1934 Gibson-made Kalamazoo KG-11 Flattop Guitar

Here's another customer instrument I've been dragging my heels on for a long time -- a nice, early-version Kalamazoo KG-11 with the desirable "small sunburst" finish and all-original fittings save the bridge pins. These make superb fingerpickers and bright, clean flatpickers that definitely sit in their own sonic space in a jam or band setting. Compared to the longer-bodied KG-14s, these are a little less punchy and a little rounder in their tone.

Work included a neck reset, fret level/dress, string ramps and adjustments at the bridge and saddle, some hairline crack repairs to the top, seam repairs to the back edges, and general cleaning and setup. It's strung with 50w-11 strings and both plays and sounds swell. Action is spot-on at the 12th fret with 3/32" E and 1/16" ADGBE height.

The original 1 3/4" width ebony nut has a chip-out in its center but it poses no issue.

This has a Brazilian rosewood fretboard with a roughly-10" radius and smallish frets. The dots are pearl and there are side dots on this fella. These have the standard Gibson 24 3/4" scale length and the neck profile is a big, soft V-shape.

It's hard to beat the cool-factor of a firestripe celluloid pickguard.

The bridge is black-finished Brazilian rosewood and, thankfully, didn't need to be reglued. I did pop the original saddle out, reshape it, and compensate it, however. The pins are new unslotted ebony ones.

These tops are ladder-braced and tend to "belly" a bunch over time before they stabilize. This one didn't move too much upwards after string-up so they must've done something a little more right with the bracing specs on this particular instrument.

While the top is solid spruce, the back, sides, and neck are solid mahogany.

These tuners were only used on the early run of Kalamazoo products. They went to some bent-over stamped plates pretty soon after this type.

The 1091 factory order number corresponds to a batch of other KG-11s in 1934.


Unknown said…
I have the same guitar. It is factory order number 1094, would that definitely place it in 1934 as well?