kel kroydon


99% of my time guitar shopping is spent looking at a constant stream of generic Stratocasters, Les Pauls, SGs and Teles.  Don’t get me wrong…I LIKE those guitars, it’s just that they make up 90% of the stock in any guitar store I visit.  And just how many of the same-old same-old can a guy obsessed with guitar shopping look at before it pushes him past the boundaries of sanity, and someone gets hurt???  ;)

This (above) is one of those rare cases where there are 1) guitars other than Strats/Teles/LPs/SG to look at, and 2) two guitars that are so rare that I have never seen either of them before ever in my whole life.

  • Amazing guitar #1:  A Gibson-built Kel Kroydon from the early 1930s.  Last week I bought a book about Gibson’s other brands - their own lower-priced lines (kind of like the purpose Epiphone serves today - budget versions of Gibson models), or guitars they made for other companies.  Kel Kroydon is one of the earliest, best quality, and rarest (and therefore most collectible!).  This guitar is so rare and collectible in fact, that the price on it is EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS!  
  • Amazing guitar #2: this is my dream Martin - a 1932 0-18K.  I lust after small-bodied guitars, and this one was probably the only “0” sized Martin I have ever seen in person!  Most parlour-sized guitars I have heard sound boxy and small…with very little in the low end.  But this one sounded fantastic regardless of its small body!  The ONLY tiny complaint I have is that it’s a 12th fret neck join, which, I know, is very traditional and “classic”, but restricts access to frets above the 12th.  I would not let that stop me from buying this guitar though.  And the price was pretty reasonable at $3600.  Dear Martin: Howz about making a 14 fret “0”?  It doesn't have to be fancy…I’d be happy with a style “18” (although a style “42” would be better!  ;)

PS: slotted headstocks on Martin guitars are the best!