TagGuitar

1936 Gibson-created Kalamazoo KG-14 Flattop Guitar

Another KG-14! I guess they are greater in pairs, no? This one particular is loud, punchy-as-heck, has very good snap — and a lot of ring to it. It really is mainly-original, also, but has new frets and a new nut and saddle. The pins are, amazingly, all-original and the guitar has that look — with the firestripe guard and perfect bluesy sunburst.
This was practically-carried out final Saturday, but it took all week for me to locate the time necessary to finish it off. This is simply because it necessary far more operate than I expected. In the finish it got a neck reset, bridge reglue, new bone nut and saddle, brace reglues, crack cleats and repairs to the leading, and a board plane and refret (with new jumbo stock). The finish result is a top-notch player with a straight neck, modern-feeling frets, and spot-on three/32″ EA, 1/16″ DGBE action at the 12th fret. I have it strung with 52w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 strings in a “slightly lighter than light” set.
The usual KG-14 specs apply, too — 1 3/4″ nut width, 12″ radius fretboard, medium-sized V-shaped neck profile, 24 three/4″ scale (practically 24 7/eight” in actuality), and 14 5/eight” width on the lower bout. The ladder bracing compared to an x-braced L-00 indicates a less-creamy best and bottom end and an emphasis on lots of snap and punch in the mids. This is perfect for a fingerpicker but will also suit a flatpicker who requirements a bit of reduce and definition like an archtop.

I also added side dots. The board is freshly leveled/planed and feels like a new, boutique providing.

There are a few challenging-to-see cracks on the leading that are all repaired. Two brief hairlines are above the soundhole and cleated and there are 3 smaller sized ones under the soundhole and terminating at the bridge — also cleated. Below the bridge the center-seam was a small open and that is been glued, cleated, and sealed for future stability.
I forgot to mention that I also reglued the pickguard a bit, too.

The bridge has its original pins — although the saddle is a new, compensated, bone one.

As you can see, there’s a fair amount of saddle left for action adjustments. The slot is also deep sufficient that conservative “shimming” can get you by for fine adjustments up without having the saddle tilt forward on you.

Woods, right? The best is strong spruce and the back, sides, and neck are solid mahogany. The back on this one appears to be one piece, too.

There is an typical quantity of use-wear on the guitar but, all round, it looks excellent compared to many KG-14s which have a tendency to get a lot of play over the years.

The tuners are mainly original but I’ve employed spare components from a donor set of the identical variety (only a handful of years prior) to replace missing bits.

The “fade” of the sunburst to the back/sides is quite neat right here at the neck.

The endpin is original, too.

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.”

1970 Japan-produced Rose KF-10M 000-Size Flattop Guitar

I took this in trade yesterday and, while it’s undoubtedly not something fancy, it does have numerous exciting design and style quirks. It is clearly a Japanese guitar and sports the usual construct elements for the time, with all-ply construction in the physique and a multi-piece mahogany neck with a bound, rosewood fretboard, and Martin-aping appears. It’s also roughly 000 in size and specs with a tight waist, 24 5/eight” scale and 15 1/8″ reduced bout width.
The most significant weirdness is its tic-tac-toe bracing pattern (appears like a # sign) which is arranged in virtually exactly the identical way as one would locate on a 1920s L-1. I’m assuming this pattern was either utilized to cut expenses vs. x-bracing at the factory, but since of the sturdy tonebar-with-ladder elements of the design and style the pattern also has the advantage of maintaining the leading from deflecting like crazy (an situation with a lot of 70s laminate/ply guitars), rising sustain, and also maintaining the neck joint steady (as the elevated rigidity of the top signifies the block travels much less with tension over time — the principal reason guitars need neck resets).
In truth, the only true “dilemma” with the guitar given that it was built in 1970 is that the laminate layers were beginning to peel up from under the (fortunately bolted) bridge and it needed a great fret level/dress and setup. I also replaced a missing pickguard, lubed the tuners, and voila — it really is up and playing once more.

I did this guitar on the quick because I was curious about the sound. I adore the direct, basic, sustained, and fingerpicking-friendly tone of the old L-1s and this guitar does have a lot of the basics of that sound — such as a strange, punchy, crisp general feel to it that isn’t very vibrant or brittle, but something else. For an all-ply cheapie, it really is really pretty exciting.

The “crown” motif is lovably cheesy and the molded plastic nut speaks to the high quality-level of the factory construct. The neck is bang-straight and the truss operates perfectly, even so.

