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Hans
Nov-25-2006, 8:47am
I have to admit, I've always had a hankering for one of these. Just for the fun of it, any of you folks have any pix, info, models, etc. for these instruments?

Bill Snyder
Nov-25-2006, 10:27am
Well I was going to suggest you look at ebay, but I found the listing for the one you have pictured so I guess you already have.
I also like the looks of these and have bid on a few during the last year or so, but I won't bid much and have yet to get one.

Paul Hostetter
Nov-25-2006, 1:44pm
Google "Kay bass" and you'll find a Kay history site that's pretty thorough. While Kay had roots in a Chicago outfit that made interesting ware, most Kay/Airline instruments were laminated everything with basswood necks that pulled up, so they've never found much favor among musicians who cared about tone and playability. More a fashion statement than a musical instrument. The days when they were "pretty good for the money" have come and gone. What's currently "pretty good for the money" is considerably better. But these do have a bit of vintage mojo and if they're working, they're fun.

delsbrother
Nov-25-2006, 5:43pm
Check out Michael Wright's "Guitar Stories, Vol.2" for lots of Kay-mania.

Jim Garber
Nov-25-2006, 7:30pm
When I was in Jethro's one and only weeklong workshop in Elkins, WV in the early 1980s, there was a participant who had a handmade mandolin I think with koa back and sides made in the Kaycraft shape. I never did see another of those around nor did I ever find who made it. I know that Rick Turner was also inspired by that body shape for his Model T.

http://www.renaissanceguitars.com/images/modelt.jpg

Jim

ShaneJ
Nov-25-2006, 7:35pm
They were, no doubt, the inspiration for Breedlove "K" models.

Hans
Nov-26-2006, 7:58am
Guess it's pretty slim pickins out there. Tried all kinds of Googling, mostly to no avail. Do agree that they are not much sonically, but they do look like a fun instrument...would be insteresting to tweek one. Have to admit that it has crossed my mind once or twice (when I was feverish and delerious) to build one. Fun ones are the Old Kraftsman and Kay Kraft with the white plastic peghead overlay, and the Kay "Kelvinator" guitar P/H's are a hoot...just a BIT over the top though!

Jim Garber
Nov-26-2006, 9:38am
Hans and others:
I have a 1950s catalog that has some Kay pages and prob a few 1930s one that I have to check. If you like I can post a few later today.

Jim

Hans
Nov-26-2006, 10:22am
Jim, would love some pix of the '30's instruments!

Jim Garber
Nov-26-2006, 12:52pm
Here follows a few I found. This one is from the Chicago Musical Instrument Co.

Jim

Jim Garber
Nov-26-2006, 12:54pm
Here is one page from the Czechoslovak Music Company in New York. This company BTW is still in business as Metropolitan Music in VT.

Jim

Jim Garber
Nov-26-2006, 12:56pm
Here is one listing for a KayKraft mandolin tho not labelled as such in the Progressive Musical Instrument Co in New York. I have to see if I have any 1930s KayKrafts or Kays with f-holes.

Jim

Jim Garber
Nov-26-2006, 12:58pm
Here is one that was on eBay a couple of years ago.

Jim

danb
Nov-26-2006, 2:17pm
I had an f-holed one that was copied in icing sugar on my wedding cake http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Hans
Nov-26-2006, 2:34pm
[QUOTE]
Here's one that was on eBay a couple of years ago.

Be still my beating hort! Jim you are truly a mando-historio-mondo. Thank you!

Hans
Nov-26-2006, 2:40pm
Here's a pix from some info pm'd to me...thanks MIke!

Jim Garber
Nov-26-2006, 3:44pm
Be still my beating hort! Jim you are truly a mando-historio-mondo. Thank you!
Hmmm... Hans... perhaps I could have right of first refusal on the first Brentrup-KayKraft... :-)

Jim

Hans
Nov-27-2006, 8:35am
Don't know if I'll ever give it a try, but if I do...bought the one on ebay for 68 bucks, so I've got the template. Just saw one on ebay signed by Monroe and Doug Dillard for 10K, but when I checked it again, it was pulled. Dang, I was going to jump on that one!

delsbrother
Nov-27-2006, 2:44pm
OK, anyone seen Kay Kraft mandolas and mando-cellos?!

