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Carson J. Robison guitars...any info on these or players on the forum?

#1 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 11:16 AM

Hi all,
Just a quick Q-Iím currently GASing for a small bodied Gibson or similar to round off the guitar arsenal I need-or want, if Iím honest!-to cut my next record (SJ200, J180, Maple AJ, J45, Bird 6 string and Bird 12!string, plus *insert parlour here*).

I really want a Maple Nick Lucas, but such a guitar is out of the reach of my pocketbook at the moment. I recently played a first generation Robert Johnson signature L1 which I LOVED, but another guitar has recently caught my eye, a 1936 Carson J. Robison, basically a Wards catalogue guitar, but one made by Gibson (essentially a Kalamazoo KG14). Itís ladder braced and a very cool little guitar. I havenít had a chance to play it, but Iím interested in peopleís opinions on them...does anyone own one? Has anyone played one? If so, Iíd love to know your thoughts.

Iím not set on it by any means, just exploring options.
#######
2016 Custom Shop Advanced Jumbo Maple (Ltd to 65)
2015 SJ200 Standard
2014 Custom Shop J180 Everly (Ltd to 65)
2005 Custom Shop Hummingbird 12 String (Ltd to 12)
1990 Hummingbird (Fullerplast and Paddle neck joint. Yuck...My favourite 6 string ever!)
1968 F25
1967 J45
1935 Dobro M32
2017 Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe Archtop
2003 Takamine EAN20C
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster
1988 Fender Strat Plus

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#2 User is offline   tpbiii 

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:20 PM

Carson J Robison had his name on a number of Ward's re-branded instruments in the 30s. The KG-11 version is I think the most common. There may be a KG-14 version, but I have not come across one.

The guitar to the left of center is a 1934 Carson J Robison (KG-11) and the center guitar is a late 30s KG-14. Here are some demos. These are great guitars IMO.

https://vimeo.com/groups/532603

Posted Image
Never criticize a musician until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Then you will be a mile away and you will have his shoes.
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#3 User is offline   vacamartin 

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 04:47 PM

I think Roy Bookbinder used to play one until recently? This looks suspicously like Roy Bookbinder's guitar which is also X-braced according to the venerable Neil Harpe. https://umgf.com/vie...63320&p=1965504

This post has been edited by vacamartin: 15 May 2018 - 04:49 PM

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#4 User is offline   tpbiii 

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:14 PM

View Postvacamartin, on 15 May 2018 - 04:47 PM, said:

I think Roy Bookbinder used to play one until recently? This looks suspicously like Roy Bookbinder's guitar which is also X-braced according to the venerable Neil Harpe. https://umgf.com/vie...63320&p=1965504


Because these were (relatively) cheap and old, they were always candidates for re-bracing. The result was a guitar that got you (part way) to (say) a real L-00.

Personally I would never do it -- they are unique and wonderful as they are -- but I would never tell anyone what to do with their guitars. But also I already own a number of x-braced "similar" 30s Gibsons.Posted Image

Best,

-Tom

This post has been edited by tpbiii: 15 May 2018 - 05:15 PM

Never criticize a musician until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Then you will be a mile away and you will have his shoes.
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#5 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:24 AM

Only Carson Robinson I ever owned was a Regal version. Funky little guitar with an oval soundhole and valve cover tuners.

I do own a 1930s deep maple body X braced guitar. It was built by Kay Kraft. I own the Oahu version which has a body with virtually identical specs to a Lucas. Kay Kraft also made them under their name giving you the choice of mahogany, maple or rosewood bodies. Mine is an early version still sporting the asymmetrical Kay Kraft headstock. The Oahu was not a cheap guitar in its day selling for a princely $98. One today, while still not cheap, will run you a whole lot less than a NL. If you do not give a fig about originality those with converted necks (most were built with square necks) can be found even cheaper. Supertone also made a version in the 1930s. I recently ran across one but it was the first and only one I had ever seen.

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This post has been edited by zombywoof: 16 May 2018 - 08:25 AM

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#6 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 01:09 PM

If you're after a smaller maple body, how about a CJ-165?

I'm also a big fan of the '70s Guild F-30. Similar to the 165, it had a 15" small jumbo-shaped body, but only available in mahogany or rosewood (note that earlier & later versions of the F-30 were shaped like a Martin 000, and are an altogether different animal).
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '66 Epi FT-45n Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean
'00 J-100 Xtra / '02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '09 ES 339 / '10 ES 330L
'11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special / '12 J-185
'13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15 / '15 J-50 CS
> Epiphones: '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton / '05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada)
'09 Elitist 1965 Casino / > Ibanez: '81 M-340 / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire / '14 Savoy A-150b
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood Dreadnought
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#7 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:51 PM

View Postbobouz, on 16 May 2018 - 01:09 PM, said:

If you're after a smaller maple body, how about a CJ-165?
..


Posted Image
I agree with the CJ-165. Here's one compared to an L00.





A little pricey but here's an L200.

https://www.ebay.com...119.m1438.l2649
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#8 User is offline   natstrat79 

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:01 AM

I had a chance to play one of the Carson J Robisons that shares the body shape of the L-00. It was ladder braced and had a huge neck with a very sharp V to it. Not the most comfortable guitar to play. I would suggest you play one first before you purchase, especially if you've never experienced a ladder braced guitar like this before. The one I played was a great sounding example but I don't know how I would describe it other than that it had the typical ladder braced tonal characteristics. The Waterloo WL-14 I tried at one point sounded very similar. Look for some videos of the Waterloos and you'll get the idea. Personally I'd look for a Waterloo and buy new to avoid some of the potential repairs of the Carson J Robison unless I was specifically looking for a vintage guitar.
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#9 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:31 PM

 Dave F, on 16 May 2018 - 07:51 PM, said:

Posted Image
I agree with the CJ-165. Here's one compared to an L00.





