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Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar  

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  • See All Gibson Semi-Hollow and Hollow Body Electric Guitars
    Gibson

    An elegant looking Jazz box with a thin body, '57 Classic humbuckers and an amazing price.

    The Midtown Kalamazoo takes its cue from another legendary archtop electric that featured an equally innovative “hybrid” design in its time: the Byrdland. In full Midtown tradition, although the style and feel all start with that vintage original, Gibson USA raises the bar to bring you an instrument that’s ideal for the needs and musical styles of the 21st century guitarist.

    The original Byrdland guitar—unveiled from Gibson’s Kalamazoo, Michigan, factory in 1955—was designed in consultation with two first-call Nashville session players, Billy Byrd and Hank Garland, and it incorporated several “advancements” that the two saw as beneficial to the player of the day. Its fast, slim neck profile and shorter 23-½” scale length were intended to boost soloing speed and ease complex jazz chording, while its thinline hollow body helped to minimize feedback yet retained traditional archtop tone.

    The Midtown Kalamazoo offers all these classic Byrdland-inspired features, and tops them off with the elegant looks of the real deal from the mid ’50s. Byrdland-style acrylic pearloid block fingerboard inlays, a multi-bound headstock with “flower pot” inlay, multi-ply body binding, gold hardware, and a high-gloss Vintage Sunburst finish in hand-sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer all help to make this an exceptionally classy guitar that represents the zenith of the Midtown line.

    In terms of tone, Gibson USA continues Midtown tradition by loading the guitar with an augmented dose of power and versatility. A pair of ’57 Classic pickups present that hallowed PAF warmth and depth in standard mode, while four-conductor wiring allows split-coil sounds via push-pull switching on the tone knobs. Add it up, and the Midtown Kalamazoo is both an elegant celebration of the past achievements of Kalamazoo, and a superbly adaptable performer for today’s jazz, rock, blues, or country guitarist.

    Body and Neck
    Much like the Byrdland guitar of 1955, the Midtown Kalamazoo has a thinline acoustic body made with a Grade-A maple top and a Grade-A mahogany back. Its Grade-A mahogany neck is carved to a fast profile that measures 0.818” at the 1st fret and 0.862” at the 12th, with a 23-½” scale length for enhanced speed and comfort. It’s topped with a Grade-A rosewood fingerboard featuring acrylic pearloid block inlays, and crowned by a traditional multi-ply Byrdland headstock with “flower pot” inlay. The guitar looks exquisite in a high-gloss Vintage Sunburst finish in hand-sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer.

    Pickups and Electronics
    Two ’57 Classic humbuckers load the Midtown Kalamazoo with traditional PAF-style depth, richness, and clarity, while equipping it for the needs of today’s more demanding guitarist. The four-knob control complement with three-way Switchcraft selector switch retains a classic look, but push-pull switching hidden within each pickups’ individual tone control taps split-coil tones for a wide range of alternative voices, with a reverse-polarity bridge pickup for superior hum rejection in the middle “single coil” position.

    Hardware
    Grover locking keystone tuners lead off the Midtown Kalamazoo’s elegant gold hardware, which also includes Gibson’s legendary tune-o-matic bridge for enhanced solidity and sustain, and a traditional zig-zag trapeze tailpiece. A bound fingerboard, multi-ply body and headstock binding, amber top-hat knobs, and a bound Tortoise pickguard complete this deluxe package.

    Case and Coverage
    The Midtown Kalamazoo comes protected in a black hardshell case and includes a truss-rod wrench and Gibson USA owner’s manual.

    Features

    • Bound multi-ply body with maple top and f-holes
    • Mahogany neck with Byrdland profile
    • Pair of '57 Classic humbucking pickups in the neck and bridge positions
    • Gold-plated tune-o-matic bridge and 165-style tailpiece

    Been waiting for a jazzy alternative to the 335? Order today.

