1934 Gibson-created Kalamazoo KG-11 Flattop Guitar

I genuinely take pleasure in KG-11s and, contemplating that there’s 7 or 8 a lot more of them to be repaired about here, that’s great news for me! A customer chosen this from the bunch on-hand, and now that repairs are completed, it just requirements to settle-in and then will be cleared for shipping.
This one particular has a factory order number of 1171 on the neckblock which states that it is a 1934 construct — though the tiny sunburst and straight-reduce headstock sort-of call it out as a Kalamazoo made in the “very first batch” of 1933-34, anyway. It shares the usual KG-11 specs — a 1 three/4″ nut, usual Gibson 24 three/four” scale length, 14 five/eight” reduce bout, and a “squashed” body with a reduced-on-the-bout bridge as compared to the far more-iconic KG-14s. These design alterations compared to the KG-14 push the nut closer to the left hand, impart an overall woodier, warmer tone, and find the physique in a super-comfortable way in the lap. The sacrifice is a tiny bit of volume and punch, but for my playing style I tend to favor KG-11s most of the time as they’re a far more forgiving guitar — something a friend of mine also concluded soon after providing it a whirl proper after I’d finished work on it.
That perform included a neck reset, fret level/dress (thankfully on an already-straight neck), replacement rosewood bridge, a couple of crack repairs/cleats (a couple to the side at the bass waist and a single on the leading under the bridge), and replacement bridge pins. It’s playing spot-on with 1/16″ DGBE and 3/32″ EA action at the 12th fret. I tend to run “11s-comparable” strings on these, but with stiffer trebles — gauges 52w, 38w, 28w, 22w, 16, 12.

This has a 3-piece, solid spruce best. The back, sides, and neck are solid mahogany and the fretboard is Brazilian rosewood with a 12″ radius.

The tuners are replacements, but the ferrules are originals. Note the original ebony nut.

I add side dots standard, these days. The pearl dots and smallish Gibson frets are original, though.

I love the look of these pickguard-much less early models.

The original bridge would’ve been Brazilian rosewood with a via-cut saddle slot and “ebonized” black with a nitro finish sprayed more than it. My replacement is Indian rosewood and has a drop-in saddle slot. I re-employed the original bone saddle, however, when I match this a single.
The original bridge had split along the pins and the back edge would’ve sheared-off over time (probably 6 months after tuning-up) if I’d attempted to glue it back together and leave it. I don’t like getting to waste customers’ time with such items to preserve broken originality.

The pearl-dot ebony pins aren’t “to spec,” but I didn’t want to use the oversize pins that this came with as the holes are currently so far aft (like the original bridge).

Celluloid binding is only at the top edge and soundhole.

The tuners are 1950s units I’m utilized to seeing on Harmony guitars. I tend to have a few sets on hand and use them on guitars like this one particular, when I get the opportunity, as its original tuners were extended gone and the replacements had been terrible, super-cheap, Ping units. They operate as effectively or much better than the originals and have the very same vibe as 30s, openback machines.

The original endpin is extant, but has a small chip-out on its “bottom ring.”

Leonard Cohen: September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016

The life force smoldered to the finish. Then it departed from Leonard Cohen’s 82-year-old physique on November 7 and left in its ghostly wake a number of entryways into a towering profession that spanned six decades. If you are new to Cohen’s work, decide on any of the doors by which other individuals have gained access to the Canadian native’s art: his first book of poems Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) his novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Gorgeous Losers (1966) Judy Collin’s 1966 hit version of “Suzanne” Cohen’s debut LP Songs of Leonard Cohen Jennifer Warnes’ exquisite 1987 homage Well-known Blue Raincoat the then 53-year-old Cohen’s 1988 well-liked breakthrough I’m Your Man Jeff Buckley’s epic and historic 1994 version of “Hallelujah” the 2005 film, I’m Your Man, which documented Hal Wilner’s tribute concerts with Nick Cave, Teddy Thompson, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, U2 with Cohen, and other people or the concert recordings from Cohen’s practically nonstop touring from 2008 through 2013. Or, as many will do now, meet Leonard Cohen as he ruminates on his anticipated, probably even welcomed, death in the nine breathtaking songs on his final album, You Want It Darker, released on October 21. Deepen your familiarity by reading Sylvie Simmons’ definitive biography, I’m Your Man, and David Remnick’s probing and wrenching profile in the Oct. 17 issue of The New Yorker

