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Weird MK-35


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Just checked an eBay listing for a MK-35, but it is nothing I've seen before (and I worked in a shop when they first came out, so I've seen quite a few). It has the right headstock and bridge, but instead of a round hole,the top has a series of small holes in it, some looking like weird f-hole and some at the end of the fingerboard and the end pin area. I'm wondering if this was some one of a kind prototype or if someone retopped it for some reason (can't imagine why). Regardless, it's definitely worth a look just for shock value!



Edited by brad4d8
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Seems like Gibson did a lot of development work with the MK35. I bought a used MK35 in the early 80’s that has a J50 top and pickguard. The Mk features on mine are the bracing, body shape and wood neck (no Mk hardware or serial number and has an old Gibson logo). There has been a few non-standard Mks pop up over the years. I’m still not sure what Gibson was up to. Maybe development to try and improve sound or simply letting the builders get creative with left over parts? Who knows? I still have mine and it plays and sounds nice!

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My understanding is that the Norlin Gibson head honchos saw that sales and quality of their Gibson acoustics was seriously tanking (due to their own poor decision making) and decided to make what they thought was a bona fide endeavor, initiative, commitment etc. to get Gibson back in the acoustic ballgame by developing, designing, and issuing the MK guitar line, what they thought was a cutting edge design and product to get back in the acoustic guitar marketplace. Needless to say, they severely misread Gibson buyers who treated the MK line similar to Ford’s Edsel. It basically spelled the end of Gibson’s acoustics for Norlin until Henry bought Gibson and began to get Gibson acoustics back to the products and standards they should be. Interesting, just like Ford’s Edsel, the MK like was potentially ahead of its time in terms of innovations (as many indie guitar manufacturers now have many of the MK line’s features and looks.). But, it was wrong for its time although most MK owners today say they are pretty good guitars, just not what is expected of a typical Gibson. Henry dealt with having to maintain Gibson acoustics within classic expectations as I’m sure JC will now have to do.


I’m sure others can add more.


QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark
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