     

    Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar Specifications:

    • Body
    • Top: Maple
    • Back: Mahogany
    • Body Type: Hollow body
    • Binding: 3-ply W/B/W
    • Adhesive: Franklin Titebond 50
    • Neck
    • Species: Mahogany
    • Profile: Byrdland
    • Truss Rod: Traditional Adjustable
    • Joint Angle: 4° (+/- 15 seconds)
    • Adhesive: Franklin Titebond 50
    • Neck Fit
    • Joint: Mortise & Tenon
    • Adhesive: Franklin Titebond 50
    • Joint Angle: Tolerance +/- .005"
    • Fingerboard
    • Species: Rosewood
    • Frets: 22
    • Radius: 12"
    • Binding: White
    • Nut/E.O.B: 1.695/2.234
    • Scale Length: 23-1/2"
    • Inlays: Acrylic Perloid Block
    • Nut
    • Material: Corian
    • Width: 1.695
    • Slots: Gibson PLEK System
    • Headstock
    • Type: SP2
    • Logo: Acrylic Gibson & "Flower Pot"
    • Truss Rod Cover: Black and White Blank
    • Binding: Multi-ply W/B/W/B/W
    • Angle: 17 Degrees
    • Tuners
    • Model: Grover Locking Keystone
    • Plating: Gold
    • Tuning Ratio: 18:01
    • Bridge
    • Type: Tune-o-matic
    • Plating: Gold
    • Tailpiece
    • Type: 165-style
    • Plating: Gold
    • Hardware
    • Knobs: Vintage Amber Top Hat
    • Pickguard: Multi-ply Tortise
    • Pickup Mounting Rings: Black Plastic
    • Control Plate Cover: Black Plastic
    • Strings: .009 - .046, Genuine Gibson strings
    • Strap Buttons: Aluminum End Pins
    • Pickups
    • Neck Position: '57 Classic (Alnico II)
    • Bridge Position: '57 Classic (Alnico II)
    • Electronics
    • Potentiometers: 2 Volume Controls, 2 Push/Pull Tone Controls
    • Type: 300k Linear Volume, 500k Non-linear Tone
    • Coil Wiring: Machine Wound
    • Toggle Switch: Three-way Switchcraft with White Plastic Tip
    • Output Jack: 1/4" Switchcraft
    • Finish
    • Sealer: Nitrocellulose
    • Surface Texture: Smooth High Gloss
    • Process: 1-1.5 mils
    • Case
    • Type: Hardshell
    • Case Exterior: Black
    Customer Reviews
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    Review Snapshot®

    by PowerReviews
    GibsonMidtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar
     
    4.5

    (based on 11 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (8)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    90%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Fun to play (10)
    • Good feel (10)
    • Good pick up (7)
    • Good tone (7)
    • Solid electronics (6)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming (6)
      • Practicing (6)
      • Recording (5)
      • Small venues (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Experienced (7), Professional musician (4)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Gibson made a Home Run with this guitar

      Ok! I'm going direct to the point… the only thing that I regret is that I just buy just one guitar. This guitar is outstanding in the all aspects of construction;...Read complete review

      Ok! I'm going direct to the point… the only thing that I regret is that I just buy just one guitar. This guitar is outstanding in the all aspects of construction; from head to toes, she is beautiful. This guitar is so comfortable in your hands and your body that no matter how tired you feel you want keeps playing. The weight of this guitar is great for long gigs or long hours of practices … The short scale feel wonderful when playing, without stretching your fingers more that cant handled. If you are dreaming of being the owner of a Byrdland for the scale, without affecting your pocket and if you are fan of Gibson guitars, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS GUITAR!!! The back of the neck have a feeling of playing a Les Paul Classic, so is very pleasant to play. The pickups 57' classic nail it; and with the split coil Push/Pull tone knob you have a variation of sound in one guitar. The quality of details in the paint, binding, inlays, are amazing. The construction of the body is like a Gibson Pat Martino Custom, so is really close to your body, not like Jazz Box body type. The flat top is something that I like it but don't love it; archtop will be much better to give some acoustic resonation and projection… (Take notes Gibson for the next guitar if you planning to create other model; same guitar features but archtop). I feel so much satisfaction about this purchase that I considerate to buy a second guitar. Gibson made a HOME RUN!!!

