1965 Kalamazoo KG 2 - should I pull the trigger?

Discussion in 'Other Gibsons' started by kspeed, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. kspeed

    kspeed Senior Member

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    So I stumbled across one of these vintage, low-end Gibsons at my local shop. It looks exactly like this:

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    It's going for $399 but I know I can talk them down to $299-$349 with some new strings and a stand tossed in. Now, I know this isn't exactly an original Black Beauty, but it's is in good shape and a real piece of history.

    I've eyeballed it twice but haven't played it yet. It looks to have an unusual plastic nut that I'd need to replace and who knows how accurate the tuners are at this point...but the pickups, vibrola, and short scale certainly interest me.

    I know it doesn't have much value, but for someone who mostly plays P90's and single coils would it make a worthy addition to my stable? The closest thing I have to it in style is a '96 Jagstang.

    Thanks in advance for all your advice and help :thumb:
     
  2. Jawsh

    Jawsh Senior Member

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    Try playing it first though, and check for any major problems, bowed neck..etc. If there's nothing wrong with if I'd say go for it. :thumb: It's pretty unique looking, kinda like an SG and a strat mixed. :hmm:
     
  3. mike newport

    mike newport Senior Member

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    That was my first guitar, back in '73-'74. Same color too. They're made out of pressboard, so don't throw it around. I busted mine in half accidently...m
     
  4. Steven Tari

    Steven Tari Junior Member

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    I just went through trying to find this out about my guitar which is a Kalamazoo KG-2. I have the first edition which is also red with tremol. My answer from the gibson forums was this. elantric posted this-

    Gibson Kalamazoo Electric Guitar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Gibson Kalamazoo : shanzuguitars.com

    "Gibson and Fender have produced such iconic (and different) instruments in the Les Paul and the Stratocaster that it’s sometimes easy to forget that they sometimes produced models in direct competition with each other, not only on budget but stylistically as well.
    In the 1960’s Fender had the Mustang which was at the time a relatively cheap introduction to Fender’s line offering a slightly different take on the traditional Fender sounds. The Mustang went on to be a firm favourite among those looking for a cheap injection of retro cool together with a distinctive sound.
    In competition to this Gibson introduced the Kalamazoo range (although visibly this wasn’t branded Gibson, “Kalamazoo made in the USA” logo adorned the headstock). The name Kalamazoo has been associated a fair bit with Gibson over the years and acoustics, amplifiers and electrics have all been in receipt of the name at one stage or another. The late ‘60’s saw the Kalamazoo undergo a couple of incarnations – the first release saw a body shape similar to the Fender Mustang with the second release more reminiscent of the Gibson SG.
    The first release of the Kalamazoo came in two configurations – the KG1 and the KG2. The early KG-2 was a two pickup model featuring a compressed chipboard (MDF) body, Double cutaway design – with the pickguard and tailpiece quite high up the body. With it’s Fender-ish headstock ( six tuners on the top of the headstock - unlike the traditional Gibson three aside) on a maple bolt on neck featuring a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard. As a budget model the hardware was understandably fairly low end but did feature the classic vibrola style tremolo system and open tuners.
    Sound wise the Kalamazoo produced a very clean, surfy tone – something quite unlike the typical Gibson tone. The pickups – sometimes referred to as “melody maker” pickups were single coil – the KG2 featured a pickup selector switch and separate tone/volume controls for each pickup providing an element of versatility to the guitar. The pickups could get noisy and so weren’t suitable to too much overdrive – however the tone was distinctive and gave the guitar a unique character.
    What’s striking with the Kalamazoo is how similar it is to the Fender models of the time – this is interesting because today – Gibson and Fender have such unique styles that there are not many designs which are familiar between the two manufacturers.
    The Kalazmazoo was discontinued by Gibson in the early 70’s, good examples of the Kalamazoo show up on auction sites from time to time. For a 30+ year old instrument there are the obvious things to look out for, the tremolo system is often incomplete, the pickguard can have cracks and like any vintage guitar the neck should be checked for any warp.
    While the Kalamazoo may never have the appeal of some of Gibson’s more prestigious lines, for enthusiasts the Kalamazoo marks an interesting time for in Gibson’s history – there aren’t too many guitars like this in Gibson’s stable and while examples may never see huge prices - it remains an alluring piece."

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    This is what the First edition looks like. I bought mine used in 1971. Still plays as good as the day I bought it.
     
  5. ES350

    ES350 Senior Member

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    Those guitars have an MDF body---no solid wood, and the controls and components are subpar for Gibson. But they do sound cool in a Juke Boy Bonner sorta way...
     
  6. Amateur_Soldier

    Amateur_Soldier Senior Member

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    Nice guitar man, it does look like a Strat and an SG got up and had sex.
    Would be better with 1 Sc and 1 Hb
     
  7. qwank

    qwank Senior Member

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    wow. that first edition one looks awesome.
     
  8. Lemonhead

    Lemonhead Senior Member

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    I owned one of them in the past.

    $399 is way too much to pay.

    $100-$150 is as high as I would go. And only for sentimental reasons.
     
  9. qwank

    qwank Senior Member

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    they are going for around $400 average on Ebay. theres a lot of them too. well, more then i expected there to be. i didnt see any wit the SG style body though.
     
  10. lazz

    lazz Senior Member

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    it looks like an sg and a fender jags love child
     
  11. Toogy

    Toogy Senior Member

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    I think that guitar is a guitar that only a mother would love!
     
  12. Jimbo79

    Jimbo79 Junior Member

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    Mine was white. I got mine back in '71 or '72 as my first guitar. I really wish I still had it.
     
  13. SemiHollowCarrot

    SemiHollowCarrot Senior Member

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    Solid guitars but I wouldn't pay that much for it.
     
  14. kasu

    kasu Senior Member

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    Well, old thread but I like these oldies. Have a 1966 KG-1. The neck is different but nice quality, they used the same construction, with the same type of trussrod, as on ordinary gibby necks. Youll find the brass nut underneath the TRC.
    They also used the same pickup and electronics as on the melody makers, and the standard MM/Junior wrapaound bridge, so nothing crappy about the parts, just the MDF body thats a little wonky, but still cool in its own way, IMO. :)
     

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