A little pricey but here's an L200.

https://www.ebay.com...119.m1438.l2649


I owned a CJ165 (a very early one badged as a J165) back in 2008, it was a sweet guitar but had a deformed top which creased in a weird way. I wasnít happy with it so returned it and bought my 2006 Hummingbird which was a stalwart guitar of my arsenal for several years.

The 165 was a lovely sounding thing though, Iíd definitely consider another. An L200 would be even better!
#######
2016 Custom Shop Advanced Jumbo Maple (Ltd to 65)
2015 SJ200 Standard
2014 Custom Shop J180 Everly (Ltd to 65)
2005 Custom Shop Hummingbird 12 String (Ltd to 12)
1990 Hummingbird (Fullerplast and Paddle neck joint. Yuck...My favourite 6 string ever!)
1968 F25
1967 J45
1935 Dobro M32
2017 Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe Archtop
2003 Takamine EAN20C
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster
1988 Fender Strat Plus

#######
www.jinder.co.uk
www.facebook.com/jindermusic
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#10 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:33 PM

 natstrat79, on 18 May 2018 - 06:01 AM, said:

I had a chance to play one of the Carson J Robisons that shares the body shape of the L-00. It was ladder braced and had a huge neck with a very sharp V to it. Not the most comfortable guitar to play. I would suggest you play one first before you purchase, especially if you've never experienced a ladder braced guitar like this before. The one I played was a great sounding example but I don't know how I would describe it other than that it had the typical ladder braced tonal characteristics. The Waterloo WL-14 I tried at one point sounded very similar. Look for some videos of the Waterloos and you'll get the idea. Personally I'd look for a Waterloo and buy new to avoid some of the potential repairs of the Carson J Robison unless I was specifically looking for a vintage guitar.


Very interesting thoughts, thankyou! I gather the L-00 shaped Carsons are quite a rarity, did you try it recently?
#######
2016 Custom Shop Advanced Jumbo Maple (Ltd to 65)
2015 SJ200 Standard
2014 Custom Shop J180 Everly (Ltd to 65)
2005 Custom Shop Hummingbird 12 String (Ltd to 12)
1990 Hummingbird (Fullerplast and Paddle neck joint. Yuck...My favourite 6 string ever!)
1968 F25
1967 J45
1935 Dobro M32
2017 Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe Archtop
2003 Takamine EAN20C
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster
1988 Fender Strat Plus

#######
www.jinder.co.uk
www.facebook.com/jindermusic
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#11 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 08:04 PM

View PostJinder, on 14 May 2018 - 11:16 AM, said:

Hi all,
Just a quick Q-Iím currently GASing for a small bodied Gibson or similar to round off the guitar arsenal I need-or want, if Iím honest!-to cut my next record (SJ200, J180, Maple AJ, J45, Bird 6 string and Bird 12!string, plus *insert parlour here*).

I really want a Maple Nick Lucas, but such a guitar is out of the reach of my pocketbook at the moment. I recently played a first generation Robert Johnson signature L1 which I LOVED, but another guitar has recently caught my eye, a 1936 Carson J. Robison, basically a Wards catalogue guitar, but one made by Gibson (essentially a Kalamazoo KG14). Itís ladder braced and a very cool little guitar. I havenít had a chance to play it, but Iím interested in peopleís opinions on them...does anyone own one? Has anyone played one? If so, Iíd love to know your thoughts.

Iím not set on it by any means, just exploring options.



Is the CJR in the UK, Jinder?

Err...CITES....Brazilian rosewood and pearl dots on the almost identical Kalamazoo KG-14 on sale at Elderly was quoted to me at a 3-6 month wait for the CITES documents plus a fee of $US150 for the rosewood and $100 for the pearl dots!

I would look at something else - I adore my Waterloo WL-14X, close copy of the Zoo in mahogany/sitka. They also have the maple 14 ftret Scissortail. Sensational stuff with Collings fastidious thrown to the winds, but they canít help themselves! Perfect intonation, big Zoo type neck, frets, bridge, saddle, nut! ETC!


BluesKing777.
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#12 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 03:57 AM

 BluesKing777, on 19 May 2018 - 08:04 PM, said:

Is the CJR in the UK, Jinder?

Err...CITES....Brazilian rosewood and pearl dots on the almost identical Kalamazoo KG-14 on sale at Elderly was quoted to me at a 3-6 month wait for the CITES documents plus a fee of $US150 for the rosewood and $100 for the pearl dots!

I would look at something else - I adore my Waterloo WL-14X, close copy of the Zoo in mahogany/sitka. They also have the maple 14 ftret Scissortail. Sensational stuff with Collings fastidious thrown to the winds, but they canít help themselves! Perfect intonation, big Zoo type neck, frets, bridge, saddle, nut! ETC!


BluesKing777.


Yep itís in the UK-I wouldnít want to go through all the CITES red tape!! Iím picking up my Maple AJ from Wildwood next month and theyíve had to sort CITES permits and allsorts, I wouldnít fancy doing it myself.

The Waterloos are very appealing, Iíll try one!
#######
2016 Custom Shop Advanced Jumbo Maple (Ltd to 65)
2015 SJ200 Standard
2014 Custom Shop J180 Everly (Ltd to 65)
2005 Custom Shop Hummingbird 12 String (Ltd to 12)
1990 Hummingbird (Fullerplast and Paddle neck joint. Yuck...My favourite 6 string ever!)
1968 F25
1967 J45
1935 Dobro M32
2017 Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe Archtop
2003 Takamine EAN20C
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster
1988 Fender Strat Plus

#######
www.jinder.co.uk
www.facebook.com/jindermusic
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