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Thread: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

  1. #1

    Default Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Sadly, a pickguard has been glued on. Otherwise, it is all original with a decent hard case.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-193...emCondition=10

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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Yes, normally they had a painted on pickguard. I never understood the purpose of that. Why bother, right? Purely "aesthetic". Still it is a Gibson and a cool chapter since Kel Kroyden was also applied to a line of wooden toys they sold during the Great Depression in order to stay afloat financially. Here is what it would look like if there wasn't that added pearloid pickguard.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    I played one of these owned by a forum member and it was the loudest mandolin I've ever heard. Unbalanced, the bass was merely loud whereas the treble was incredibly loud. It seemed to negate everything I thought I knew about mandolin design.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    At that price you can probably get into a carved top Gibson product with a few bumps. These weren't built to be great instruments they were built to be cheap instruments. They were sold along with a line of wooden toys Gibson was selling trying to stay alive during the early days of the depression.

    The later Gibson second lines (like the Kalamazoo's)were an attempt to sell a cheaper but still decent instrument outside the normal Gibson dealer network. That's why they didn't put a truss rod in the second lines.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    ...Purely "aesthetic"...
    Totally and really no different than painted on binding on other brands
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    In his book, Paul Fox mentions there is "no pickguard." and the photo confirms this. He also states that: "All of the Kel Kroydon instruments are highly sought after by collectors, as they are considered to be some of the best instruments that Gibson ever produced. In fact, they are also fairly rare and difficult to find in good condition." So, this is a rare bird, it seems.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    In his book, Paul Fox mentions there is "no pickguard." and the photo confirms this. He also states that: "All of the Kel Kroydon instruments are highly sought after by collectors, as they are considered to be some of the best instruments that Gibson ever produced. In fact, they are also fairly rare and difficult to find in good condition." So, this is a rare bird, it seems.
    They come up from time to time as do the guitars and the occasional banjo. I don't rate them as high as Paul but YMMV.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Hey, Boys and Girls: here are some of the Kel Kroydon toys (along with a Kalamazoo Playthings Company ad):
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Ya want rare how about my 1937 Gibson "Cromwell" G-6, the original F-style lump scroll/Gumby! I heard only 7 were made and know of only 4? It actually sounds pretty good for what it is, all real wood but heat pressed I believe, with some heavy bracing on top and back! with a bridge that may have about a pound to it! Ok maybe not a pound but its huge! Its on my to do list to fit a smaller one someday and I think it will make a huge difference! I'm a fan of all those Depression era budget brands-they are a good bang for the buck!

    The Evilbay OP may just have the Mother of toilet seat glued over the original painted on guard as a whole the mando looks clean but way too much $ for that one!

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    I probably have seen a photo of yours. If so, it will be in my files. Or you can post some if you like.
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Ya want rare how about my 1937 Gibson "Cromwell" G-6, the original F-style lump scroll/Gumby! I heard only 7 were made and know of only 4? It actually sounds pretty good for what it is, all real wood but heat pressed I believe, with some heavy bracing on top and back! with a bridge that may have about a pound to it! Ok maybe not a pound but its huge! Its on my to do list to fit a smaller one someday and I think it will make a huge difference! I'm a fan of all those Depression era budget brands-they are a good bang for the buck!

    The Evilbay OP may just have the Mother of toilet seat glued over the original painted on guard as a whole the mando looks clean but way too much $ for that one!
    And here is the first thread ever where one surfaced.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    I remember them posts Mike, Mine wasn't the evilbay one, Mine has all original hardware and is pretty nice,Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Here is a back shot, Click image for larger version. 

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    I remember when you got yours.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    That's a design only a mother could love. I am always attracted to instruments that are a bit oddballish.
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    I love the so called ugly, "gorgeous to me!" unloved models myself, beat up with repairs etc..-the one that eludes me mainly because the prices are too high on the two I know of are the 1934 Gibson F-10's! I offered 11 or 12G for the one at Retrofret in 2011-12 and well she still sits unloved! And I'd lay a big bet that they don't sell it for another 7 years at that price! Who put out the book all about Gibson "depression era budget brands?"

    I tell ya who has some really sweet depression era oddballs here on the café adds quite a bit is Bob Page! NFI but if you want depression era oddities! I love the Gibson A-Century mandolin, I had one but sold that and a bunch when my wife and I were getting our house!

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Paul Fox wrote the book - "The Other Brands of Gibson". Have one on my shelf.

    Owned a couple of the Kalamazoo flat tops over the years. One sounded really good, other just okay. Sort of have the itch for one of the pressed top models. But just haven't bothered as am satisfied with my current number of mandolins. (Okay, have too many, but that's another issue)

    Useless trivia - the first Kalamazoo KG-11 guitar I owned had a "Made by Gibson USA" stamp on the back of the headstock. So was probably sold outside the US initially.

    As to the KK in the post - yeah, price might be a bit high. But only because A models that aren't mint really seem to be slipping in value. I know because that's how I got my 1910 A. Lots of work done, but cheap for a good sounding instrument.
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Useless trivia - the first Kalamazoo KG-11 guitar I owned had a "Made by Gibson USA" stamp on the back of the headstock. So was probably sold outside the US initially.
    Yes indeed, the only reason to mark Made in the USA on that instrument would have been to identify the country of origin for an instrument that was built for export.

    The "Made by Gibson" part was cachet.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    I love the so called ugly, "gorgeous to me!" unloved models myself, beat up with repairs etc..-the one that eludes me mainly because the prices are too high on the two I know of are the 1934 Gibson F-10's! I offered 11 or 12G for the one at Retrofret in 2011-12 and well she still sits unloved! And I'd lay a big bet that they don't sell it for another 7 years at that price!
    I played that F-10 at RetroFret for quite a while one time. It surprised me at how nice it sounded even with the odd placement of the bridge.

    I owned a 1930's A-1 many years ago but traded it for my first decent violin bow.
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I played that F-10 at RetroFret for quite a while one time. It surprised me at how nice it sounded even with the odd placement of the bridge.

    I owned a 1930's A-1 many years ago but traded it for my first decent violin bow.
    Sweet Jim! I really would like that F-10 but until they have a realistic price I don't think so! I love those short neck F's with F-holes from the depression. I got rid of two F-7 conversions but still have an original F-7 and a 1935 F-12 so I'd like an F-10? Ya have to complete the set right?

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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Sweet Jim! I really would like that F-10 but until they have a realistic price I don't think so! I love those short neck F's with F-holes from the depression. I got rid of two F-7 conversions but still have an original F-7 and a 1935 F-12 so I'd like an F-10? Ya have to complete the set right?
    I just PMed you rather the derail this thread.
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I just PMed you rather the derail this thread.
    Wait, this isn't normal!

    This forum runs on thread drift.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    I love thread drifts Mike! Ya'll should show photos of your Gibson "Budget" depression era brands like my Cromwell above? I'd love to see more oddities?

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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    Well, as long as we are drifting, here's one I wish I hadn't sold. It wasn't built by Gibson I know that but beyond that I haven't a clue as to who did build it. And you all thought John Dempsey built the first one.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  39. #25
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kel Kroydon KK20. Early 30s

    That's almost pre-"DUCK" style Mike, Very nice, I know how it is, I've gotten rid of a bunch I wish I would've kept! A ton of those 20's-40's mandolins are great little tone machines! I gave my Dad a 40's F-hole Harmony sunburst A and he redid it and wow what a nice mandolin. He left the original finish alone, I don't have pix but you see them on evilbay a bunch, they are nice looking and with some work they're pretty sweet! I think the # inside was 417? So I'm not up on Harmony stuff so not sure if that's the model?

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