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      More of a Les Paul

      I got this guitar looking to play more jazz music. It's at a great price and the guitar is beautiful. The feel of the guitar is also amazing. Extremely easy to play. When...Read complete review

      I got this guitar looking to play more jazz music. It's at a great price and the guitar is beautiful. The feel of the guitar is also amazing. Extremely easy to play. When I put the distortion on it sounds amazing. Sounds just like a les paul and you can really get that sustain and crunch. So if you're looking to play some zeppelin tunes this guitar is great. However, when I'm looking to play jazz music and have no effects on it just sounds really flat. You either get too much of a bass sound or too much of a treble sound. I if the guitar wasn't so thin then you would def get a more full sound. I'm still debating on whether or not I am going to return the guitar.

      Reviewed by 11 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      5.0

      Beautiful guitar at a reasonable price

      By Robert Wineland

      from PA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Recording
        • Small Venues

        Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

        Beautiful guitar at a reasonable price. The neck is excellent- now you can do all those Albert King bends effortlessly. Great tone for blues, jazz, rockabilly. Pickups not quite as responsive as my Epi 339, but I am learning how to set them better. Not great at staying in tune, but could be a function of break-in and bending. You have to adjust your touch because of the looseness of the strings. Also some adjustments in fingering required above 12th fret. But worth the effort!

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing

        By Dharma follower

        from Space Coast, Florida

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

            I played my first gig with this guitar and it exceeded all expectations! Crystal clear clean and crunched when I needed it. Got tons of compliments, even from my mates, who have heard many quality guitars. This guitar plays and sounds like no other I've played. Buy one now while you can- if you can...

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            this guitar will amaze you!

            By ron

            from maine

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording

              Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

              i purchased this guitar as used from mf,and i am more than satisfied ,its pristine condition.I have been playing for more than 60 years ,and this is in my opinion the best gibson i have ever had. You cant beat the deal.

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Midtown Kalamazoo

              By Dharma follower

              from Space Coast, Florida

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Recording
                • Rock Concerts
                • School Bands
                • Small Venues

                Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

                I have been waiting awhile to get this guitar and finally received it today. This guitar is everything I expected it to be and I couldn't be more pleased. I find it to be very Les Paul like, very fast and her looks are stellar. Of course my guitar tech will need to look her over, and set it up, but I am very pleased. I played every fret, played all pick up configurations and found it to have a nice tone, smooth, but will also screech and sustains well regardless. Awesome!

                Comment on this review

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                A great guitar!

                By ric

                from southern michigan

                About Me Experienced

                Ask me a question

                Pros

                • Fun To Play
                • Good Feel
                • Good Pick Up
                • Good Tone

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

                    This guitar exceeded my expectations. The neck and scale length really work for me, especially on gigs that I have to play a lot of barre chords. The finish was perfect and the set up closer than expected. Actually the build quality was miles ahead of the last les paul I purchased. My only issue is mf couldn't get the guitar and I had to go elsewhere, something I hated to do since I have always used mf with great results. The sonic spectrum of this instrument is really a joy when playing covers.

                    Comment on this review

                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    It's a Beauty

                    By edrez

                    from Cleveland, Ohio

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Fun To Play
                    • Good Feel
                    • Good Tone
                    • Locking Tuners

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

                        This guitar was worth the wait. Played a gig with it right after I swapped out the strings. The locking tuners threw me off a bit at first (as I confess I did not know it had them...never have seen them before) But, it really makes changing strings a lot easier and quicker. The finish is very nice and I know one day the removable backplates will make servicing a whole lot easier than my other semi hollow body guitars. Love it so far!!

                        Comment on this review

                        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Excellent Beautifal Guitar

                        By doctordub

                        from New Rochelle NY

                        About Me Experienced

                        Pros

                        • Fun To Play
                        • Good Feel
                        • Good Pick Up
                        • Good Tone
                        • Solid Electronics

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Jamming
                          • Practicing
                          • Recording
                          • Small Venues

                          Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

                          The only thing that I would recommend to buyers of this Guitar is to swap out the strings to 10 or 11 DA flat wounds. Easy to get an excellent Jazz tone by using single coil settings on both pickups.