ShaneJ
Nov-27-2006, 5:55pm
I've seen a tenor guitar or two, but never a dola or mandocello.

Martin Jonas
Nov-29-2006, 5:29am
I've also seen one of the Kay Kraft tenor guitars, and it was a very nice instrument: loud and with good tone. Easily able to hold down the mandola part on its own against a herd of mandolins in a largish ensemble setting. No idea whether this was one of the laminated ones Paul is talking about or an earlier (?) solid wood instrument.

Martin

Rick Turner
Nov-29-2006, 8:54am
I've got one of the Style C guitars in need of restoration, and our pal Lowell Levinger has a bunch of these in mandolin, tenor guitar, and guitar. I'd love to find a company that could reproduce the gold floral decals used on a lot of them. And yes, the KayKraft was the inspiration for my Model T electric.

Jim Garber
Nov-29-2006, 9:00am
Rick: I was wondering when you would come across this thread.

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Nov-29-2006, 12:02pm
From Henry Kuhrmeyer's pioneering work with laminated instruments back in the 1920s through to the bitter end of the line in 1967, a period during which the name morphed from Stromberg-Voisinet, Kay-Kraft to Kay, the company history (http://www.kaybass.com/history.htm) has been about laminated instruments. It lives on in the Engelhardt cellos and basses which are still made in the same molds Kay-Kraft and Kay used.

Joined f-holes indicate a pressed (not carved) top, if it's solid wood at all. They're a tipoff to a production technique that indicates the use of molds. Flattop guitars may have been solid, though often they weren't. I have never seen a Kay "archtop" instrument that wasn't mold laminated - and sounded like it - but I couldn't say I'd seen them all. I'd probably rather see that marvelous retro aesthetic redeployed in modern instruments of better quality.

Rick - I know people doing gold decals with a regular laser printer and a special cartridge for the gold ink.

Martin Jonas
Nov-29-2006, 12:23pm
Flattop guitars may have been solid, though often they weren't. I have never seen a Kay "archtop" instrument that wasn't mold laminated - and sounded like it - but I couldn't say I'd seen them all.
Thanks for that explanation, Paul. The tenor I've seen was a flattop, so that may be the reason why it sounded rather good.

Martin

Jim Garber
Nov-29-2006, 1:08pm
I'd probably rather see that marvelous retro aesthetic redeployed in modern instruments of better quality.
Absolutely. The koa KayKraft-style mandolin I saw years ago was a nice carved instrument. I do like the look of these but I agree that they were lowened factory instruments.

That is why I would love to see one made by the likes of Hans or you, Paul.

Jim

mrmando
Nov-29-2006, 1:31pm
"Reverend" James Curtis of Port Townsend, Washington, makes KayKraft-style guitars and mandolins from time to time. I almost bought a KK mandocello from him once. He uses quite a bit of koa in his instruments. I hesitate to opine that the one Jim saw in the '80s was a Curtis, 'cause I don't think Jamie is old enough to have been building that long.

I have, in my travels, seen exactly one Kay mandolin that I would have considered owning. It was an upper-end model that appeared to be all solid woods and had decent tone.

Ken
Nov-29-2006, 1:34pm
Late comer to this post, sorry, work got in the way again. Really glad to see the interest in the Kay shape, makes me feel so not alone. Have always liked the look. The few that I've had in my hands have been pressed laminate, but sure agree that this design in a carefully crafted instrument would be temptation. Here's a pic of a take off from the Kay look in one of my electrics.
Ken

mrmando
Nov-29-2006, 1:45pm
Nice work Ken ... what's your last name and why don't I have you listed at emando.com?

