Kalamazoo Classic Series
* Made in Michigan
In My opinion, the Classic Guitars of the 1950s/60s Golden Era
made at the original Gibson Guitar factory at 225 Parsons st. in Kalamazoo, Michigan
are among the best ever made*
In those days there was no CNC machinery or mass-robotic production, and nothing was jobbed-out to foreign countries using cheap labor. Woodworkers, craftsmen, and musicians who lived in & around Kalamazoo were the people who hand-made those guitars and they used basic woodworking machinery,
quality lumber, animal glues, & nitro-lacquer finishes.
Well seasoned/dried lumber is critical for resonance & tone in any musical instrument. Hot hide glue pulls the wood together tightly as it cures allowing the wooden components of a guitar to bond together as a single unit so that the vibration of the strings can easily telegraph from the tip of the headstock all the way to the end of the body.
Finish with a thin skin of real nitrocellulose lacquer, just enough to seal the guitar- too much and the resonance starts being hindered. Strumming the guitar unplugged will exhibit a lively tone & sustain that will only sound better when plugged in, and get better as time goes on.
This is the way I remake my *Kalamazoo Classic Series* Instruments.
*100% Made in Michigan, USA * the same way it was done in the 1950s @ 225 Parsons st.
*All rebuild Guitars are bench-made one at a time by the same skilled hands from wood selection to polishing and assembling and rebuilt using measurements & details from the Bartlett plan & my own drawings,blueprints,and templates made from authentic Vintage examples that have passed through my shop since 1985.
I Mainly use
Original 1959 Burst # 9-0668
as reference for
Details and Measurements.
*Note- I am a one-man shop. I do not sell parts, cases, or full "Kit" style guitars.
My name is Ron Luczak. Luthier est. 1985
You've probably never heard of me & you won't find me participating in the popular guitar Forums,
but anyone who has worked with me over the past 32 years can tell you that I am Honest and Ethical
and take great pride in my work.
I have been building custom guitars since 1985
I operated a small nondescript repair shop in my area for many years & have repaired countless musical instruments including guitars, banjos, & mandolins, as well as violins, cellos, & upright basses for the area schools.
One day a customer asked if I could build him a 1958 style Flying V made of Limba.
The completed guitar inspired me to make myself one.
Then as an experiment I decided to see if I could duplicate a '59 style Sunburst built exactly the same way as the originals using hot hide glue & thin nitro lacquer finish.
At this point there was plenty of information online about the construction of these classic guitars as well as a few Luthiers posting their "Burst-builds" & I compared their work to the original examples that
I have personally examined & took measurements & made templates from.
Unbuilding & then rebuilding a guitar is a very time consuming task which will be expensive.
Therefore, this may not be something most of my customers would have me do.
For those of you that bought a Gibson R8, R9, or what have you, & are unsatisfied that it really is nothing like the original vintage 1959 Burst it was intended to be a replica of, your New Gibson "can" be remodeled into true 1959 specs.
I strive to use vintage dimensions & construction methods on my rebuilds/mods.
This type of work is reserved for the discerning customer who understands that their Gibson
Guitar will be a better guitar After these Modifications.
shown - Left-Handed " Lemon Top"
United States of America !
*All images on this site are copyright by Luczak Guitars. Please do not re-post without permission *
I am not interested in creating forgeries.
The Gibson guitar company holds trademarks & patents on it's designs. I have no desire to infringe upon that.
My "Kalamazoo Classic Series" guitars are not new guitars made from scratch,
it is a "service" offered to remake or update an existing Gibson guitar, new or broken, into a better guitar where we would UN-build it's modern day construction, and RE-build it the 1959 way by
re-carving the top and reconstructing the components using Hot hide glue, changing to a Brazilian fretboard, Italian celluloid nitrate inlays, a deep set truss rod with no sheath, abs royalite binding, a nylon nut, and refinishing in Nitro Lacquer.
- similar to what these guys are doing.
*My rebuilds can only be built from existing genuine Gibson guitars that have a legitimate serial number and a logo which shall remain with the rebuilt guitar* This way it's still a "Gibson", it's just been modified.
In addition to my own Guitar line, I also refurbish/rebuild/modify existing
and/or broken Gibson Guitars that have an authentic serial number. I call these my
Modern day factory made guitars are not using Hot Hide Glue, Brazilian fretboard's, Quality lumber, or true Nitro Lacquer, they are using industrial adhesives and/or yellow wood glues. These glues have vinyl in them which is an insulator. Some brands get finished in thick coats of polyurethane and the result is a pretty guitar that has a dull tone and lacks resonance and sustain (strum any Epiphone at your local happy Guitar Center for a demonstration).
Modern factories also rely on Robotic CNC machinery- which isn't necessarily a bad thing, BUT robots don't have Human skills and they will never duplicate what a talented Luthier can do with his hands. There's a reason Vintage Guitars cost so much and are sought after, that's because modern factory produced guitars cannot play or sound like a hand made instrument such as the way they were once made in Kalamazoo Michigan, for example.
Did you buy a Gibson Reissue Les Paul and find it was not built, and doesn't sound the same way as the Originals ?
My re-makes are tributes to instruments which are no longer available.
"Forgery" implies the intent to deceive.
someone on a popular forum commented: "There's no way to determine the Intent of the builder by looking at the guitar"
..I say, fair enough, but there's also no way to determine the Intent of the "Customer" who Ordered it built that way, Right? !
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