                          Comment on this review

                          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Gibson made a Home Run with this guitar

                          By Ed Navarro

                          from San Juan, PR

                          About Me Professional Musician

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Fun To Play
                          • Good Feel
                          • Good Pick Up
                          • Guitar Details
                          • Price
                          • Scale
                          • Solid Electronics

                          Cons

                          • Acoustic Projection

                          Best Uses

                          • Collectible Items
                          • Jamming
                          • Jazz concerts
                          • Love And Care
                          • Practicing
                          • Recording
                          • Rock Concerts

                          Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

                          Ok! I'm going direct to the point… the only thing that I regret is that I just buy just one guitar. This guitar is outstanding in the all aspects of construction; from head to toes, she is beautiful. This guitar is so comfortable in your hands and your body that no matter how tired you feel you want keeps playing. The weight of this guitar is great for long gigs or long hours of practices … The short scale feel wonderful when playing, without stretching your fingers more that cant handled. If you are dreaming of being the owner of a Byrdland for the scale, without affecting your pocket and if you are fan of Gibson guitars, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS GUITAR!!! The back of the neck have a feeling of playing a Les Paul Classic, so is very pleasant to play. The pickups 57' classic nail it; and with the split coil Push/Pull tone knob you have a variation of sound in one guitar. The quality of details in the paint, binding, inlays, are amazing. The construction of the body is like a Gibson Pat Martino Custom, so is really close to your body, not like Jazz Box body type. The flat top is something that I like it but don't love it; archtop will be much better to give some acoustic resonation and projection… (Take notes Gibson for the next guitar if you planning to create other model; same guitar features but archtop). I feel so much satisfaction about this purchase that I considerate to buy a second guitar. Gibson made a HOME RUN!!!

                          Comment on this review

                          (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Happy with the guitar; few minor issues

                          By Joe

                          from Texas

                          About Me Experienced

                          Ask me a question

                          Pros

                          • Comfort
                          • Playability
                          • Tone

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Blues
                            • Fusion
                            • Jazz
                            • Rock

                            Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

                            First, I have three Byrdlands; this is not a Byrdland. It has the same scale length but is a flat top, not an archtop; has a hollowed out flat mahogany back, not separate carved and arched back and sides; and is not as broad as a Byrdland in the body but wider than a Les Paul. It is a lot less expensive than a Byrdland. OK, that's it for the Brydland comparisons.

                            It is a joy to play! So many tonal variations; the standard humbuckers and the single coil taps are very rich sounding and quiet. Great neck, two-piece mahogany back, plain maple top – all very nice looking. Great case. It is a keeper.

                            The few minor issues: There are a couple of minor finish flaws that are not what I would expect from Gibson. The push/pull coil taps on the tone controls are very stiff and I have pulled the knobs off several times trying to get the single coils on – either better/smoother pots or different knobs are needed.

                            Comment on this review

                            (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            2.0

                            midtown kalamazoo

                            By Stratobill

                            from outside atlanta

                            About Me Professional Musician

                            Ask me a question

                            Verified Reviewer

                            Pros

                            • Comfortable
                            • Fun To Play
                            • Good Feel

                            Cons

                            • Flat Sound
                            • Fret Buzz
                            • Guitar Cannot Get A Jazz
                            • No Clean Jazz Tone

                            Best Uses

                            • Jamming
                            • One Trick Pony
                            • Practicing

                            Comments about Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar:

                            Received this guitar and loved the playability,however it did have a small ding in it and the tailpiece was scuffed. The G string buzzes when you hit the string open so there's a problem with the nut. I tried 3 different sets of strings on this and tried it through 5 of my amps but despite the effort, I could not get a good clean, jazz tone out of it. The guitar sustains well, but do not think for one second that you can get anything close to a good jazz tone out of this guitar,,,the mids are just not there and it's impossible to cut through a mix without turning the volume way up. I hated to return this guitar because it played so well and was so comfortable, but without the tone,,,you got nothin. I would label this guitar as a low end Les Paul in disguise. I believe this guitar will follow the lead of the original Midtowns and be worth a fraction used what they cost new.

                            Comment on this review

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

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