James Curtis' Web site (http://www.jamescurtis.com/video.php) is really worth a visit. KayKraft-style mandola up for sale now. Also has what looks like an ergonomic tricone mandocello. There's a Curtis in the classifieds for $599 (great deal if you ask me) and another on the Seattle Craig's List for $2800 (you could probably get a new one from James for less than that!).

[edit] And since I originally posted this, the one in the classifieds has gone UP by $200! Amazing! I feel like Alan Greenspan...

Ken
Nov-29-2006, 6:54pm
Thanks mrmando, I actually had Scott pull me from the builders database here on the Cafe because my building has slowed down so much, nothing so far this year, one last year, one the year before. Although this thread has really started me thinking about a kay style acoustic....
Ken

Rick Turner
Nov-30-2006, 2:32am
An interesting build note about the KayKraft guitars (apparently designed by Joseph Zorzi) is that the bottom wrap of the sides is one laminate from point to point all the way through the butt. No butt seam... And, yes, a modern carved version might just be quite the ticket... Let's see...a nice flame maple back and sides with a Western red cedar top... Graphite reinforced neck... Ebony 'board... And some gold decalomania... A banjo killer?

Yuletide
Dec-07-2006, 9:23am
I bought an old Airline mandolin this past spring, which the folks here helped me identify as a Kay. I just bought it because I liked the shape. The neck was pulled so loose that it looked more like a harp than a mandolin, and the dovetail on the neck was very badly shaped, requiring major shimming and a liberal dose of epoxy to reset it. With a lot of cleanup and some work on the nut and bridge to improve the action, it's a pretty nifty little mandolin now, and the shape always gets some comments. The tone is ... well ... it sounds like plywood, but is no worse than that of many new low end mandos I've picked up in music stores hereabouts. The same store had a Kay guitar in the window, but I didn't pay any attention to it because even from a distance I could see daylight coming through a split right up the middle of the back.

GD Armstrong
Dec-14-2006, 2:28am
I have a Stromberg - Vosinett tenor guitar that a previous owner "converted" to an octave mandolin by adding more friction tuners. They are very crowded!
I've also built bouzoukis & tenor guitars with this body shape. Here's one of the zouks http://falikshow.tribe.net/photos/0b06b7b0-db27-4fa4-b073-f70ed8867a2f

Hopefully that will work, I get a message saying it's an invalid format when I try to post a live link.

Jim Garber
Dec-14-2006, 6:24am
This French-built Charle acoustic electric has a similar shape.

http://www.rfcharle.com/Images/ListeInstr./Charles.jpg

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Dec-14-2006, 12:42pm
My old friends François Charle and his wife Rosyne own the shop, but don't make instruments. I just wrote and asked who actually did make it.

http://www.lutherie.net/rf.charle.boutique.jpg

delsbrother
Dec-14-2006, 1:16pm
Didn't their son (?) make ukes at some point?

Jim Garber
Dec-14-2006, 1:38pm
The instrument is attributed to J.P. Charles (plural). He is a French luthier evidentally living in Brazil. You can see more of his work here (http://www.jpcharlesluthier.com/eng_main.htm).

Here is another of the same body shape:
http://www.jpcharlesluthier.com/jazz_mando_arquivos/image3321.jpg

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Dec-14-2006, 1:52pm
OK, this makes sense, mystery solved. Jean-Paul Charles of Brasil meets François Charle of Paris.

Matt Charle, fils de R&F, is a very busy anthropologist plying his trade in eastern Washington, with a minor in ukulele humor. I think he did put in some serious time with a few luthiers around Paris, Mike Lewis (the French one) among others.

