Gibson Kalamazoo Reviews

Gibson Kalamazoo K-RB
submitted 10/1/2013

Submitter

revellfa (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

eBay

Year Purchased

2008

Price Paid

Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound


Totally unique. You can't get it anywhere else. Funky old sound that will inspire you to pull songs out of a banjo that you didn't know existed. Flatback resonator adds to the unique tone. The tone with the original skin head is fantastic. You will struggle to get volume but tone is fantastic.

Sound Rating

9

Setup


I've never seen one of these five strings that didn't have a bow in the neck. The skin head can be fickle as expected but the banjo is well made and setup fine.

Setup Rating

not rated

Appearance


Simple, straight ahead and beautiful. I love the look with no flange. If you get one with the original skin head that is a bit yellowed you are very lucky indeed when it comes to appearance.

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


Incredible. Some of these Gibson budget brands look like they left the factory yesterday. The've been around this long but the bow in the neck concerns me with this model. I've owned three five strings and about five tenors. All of the tenors had perfect action and all of the five strings had bows in the neck. That I don't get. The friciton tuners are actually not a problem. I've had Kalamazoos with the original friction tuners that stayed in tune better than any other banjo I've had. Seriously, I've had these friciton tuners stay in tune unplayed for months.

Reliability Rating

8

Customer Service


doesn't apply.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


Components were the bottom of the line for Gibson at the time but hey, the've held up. No complaints whatsoever. These Gibson budget brands are amazing.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


One of my favorite banjos of all time for two-fingered, clawhammer and general old time music.  Very highly recommended.  Benton Flippen and Doc Watson played these for their entire lives.  Just think of how many times they could have traded up but decided to just keep the old Kalamazoo--that tells me all I need to know about these fine "budget" brand pre-war Gibson banjos.

Overall Rating

10


Gibson Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Tenor (TB-00)
submitted 8/5/2011

Submitter

TheBanjoDoctor (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

Auction

Year Purchased

2010

Price Paid

350 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound


this little guy has a very big sound. there is not many overtones. when you play a note or a string. it does what its told.

Sound Rating

8

Setup


when i got it i got it from an auction and it had two strings on it. i set it up my self. great sounding and playin.

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


when i got it there was only one problem. on the resonater wall there is a crack. looks like some one banged it off something. nothing serious. other than that. looks like it just rooled off the factory floor very nice shape.

Appearance Rating

9

Reliability


as with most gibson made products it is very solid made. dont see having any problems with anytime soon. and seeing as how it was made in the 30's id say its one well built peice.

Reliability Rating

9

Customer Service


none.

Customer Service

not rated

Components


the only thing i change one the banjo was the head. it had the origanl jos b rodgers calf skin head on it and its seen its better days (streched out to much) so i replaced it with a rennisance head. sounds great,.....no awesome with that on there.

Components Rating

9

Overall Comments


i love this little banjo i was very lucky to get it in the condition it was in. almost mint. works awesome for irish stuff. mostly what i use it for. it doesn't have a tone ring. well it kinda does. there is a wooden lip that resmbles a wooden tone ring. so i geuss it has a wood ring. nice woody tone. if you happen to find one of these for sale for the right price grab it up. they are a ice banjo. i had the origanal bridge with it and its still one there and the action is just perfect.

Overall Rating

9


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