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Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by Jimi Shelter, Feb 4, 2010.
Count me in too.
This is a 1964 (according to the date code on the pots) Kay Western Auto Truetone I got from a pawn shop. Sweet looking guitar but needs a neckset and a fretjob. Pickup is the cheesegrater style. The truss rod cover was missing and I found one at a Luthier shop that was the exact one for it. I do have the bridge for it.
This is just like the one Telesalivas shows in that picture. I think Jack White has a similar model.
We have one of these for cheap on the local craigslist. How do you like it?
Just stumbled across another one. Kinda a min-Gibson J200 looking thing. Ladder braced, spruce top, laminate maple back and sides, maple neck (with some nice flame in it which is a bonus) and the thickest walnut board I have ever seen. Poor child had been stripped of many of its parts but after some rummaging through my parts bin I almost got it back on the road. Here she be with its big sister - my 1960 J200.
heres my speed demon-
built between 62-64
j.s moore rewound the dead bridge pup- http://www.tonefordays.com/
bridge is a modified replacement, and the 4 way rotary switch is new.
a couple of the knobs are new as well.
Here's my Kay built Silvertone
Late 50's Kay Silvertone
Bought this around 1980 from Tom at Third Eye Music, Springfield, Mo..it was in his 'junk' guitar pile, $50...originally it was a silver metalflake finish, which i stripped to find maple plywood that i shot clear laquer over. Has speedbump pickups, no truss rod neck (they used a square tubing rod in the necks) bronze frets and Kluson tuners.
As purchased it played and sounded fine with a new set of strings...but was never used much as i had other guitars. It hung in an open air garage for almost 25 years until i "rescued" it and brought it in to clean it up recently...filled with mud dauber nests, it weighed around 25 pounds.
I decided to do a neck set on it as i am changing the guitar around to be a fun Rockabilly beast with new P90's, roller bridge and early japanese style whammy bar. The old pots and wiring are still intact and work fine. The new finish will be gold leaf front, Gretchy look greenish sides and a leopard spot back..or some combination of this...Dice knobs, pin up decal on headstock and main body...
Should be a fun guitar...i'll be putting all the original parts on ebay or here if anyone is looking...
not mine, but a buddy's Kay Swingmaster K672 that we refurbished for him, before:
I later found a very close match for the missing knob.
I really like these old Kays. A friend of mine gave me this bass for Christmas. I like it a lots. Does need repair because the neck was tried glued on with bad result. But I will fix that at some point
I finally found a pic of my buddy's Kay Swingmaster K672 and the replacement for the missing knob:
I got this one for $20 back in the mid 90s.
My 50 something Kay k-190.....was my dads at one time...
Here is a 1961 Kay vanguard that I just picked up last night in trade.
It's in near mint condition. One small ding on the back of the neck, but other than that, no buckle rash, the frets look brand new, the rosewood looks to be Brazillian and unplayed. Original electronics...the pots are a bit scratchy, but not by much. The guitar cable I use doesn't like to come back out of the jack without a struggle...but it sounds very cool.
I need to get a headstock logo and an ashtray bridge cover for this sucker...anybody know where I can get one?
It looks like a Kay-manufactured guitar. The OP's pickups are smooth-tops, not cheese graters. Very thin pickups, surface-mount (I have one on a Danelectro Longhorn semi-hollow - great sound.).
Model numbers are all over the map, especially when they were making guitars for Western Auto and dozens of others.
All you can do is comb eBay and vintage guitar shows for parts. Nobody makes parts for them.
Uhhhh - FWIW a screw through the neck heel is NOT a recommended repair method! Not likely to be very sturdy, and at the heel probably caused more damage than good. Obviously that guitar has been modified quite a bit - but why not fix it in a more correct, permanent method? A little internet research would have been a good idea IMO.
My Kay is a '59 Rhythm Special 16" archtop - a big, blond Godzilla of a guitar. Has a D'Armond monkey-stick pickup - otherwise all original, with a monstrous Lousiville Slugger, no-trussrod neck. With Thomastik flats and a tweed Deluxe it's a blues monster (it was formerly owned by Junior Watson, who used it for exactly that purpose); through a cleaner amp it's an amazing jazz axe; acoustically it makes me feel like Ranger Doug - you just WANT to play cowboy jazz chords on it. Came with an original Gibson-type hardshell case!
Here's my early '60s Kay Jazz II. You can see that it's the later version, without Kelvinator headstock, branded Bigsby vibrato, and Kay logo on the batwing pick guard. The stock vibrato works great, though, and I guess I can live without the other appointments.
I got it on Halloween 1991, in a guitar shop in Montgomery County, Maryland. They had just moved locations for the first time in 15 years, and when they opened all the cases, they discovered this guitar sitting inside an original tweed case. They had assumed the case was empty all the time they were at their old location because the guitar is so light. So it's something of a closet queen, with at least 15 years, possibly much more, locked away and unmolested.
Then I bought it and a few months later moved to Japan, leaving it at my parents for five years, because I felt it was too delicate to risk flying with. Used in a band setting for a few years in the late '90s, but was careful with it and then it got almost another 15 years in its case when I set guitars and bands aside. For the past year and a half, it gets some play time, shared among other guitars of course.
They seem to go for around $1000 or so these days. I paid $350 including tax and some new strings way back when.
I was just looking at my Jazz II and my Casino side by side, and I realized that I greatly prefer the Kay's body shape. The bout isn't as bulbous and the horns are more graceful as well. Purely personal preference, and I love my Casino.
Kay music video spotting!! Soviettes!! Really great punk band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day released two LPs by them on his Adeline label in the early 2000's and Fat Mike from NOFX also released a LP by them on his Fat Wreck Chords label.