John Hill
Jan-02-2007, 3:30pm
Here's a reasonable facsimile over at the auction site:

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Antique-Mandolin-W-Case-Pre-1978_W0QQitemZ300066358560QQihZ020QQcategoryZ11902 7QQr

dZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage....iewItem</a>

What d'ya know, another one:

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-1920s-30s-KAY-KRAFT-Venetian-MANDOLIN_W0QQitemZ160069444928QQihZ006QQcategoryZ1 017
9QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage....iewItem</a>


John

MandoSquirrel
Jan-02-2007, 5:45pm
What d'ya know, another one:

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-1920s-30s-KAY-KRAFT-Venetian-MANDOLIN_W0QQitemZ160069444928QQihZ006QQcategoryZ1 017

9QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage....iewItem</a>


John
"All in all, this Mandolin is in good condition"?! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Paul Hostetter
Jan-02-2007, 5:58pm
Yeah, mon. It's bloody gorgeous, like the headstock repair. EC++!

John Hill
Jan-02-2007, 8:02pm
I love that place, some of the stuff that gets pawned off over there cracks me up!

John

MandoSquirrel
Jan-02-2007, 10:18pm
And in a case like this, it's even cracked up, itself! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Steve Davis
Jan-04-2007, 3:03pm
Must be the distressed master model.

John Hill
Jan-04-2007, 9:27pm
In that case I'm willing to pay an extra $10,000 for it!

John

Tracy Tucker
Jan-06-2007, 11:56am
I had found the one on ebay (with the "repaired" headstock) and actually kept checking back to see if anyone was bidding yet... fell in love with the shape and thought that with some TLC it might shine up nice. #(Which it probably would, but if it would never sound decent, then it wouldn't be worth messing with.) Thanks for the heads-up!

Tracy

MandoSquirrel
Jan-06-2007, 3:20pm
"Current bid: US $24.99"
It's probably okay to bid higher.

Michael Wolf
Jan-08-2007, 7:18am
This may be a bit of topic, but I want to contribute this to the collection of examples that reminds of Kay mandos.
The new Beltona. Imagine it tuned in fifths and it's a mando.

David M.
Jan-18-2007, 4:36pm
Dang, that beat up one went for $69.

I just got one of these Kays pear shaped ones (no cool points like these have) yesterday. should arrive next week. These things can souind cool for old timey stuff. Mine'll need tuner buttons and who knows what else...

Jim Nollman
Jan-19-2007, 1:27pm
Here's a cherry sunburst Kay Rex I bought on Ebay very cheaply, years ago. I've had it professionally refretted, bound, then added a Taiwanese bridge and tailpiece, andf finally, inlaid a 3 dimensional ceramic face into the headstock. The flapped case, (and this discussion), suggests to me that it was made in the early 1930s. Although I can tell the top is laminated, I have always believed that the birds-eye maple back and sides are solid. Is there a benign way to test it?

Also, a significant qualitative boost in tone occurred when I got rid of the plastic pickguard and made one myself from padauk. I used to be a drum and marimba maker, and padauk was our wood of choice for resonance. I've alwqays wondered if the pickguard was serving like an external version of those tone-enhancers that Loar used to put inside his F-5s. I'd love to hear #a high-end mandolin made with a padauk back, sides, and neck.

Jim Nollman
Jan-19-2007, 1:28pm
here's the back

David M.
Jan-19-2007, 4:46pm
I have always believed that the birds-eye maple back and sides are solid. Is there a benign way to test it?


Any way to look inside to see if the birdeyes inside match the ones outside?

Jim Nollman
Jan-21-2007, 6:41pm
well, yah, that's the reason i thought the sides were solid. they do seem to match up front and back. I can't be sure, but it lookls to me as if they do. But another poster on this site seemed to suggest with some authority that Kay never made a solid wood instrument during that period. So if mine is solid wood, does it mean it was built as a custom instrument, or that the other poster was flapping his jaws? Too bad, there's no real way to trace these models like collectors do with Gibsons, Vegas, Lyon and healey, martins, etc.

Jim Garber
Jan-21-2007, 7:22pm
I think that the confusing thing is the catalog description code. Nowadays, when catalogs describe a ply instrument, they say for instance, mahogany back whereas if it were solid they mention solid mahogany back, etc. Back in the 1960s or before there was no such understanding. I think you just had to guess or know.