The adjustable saddle on the bridge is fascinating since it really is a 100% rip on the Gibson-style adjustable units, though the saddle is brass as opposed to ceramic (ew), rosewood (yum), or ebony (yum).

Just like on Gibson adjustable bridges, there are two “holders” for the adjuster screws which are themselves bolted into the bridge and bridge plate. This is a a lot far more secure and functional way of producing an adjustable saddle vs. the usual Japanese and Korean adjustable saddles noticed from the same time.

The back and sides are ply mahogany and in a handful of locations on the sides you can see some burn-by way of from more than-zealous sanding before the finish went on!

Right after a lube the tuners began functioning just fine, even though a set of inexpensive Kluson repros would be a excellent upgrade.

Anybody know about this brand? I am thankful for the apparent date-mark, though!

1920s Oscar Schmidt FHCM Parlor Guitar

At this point, the number of First Hawaiian Conservatory of Music parlors I’ve worked on is obtaining ridiculous. I worked on two in November of final year and then a smattering of other folks over the past few years. This 1 is owned by a consumer of mine and when it arrived, it’d already seen some old function done to it — a neck reset, a replacement or reprofiled (with a 12″ radius!) fretboard, and a replacement bridge and tuners.
My work was easy — I installed a new, rosewood (stained) bridge, new pins and bone saddle, gave the frets a level/dress, match some correct 20s Oscar Schmidt-style tuners from my parts-bins, cleated old crack repairs exactly where necessary, and set it up with a standard set of 12s. It plays beautifully and has the standard, woody, warm, and folksy sound that these FHCM models constantly have. Unlike a lot of old ladder-braced parlors, the FHCM guitars take a flatpick or heavy fingerpicking very easily and return a sweet (rather than brash) tone.

The black finish on this guitar was added later and 1 can see the red/brown finish found on most FHCM models peeking out from beneath the topcoat. The guitar is produced totally from strong birch in the body and sports a poplar neck with a maple fretboard.
This 1 has a 1 three/four” nut width, 25″ scale, and just-over 13″ lower bout.

A replacement, decent-high quality bone nut was on the guitar when it got to me.

I also added side dots. Note the massive, jumbo frets and the 12″ radius to the board. The radius helps the left-hand really feel, I consider, over your average FHCM — but it feels a little strange at first when one particular is expecting 100% flat.

I had to touch-up around the bridge where finish had been crackled to the bare wood in the past. Whilst I typically use a pyramid bridge to replace broken or missing original bridges, I believed this pointed, light-belly bridge suited the appear — particularly with its coloration.

As you can see, the old neck reset gave the guitar plenty of height at the saddle.

The old tuners operate fine and have new, StewMac-supplied cream buttons.

1987 Guild JF65-12E Jumbo 12-String Flattop Guitar

The JF65-12 is a latter-era Westerly Guild version of the F412 model — what I consider of as the “most well-known” massive old maple Guild 12-string. This certain guitar is up to the task and sounds, effectively, just like a 70s F412, albeit possibly a bit much more steady in service as it hasn’t had require of a neck reset as far as I know. The flamed maple on the back, sides, and neck appears excellent and the spruce top has remained crack totally free. The “E” designation, I am assuming, relates to the onboard electronics.
I worked on this for a customer and it received a bunch of consideration. It got a bridge reglue and slight modification to the bridge, a new compensated bone saddle, fret level/dress, replacement binding for a lot more than half of the headstock’s outline, a replacement pearl inlay (1st fret position — 1 of the pearl slabs was missing), and a excellent setup. The owner runs the guitar tuned down a step, too, so I boosted a few of the gauges up from a common 46w-ten “12 string light” set — but not by significantly.

The headstock has 12 individual sealed mini tuners. The wound G-string tuner has a damaged threaded ferrule but it nevertheless functions. Note the lighter cream binding — this is my replacement stuff. The job wasn’t perfect but it turned out better than I anticipated. I had to make the new binding from 3 layers to replicate the appear, much more or significantly less, of the original stuff.
The simple portion, of course, was this straight section.
The challenging portion was the “cloud” headstock top — which I didn’t nail — particularly contemplating that my produced-up layers have been different plastics that wanted to fight 1 one more a bit when gluing down. The original material seems to have been molded as one particular strip to begin with. Did I ever mention that trying to match binding drives me nuts?
It’s a workmanly job that suits the workmanly abuse the guitar has had (see the cigarette burn?).

The abalone darts subsequent to the large blocks of white pearl has often been a great appear, I consider.

