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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.

Back to the KALAMAZOO INDEX | comment

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



Back to the KALAMAZOO INDEX | comment



Kalamazoo guitars for sale


US ebay listings

1934 Gibson built Kalamazoo KG-11 acoustic blues guitar Original Geib case

Current price: $1599.99
buy it now
Time left: 23d 20h 35m
1940 Gibson Kalamazoo KG 12 Vintage Acoustic Sunburst w/case USA

Current price: $1545.00
buy it now
Time left: 27d 2h 1m
Vintage 1930's KG-11 Kalamazoo By Gibson Sunburst Acoustic Guitar w/ case

Current price: $1450.00
buy it now
Time left: 23d 25m
*1930-40s*GIBSON MADE KALAMAZOO*PRE-WAR*KG-31*VINTAGE*16"ARCHTOP ACOUSTIC GUITAR

Current price: $899.99
buy it now
Time left: 3d 5h 7m
1930's Gibson Kalamazoo KG-21

Current price: $899.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 11h 55m
1960'S GIBSON KALAMAZOO KB-1 BASS MADE IN USA VINTAGE WHITE AGED RELIC (RARE)

Current price: $859.00
buy it now
Time left: 4h 47m
Vintage Circa 1965 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-1 Electric Guitar Plays Great w/ gig bag

Current price: $699.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 4h 35m
1960s Kalamazoo KG-2 electric guitar vintage PELHAM BLUE two pickup

Current price: $650.00
buy it now
Time left: 17d 39m
1968 Kalamazoo KG2A Electric

Current price: $599.00
buy it now
Time left: 19d 21h 41m
Vintage 1966 Kalamazoo KG 1 Cardinal Red USA by Gibson W/ case 66 60s KG 1A EXC

Current price: $525.00
buy it now
Time left: 14d 4h 27m
Rare Vintage 1960s Kalamazoo KB Bass Guitar Made in USA with Gibson EB pickup

Current price: $400.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 23h 32m
VINTAGE 1966 KALAMAZOO GIBSON KG-2 MELODY MAKER LOADED PICKGUARD,PICKUP POT GOOD

Current price: $375.00
buy it now
Time left: 20d 4h 11m
VINTAGE 1965 KALAMAZOO GIBSON KG-1 MELODY MAKER LOADED PICKGUARD,PICKUP POT GOOD

Current price: $250.00
buy it now
Time left: 20d 4h 3m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 SG GUITAR NECK GOOD (EZZ)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 4h 42m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JULIE)

Current price: $175.00
buy it now
Time left: 8d 20h 29m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

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

Current price: £1450.00
buy it now
Time left: 10d 23h 52m
1934 Gibson built Kalamazoo KG-11 acoustic blues guitar Original Geib case

Current price: £1023.50
buy it now
Time left: 23d 20h 35m
1940 Gibson Kalamazoo KG 12 Vintage Acoustic Sunburst w/case USA

Current price: £988.33
buy it now
Time left: 27d 2h 1m
Vintage Circa 1965 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-1 Electric Guitar Plays Great w/ gig bag

Current price: £447.15
buy it now
Time left: 4d 4h 35m
1960s Kalamazoo KG-2 electric guitar vintage PELHAM BLUE two pickup

Current price: £415.80
buy it now
Time left: 17d 39m
Vintage 1966 Kalamazoo KG 1 Cardinal Red USA by Gibson W/ case 66 60s KG 1A EXC

Current price: £335.84
buy it now
Time left: 14d 4h 27m
Gibson Kalamazoo KG2 Solid Guitar.1966

Current price: £329.00
buy it now
Time left: 19h 33m
VINTAGE 1966 KALAMAZOO GIBSON KG-2 MELODY MAKER LOADED PICKGUARD,PICKUP POT GOOD

Current price: £239.88
buy it now
Time left: 20d 4h 11m
VINTAGE 1965 KALAMAZOO GIBSON KG-1 MELODY MAKER LOADED PICKGUARD,PICKUP POT GOOD

Current price: £159.92
buy it now
Time left: 20d 4h 3m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 SG GUITAR NECK GOOD (EZZ)

Current price: £111.95
buy it now
Time left: 6d 4h 42m
VINTAGE 1960'S GIBSON / KALAMAZOO BRAND KG-1 KG-2 GUITAR NECK GOOD (JULIE)

Current price: £111.95
buy it now
Time left: 8d 20h 29m
Original Vintage 1968 Gibson Kalamazoo Pickguard KG-2 KG-2A 1966 1967 0320PG1

Current price: £101.71
buy it now
Time left: 19d 7h
Vintage 1968 Gibson Kalamazoo KG Neck Project KG-1 KG-2 KG-1A KG-2A

Current price: £95.31
buy it now
Time left: 14d 2h 52m
Vintage 1968 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-2A SG Body Project Original Finish

Current price: £81.24
buy it now
Time left: 17d 1h 56m
Vintage 1966 Gibson Sgl Coil Pickup Melody Maker Kalamazoo KG-2 1967 1968 0320 1

Current price: £44.14
buy it now
Time left: 19d 7h
See more results on eBay here

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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