Wherever you enter, it’s like stepping into 1 of numerous interconnected caves, each illuminated by words and music—even the poetry and prose flicker to musical cadences and implied melodies—that challenge, push back, but by no means fully banish the darkness at the heart of Cohen’s muse. The shadows on the walls alter from chamber to chamber: a poet’s garret at McGill University in Montreal or in London or on the Greek island of Hydra a area in the Chelsea Hotel in New York City in the late sixties a cell in a Zen monastery on Mt. Baldy in Southern California. The apparitions are the lovers Cohen addresses in his songs, God in numerous guises, terrorists, nuns, the phantoms that swirl inside Cohen’s complicated but strangely stalwart persona, seeded at birth in Westmount, Quebec, and deepened more than the decades. Cohen typically identifies these shadows as “you,” and as a listener you may possibly recognize or find out some (most usually dark) aspect of your self. Every single Cohen composition is in some way about what it indicates to be human, to be flawed, fragile, resilient, politically outraged, living, loving, worshipping, and dying.

 Nobel Prizes notwithstanding, any sampling from Cohen’s catalog—for instance, “Suzanne,” “Bird on the Wire,” “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” “Hallelujah,” “Everybody Knows,” “Tower of Song,” “Ain’t No Remedy for Adore,” “First We Take Manhattan,” “The Future,” “Democracy,” “In My Secret Life, “A Thousand Kisses Deep,” and “Going Home”—stands with the very best literary songwriting in the well-known music of any era. And coming in a year that has named residence Merle Haggard, David Bowie, Prince, Guy Clark, Ralph Stanley, George Martin, Bernie Worrell, Paul Kantner, Maurice White, Glen Frey, Scotty Moore, Bobby Vee, Leon Russell, and Mose Allison, amongst other folks, the loss of Cohen feels specially heavy, a sucker punch into the gut of philosophy, wisdom, compassion, and the quest for understanding.

As his pal Leon Wieseltier wrote in a New York Times memorial, “Leonard had an unusual inflection for darkness: He found in it an occasion for uplift. His operate is animated by a laudatory impulse, an unexpected and profoundly moving hunger to praise the globe in complete view of it. His attitude of acceptance was not founded on anything as inexpensive as happiness. … He lived in a weather of wisdom, which he developed by seeking it rather than by discovering it. … Leonard sang constantly as a sinner. He refused to describe sin as a failure or a disqualification. Sin was a situation of creatureliness, and his feeling for our creatureliness was boundless.”

Writing and singing of the body and the mind, normally the naked physique and the troubled thoughts, Cohen furnished his transitions as an artistic creature—from frustrated poet to depressive singer-songwriter to reluctant pop star to suave, sly, wry, and commanding concertizer—with music relevant to its time: the early folk-pop formulas of acoustic guitar and bass, strings, and harmony vocals, ideal heard on Songs of Leonard Cohen and Songs from a Space the sleek synth-pop of the 80s and the new millennium, introduced on Different Positions, perfected on I’m Your Man and The Future, and stripped to elegant minimalism on Ten New Songs and the sophisticated massive-band orchestrations that made the current live albums, Live in London, Songs from the Road, Reside in Dublin, and Can not Overlook: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, indispensible additions to the canon. Cohen favored steady beats or pulses, but as he became a much better, much more assured, and sexier singer, he poured his ever-deepening, increasingly gruff and affecting voice over the rhythms like honey, playing with the pace and messing with the emotional gloss.

