Retrofret Stock # 6981. Recording King Carson Robison Model K Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, made by Gibson (1939), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # EW-2208, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, original brown chipboard case. This interesting guitar was an offering from the 1939 Montgomery Wards catalog, built by Gibson for the mail order house's "Recording King" brand. It was named for long-time Gibson endorser, singing cowboy and radio entertainer Carson Robison, who lent his moniker to a number of different fretted instruments in the '30's. This was originally built as a Hawaiian style flat-top, with the typical 12-fret neck joint used by Gibson only on steel guitars by this time (it is now set up for standard play). Overall it is very similar to Gibson's own HG-00, made of the same materials with the identical body and neck specs but with a ladder -braced top. The neck has a wide but fairly shallow "V" contour - these never had a square neck. The "peaked roof" headstock is adorned with a "Recording King" logo and crown stencil, with the Carson Robison signature beneath. The tuners are the lovely open-back pre-war Klusons with transparent amber plastic buttons. The three decals on the top-of initial letters in guitar-pick shaped surrounds were a catalog offering, making the instrument personalized for the new owner. This model was a considered a student-grade guitar but offered an exceptional value in a quality instrument at a very low price of $9.25 -"worth $25.00 of anyone's money" according to the Ward's catalog. It's certainly one of the nicest Kalamazoo-style guitars we have had, a great looking instrument that also sounds lovely and plays extremely well.Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 14 13/16 in. (37.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 5/16 in. (11 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 15/16 in. (49 mm.). This guitar remains extremely well preserved, especially for a budget instrument of the period. There is not much wear the original finish is still shiny with only a bit of checking and some small dings. It has been expertly converted from the original Hawaiian setup to playability in regular Spanish style with a neck set and new bridge with an arched saddle. The original "V contoured neck has not been altered except for a lower nut and a refretted and radiused fingerboard for more comfortable playing. The neck is quite wide at almost 2" by the nut but still handy and easy playing with a low action and excellent fretwork. This is a lovely if slightly unusual guitar a cool example of Gibson's pre-WWII catalog brand offerings, an exceptional value in a pre-WWII solid wood flat top complete with the original SSC. Excellent + Condition.
|1939||Excellent||sunburst top, dark back and sides||Original Soft|
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