Kalamazoo KG-14 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1940)

Kalamazoo  KG-14 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1940)

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Item # 8202
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Kalamazoo KG-14 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1940), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 1457 F-37 (FON), sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This is a fairly well-worn but good playing late-issue Kalamazoo, made not too long before the restrictions of WWII ended Gibson's budget line. The KG-14 flat-top was Gibson's best "budget" guitar for the Depression era; a good-sounding and playing solid wood flat-top at an affordable price. These Kalamazoos tend to have a bright but well-balanced sound with a slightly bluesy edge.

The KG-14 was the larger of the Kalamazoo flat-tops; the 14 3/4" wide body is the same as used Gibson's L-00, but the spruce top is ladder-braced and there is no adjustable truss rod. The neck on this guitar has a comfortably rounded and surprisingly modern profile; the earlier KGs had a sharp "V" style many modern players find uncomfortable. The top is finished in a dark sunburst with a white soundhole ring but tortoise celluloid outer binding, an unusual combination seen only on some later examples.

Less expensive guitars like the KG-14 were a major factor in Gibson's survival during the worst years of the great Depression but were phased out shortly after the US entered WWII, never to return. This one is a good player with a bright but sweeter sound than many, a nice gigging pre-war guitar with some scars but a cool vibe.
 
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.). This KG-14 has some noticeable cosmetic wear - dings, dents, and scratches mostly, with some pickwear to the top and worn-away finish on the bottom back edge. It has had the neck cleanly reset and new compensated bone saddle fitted, and the bridge was cut down somewhat long ago. Otherwise it remains original, even down to the pre-war Kluson openback tuners.

The back of the neck has one fairly deep ding behind the 6th fret, but otherwise is not overly worn. There is a sealed grain crack to the top just above the pickguard edge-the typical spot. There is a more noticeable long sealed crack to the treble side from the waist nearly down o the endpin, solidly repaired but plainly visible with some very small topical touch-up. There is a decent amount of wear to back, especially the unbound lower back edge which looks to have seen some moisture exposure long ago.

This fairly well-played guitar feels great and has a more open ring than many KGs. The original tuners are still intact and working, and the finish is original with no overspray, just the small side touch-up. Not the cleanest KG-14 we have had, but a very nice sounding and especially easy playing example. Very Good + Condition.