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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
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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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Kalamazoo guitars for sale


US ebay listings

KALAMAZOO 1965 KG-2A/ Red Vintage FREESHIPPING from JAPAN

Current price: $1110.00
buy it now
Time left: 27d 15h 27m
Vintage 1965 Kalamazoo by Gibson KG-2 Signed by Steve Howe & Chris Squire #31518

Current price: $999.99
buy it now
Time left: 1d 20h 18m
1960'S GIBSON KALAMAZOO KB-1 BASS MADE IN USA VINTAGE WHITE AGED RELIC (RARE)

Current price: $779.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 3h 21m
1960s Kalamazoo KG-2 electric guitar vintage PELHAM BLUE two pickup

Current price: $650.00
buy it now
Time left: 12d 23h 3m
Vintage 1960s Gibson Kalamazoo KG-2 Red 2 Pick Ups Clean Soft Case

Current price: $450.00
buy it now
Time left: 10d 5h 35m
Kalamazoo 1968 White KG 2 Body & Neck

Current price: $179.99
buy it now
Time left: 28d 2h 54m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 SG GUITAR NECK GOOD (EZZ)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 3h 7m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JULIE)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 18h 53m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JENNY)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 16d 2h 45m
Vintage 1960s Kalamazoo KG II Body by Gibson #2946

Current price: $99.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 3h 55m
Vintage Mid 1960s Kalamazoo KG II Neck #2956

Current price: $74.99
buy it now
Time left: 11d 3h 18m
Vintage 1960's Kalamazoo Gibson KG-2 Body, Red

Current price: $54.99
buy it now
Time left: 12d 17h 51m
Vintage 1960s Kalamazoo KG II by Gibson Truss Rod Cover #2934

Current price: $24.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 59m
GIBSON KALAMAZOO KG-1, K-2 GUITAR KNOBS, 1960'S, VERY CLEAN

Current price: $14.99
buy it now
Time left: 14h 19m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

1939 Gibson Made Kalamazoo KES-R With Factory Fitted Pickup KG-14

Current price: £1650.00
buy it now
Time left: 12d 3h 12m
Vintage 1965 Kalamazoo by Gibson KG-2 Signed by Steve Howe & Chris Squire #31518

Current price: £739.36
buy it now
Time left: 1d 20h 18m
1960s Kalamazoo KG-2 electric guitar vintage PELHAM BLUE two pickup

Current price: £480.59
buy it now
Time left: 12d 23h 3m
Vintage 1960s Gibson Kalamazoo KG-2 Red 2 Pick Ups Clean Soft Case

Current price: £332.72
buy it now
Time left: 10d 5h 35m
Kalamazoo 1968 White KG 2 Body & Neck

Current price: £133.08
buy it now
Time left: 28d 2h 54m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 SG GUITAR NECK GOOD (EZZ)

Current price: £129.39
buy it now
Time left: 2d 3h 7m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JULIE)

Current price: £129.39
buy it now
Time left: 4d 18h 53m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JENNY)

Current price: £129.39
buy it now
Time left: 16d 2h 45m
Vintage 1960s Kalamazoo KG II Body by Gibson #2946

Current price: £73.93
buy it now
Time left: 29d 3h 55m
Vintage Mid 1960s Kalamazoo KG II Neck #2956

Current price: £55.45
buy it now
Time left: 11d 3h 18m
Vintage 1960's Kalamazoo Gibson KG-2 Body, Red

Current price: £40.66
buy it now
Time left: 12d 17h 51m
Vintage 1960s Kalamazoo KG II by Gibson Truss Rod Cover #2934

Current price: £18.48
buy it now
Time left: 29d 59m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

GIBSON KALAMAZOO KG-1 VINTAGE GUITAR Melody Maker PU=USA made1965/as Musicmaster

Current price: €298.97
buy it now
Time left: 2d 20h 12m
See more results on eBay here

There are 5 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?

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