Up for sale, a 1967 Custom Kraft Ambassador model 4272 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with a chipboard case. Custom Kraft guitars were created for St. Louis Music (a heavyweight guitar distributor), produced in Chicago at the Valco factory, which was home to the Supro and National brands, among others. The Ambassador series were inspired by the Burns Bison, along with some other better-known Valco-made offerings.
Tonewoods include a maple body, maple neck, and Brazilian rosewood fretboard, and this Ambassador has a sonic breadth and liveliness, with a bass-register bark and breathy trebles. The natural qualities translate into a range of powerful and punchy sounds when plugged in thanks to the large ceramic magnets at the heart of the original trio of Vista Tone “anti-hum” pickups. The oversized single coil pickups have a classic Valco/Supro tone, with a percussive, powerful note attack and great midrange. Additionally, the independent two-way Tone switches allow for wooly, darker sounds; sweet sparkle; or a unique blend of both in any configuration. This Ambassador weighs 7lbs 4oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a moderately slender C-shaped profile carve with generous, inviting shoulders in every register and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .820” deep at the 1st fret and .940” at the 12th. The thick slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard has a 12” radius, refretted with practically perfect medium jumbo fretwire which has plenty of meat and well-rounded crowns. This guitar plays cleanly in all registers, and the steel-reinforced neck is straight. The original nylon nut measures 1 3/4“ in width, just behind the zero fret. The headstock sports a large Custom Kraft badge with a raised blue lion insignia, and the original set of Kluson Deluxe double-line tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with clean white plastic buttons. The back of the headstock retains the silver foil serial sticker.
All of the electronics function as intended; each pickup has an independent pair of two-way toggles, one of which turns the pickup On/Off and the other of which is a Normal/Low Pass Tone control. Additionally, each pickup has an independent Volume knob, plus a Master Volume knob. The vibrato has a Jazzmaster-esque design, actuating smoothly and bouncing quickly back to pitch, with threaded saddles. There’s light pitting on the vibrato base, and the original arm sits at an ideal height off the body, yet about half of the arm’s threads are still visible when it’s firmly secured in the collet. All of the original plastics are present, including the reflector top Master Volume knob, six switches, and two-piece brown tortoise pickguard.
Cosmetic wear on the gloss Sunburst finish (described in the Custom Kraft catalog as “hand rubbed”) includes some light scuffing in the clear coat across the back, and a handful of minor nicks on the body as a whole, largely relegated to the lower bout perimeter and on the top at the lower bout. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss.
A vintage form-fit chipboard case is included.