The best way is to do as David M. says.

I am not so sure sure that even in the 1950s the upper end Kays could have been ply and may have been solid.

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Jan-21-2007, 9:08pm
Jim's right - don't ask, don't tell. Millions of Kalamazoo Gibsons had ply backs and no one knew.

I have never seen a Kay that wasn't plywood. Having inside and outside plies that visually match is pretty common. You have to look elsewhere on the sintrument to be sure. Peel the binding under the tailpiece to check the top, endpin hole to check the sides, etc.

Jim Nollman
Jan-22-2007, 4:39pm
Excellent suggestion, Paul. I had noticed a tiny piece of binding starting to unravel, and took a closer look. The bottom is three-ply. The two face-pieces are birds-eye maple, the core is something darker, probably mahogany, and also half the thickness of the maple.

The side is the same laminate.

Paul Hostetter
Jan-22-2007, 5:09pm
And I assume the makeup of the top is evident at the edges of the soundholes.

Eventually you develop the ability to just look at a piece of wood and tell if it's laminated - it usually just lacks the translucency of solid wood. But I still check as much as possible, because I have been fooled. The guesswork is often augmented by a knowledge of the manufacturer.

Jim Nollman
Jan-23-2007, 2:10pm
The top doesn't look to be more than 1/8th inch thick. It reminds me of an instrument maker's version of the new sawdust lams made for construction. It is very hard, pressed to appear carved, and has no warp at all anywhere.

One importnat thing about the good Kays. When I'm playing in a jam setting with 8 or 10 other acoustic players, I can easily cut through, both with chop or fast tremelo. To achieve the best tone while doing so, I tend to hold the instrument sideways like a dobro, so neither the top nor bottom touches my body. The instrument vibrates like it might explode. Occasionally I play a solid maple and spruce instrument, and this one is neither as loud, nor does it have such good tone as the loudness increases if i play it this way. I consider this capability one of the best things about my Kay. I have never played a high end mandolin. But i have played Breedloves, and I'll take the tone and chop of my Kay — at full volume — any day. Then again, I admit i am not a bluegrass player.

The above sounds like a ringing testimonial of a chevy over a volvo.

Jim Nollman
Jan-24-2007, 5:34pm
http://www.pamelasmusic.co.uk/images/Forsale/string/mandolins/M169.htm

Here's one that being sold by a reputable dealer, specifcially being advertised as solid wood. The top looks like maple.

Paul Hostetter
Jan-24-2007, 6:05pm
Trust me, it's laminated. Every layer of the ply is solid wood, under the spray-painted fake curl.

What makes you regard Pamela's as "reputable?" Would you buy a mandolin from either of these people?

Martin Jonas
Jan-25-2007, 6:14am
I haven't had any direct dealings with Pamela's, but just from keeping an eye on the inventory and prices at their website over a few years, I would consider them enthusiastic, with a wild mixture of interesting and boring-to-dismal instruments at generally reasonable-to-cheap prices, but with little evidence of any particular expertise at least when it comes to mandolins. I recognise several of their current line-up from recent Ebay auctions, at quite similar prices, and with no evidence of any repairs or setup work having been done.

Martin

Jim Garber
Jan-25-2007, 9:27am
This unusual Kay Kraft with embossed Eagle just appeared on ebay Germany (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140078016431&ssPageName=MERCOSI_VI_ROSI_PR4_PCN_BIX&refitem=120075605994&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&refwidgettype=osi_widget).

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Jan-25-2007, 10:42am
My comment about Pamela's was tongue in cheek, and I completely agree with your assessment of their, um, wares. Cruising the companion site of the other babe, all their bands (We're a do-all duo! We're a rock band! We're a Morris Team! We're a New England barn dance band! We groom dogs!) and their flea market mentality crack me up. And they do seem to sport a marvelous freedom from fact. The Isetta photo says it all, to me. We thought old hippies were only in America?

