1939 – 41 Recording King Jumbo – £3499
NEW ARRIVAL As a maker of high-quality instruments, Gibson was hit hard by the onset of the Depression in the 1930s. So they created the now highly desirable Kalamazoo line of budget-priced instruments, and took on contract work for outside distributors. The most successful of these were Recording King (sold by Montgomery Ward). This guitar has the same body shape as a Gibson J200, and it’s ladder braced – like Kalamazoos. It’s possible the guitar was made by Regal, as they were the other company who made Recording Kings, and the history is unclear. Either way this is a very historically interesting guitar. A J200 shaped acoustic, with a great looking pickguard and headstock, plus beautifully detailed fingerboard inlays. The moustache bridge is a replacement, as are the keystone tuners, and there are two repaired top cracks. The guitar has a very different tone, the ladder bracing makes it quite dark and moody sounding. Not as complex as X bracing, but very dynamic, with real bite in the bass. The neck is full feeling, and the action is comfortable. All together a seriously cool guitar, and a true piece of American music history. The guitar comes in a non original hard case.