According to The Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars, the Gibson MK-72 was made in very limited quantities: “Approx. 1,225 mfg. 1975-78” (p. 281. Gruhn’s Guide and Vintage Guitar Price Guide basically agree). George Gruhn adds that the MK models were custom designed by Michael Kasha (“MK”) and Richard Schneider when Schneider was Gibson’s Master Luthier and it was produced only in those four years. Kasha’s innovative bridge design has been subsequently adapted by other high end makers, such as Alvarez-Yairi and Breedlove.
In addition to the somewhat unusual shape, with a sloped shoulder body, a slightly wider lower bout (16 ¼”) than the dreadnought size, a narrowed waist for easier handling, and a 25 ½” scale, the MK-72 has a number of other special design features: modified fan-pattern bracing, an asymmetrical fan-shaped “Kasha” bridge to distribute string tension more effectively, a narrow 1920’s snakehead headstock with points at the upper corners, a beautiful 3-piece fret board of ebony/rosewood/ebony with abalone dot markers, a three-stripe rosewood sound hole cap, and an old style script logo (verified by Gruhn, p. 169). In other words, it will excite lots of interest when you take it out of its case, because nobody will have seen a Gibson like this before.
Overall, it’s 40 ¾” long—about standard dreadnought size, 11 ¾” at the upper bout, but only 10” at the waist; it tapers from 4 ¼” to a full 5” deep, which with the modified bracing enhances its booming bass register—kind of like a jumbo without the jumbo bulk and weight. While it may have been designed more for solo work than the blue grass stage, it still has enough carrying power for anybody and is an outstanding example of Gibson craftsmanship.
This MK-72 features a solid spruce top with solid rosewood back and sides, the solid rosewood fan bridge has vintage white pins, and the 14/20-fret finger board has abalone dot inlay. It has the three-stripe rosewood sound hole cap rather than the usual rosette, and multi-stripe body binding, top and back. There is no pick guard on this particular guitar, showing nicely the natural spruce finish. The unusual rosewood veneer headstock with the vintage Gibson script logo has a large modernistic truss rod cover. The chrome enclosed Grover tuners surround the serial number (980095) which indicates that the year for this guitar’s creation was 1968 (!). Since the MK-72 was not available in 1968, I believe the serial number is simply wrong, possibly explaining why 38 years ago this guitar was stamped as a factory “second.”
Considering its almost four decades of making music, this guitar has very few cosmetic or structural issues. The obvious exception is a professionally repaired crack in the lower bout from the bridge to the binding, which is visible but completely stable. While there is some slight finish crazing on the top, the back and side finish is so near perfect that it may have been re-finished at some point; the rosewood is gorgeous, and the visual effect is totally cool. The action is fine at a bit under 4/32” at the 12th fret low E (and the oversized saddle can easily be lowered), the neck is straight, the top is flat, and it plays great.
And, of course, playing music for almost forty years has made that Gibson sound even better, more resonant, and more powerful. Despite its relative rarity and very good condition, this guitar is not for a collector to put in a museum—although it’s fun to show it off. This is still a player’s guitar, and I sincerely hope that its next owner is someone who will continue to play it well and often.
The original vintage Gibson “alligator” case is in very good shape, inside and out. The hardware all works perfectly, and the bright red interior is clean and odorless. It offers more than adequate protection and is an excellent complement to this rare vintage guitar.
Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower forty-eight states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashiers and personal checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.
I have tried to be perfectly clear and accurate in describing this vintage instrument, so its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.
Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.
From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is FREE; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.
I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.