Jim Garber
Jan-25-2007, 11:33am
Completely off-topic: That Isetta -- wasn't that that tiny Italian car with the entry door in the front. Strange!

Jim

Martin Jonas
Jan-25-2007, 11:54am
Despite the Italian name, the Isetta (http://www.bmwworld.com/models/vintage/isetta.htm) was actually a BMW model. #There were quite a few of these odd superminis in Germany shortly after the war: Messerschmitt for example adapted their cockpit designs for fighter planes to make the Kabinenroller (http://www.kabinenroller.de/), which looked stranger still.

Martin

Jim Garber
Jan-25-2007, 12:58pm
Great stuff, Martin. And I love those Kabinenrollers.

... and now, back to our regular programming.

Jim

Jim Nollman
Jan-25-2007, 12:58pm
Paul, with your classical mandolin experience, i am curious if you have ever played one of the French Gelas models made with a two-piece top, with the angle facing inward like a partially folded jackknife. The design is the opposite of an old Martin which has the angle facing upward. They look fascinating to me. I found a history of the style, which mentions that have always been favored by classical players.

Jim Garber
Jan-25-2007, 1:00pm
Paul, with your classical mandolin experience, i am curious if you have ever played one of the French Gelas models made with a two-piece top, with the angle facing inward like a partially folded jackknife. The design is the opposite of an old Martin which has the angle facing upward. They look fascinating to me. I found a history of the style, which mentions that have always been favored by classical players.
Jim is referring to this thread (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=27;t=41209;) on the Gélas mandolin.

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Jan-25-2007, 7:01pm
Seems as though we oughtta continue the Gélas conversation over there, non? (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=27;t=41209;)

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

brunello97
Jan-25-2007, 7:09pm
Despite the Italian name, the Isetta (http://www.bmwworld.com/models/vintage/isetta.htm) was actually a BMW model. There were quite a few of these odd superminis in Germany shortly after the war: Messerschmitt for example adapted their cockpit designs for fighter planes to make the Kabinenroller (http://www.kabinenroller.de/), which looked stranger still.

Martin
Ah, so the SmartCar didn't come out of thin air...

Mick

Ted Eschliman
Feb-10-2007, 10:58pm
No financial interest: 1928 blonde Kay/Stromberg Model 68 available at topshelfmusic.com in Buffalo, NY:


http://www.topshelfmusic.com/S9905060022.jpg

Jim Nollman
Feb-11-2007, 4:59pm
I have my Kay, and don't want another one, since there's certainly no market established for collecting them. It is interesting to me, that if you start browsing the websites of the many mandolin builders on the cafe, you see lots of Gibson copies, a small share of Lyon and Healy copies, a few Vega copies, more than a few innovative mandolins that copy old European jazz guitar shapes, but no Kay copies.

Is there anyone out there building a copy of a Kay? I love the big sound of mine, certainly accentuated by the 2.5 inch deep body. I think it could be worthwhile to use it as the template for a mandolin made with high end materials. Maybe that will be a good future project for me.

Hans
Feb-11-2007, 6:04pm
One of thes days...

Bill Snyder
Feb-11-2007, 8:11pm
Certainly not a copy but I think that the Breedlove mandolins appear to be inspired by the Kay mandolins. http://www.faziosmusic.com/prodimages/Breedlove/Breedlove%20McKenzie-b.jpg

Jim Garber
Feb-11-2007, 9:09pm
Many years ago, in WV, I took a mandolin class with Jethro Burns and one of the participants had a very nice handmade Kay Kraft copy with koa back and sides. I have been looking for the group picture we took of that class but have not been able to find it. I can't recall the name of the maker but it may have been a one-off by someone who no longer builds.

Jim

Jim Nollman
Feb-12-2007, 12:00pm
That koa-backed instrument sounds interesting. I'd love to hear an instrument like that.

