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1930 Gibson Kel Kroydon

I am so pleased to share our latest offering …. the magical and even mystical  Kel Kroydon BK1. This is the second example we’ve had already this year and still the only example of this quality and originality for sale in North America at the present time.

A holy grail guitar for the most accomplished finger style pickers. At ~ 2.5 lbs, this 00 is the lightest Gibson flat top guitar ever built. It is a depression era wonder, essentially the equal of the same body size  1930 12 fret Gibson X braced 14 3/4″ lower bout  L1 but without the adjustable truss rod. Built to help Gibson through the depression and not many survivors left. This one has an non ledgeable FON but we’re confident it’s a 1930.

Sans the new bridge pins and tuner buttons and a carbon fiber non adjustable truss rod imbedded under the freat board by the previous owners luthier, this guitar is 100% original to the last fret. The work on this guitar is impeccable. This Kel sports one of the flattest tops we’ve come across. Un molested original bridge and bridge plate,  no wavy sound hole, no big belly, no fretboard divots, perfect fretboard radius with a comfortable “C” neck profile, 1 3/4″ at the nut  and the original tuners are  fully functional.  Never any re finish or funny business what so ever, period!

For those who are in the know about these, I’m preaching to the choir. For those who don’t,  it would be worthwhile to get on the net and read what others say bout them. Razor sharp X braced, ultra thin Red Spruce tops and light gauge mahogany back and sides. Mahogany neck with Brazilian rosewood fret board and bridge. So light you might feel it’s going to float off your lap… pure 12 fret vintage joy!

Luthier Ross Teigen of Naples Florida performed the set up work which included cleaning, tastefully plugging some old raised pick guard mounting holes (2) one on the side in the waist and one on the top treble bout, tighten up a minor crack from the sound hole to fret board,  fabricated a new bone saddle and installed some Willi Henkes Antique Acoustics Gibson repro bridge pins. That’s it. Ross’s work is fabulous. The set up is truly worthy of any accomplished player. Perfect intonation with action set a hair over 3-2 at the 12th. We currently have this one strung with John Pearse “Phosphor Bronze Wound Slightly Light Gauge” 011 – 050s low tension strings but can easily handle up to regular  pb 012 – 052s.

The cosmetics? We consider this a nice clean top with some minor hairline crack repairs on the back, minor scratches and honest play wear. Some shadow left from a long ago raised pick guard, but more noticeable in these photos than in person, honest.

The sound characteristics? Kel Kroydon’s are legendary. Please watch Frank Corso and Richard Bastar III play some stunning licks on this old girl.

  • Year: 1930
  • Manufacturer: Gibson
  • Model: Kel Kroydon BK1
  • Case: New Hard
  • Color: Natural Red Spruce
  • Condition: Excellent Survivor