1936 Gibson-made Kalamazoo KHG-11 Flattop Guitar

While I've worked on the mahogany-topped Mastertone Special squareneck versions of this same guitar style, I haven't worked on this official KHG-11 "Hawaiian" model before. It was originally made with a tall nut and non-compensated saddle for raised-string, slide/Hawaiian play like on a Dobro -- and that's how it came into the shop via its owner for some TLC.

I converted it over to "Spanish" style and I'm happy to say it's a big success -- this guitar has a more-lush, fuller sound than your average KG-11, but loses a tiny bit of snap, two frets of access, and a narrower nut to gain that extra presence.

It's a good-looking guitar and has the "rooftop" K'zoo headstock shape, black-to-medium-brown "spotlight" sunburst look, firey pickguard, and sports no cracks. That, alone, is a rarity.

Work included: a neck reset, fret level/dress, bridge recut and saddle-slot relocation, side dots install, recut of the original bone nut, a new compensated bone saddle, general cleaning, and a setup. The neck is straight and action is spot-on at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret. I have it strung with 52w-11 gauges but it could probably take 12s just fine.

Scale length: 24 3/4"
Nut width: 1 32/32"
String spacing at nut: 1 5/8"
String spacing at bridge: 2 3/8"
Body length: 17 3/8"
Lower bout width: 14 3/4"
Waist width: 9"
Upper bout width: 9 7/8"
Side depth at endpin: 4 1/8"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: mahogany
Bracing type: ladder
Fretboard: Brazilian rosewood, bone nut
Bridge: Brazilian rosewood, new bone saddle
Neck feel: medium-big soft V, ~10" board radius

Condition notes: converted from Hawaiian setup, all-original save new bridge pins and saddle, one replacement (but period-correct) tuner shaft/button/gear set, very minor usewear throughout. It's rare that a clean KG like this comes through my shop.


chris evans said…
Jake, selling this one?

Jake Wildwood said…
Chris: it's available from Collar City Guitars:

chris evans said…
Thanks Jake, love to compare it to the standard model!
Unknown said…
Jake - I'm a K'Zoo KHG-14 owner since the early 70's when I was in high school. I'd missed out on a 1930s refinished J-45 so when this pre-ward K'zoo came up it sounded spectacular and I bought it.
What I find interesting about it is that it's X-braced Vs. the typical ladder-bracing of yours and every other K'oo I've seen.
The explanations I've heard vary from "it may have been a custom build" to "there's more tension in a Hawaiian set up" (but your's is ladder-braced) to "they would back in the day run out of tops and just reach over and grab one from the Gibson 000 line up".
Any thoughts? Anything you've heard?
Thanks in advance!