Here we have an incredible and rare Gibson Kalamazoo Award archtop guitar in natural blonde finish. These guitars were built by
Gibson craftsman Wilbur Fuller who produced the company’s first hand-carved, tuned-by-ear custom guitar. The instrument, which in a blind sound-off with some of the best instruments of its era, won the hearts of Gibson brass, ultimately became the Kalamazoo Award.
Fuller is quoted in an article written by vintage guitar magazine saying the reason for the Award was his dream to build a guitar that drew its tone from a top, back, and braces that were all finely tuned – by his ear alone!”
He built the guitars under pressure and would hand carve the wood with a small rubber mallet and using his fingers would tap the wood until he felt it was the correct thickness. He would constantly button up around the sides and make small adjustments until the top sound board was tuned to C and the back tuned to D. The braces were also individually tuned with the bass brace to C and the treble brace to D.
Many of the guitars features are borrowed from the original Gibson Citation however the flying bird peghead/pickguard/tailpiece inlay is unique to the Award. Guitar comes with original Gibson hard case and is in mint condition.