I've never been a big fan of this Weber design.Looks clunky to me.

One question. These Kays are 2.5 inches deep. i can't fit it into a lot of mandolin cases. I bought a mandolin armrest last month, and that didn't fit the depth either. Not by half an inch. I had to send it back. How does that depth relate to an old Gibson A? Or a Rigel? Or the Eastman 2 point? Or a Paris Swing? One reason I'm asking, is that i notice the blond Kay, above, has a round hole. Mine has f holes. I have always suspected that if mine had a round hole, the bass end would turn to mush. So it was properly designed in the late 20s to serve as a mandolin analog to a huge jazz guitar with F holes. It punches out the bass without destroying its tone.

dmamlep
Feb-17-2007, 12:37pm
I have found a mandolin that look just like the kay, in an old shop, it doesnt have any markings on it, but the shape of the peghead, pickguard and all looks just like a kay, I can get it for about 175 is that too much.

Jim Garber
Feb-17-2007, 1:13pm
Depends on the condition. Is it playable? Do you like it?

Kay made lots of those for store and for other labels.

Jim

Jim Nollman
Feb-17-2007, 5:32pm
Daryl, mine didn't have any label on it either. The headstock and the wavy upper bout are the obvious giveaways. And if there's any loose #binding, check to see if the wood is laminated.

Check out this mandolin made in that same wavy shape. Made by a guy in Toronto named Beardsell. Has anyone out there played one of these? I'd love a report.

Jim Nollman
Feb-17-2007, 5:36pm
sorry, here it is:

dmamlep
Feb-18-2007, 9:11pm
I dont think it has the side holes. and would 175.00 be too much to pay

Bill Snyder
Mar-10-2007, 2:01am
<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/Exceptional-Kay-Mandolin-Vintage-AWESOME-Look_W0QQitemZ160091027066QQcategoryZ10179QQrdZ1Q
QcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">Nice looking old Kay</a> on ebay.
http://i20.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/8f/1d/227a_3.JPG

Jim Nollman
Mar-12-2007, 5:48pm
that one sold for $415. Unusual tailpiece, must be an add-on. Nice inlay work.

Jim Garber
Mar-12-2007, 6:26pm
that one sold for $415. Unusual tailpiece, must be an add-on. Nice inlay work.
That is a top-of-the-line Kay model K72. That tailpiece is original according to the catalog I have. (I think from around 1957).

They seem to be coming out of the woodwork:

Another Kay K-72 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140095561414)

Jim

Jim Nollman
Mar-13-2007, 1:10pm
Any serious jazz or blues player looking for an incredible mandolin, should jump on that top-of-the-line Kay now at Ebay. Like the old cliche, it is a steal at twice the price. Big sound. Deep bottom end. Ringing highs.

And cheap enough that you can give it to a professional set up person to flatten the fingerboard, re-set the neck, maybe re-fret it, and repair all the surface dings. Or if you get really daring, find some talented luthier to unseat the fingerboard and give it a radius. At that point, you have a very serious mandolin that is the equal of any mandolin on the market costing $2000. But you'll get laughed at if you bring it to a bluegrass gig. Or a collector's convention. Hopefully that latter scenario will change during this next decade.

Bruce Clausen
Jan-25-2009, 11:03pm
This appeared on craigslist here in Vancouver today, at a very reasonable price. I thought I'd just get a bite to eat, then give the owner a call. An hour later it was gone. Nice specimen, by the looks of it. Perhaps the new owner is among us and can tell us more about it.

ManjoMan
Jan-29-2009, 12:49pm
That is a top-of-the-line Kay model K72. That tailpiece is original according to the catalog I have. (I think from around 1957).

They seem to be coming out of the woodwork:

Another Kay K-72 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140095561414)

Jim

I will have to check some old photos, but I believe this is the same model that my Dad had when I was just a wee little man of 4 yrs old. If memory serves me, I sat down on the top of it and took its life. I would give just about anything to find one like this to replace it.

