GG149, Klangola 1946

All guitars marked "Klangola" are in fact made by Levin and delivered to Förlaget Filadelfia in Stockholm. Has an exactly the same guitar as this one from 1942 which is marked Levin. The Klangola guitars are a bit more lavish than normal and have some odd details, this one had an edging that was alternately white and black on the fretboard. Not very nice! They mostly have flaming birch at the bottom and side. This one had a three-part maple neck with aluminum reinforcement (which was replaced with a carbon fiber rod).

Like all Levin, the lid and bottom were about 3,5 mm thick which is a bit too much for best sound. Levin made solid guitars rather than ones that sounded as good as they could. Some old parlor guitars can be more easily built, especially those with poplar necks. Probably they were sized for late strings. There are also some old specimens with 4 mm thick bottom and lids, maybe you took proper care to hold for steel strings before you came to better thoughts! From the 1920s onwards, you always get thin both lids and bottom, which I did on this one as well. The lid should be about 3 mm thick and the bottom about 2,6-2,8 mm. With a thinner lid and the bottom, the guitar blooms and sounds much better.

Some pictures halfway into the renovation.

During a 20-year period, circa 1930-1950, the position of the bands on Levin cannot be trusted. Typically, the first two straps are about 2 mm too close to the upper saddle, the third strap usually being properly positioned, but not the fourth. The rest of the straps are in the right place +1 mm at most. Sometimes the last band is just as wrong as the first. The reason must be the famous machine that tracked down all the bands with about 20 circular saws in a single blow. Fast but wrong. You missed the maintenance of the machine and adjusted the saw blades. Took a picture of the old walnut board and the new one in rosewood with properly placed ribbons. The camera has a distortion from the lens, but you can clearly see that the first two bands did not sit right!

Cover before bottom bonding.

The neck of this is longer with 13 bands to the body instead of 12 bands as on older parlor guitars. The fretboard with a 16 ″ radius got a uniform black binding around the edges instead of the checkerboard. Never like simple round dots in the fretboard, it's nicer without (or with an excess of inlays!). The black binding around the fretboard matches the black binding around both the lid and the bottom. White side markers on the 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th bands were mounted. String through the stable was replaced with a new peg stable in rosewood that got black ebony sticks.

Gluing the neck in my special jig, the most critical moment.

Brass straps, oversaddle tinting, carbon fiber rod in the neck, plugs and segmented stable legs, new tuning screws and a K&K mic were mounted in the usual order.

  • Total length: 97,5 cm
  • Top (upper round, waist, lower round): 26 - 21 - 36 cm
  • Side (neck block, waist, end block): 10,5 - 10,5 - 10,5 cm
  • Neck: Weak U-shape
  • Fingerboard (nut, 12th, bridge): 44 - 57 - 60 mm
  • String length: 63 cm
  • Varnish: Cellulose overcoated with spirit varnish
  • Weight: 1486 g

Sounds as expected, a little more bass and "bigger" sound than on a small parlor. Still high volume, balanced tone with good sustain. Of course, intonates as well as it should with the oversaddle intonation. Really nice to play on despite the wide rim 🙂

Is for sale for 9995 SEK + shipping, this was made for the fair in Umeå which was canceled.


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