1939 Gibson/Kalamazoo Unmarked Carved-Top Archtop Guitar

This guitar was snapped-up before I could even blog it and I wasn't surprised at all by that! It's a killer guitar and represents, basically a Gibson L-50 in sound and feel but with the lower price-point of an unmarked, somewhat beat-up Kalamazoo model.

During the late '30s and early '40s, there are all sorts of oddball, Kalamazoo-style guitars that came out of the factory. This one left without branding and arrived here looking gross, but with a beautiful glimmer of hope besides that because I immediately spotted that despite the Kalamazoo-type neck on it (with a budget, ebonized maple fretboard), said neck was mated to an L-50-style body with maple back and sides and a carved spruce top with tonebar bracing (the thin f-holes are the giveaway at a glance) rather than the normal, pressed-top Kalamazoo offering like you'd expect on a KG-32 or similar model. The neck is maple.

The tailpiece and tuners are replacements (though older -- late '40s or early '50s) but the rest is original. It was lefty-fied at one point but, luckily, the cool pickguard is still extant. There's a gross old crack repair that's quite long along the bass side but I've cleaned it up and reinforced it as much as possible. Other work included a fret level/dress and setup and some side dots fit. It's playing spot-on and sounds disgustingly good.


Nick R said…
The tailpiece is the same as the one on the 1941 Kay made Silvertone Crest you had, so it could well be as old or nearly as old as the guitar. I bet it does sound great. This sort of guitar does have character or Mojo as it is called, these days!