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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
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last message by fuzzbass

Kalamazoo Restoration KB bass
8 replies
last message by jules



Latest posts on Kalamazoo guitars at the VintageGuitar forum
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Trying to identify a Kalamazoo
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last message by Holasteve

Kalamazoo one off? Prototype? very early model?
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last message by tatsuo



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Kalamazoo guitars for sale


US ebay listings

1960s Kalamazoo KG-2 electric guitar vintage PELHAM BLUE two pickup

Current price: $650.00
buy it now
Time left: 11d 18h 50m
Gibson Kalamazoo Orange Firestripe Guitar Pickguard KG-11 KG-14 KG-12 KGN-12

Current price: $34.95
buy it now
Time left: 8h 26m
Gibson Kalamazoo KG-21 KG-16 archtop guitar pickguard tortoise shell

Current price: $29.95
buy it now
Time left: 27d 9h 33m
1939 Kalamazoo KG-14

Current price: $1750.00
buy it now
Time left: 7d 18h 59m
1930's Kalamazoo KG-14 Acoustic Guitar Free Shipping Vintage

Current price: $3827.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 1h 27m
KALAMAZOO 1965 KG-2A/ Red Vintage FREESHIPPING from JAPAN

Current price: $1110.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 11h 14m
1967 Kalamazoo KG-1A RED Electric Guitar Free Shipping

Current price: $1031.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 12h 2m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 SG GUITAR NECK GOOD (EZZ)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 22h 53m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JENNY)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 14d 22h 32m
Vintage 1960s Kalamazoo KG II by Gibson Truss Rod Cover #2934

Current price: $24.99
buy it now
Time left: 27d 20h 46m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JULIE)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 14h 40m
Kalamazoo/KG-1A RED 1967 w/hard case Free shipping Guiter From JAPAN #G100

Current price: $865.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 19h 45m
Vintage 1960's Kalamazoo Gibson KG-2 Body, Red

Current price: $54.99
buy it now
Time left: 11d 13h 37m
Kalamazoo KG-11 1935

Current price: $2915.00
buy it now
Time left: 7h 57m
Vintage 1941 Kalamazoo KG-32 Archtop Acoustic Guitar With Original Soft Case

Current price: $1999.99
buy it now
Time left: 1d 22h 14m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

gibson kalamazoo kg 14 guitar

Current price: £1250.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 14h 50m
1930's Kalamazoo KG-14 Acoustic Guitar Free Shipping Vintage

Current price: £2946.57
buy it now
Time left: 13d 1h 27m
1960s Kalamazoo KG-2 electric guitar vintage PELHAM BLUE two pickup

Current price: £500.46
buy it now
Time left: 11d 18h 50m
1967 Kalamazoo KG-1A RED Electric Guitar Free Shipping

Current price: £793.81
buy it now
Time left: 13d 12h 2m
Gibson Kalamazoo Orange Firestripe Guitar Pickguard KG-11 KG-14 KG-12 KGN-12

Current price: £26.91
buy it now
Time left: 8h 26m
Gibson Kalamazoo KG-21 KG-16 archtop guitar pickguard tortoise shell

Current price: £23.06
buy it now
Time left: 27d 9h 33m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JULIE)

Current price: £134.74
buy it now
Time left: 3d 14h 40m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 SG GUITAR NECK GOOD (EZZ)

Current price: £134.74
buy it now
Time left: 22h 53m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JENNY)

Current price: £134.74
buy it now
Time left: 14d 22h 32m
Vintage 1960s Kalamazoo KG II by Gibson Truss Rod Cover #2934

Current price: £19.24
buy it now
Time left: 27d 20h 46m
Vintage 1960's Kalamazoo Gibson KG-2 Body, Red

Current price: £42.34
buy it now
Time left: 11d 13h 37m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

Kalamazoo KG-11 sunburst 1930s

Current price: €1650.00
buy it now
Time left: 5h 7m
See more results on eBay here

There are 6 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
virgil stice Comment left 19th May 2014 19:07:58
My mom has a kalamazo guitar,with the numbers 3803G-16.Need info if gibson made it or martin made it??????
Jacqueline Wyman Comment left 7th January 2016 08:08:27
I had a v body style Kalamazoo electric guitar in the late 70s and have not seen any anywhere.. Not sure of the year.. :/ Mine was red.. Could you let me know if you know where I can find information on this guitar please ? Thank you... JAX
Hal Comment left 1st April 2016 22:10:35
I have a flat top Gibson Kalamazoo. No numbers, but the label inside says Made in U.S.A. by Gibson Inc. Kalamazoo Mich. Stamped into the rear of the head is what looks like Made in USA. The fingerboard is short, and joins the body at the 12th fret. Sunburst finish with fake tortoise shell pick guard.Plain white purfling and edge to sound hole. The bridge is white a NOT angled. Can anyone give me some indication as to authenticity (guide only ) and possible year of manufacture. Cheers.
Jim Comment left 10th April 2016 20:08:15
Hi, I have a Kalamazoo 1930's mandolin and recently went to the luthier for a couple of cracks that has to be repair. Now the instrument is in good condition and playable as well. If possible i want to have some informations on that vintage instrument and the value of it on the actaul market. Regards, Jim
SIMON Comment left 12th May 2016 05:05:12
Thinking of selling a pre war Kalamazoo acoustic - serial number DK 3862. It's in very good condition with original case - I'd love to know an estimated value so I'm not ripped off. Can anyone help?
Annabelle Crow Comment left 6th September 2016 15:03:42
Hal, your Kalamazoo sounds like mine- stamp saying made in USA on back of head, label inside,firestripe pick guard. Only difference is that the neck of mine joins the body at the 14th fret. Mine belonged to my father and I believe it dates from 1935, give or take a few years. I think you can be certain that yours is authentic.

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