The original bridge was nevertheless in excellent shape after removing it from the guitar, but the guitar’s best itself was a bit curled-up under the bridge. It took some clever clamping to get it back down and flat efficiently.

I nonetheless have to make a second, taller saddle for the guitar, even though I am waiting overnight to see what deflection the top adds. I’ve added string ramps to help back-angle on the saddle from the farther-aft bridge pin holes and replaced a hodge-podge set of pins with new, ebony ones.

The neck maple on 80s Guilds is always very first-price. It really is beautiful stuff — and the double truss rods in this neck have kept it straight, straight, straight.

1935 Epiphone Olympic Archtop Guitar

While this 00-sized (14 1/two” lower bout) Olympic isn’t very the identical machine as Dave Rawlings’ prized 13″ guitar, it does get you in the ballpark of the same sort of tone and drive. It really reminds me a lot of a good Gibson L-30 but with a lot much more punch and bite. It is also a beautiful guitar — with a honey-brown sunburst, carved spruce top, and strong mahogany back and sides — capped-off with a classic deco-era, no-frills vibe.
This one is a customer’s guitar and, even though I talked about an Epi archtop coming up for sale, this one particular is not it. It came to me practically ready-to-go as it’d had some very good repairs by a effectively-known luthier (refret, fretboard extension fix, and whatnot), but I did need to have to nudge the setup a bit as the string radius at the bridge did not match the fretboard (action height at the 12th fret was 1/16″ E and E and three/32″ ADGB when it came in — where it should be three/32″ EA and 1/16″ DGBE), the B string wasn’t compensated at the saddle, and the nut (due to the fact of the mismatched radius) necessary a hair of attention. It really is now breezily playing-away and chunking out jazz rhythms.

The headstock looks fantastic on this — minimalist and classy.

The Brazilian rosewood board is also exceptional and has been freshly leveled/dressed in the current past.

There’s a repaired hairline crack beneath the tailpiece.

As you can see, the mahogany on that back has some interesting wavy grain. I wish that I’d had a sunny day when I shot these pics as it genuinely pops in sunlight.

The neck angle is excellent and it has a two-piece mahogany neck.

Originally, a truss rod would’ve peeked out from beneath this fretboard extension. Apparently in the previous an individual inexpertly reduce-by way of the original rod and so the last guy to work on this replaced the extension and possibly shored-up the loss of the rod in the neck, also, as the neck is dead straight when strung ti pitch.

1947 Gibson LG-two Flattop Guitar

Like the 1948 LG-2 I worked on a couple years ago, this guitar has fabulous tone — it really is open, airy, loud, clear, and has tons of mids. It is also been played fairly hard and has observed lots of use, as evidenced by the “washboard” beneath the pickguard and around the soundhole. From my point of view that is an outstanding factor — it signifies it is been woken-up and is ready to go.
This came in by means of a consignor and needed some brace reglues (a couple were reglued in the previous and one “finger brace” to the side of the main X is a replacement), a fret level/dress, new nut, new tuner buttons, and a excellent setup. It really is playing spot-on with 3/32″ EA and 1/16″ DGBE action at the 12th fret and has tiny over 1/16″ saddle height left to play with — about average.
From my experience, these are rugged and practical guitars and sound tremendous on record as the sound is not mushy on the bass or also zingy on the treble. They’re balanced but have that standard Gibson reduced-mids growl that makes them exciting to flatpick the heck out of.

There is no factory order quantity or serial number inside this guitar and so dating has to be accomplished by its features — the “pinned” openback Kluson tuners, the through-saddle bridge, and the overall construct. It’s more than most likely a ’47 but could be an early ’48, too.
The top is solid spruce and, fortunately, crack-totally free. The sides have one particular, quick, 1.five” hairline crack on the treble upper bout that is been repaired and the back has a couple of hairline cracks on the decrease bout that are excellent to go (more on these, later).

This came to me with tuner buttons that have been replacements, missing, or on their way out. I snipped the remains off and put these new, black buttons on as an alternative. The nut that came with it was, apparently, original — but it was split. I made a new, bone one particular to replace it with.
The truss rod works completely and the neck is nice and straight. The nut width is 1 11/16″ and it has the usual 12″ Gibson radius on the Brazilian rosewood fretboard. This has the regular 24 3/four” scale length.

The frets are the original, smallish old Gibson sort. They have plenty of height left and feel very good, although. The dots are pearl.

It really is strung with a set of 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 strings.

You have got to really like that simplified Gibson aesthetic — those plain rosettes appear wonderful.

