PAGE A11 - 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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2017 SALES:
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*** SOLD ON PRE-ORDER! *** VINTAGE - KAY SILVERTONE MOD. 661 CHICAGO, USA VINTAGE 1964/66 000/OM SIZE TENOR ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - 23" Scale Ladder Braced 4-String Spruce & Mahogany - Professionally Restored incl. headstock repair/re-facing, fitting new Kluson vintage style stamped-steel tuners, with black oval buttons, Nickel finish, double-line housing, to restore the vintage character of fittings, removal & re-fitting of the fingerboard to re-secure steel neck reinforcement rod, fingerboard then re-levelled & re-fretted, remove body back to access & rectify movement in neck block, which had become partly split & detached from back, back re-fixed, new binding fitted, finish made good, Rosewood bridge dressed & reduced in height for making/fitting new bone saddle, to provide a fully playable, well set-up, professionally restored player's tenor guitar - VTG1088 - 170703.

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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.
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Delivery details
PLEASE SEE THE DETAILS ON UK & EUROPEAN DELIVERY OPTIONS, INTERNATIONAL SALES, FEEDBACK & TESTIMONIALS, OTHER GUITARS, PICKUP INSTALLATIONS, ETC. SECTIONS OF THE TWO "BOXES" AT THE HEAD OF PAGE 1.....HEADED "AVAILABLE GUITARS INVENTORY & ARCHIVE" AND "SALES & GENERAL ENQUIRIES".

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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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