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I have the freight train blues, boxcars on my mind - Bill Jackson, Freight Train Blues

Author Topic: Kalamazoo KG-14  (Read 8762 times)

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Offline Michael Stec

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Kalamazoo KG-14
« on: February 02, 2008, 11:23:32 PM »
Hello all,
      I'm putting the word out and when I saw the post from the gentleman looking for an L-00 I thought I'd try here. I am searching for a Kalamazoo KG-14 in very good to excellent condition. I'm cool with doing a neck reset or refret,etc., but no bellying or badly damaged finish that I could not correct. I'm taking my time as I want this to be my main axe. I appreciate any help you can give me in this matter. I can be reached here or by my email address on my profile. Again, thank you for your consideration. Michael.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2008, 12:59:27 AM »
Welcome to Weenie Campbell, Michael.

I had a KG-14 for a while but unfortunately its tone had been ruined by a refinish job and I was too dumb to realize it 'til I had it for a while. But I have played several and, being a ladder bracing fan, I think many of them have a very good tone. If you are just going for looks, I understand, but in terms of sound, a small belly is not necessarily an issue and can actually be a good thing in a ladder braced instrument. Generally they are very stable, having been like that for a good long time, and efforts to "correct" them are misguided and usually won't affect tone, except negatively. Of course, the bridge needs to be situated correctly to accommodate intonation and action. Minor compared to the neck set many will need.

So I would recommend playing every one you can get your hands on, regardless of whether it has a belly or not. You may be surprised.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline rjtwangs

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2008, 01:15:08 AM »
Hey Michael welcome to Weenie Campbell, I hope that you have good luck with your search. I have located and made a deal for a beautiful 1936 Gibson L00, and I could not be happier. Just be patient and you will definitely find your guitar. I absolutely understand the desire for a good, clean instrument, I feel the same way. Again, welcome and best of luck!

RJ

Offline markm

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 11:49:26 AM »
You are looking for a great guitar.  But I think you might have to accept a little top bellying.  They are very lightly built guitars and if one has stayed strung up for the last 70 years it is bound to belly a little.  I see alot of Kg-14's with good finishes so that is not so unrealistic but a little mojo goes a long way with a KG-14.  Mine is beat to shit but it wails.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Mark

Offline onewent

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 02:18:03 PM »
Welcome aboard, Michael .. it's all about the seach ! 
If you really want something different, Fred Oster at vintage-instruments.com has a KG14 (converted from Hawaiin) 12-fret w/ x-bracing .. price seems double of what you'd pay for a clean ladder braced, but it's a poor mans L-00, and they appear to be the hot, hot, hot guitar of the moment!
If I see anything, I'll give you a heads-up..regards, Tom


Here's one of interest:
http://www.vintageoneguitars.com/41kg12.html
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 03:56:58 PM by onewent »

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 05:55:52 PM »
I picked up my Kalamazoo converted KHG-14 at Bernunzio Vintage Instruments. They don't have anything but keep checking they usually do. Another good resource for Kalamazoos is Buffalo Bros.
Good Luck.
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline Michael Stec

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 11:38:58 PM »
First of all, thanks for the warm welcome. I very much appreciate it as well as your comments. I realize that we are all busy and I recognize the time and effort required to answer a stranger's post. So thanks! OK, "mojo" vs cleaner condition. The problem is me. I have a new Gibson Legend Series L-00. It was "distressed" at the factory. Now, I could shine it up with special polish and remove the scratches and it would look brand new. Problem is ...I LOVE it the way it is. I've had a couple National Duolians from the early thirties. Sold the ones with mojo and kept a 1932 that's as clean as I've ever seen. Bottom line, I like my new guitars old and my old guitars new. Go figure. I guess with the KG-14 the thing is that when I say I want one in very good to excellent condition I realize that is in the context of all Kalamazoos and they all seem to be a little rough. At this time in my life I am fortunate to have the time and money to not buy the first one on Ebay, get it set up, and then find a much nicer one and have to sell the first and set up the new one. Frankly, I'm tired of buying and selling guitars. Then I would like to add my own mojo to the guitar! As far as the bellying, if the action can be adjusted for comfortable play, I can certainly accept a certain amount. Patience has never been my strong suit so this time I'm just hoping that good things happen to those who wait. Again, thanks for your thoughts and I look forward to many discussions in the future. Michael.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2008, 01:23:13 AM »
I have a fairly immaculate condition Kalamazoo KGN-12 'Oriole' (see picture on left) from 1941.  This was the top-of-the-range model introduced by Gibson when the Kalamazoo range was doing well (probably better than they expected) and it has maple back and sides.  That would normally not be my wood of choice, but the instrument came my way at a fair price when I could afford it (from my good friend, Willie Salomon - see www.williesalomon.com for some fine guitars).  It had not been played a great deal and over the last few years it has definitely opened up.  It has the ladder-braced bluesy tone, but is not too cheap sounding (like some guitars of that ilk).

The Oriole has a natural finish (that's the 'N' in the model code), apparently to show that the top was first class and that no inferior wood was disguised by a sunburst finish. However, I must admit I really like the look of the sunburst KG-14 and some time would welcome the opportunity to play one alongside my KGN-12, just to see what difference the mahogany makes.  If I had the money, I'd like a nice L-00, but I haven't, so there you go.

Good luck in your search, Michael.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Michael Stec

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2008, 10:18:59 AM »
Parlor Picker,
         If it's not too much trouble, could you tell me the width of the nut and the string spacing at the bridge (E to E) of your guitar. Thank You.
        Michael

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2008, 01:04:22 PM »
There's one on UK ebay right now...but the listing only specifies shipping to EU countries.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2008, 02:02:16 AM »
Parlor Picker,
         If it's not too much trouble, could you tell me the width of the nut and the string spacing at the bridge (E to E) of your guitar. Thank You.
        Michael

The width at the nut (which is ebony, by the way) is a little shy of 1 3/4".  The string spacing at the saddle is 2 3/16".  It has a nicely rounded neck profile. 

Further to other comments here, the top is very slightly bellied, but I don't regard that as detrimental.

The original Kluson tuners with ebony buttons were very creaky, so I have had them replaced by little Grover Statites, which do a good job.  Of course I've kept the originals.

Last September, Roy Book Binder played the guitar (in fact he used it on stage) and commented that it was the best condition KGN-12 he had ever encountered - and I guess he's come across a few.

There's a couple of pictures (with original tuners) at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/parlorpicker/sets/72157601123113490/

Let us know when and if you get hold of a Kally or anything for that matter.  Most of us Weenies are, I'm afraid, real guitar anoraks.

"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2010, 01:26:56 AM »
Quite a few nice guitars there!
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 07:24:03 AM »
Kalamazoos at over $2,000. Holy cow, I must be getting old.

Offline blueshome

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 08:47:26 AM »
Yep! Parlour Picker must be rubbing his hands.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Kalamazoo KG-14
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 12:50:39 AM »
Yep! Parlour Picker must be rubbing his hands.

Mmmm -- 4 grand to you Phil.  >:D
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

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