The original bridge is in very good shape, although I did have to remove a bit of gunk/buildup from it and buff it up once again. I compensated and adjusted the original saddle’s height throughout setup. The pins are old black plastic ones (that came with it) that almost certainly aren’t original but appear about correct.
Note also how the treble-side pearl dot (which hides the bolts Gibson used on their bridges) has a tiny chip-out.
The prime has a quite tiny amount of “doming” under the bridge — as opposed the curled/wave-style belly noticed behind the bridge on other tends to make. This is really normal and nothing to be concerned about. I’ve never noticed an old Gibson that does not have it.

In these images you can actually see the old climate-check/crackle effect that Gibson finishes have a tendency to obtain. The strong mahogany back looks wonderful, by the way.

Exactly where the glare stops you can see an old, longer (four-five”) hairline crack and then one on the other side of center from it. I could not for the life of me find these on the inside to cleat them (sometimes the wood is only so open) but they are glued and sealed.

The endpin is a matching black plastic 1 I had in my components-bins.

It comes with a hard, molded, TKL case.

1942 Gibson L-00 Flattop Guitar

Built nearly a decade soon after the final L-00 I worked on, this 1942 L-00 has some modernized characteristics but retains the wholesome, robust, mids-centered punchy tone that these are recognized for. Purists will catch the over-massive replacement bridge proper away (far more on that down the post) and the replaced tuner buttons, saddle, and pins — but otherwise the guitar is quite original and quite darn clean for its age.
This one was constructed in wartime (an H-suffix factory order number tells the tale) and, therefore, is a “final of its breed” guitar as style components changed a bit after the war. It has a solid spruce prime, one particular-piece strong mahogany back, solid mahogany sides and neck, and a Brazilian rosewood fretboard. The only cracks I’ve found on it are a small, repaired, hairline on the back upper bout, a tiny center-seam separation (not really, even though) at the finish of the fretboard on the prime, and an virtually-crack (not open as it really is straight over bracing) to the side of the pickguard. The finish is in very good shape and gleams beautifully with just a minor quantity of use-wear and pickwear about the soundhole.
Work incorporated replacing a funky old bridge, a new saddle, fret level/dress, new pins, new tuner buttons, and common setup. It plays excellent with 1/16″ DGBE and three/32″ EA action at the 12th fret and is strung with 12s.

…correct? It is beautiful.
The leading has a typical, minor amount of “belly” straight under the bridge. I like to contact it “doming” on Gibsons as they appear to get about 1/32″ to 1/16″ of general deflection more than time in a domed shape below the bridge rather than a “wave” or “curl” behind the bridge like on some other tends to make. No worries.

The original, ebony nut survives — amazingly.

The neck has a quite comfortable medium, C-shaped profile that is just a hair bigger than 1950s Gibson profiles and the truss functions perfectly. The Brazilian board has a 12″ radius.

Never you enjoy the multi-ply binding? It’s bound on the best and back.

The firestripe pickguard is lovely!

Here’s my replacement, rosewood, bridge. I know it’s not appropriate at all, but I did not have many choices. The best had been mucked-up finish-wise from the installation of…

…this same-size, 4-bolted, warped-out monster. My operate integrated removing that, repairing minor top damage, filling the old/second set of pin-holes, and then gluing, installing, and color-matching as ideal as I could, the new bridge.

The end outcome is at least vintage-ish and has a drop-in, compensated saddle for easy adjustment. The pins are ebony. The new bridge is a small taller by 1/16″or so than a comparable original Gibson bridge, so its slightly-more than 1/16″ height on the saddle belies the reality that there is lots of airspace under the strings and more than the body.

The back is very pretty, a single-piece, solid mahogany.

The original tuners got new tuner buttons as all of the originals have been missing. Right after a lube, they are operating just fine.

The complete aesthetic is painfully classy.

Here’s that stable, repaired hairline on the back. It runs from below the neckblock and terminates at the 1st back brace.

The endpin is black plastic.

A rigid, foam, “hardshell” flight-style case comes with it.