MikeEdgerton
Jan-29-2009, 12:54pm
I will have to check some old photos, but I believe this is the same model that my Dad had when I was just a wee little man of 4 yrs old. If memory serves me, I sat down on the top of it and took its life. I would give just about anything to find one like this to replace it.

Watch eBay, they are listed regularly. They may or may not have the Kay name on them.

jeff mercer
Jan-29-2009, 6:26pm
Hey,all,
There is a VERY pretty example of a Kay Venetian on eBay at the moment, checkered binding, floral decals on body & headstock, original(?) case etc.
Couple of cracks either side of the bridge, not sure how much of an issue they would be..

It may well fly under the radar, too, as the seller has it listed as a Ukulele :) !

Nice photos, as well..eBay 280307802284..sorry, still haven't learnt to do links !
Cheers, all.

MikeEdgerton
Jan-29-2009, 10:23pm
He ended the ukulele listing and relisted it as a mandolin here (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280308139564&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_RCRX_Pr12_PcY_BID_Stores_IT&refitem=280307802284&itemcount=12&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&usedrule1=CrossSell_LogicX&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget&_trksid=p284.m183&_trkparms=algo%3DCRX%26its%3DS%252BI%252BSS%26itu% 3DISS%252BUCI%252BSI%26otn%3D12).

I think this may be a Stromberg-Voisenet pre-Kay built mandolin. Looks pretty decent. This one might actually be solid, most of the later ones weren't.

sprucetop1
Jan-30-2009, 4:53am
Here's a pic. of the Kay I used to own. Not sure if it was an orig. blonde or had been refinished. Nice mandolin although the neck joint was imperfect. I gave it away to a beginner and he still uses it.....no idea how old it was or how it got here (I'm in the U.K).....John

jeff mercer
Jan-31-2009, 12:59am
Here's another one...eBay item 130284363867

Some obvious issues, but pretty cool nonetheless

:popcorn:

nvanlaar
Aug-14-2009, 5:07pm
I found this one local. I am going to check it out this evening. Any advice/what to look for? The store guy claimed it was solid, but after reading this thread I have my doubts.
http://www.soundstagefresno.com/used.html

MikeEdgerton
Aug-14-2009, 5:16pm
By the time that was built Kay was proclaiming their ability to mold laminated instruments to the world. Look inside the F hole, does the edge look like plywood? Also, check the neck joint, those are usually awful.

nvanlaar
Aug-14-2009, 11:21pm
The top appeared to be solid judging by the edges of the soundholes, although it really was hard to tell. There were no obvious laminate layers and it looked pretty much like my friend's Epiphone sound hole edges. I couldn't tell with the sides or back at all since the bindings were all tight. The whole thing looked to be spruce or some similar straight grain wood (nothing fancy). The shop guy seemed to be knowledgeable, and rattled off some of the Kay company history, so he might not be blowing smoke about it being a pressed (not carved) solid wood...

The neck joint certainly was not the best I have seen, there was a small gap at the heel(?) (bottom part that meets the back). It did feel solid and there were no signs of movement. It just looked like it was poorly fitted. The neck was straight, but could use a light plane job (there was an odd, slight hump below the joint). It was still very playable and sounded decent (not like a premium mando, but what do you expect).

It looked like someone stripped the original finish and re-did it, except poorly. Even the finger board was lacquered. In addition the last owner had some sort of internal disc transducer pickup installed with jack through the side. Original chipboard case included.

Is it conceivably worth $150?
Thanks for any advice.

Verne Andru
May-20-2010, 6:57pm
Bumping an old thread, but I've been eying these as of late myself. Love the look and while the laminate build may not be the best for acoustic use, these electric models look totally rad and the laminate top should add to the amplified tone:

Geoff B
May-20-2010, 7:57pm
In the "mandolins in progress" thread, Bill Hay has posted a few pictures of a build he's doing based on that design. I like it!