VTG SALES & RESTORATIONS ARCHIVE - BLUES VINTAGE KAY ACOUSTICS - CHICAGO, USA KAY-MADE 6-STRING GUITARS FROM THE 1950S & 1960S.
Brief details of previously sold Kay USA made acoustic guitars - see "VTG AVAILABLE" listings, in the Chicago/USA Blues Guitar section, for similar available guitars or contact me.
SOLD
Intro
I have sold a number of Kay made Flattop and Archtop Acoustics from the 1950s and 1960s, in addition to the many Harmony Guitars I specialise in and have invariably had excellent buyer's feedback on these guitars.

These are classic Chicago, USA built Harmony Acoustic Guitars. The Kay Company promoted and advanced the use of Laminates in constructing their guitars...not entirely to the exclusion of Solid Woods, which they retained in some models, but making a virtue out of the laminates freedom from cracking problems which can beset solid wood guitars. Hence the following extract from a mid-'60s Kay Catalog entry is typical:-

The 1966 and 1967/68 Kay Guitars Catalogs entry for one model reads:-

K8165 - A Kay Exclusive! Master Size Spanish Guitar. Bigger size guitar offers the rich, deeper bass sound. Laminated guaranteed crackproof curly Maple body. Reddish shading with yellow sunbursts on top and back, highlighted sides. White striped edges and soundhole. Rosewood grained Maple fingerboard with inlayed position markers. Slim steel-reinforced neck. Nickel plated metal tailpiece; celluloid pickguard. Size 42" x 17".

....unlike their big competitors, Harmony, who stuck to All Solid Timbers, almost to the end of their Chicago, USA production, just sneaking in a limited number of laminate guitars towards the end in 1975.

With their ladder braced body construction probably being more significant in terms of sound/tone, rather than the laminated timbers, these guitars were widely used and bought by Blues Players of the time - ideal additions to any collection of blues/vintage guitars!
Description
Here are some, not all, of the Vintage Kay USA made Guitars I have sold in recent times - in some cases other examples of the similar models may be currently available, or at least "in the workshop". Please enquire for current availability, prices and further details.

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PRE-2012 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** KAY K6858 VINTAGE EARLY '60s USA ACOUSTIC MAPLE ARCHTOP BLUES/JAZZ GUITAR - Great Restored Condition, All Original - VTG1085 - Photo #5.

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2012 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** KAY K5113 USA VINTAGE MID-1960s "PLAINS SPECIAL" MODEL "000" SIZE SOLID SPRUCE TOP/MAHOGANY ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - Distinctive Looks Tortoiseshell Bindings Slim Neck Superb Sound, Playing & Condition All Original - VTG1086 - Photo #1.

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*** SOLD *** KAY K5160 USA VINTAGE LATE 1950s/EARLY 1960s AUDITORIUM/000 SIZE ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - Distinctive Looks Slim Neck Low Action Superb Sound, Playing & Condition Professionally Restored All Original - VTG1244 - Photo #3.

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*** SOLD *** KAY K8165 USA VINTAGE c.1966/1968 "MASTER" SIZE 17" "MAPLE" JUMBO ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - Distinctive Looks Slim Neck Huge Natural Reverb Sound Excellent Playing All Original except for replacement Floating Bridge & Nut Professionally Restored - to buyer in Cardiff - VTG1243 - Photo #4.

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2013 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** KAY K1160 USA VINTAGE c.1959/1960 MAPLE SIZE "0"/PARLOR STELLA TYPE FOLK/BLUES GUITAR - Ladder Braced Great Condition & Playing Soft Cover Bag - All Original plus additional Floating Bridge for alternative low action option Sold on behalf of the "Bid Daddy of British Blues" Perry Foster - 131102 - VTGC1013 - Photo #2.

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2014 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** KAY K7020 VINTAGE USA 1960s MAPLE NYLON, SILK & STEEL STRING OR NASHVILE TUNING FOLK/BLUES GUITAR - Something a little different! - Ladder Braced Versatile Hi-Strung or Standard Tuning - Professionally overhauled/restored, including re-gluing back braces - to studio buyer in London - 140702 - VTG1309 - Photo #7.

