NGD: Kimberly "Bison" - with flatwound strings?

rodak

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I bought a Kimberly Greenburst "Bison" recently (photo below). It's a blast from the past, one I used to drool over in the old Lafayette Electronics catalogs. (and my wife's name is Kimberly, so it's that much more special to me now). It looks like it's hardly been played, but the strings were rusty, and one was broken so I put a new set on. The wound strings were flatwounds! Man, I had totally forgotten you could get flatwound guitar strings back then! Could it be that those were the original strings, from back around 1971-74-ish? How common were (or are ) flatwound guitar strings? I just bought a Squier Precision bass, and specifically wanted flatwounds on them, because I most definitely remember flatwound bass strings. Funny, after nothing but roundwounds for the last, oh, 40 years or so, I bought two instruments within a few weeks of each other, both with flatwounds!


Kimberly Guitar.jpg
 

JDB2

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I love flatwounds except that you can’t really bend the wound G (that typical sets have). I have them on my Ibanez artcore and Les Paul that I play jazz on and the feel and tone are great. Mellow but rich.
 

rodak

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Love it! How does it sound and play?
It plays pretty good! Neck was almost straight, I've got a little buzz on the B string - I think notch in the nut is too deep - but the feel of it was good, not like a "cheap" guitar at all. As to how it sounds, that's hard to say - the output jack is either dirty or there's a bad connection somewhere - I had to fiddle with the plug to get a signal out to the amp. I managed to confirm that all four pickups, switches and volume/tone controls work, but I couldn't get it to stay "on" enough to really play it. I've taken it apart to give it a good cleaning, and fix that problem, and see what I can do about that buzz. I'll try to update later when I have a consistent sound.
 

rodak

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I love flatwounds except that you can’t really bend the wound G (that typical sets have). I have them on my Ibanez artcore and Les Paul that I play jazz on and the feel and tone are great. Mellow but rich.
When I put it back together, I'll put rounds back on for now, and see how it is, then will probably switch to flats later, to compare the two.
So does anyone know if cheap guitars (or guitars in general) were often outfitted by the manufacturer with flatwounds, were those more likely installed by a previous owner at some point?
 

Edgar Allan Presley

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LOL! Four will have to do for now.
Would love to own a Spectrum 5 someday, which, I supposed it could be argued, has SIX pickups! Eastwood makes a nice repro, which is somewhate affordable (unlike the originals or even the Japanese repros!)
Wow. Seriously, though, your new old guitar looks amazing.
 

rodak

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I hope mine sounds that good when I've got it back together. Ran into a snag - new and unused as it looks, three of the screws (both on the bridge, one on the tailpiece) just wouldn't come out, so I've got to go pick up a screw extractor now <sigh>
 

cometazzi

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Man, I love all those kitschy guitars from back then. Is Kimberly a Teisco/Kawai rebadge? Sure looks like it.

Also, flatwounds==yes:

1660512644763.png


I have an active bass with roundwounds that's very "modern and intense" sounding. Then I have this passive one with flatwounds, and it works for all the other stuff I like. Vintage, mellow, comfy, "sits in the mix". You know all the speak.
 

rodak

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Back then, Kimberly was manufactured by Kawai:


According to that article, Kimberly-branded "Teisco May Queen" guitars are out there. I've seen a number of them on eBay.
 




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