal quality.

Like all archtops, it can take a while to attune yourself to getting the sound out of it, and it takes a different touch to most flat tops. But once you get into it, it has bags of midrange character and a punchy, characterful sound that's great for just about any older American style - blues, ragtime, early country, swingy stuff etc. It would be especially good in a duo situation or recording with other acoustic guitars where you want a part to sit in it's own spot in the mix. It's nice to sing with too - with the dry sound and quick decay it's supportive but leaves plenty of sonic space.

It has a big V neck with the original small frets, and the nut is approx 44.5mm. The action is a reasonable 2mm high E to 2.6mm low E at the octave, and it's currently wearing John Pearse pure nickel medium strings. The neck is straight and it's been stable with these gauges the whole time I've had it (since 2008). Regarding the general condition, I can't see any obvious wood repairs. There's some checking and dings to the finish, and finish wear to the back of the neck, but pretty good for approaching 90 years. The tailpiece is a replacement, but the (broken) original is still with the guitar. Tuners are original though the gear and worm for the low E may have been replaced, keeping the original button. I think the bone nut is a replacement too, since these are usually a black material on this model. There are three small screw holes on the top near the bridge where I suspect an aftermarket surface mount pickup was once attached. It has a Hiscox Pro II case, with an added pad at the bottom to fit this guitar better.

It feels like a big decision, but I'm selling because although this is a cool guitar, it has quite a specific character, I don't have a huge collection of guitars and I feel a really good flat top would serve me better. With that in mind, I'd consider certain trades. I'm not keen on cutaways or side mounted preamps, something OOO, OM or mini jumbo size might suit me best (parlors probably not, dreadnoughts - try me).

I'm in Glasgow - with the Hiscox case it wouldn't be impossible to box it up and courier it, but I'd want it to be an insured service, though in-person is probably best.

















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Eastman E1OM 2021
Cedar/Rosewood Parlour 2003 (an early build by my luthier brother)
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Last edited by PineMarten; 04-19-2024 at 01:32 PM. Reason: guitar has sold via local adverts
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