I bought a plywood Kay round hole mandolin to learn on a couple of years ago. Sound isnt that great but its easy to play & frets good. I havent seen any new Kays for sale since I bought mine. Does anyone know if they are still being made. & if they are do they still make them with F holes? I now have a good F style mando Im just curious .
Kay Guitar Company has a website that shows 3 mandolin models. I have never seen any listing for them actually for sale anywhere.
Yeah, as far as I know Kay still makes mandolins, but I've never actually seen a new one. My first mando was a K w/f-holes. Probably from the '80's or something. I actually found it difficult to play and really hard to fret...Still, we developed a deep bond. I called her "Maybelle." Sigh. I wonder where she is now...
As with Harmony, Kay's were originally manufactured in Chicago, until the import boom came along. The name was undoubtedly sold and everything is now coming out of Korea or China. The link here looks like the Johnson product line with Kay on the peghead. I don't remember ever seeing any of these imported Kay models. Again, like Harmony, the old Chicago vintage instruments have become semi-collectibles. There's even a Barney Kessel (jazz great) signature guitar. Their old mandolins were fairly well built, some with "interesting" body shapes. I would buy one of those simply for it's value as a conversation piece.
She was a good dog!
I have a Johnson - these definitely don't look Johnsons. Peghead shape as well as body shape much different.