1934 Gibson-made Model 926 Carson Robison Flattop Guitar

Carson Robison-branded Gibson Kalamazoos were sold via the Montgomery Ward "Recording King" line in the '30s. I mostly see the KG-14 version (Model K or 1115) of this guitar out and about, but to my surprise a consignor sent in two of these KG-11 versions (Model 926) with factory order numbers only a little ways apart.

I always have fondness for KG-11s when they're in the shop and the pair of these have the prototypical sound for them -- with  much of the snap of the bigger KG-14 but a much-more relaxed and full lower-mids voice which makes them much-better "folksy" guitars. You can strum or pick on these old-time style and not feel like you need to veer into fingerpicked country-blues or ragtime specifically, though the sound is decidedly voiced for mids-and-highs.

Work included a neck reset, cleats and a fill/seal job to a longer hairline crack on the back (the only crack on the guitar), fret level/dress, a new compensated bone saddle, side dots, a fresh set of ebony pins all-around, and a good setup with 50w, 38w, 28w, 20w, 15, 11 strings. It plays perfectly with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. The neck deflects ~1/64" under tension as most Kalamazoo-style guitars do, though this measurement is negligible as the average "straight" truss-rodded neck is deflected that much at least on one side of the neck when "in-spec."

It has the same specs as most KG-11s -- 1 3/4" nut width with 1 9/16" string spacing at the nut and 2 3/8" at the bridge. The scale is 24 7/8" with a medium, soft-V profile to the back of the neck. The lower bout is 14 3/4" across and it has 4" depth at the endblock. The factory order at the neckblock is 1252 which means 1934 production.

The top is really interesting in that the seam between panels of spruce is at the bass side of the bridge rather than on-center. Its slightly-earlier twin has the same location for the top seam. It's possible that this is a 3-piece top but it doesn't appear to be from visual inspection.

Materials are the usual -- solid mahogany back, sides, and neck with a solid spruce (ladder braced) top. The nut is ebony and the bridge and fretboard are rosewood.

How about that nice tall saddle?

Here's a closeup of the cleated and sealed hairline crack on the center-seam of the back. It's good to go.

I installed cleats running its length on the inside.

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