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Old Gibson Kalamazoo Fit Pickup and new scratchplate

Saturday, 5 November 2016  |  Admin

This lovely old Kalamazoo archtop came into the workshop recently. Dating from around 1935 it’s probably a KG-21 model. The Kalamazoo arch-tops featured Gibson’s “arco-arch” wood for the tops and backs, which was a fancy term for molded plywood with a mahogany or maple veneer. Gibson manufactured Kalamazoo guitars, banjos & mandolins for 10 years, from 1933 – 1943. This instrument had lost it’s original scratchplate and a crude effort had been fitted. The customer had asked if we could fit a sympathetic scratchplate and also a pickup system. We modified a Fishman archtop guitar pickup where the pickup sensor is fitted into the bridge itself. We carved the bridge for intonation and adjusted the foot of the bridge to suit the top. We also fitted a nifty little volume control to the lower part of the treble f-hole to avoid drilling extra holes in the top.

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Jimmy Egypt
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