1933 Gibson-made Kalamazoo KG-11 Flattop Guitar

If you thought it was tedious to write about three of the essentially-same-model guitar in a row, you'd be a little bit right. That's why I saved the most interesting (historically-speaking) of the KG-11 quartet for last. This one is a first-year-of-production model and has the desirable features from '33 -- a small brown sunburst, almost-black finish around it, slightly lighter overall build, and "flat" peghead. This one also has a super-cool archtop-style elevated pickguard (I call them "bracketed pickguards" on a flattop) that oozes an early-blues presence.

While all four of these KG-11-types I've worked on generally sound very similar, this one has the mellowest voice of them all, with a healthy dose of creamier lower-mids and a less-snappy high-end. It's still a KG-11, though, which means it can bark-out and zip if you want it to. Fingerpickers and lead pickers rejoice! Still, it makes for a good chord-chucker, too.

The guitar is all original (save a new saddle) and in very good shape as it was stored in its original chip case (plus with goodies) its whole life. There's one medium-sized repaired hairline crack on the back, though, that was clearly a dryness-related injury. Work included a neck reset, repair to the bracket-arm for the pickguard, fret level/dress, side dot install, said back crack (and brace-ends) repair, a new bone saddle, and setup with 50w, 38w, 28w, 20w, 15, 11 strings. The neck deflects only ~1/64" under tension (might as well be dead straight) and it plays on-the-dot with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret.

Its specs are much like any KG-11 -- 1 3/4" nut with 1 9/16" string spacing at the nut and 2 3/8" at the bridge. The scale is 24 3/4" and the neck has a medium-big, soft-V profile to its rear. The lower bout is 14 3/4" across and the depth is 4" at the endblock. It has a 911 factory order number which, when added to the design references, places it at 1933.

These small-sunburst KGs are undeniably cool. It's a slick look. The bridges on these were also painted black, too, which gives them that "tuxedo" vibe.

This has a solid spruce, ladder-braced top, solid mahogany back, sides, and neck, and a rosewood fretboard and bridge. The nut is ebony and the (new) saddle is bone. This has its original pins, too, all-around.

The frets are the standard-issue, small and low Gibson types from the time.

As you can see, there's pickwear and usewear in evidence, but it's in pretty clean shape overall.

The saddle has good height and it's not glued, so swapping saddles for later action adjustment would be asy.

Here's the medium-sized hairline crack repair on the back. It's solid and good to go and is cleated on the inside.

The soundhole bears the Meyerholtz retail label.

Here's the original chip case that came with it...

...and the instruction books and original, cord-style strap and an old triangle-shaped celluloid pick, too.

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