1920s Oscar Schmidt-produced Galiano Parlor Guitar

I’ve observed examples Galiano-labeled guitars produced by just about all the “jobbers” — Harmony, Kay, Regal, and so forth. — but most are Oscar Schmidt merchandise and a few had been produced by the larger-finish “New York Italian Guild” luthiers which appear to have been gathered about Schmidt as a focal point. This a single is almost at the top quality level (and develop style) of those but I honestly consider it was produced in the Schmidt factory itself as it has much much more in typical with fancy Sovereign-branded Schmidts than it does with the greater-finish “Guild” Galianos.
This guitar was sent in via a client for repair and it received a neck reset (glued and bolted due to a shallow dovetail angle at the sides of the joint), a couple replacement frets, a fret level/dress, some tiny bridge repair (I countersunk a tiny screw to preserve a hairline crack in order) and a recut (for compensation) saddle slot, a brace reglue, new bone saddle, new ebony bridge pins, some minor hairline crack repairs to the back, and a very good setup, of course. She’s playing on-the-dot at 1/16″ DGBE and three/32″ EA at the 12th fret. The owner likes nickel strings so it is strung with 50w-11s in nickel.
I like this -size box a lot as a fingerpicker, though as a flatpicker it performs nicely, as well, if you have a light touch. I find that the farther up the Schmidt-style meals chain you go, the a lot more these guitars sound comparable to ladder-braced Larson and Vega goods — that is, they’re a bit a lot more clear-toned and balanced and less woody/bluesy like the decrease-market place Stella and La Scala merchandise created by Schmidt.

This a single is strong spruce over solid mahogany and has a Brazilian rosewood bridge with a stained-maple fretboard. The neck is mahogany and has a medium-sized round profile and a 25″ scale length.

The original, celluloid nut nonetheless survives.

Pearl dots are in the flat fretboard. This has a 1 3/4″ nut width.

Never you just love all that purfling and the rosette? It is gorgeous. The prime has a lot of wear and tear and some long lines in the finish, but it’s (thankfully) crack-totally free.

I filled the original straight saddle slot and then reduce a new, compensated, drop-in saddle slot. The treble side of the bridge had an old hairline split in it which I shored-up with a tiny, countersunk screw. The pins are new, ebony ones, and the compensated saddle is a new bone 1.

The back is also bound and has a good, inlaid backstrip, also.

As you can see, the neck reset allowed for a good, tall saddle.

A person glued the original endpin in at some point.

1980s Korean-created Squier Bullet SSH Electric Guitar

This Bullet was in for a simple restring and setup and it turned-out sounding and playing specifically as I expected — the really feel is wonderful but the sound is ho-hum. These Squier-branded Bullets made in Korea are the direct inheritors of the Bullet branding used on American-produced Fenders of the early 80s. The shrunken Strat body shape was very first employed in the second year of production on American-produced Bullets and then it moved to Japanese-made Bullets (with Squier branding) and lastly ended-up on these late 80s/early 90s Korean-produced Bullets.
This guitar was practically below the radar for the blog but I wanted to post on it due to the fact I figured I’d uncover a slew of misinformation (and I did) about them on the net like people supposing that they had been mated guitars utilizing American necks and hardware… or Japanese guitars with mixed electronics… or this or that explanation that simply does not add up. The reality is that this is a “Super Strat” variant of the “inexpensive student import Bullet” and simply takes place to be significantly less-evident than the more “Normal Strat” models that can be had all the time on eBay in their Korean and Japanese forms.
Kindly, a Korean Fender serial list can be had at this hyperlink, though it does not narrow the date variety quite significantly.

The guitar has no pickguard and as an alternative has rear-mounted controls and “pickup rings” to hide their mounts. The whammy apes the a lot more modern American-style unit in that it has two posts and floats (for up/down use) more freely than the vintage multi-screw varieties.
The pickups are far more than probably using ceramic magnets and the neck and middle positions are regular, plastic-bobbin single coils whilst the bridge is a “Super Strat”-style humbucker. As I mentioned before, the tone is ho-hum and the overwound humbucker is ballsy but — that’s it. The single coils do sound a handful of times far better than your average cheap import of proper now, although.

Sealed tuners make tuning-up straightforward-peasy and steady.

The neck has a fairly modern really feel in its slim, flatter-radius reduce, but it is good and stable and has held-up well. The dots are pearl, the board is rosewood, and the frets are jumbos.

I could picture this as a nice little hot rod if, say, a P90-in-humbucker-case was place in the bridge alternatively. I just basically do not like these potent buckers… there’s no nuance to their tone.
Also, note the Tele-stye neck pocket. Whilst the bodies and electronics on these guitars may possibly be unremarkable, the necks are fairly nice and anything like this would make a great neck to swap over to a Tele physique.

The skunk-stripe seems a bit surplus on a rosewood slab-board neck, but it does appear neat and the finish over the maple has aged to a nice “vintage” color.

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