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Recording King M-2 1939 made by Gibson! Anyone know anything?


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Hi, I think I've got here a Recording King from the 1930's, I believe made by Gibson ....


see M-5 on this page: http://www.folkwaymusic.com/instruments/archtops.html


the M-5 seems to have a better crown mark than mine which seems similar to the M-3 ..




here's mine; any info about it would be greatly recieved (it has a slight split back is this a big issue?)










thanks, Alistair

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Recording King guitars, which were sold through the Montgomery Ward catalog, and were made by several companies including Gibson, Regal and Epiphone. The Crown logo on yours is identical to other Gibson-made Recording Kings I have played or run across. During the 1930s Gibson also made guitars with the Cromwell, May Belle, and Slingerland logos.


The split in the back is an easy repair and nothing to worry about. Just take it to any competent repair guy and you will be OK.


Here is a late 1930s Gibson-made Ray Whitley Recording King.




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  • 2 years later...

This is a Gibson made recording King M-2 Archtop. Only 740 of these M-2 models made. They have a carved maple top and maple laminate back and sides. I have one myself that plays very well. They are difficult to amplify but you can use a Schertler Basik putty mount pickup with good results. I use the Basik and a kent Armstrong ultra thin humbucker on my mounted to the pickgaurd with gel superglue making it easy to remove if need be. They sound fantastic with the right strings; .56 - .13 gauge perferably. These M-2 versions are easy to tell if they are Gibson made by the Crown logo above the Recording King logo.


There are a variety of other options for set up that a qualified luthier can offer to obtain the best sound possible. They are the same size as the Gibson L50. The pickgaurd is the same for the L5 and L7 version for the same year. Mine also has the exact same cracks on the back. Which in fact are not cracks but seams where the bouts are connected. Perhaps Gibson was saving money by not using a full laminate back? Nice find; you should keep it.

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