1976 Gibson L-6S Custom, 1978 Guild B302F bass, 1967 Fender Coronado guitar
1976 Gibson L-6S Custom1978 Guild B-302F1967 Fender Coronado
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Vintage guitar parts for sale

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Vintage Kalamazoo

Guitars, basses and amplifiers

Kalamazoo guitars

Kalamazoo is, of course, a city famous for it's guitars. It was the hometown of Gibson for most of the twentieth century, until 1984; many people would say the best Gibson guitars ever built were the Kalamazoo-built models.

But Gibson also produced a US-built budget line in the 1930s, and again in the mid-late 1960s, and these guitars were branded Kalamazoo - in honour of the town in which they were produced.

1930s-40s Kalamazoo

In the years before and during the second world war, the Kalamazoo line consisted of acoustic guitars, banjos and mandolins; relatively well-built with quality woods, but definitely a cut below Gibsons of the same period.

1960s Kalamazoo KB basses

The 1960s solid body Kalamazoo KG guitars and Kalamazoo KB basses came in two body body styles; Fender Mustang-style, then later SG-style; from top to bottom 1966 Kalamazoo KG2a, 1966 KB bass, 1967 KB bass (SG style).

1960s Kalamazoo

1966 Kalamazoo catalogue

In the mid-1960s, guitar sales increased dramatically; though many of these sales were to new players, inspired by the rock and roll and beat booms of the previous years. A high-end Gibson was out of the question to these players, so Gibson re-introduced the Kalamazoo line, with great sucess.

There was one acoustic guitar, the KG10, four versions of a solid body electric the KG1/KG1A/KG2/KG2A, and the KB bass.

To keep the solid bodies cheap, Gibson used cheap wood and easy non-skilled construction. The bodies were actually some sort of chipboard/fibreboard, outsourced to a toilet seat manufacturer in Wisconsin. Necks were bolt-on, electronics were assembled on the pickguard, remote from the guitar and simply screwed on. They did have the foresight to use all Gibson hardware - admittedly some of it was obsolete, having been replaced on Gibson models, but it was still quality hardware none the less. Another nod to Fender came in the Fender Mustang style body of the early KG guitar and KB bass. This was later updated to an SG style. Kalamazoo KG guitar shipping figures do not show body styles, but the Mustang body shape seems to be more abundant.

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Latest posts on Kalamazoo basses at the VintageGuitar forum
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Kalamazoo KB bass
2 replies
last message by fuzzbass
03/06/2013 06:39

Kalamazoo Restoration KB bass
8 replies
last message by jules
26/12/2012 19:53

Latest posts on Kalamazoo guitars at the VintageGuitar forum
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Trying to identify a Kalamazoo
1 replies
last message by Holasteve
31/05/2015 07:04

Kalamazoo one off? Prototype? very early model?
9 replies
last message by tatsuo
01/11/2014 11:39

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Kalamazoo guitars for sale

US ebay listings


Current price: $859.00
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Time left: 5d 7h 49m
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UK ebay listings

Kalamazoo Kg 14 Acoustic Guitar by Gibson 1937-1940.

Current price: £495.00
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Time left: 4h 29m
Gibson Kalamazoo KG2 Solid Guitar.1966

Current price: £329.00
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German ebay listings

Kalamazoo KG17?? von 1937

Current price: €53.00
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Time left: 5d 20h 38m
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There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
virgil stice Comment left 19th May 2014 18:06:58
My mom has a kalamazo guitar,with the numbers 3803G-16.Need info if gibson made it or martin made it??????

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