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2015 SALES:
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*** SOLD ON PRE-ORDER *** KAY K6130 USA EARLY 1960s LADDER BRACED SPRUCE/MAHOGANY FOLK/BLUES GUITAR - "Auditorium" Size 14-Fret Body, Big/Wide Slothead Neck/47.5mm. Nut, Long 655mm. Scale. Professional Restoration Completed as semi-Baritone guitar for regular buyer in Germany, Fingerboard Re-levelled/Re-fretted, New Bridge made/fitted - "The first look I fell in love....You really did a gorgeous job on restoration...If You ever need a person speaking for Your service, feel free to pick me." - 150502 - VTG1087 - Photo #6.

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Condition
All guitars are restored to the same high standards as the scores of other vintage guitars, which I have restored and sold over the years.

The concentration is on structural soundness and playability, rather than any cosmetic touching-up, and certainly no ill-advised refinishing, but of course the guitars are sympathetically cleaned, setup and re-strung, as part restoration.

For availability and availability and individual details on the various guitars, and the restoration work being done on them, please do contact me by email or telephone.
Action, strings & cases
I set out to achieve a 12th. fret action of between 2.5mm. and 3.5mm. on these guitars...but if that sounds high to you, please bear in mind that we are in a totally different world of guitar-playing here, to which we cannot apply the "all my guitars have an action of less than 2mm." approach. These are blues guitars, and as such it is expected that players will use a bottleneck slide, in which case a low/electric type action just does not work, and some fret clearance is essential.

I fit Martin Bronze Light 12-54 gauge strings as standard, but happy to discuss other string types/gauges to buyer's requirements.

The guitars do not usually come with cases, although I do have some of the original covered pressed-board cases originally supplied with these guitars....those who remember these will recall that they are not exactly what we would now call a fitted case! Alternatively, on occasion I can get a small classical size Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, offering infinitely better protected, but these do have to be specially fitted out. Additional case prices available on request.
Contact us about this guitar
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Delivery details
You are welcome to come and try out the guitars available, and of course to collect your guitar. Alternatively I may be able to deliver in person, within reasonable distance, at cost. Otherwise, I will pack securely and post as per arrangements made with you.

Postage Costs:-
To U.K. Addresses 15.00 or 25 for Next Day Delivery.
To European Addresses 30.00 to 60.00, depending on size, weight, value and delivery location.

If you need further information postage costs/timing/insurance or advice on other matters, please contact me via Contact form above, telephone 01543 677140. If no immediate response, I may be contactable via my mobile number 07970 832955, and I will do my best to answer any questions.

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**** INTERNATIONAL SALES ****
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In addition to hundreds of UK sales, during the last few years I have sold and had safely delivered many guitars to buyers in EU Countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, and also to Switzerland and Norway. I am always happy to advise potential buyers from throughout Europe with regard to postage arrangements and delivery costs.

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**** FEEDBACK AND TESTIMONIALS ****
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In addition to the testimonials on the Home Page, to see the hundreds of complimentary feedback comments kindly left for me by eBay buyers, please check out my eBay ID "vintagetraditionalguitars".

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**** OTHER GUITARS ****
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I have a stock of guitars which is added to regularly, but some tend to take a little time to find their way through my workshop, so if you do not see what you are looking for on my website currently, please enquire - who knows, I may have just what you are looking for!

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**** YOUTUBE ****
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You can find numerous clips of Vintage Kay Guitars on YouTube, including the one I have embedded here, by Daniel Guareschi, which is the only one I have found so far relating to the actual Kay models I have sold....this one being the K1160. There are clips of other Vintage Kays also on Daniel's YouTube channel....if I find any others on the models listed here I will add them.
Video
Useful links
Kay Vintage Catalogs on Kay Vintage Reissue website
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