Gibson Kalamazoo Carson J. Robison 1936 | $2875 | (v2311) Most vintage guitar enthusiasts know how the budget Kalamazoo line 'saved' the Gibson company during the depression. The so-called 'Kali' or 'Zoo' line featured the same quality materials and crafts-folk as the 'Gibson' line, but lacked a few amenities to lessen the build cost. It was in this era that Gibson began ernestly to seek endorsers for their instruments. Carson J. Robison was an early country recording star and became an early Gibson endorser. The Carson J. labeled guitars were sold through the Montgomery Wards catalog, and this one bears the MW label inside the sound hole. The Carson J. is essentially a Kalamazoo KG14, which is essentially an L-00 without the truss rod and X-braces .. but wait! ... this one is X-braced, albiet after the fact.

Luthier David Sheppard is well known for his 'conversions' from ladderal (ladder) to X-bracing, and he converted this one a number of years ago. His work is clean and accurate. The FON 614B indicates that it was built in 1936. The back and sides are mahogany. The top is spruce and features a beautiful Gibson sunburst, a Brazilian rosewood bridge, white celluloid binding and a somewhat truncated pickguard compared to the guard on an L-00. The neck is mahogany, carved in the typical 'V' of the era, and features a Brazilian fingerboard. The head stock is painted black with Carson J. Robison in white script.

The guitar measures 14 11/16" across the lower bout. Scale length is ~ 25". The fingerboard measures 1 13/16" across at the nut, with string spacing at 2 1/2" across the saddle.

The guitar came to us with the Sheppard X-bracing conversion. The neck appears to have been professionally reset. All work was neat and tidy, with only a minimal amount of evidence of the back removal. Frets are in very good condition. No cracks, in fact, the guitar is in really pristine condition, including the original finish on the bridge. There appears to be some 'strap bleed' stain on the back, and various nicks and dings from use and age. Action is set at 5 & 7/64".

The guitar plays smoothly, and is perfect for finger picking country blues or old-time tunes. It would make a nicely balanced recording guitar, too. The guitar is light-as-a-feather with even tone across the spectrum, with a quick response and a pleasant sustain. An affordable way to get the coveted Gibson L-00 sound!

Comes with a period-appropriate, purple-lined Geib soft case.

Vintage Blues Guitars

Vintage Blues Guitars

Kalamazoo KG14
Original Soft
16 Years
Vintage Blues Guitars
Tom Wentzel and Bruce Roth
Lancaster, PA
3:36 PM
phone calls accepted 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. eastern time .. text or email anytime

Cash, checks, PayPal, money orders or bank wire. We don't accept credit cards at this point.

We ship usually within a day of payment. International customers, we are not CITES certified. Any guitar with CITES-protected materials (Brazilian rosewood, ivory et al) shipped outside the US will be shipped at the risk of the buyer.

Forty-eight hour test drive on all instruments..if not to your liking, return for refund minus shipping costs.