Cohen’s farewell masterpiece, You Want It Darker, his 14th studio album and his 11th release in the 21st century, is a excellent roundup and sendoff, at once stark in its standard instrumentation and programming and lush in its theatrical arrangements of voices, keyboards, and strings. In the tapestry of Cohen’s Jewish faith, Buddhist psychology, and agnostic skepticism, the light flashes off such lines as “Hineni, hineni / I’m ready, my lord,” “I heard the snake was baffled by his skin / He shed his scales to find the snake within,” “I’m old and I’ve had to settle / On a diverse point of view,” “I’m leaving the table / I’m out of the game,” “I guess I’m just / Somebody who / Has given up on the me and you,” and “As he died to make men holy / Let us die to make issues low-cost.” It’s not only death that Cohen was staring into as he recorded You Want It Darker, but nirvana as effectively, the extinguishing of craving and suffering. He sings “We kill the flame” on the title track and “The wretched beast is tame / I don’t require a lover / So blow out the flame” on “Leaving the Table”—and adds “I’m out of the game.”

Almost 30 years ago, Cohen released I’m Your Man, as pivotal an album as Songs of Leonard Cohen and You Want It Darker. On its final track, “Tower of Song,” against a deceptively straightforward-sounding arrangement of pulsating keyboards, steel guitar, drums, percussion, and angelic women’s backing vocals (Jennifer Warnes and Jude Johnstone adding doo-wop choruses of “day doo dum dum”), he whisper-sings two of his funniest couplets: “Well, my close friends are gone and my hair is grey / I ache in the locations exactly where I used to play” and “I was born like this, I had no option / I was born with the gift of a golden voice.” They sandwich one particular of his most evocative verses:

I stated to Hank Williams: How lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn’t answered however
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me in the Tower of Song

Was Cohen putting Williams at the apex of a hierarchy of poets, composers, and singers, which might have included Lorca, Ginsberg, Brecht and Weill, Ray Charles, and Nina Simone? Or was he imagining a hereafter for misfit musicians, as implied by the song’s closing stanza (“But you’ll be hearing from me infant, long following I’m gone / I’ll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the Tower of Song”)? In any case, Cohen’s window has in no way been and never will be a hundred stories below that of any other songwriter, in this lifetime or the subsequent.

The Absolute Sound Articles

1934 National Style Resonator Guitar

Nationals are usually well-liked with customers in the shop due to the fact they’re, properly, so darn cool. This is a Style from 1934 and has the “modernized” 14-fret neck, smaller sized body, and “silver” physique with a tropical-scene, etched finish. Materials on the Style 0s are upgraded over the more ho-hum Duolians and Triolians and this sports a maple neck capped with an ebony fretboard, pearl dots, and binding on the neck, as well.

A consumer dropped this off for consignment and I owed him a spot in line (for a guitar withdrawn), so I did this one particular up on the fast. It got a neck angle reset (these have a huge dowel inside like in banjo construction so this is comparatively straightforward), a fret level/dress, a bit of adjustment on the cone, a new bone saddle, and a proper setup. It really is strung with 12s and plays spot-on at 1/16″ DGBE and 3/32″ EA at the 12th fret. The neck is dead straight (with a Gibson-like 24 3/four” scale) and the sound is robust, powerful, and — frankly — scrumptious. It’s like a double espresso rather than a cup of great, robust coffee.

This guitar also has the desirable “chicken-foot” pattern for its coverplate. There’s patina and use-wear to the finish, of course, but it’s even, mellow, and does not distract. The etched scenes (palm trees on the front) are clear and crisp, although it’s awfully challenging to shoot them in a shop complete of antiques reflecting off of it from every single direction!

The nut is bone, original, and 1 three/4″ in width. It was shimmed-up lightly in its previous.
The guitar is also all-original except for the tuners (which are period and largely appropriate) and saddle.

The fretboard is ebony and has a light radius to it. The dots are pearl.

This guitar initially had 4 dents on the reduce bout. I removed two of them on the back, one particular on the front, and then got this one particular (close to the edge) a bit far better but did not want to over-do it as these guitars have the seam on the leading edge and banging away at it could burst the solder. It’s non-apparent unless you happen to be searching for it.
I always find it a bit funny to do “body operate” on a guitar…

The finish on the neck is performing that typically “nitro” checking and whatnot.

The tuners, although period-proper, are not the originals. These are in fact probably a bit greater in high quality and are Waverlies.

S5472 dates this to 1934.

The original case comes with it but is tiny much more than a dust-cover!

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