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Thread: Identify help

  1. #1

    Default Identify help

    Been in a plastic bag at my grandfathers house. Just got it out and I canít seem to match it up. It has Kay but its just a sticker on it, nothing I can see inside the f holes.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Identify help

    Ugh, I canít post pics from my phone for some reason. Sry Iíll try to get them uploaded ASAP.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Identify help

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Identify help

    After the original Kay company closed for business in 1968, various companies have used the brand. This mandolin is from one of these owners and was made most likely in South Korea in one of the very big instrument making factories there. On that basis, identical instruments were also sold under a myriad of brand names during this period. It is not a product of Kay in Chicago but a company that had the brand and imported instruments made in the ROK. There are a number of threads started here that feature very similar instruments.

  5. #5
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Identify help

    It could become reasonably playable with some work but, other than as a hobby project, such work could cost more than its market value.

    - Mostly, the bridge is both uncompensated and (despite being overbuilt) sagging/collapsing toward the middle. If I were keeping it, fitting a proper bridge would be a nice project. No need for a $50 Cumberland Accoustics (plus the effort of fitting); StewMac has serviceable ones for far less, and appropriate to the quality of the instrument (but still a cost to have someone fit it for you), IF they have one that's high/low enough compared to the current one.
    - The tuning peg "bushings" are bottom-of-the-line plastic or nylon plugs, that might deform under string pressure. I have a mando with those and considered replacing them with standard press-fit metal bushings, but that would require plugging & re-drilling the headstock, precision work. Decided it wasn't worth the effort as deformation was minor.

    On the good side (some will disagree!), it has a 0-fret which fairly ensures that string height over the first fret is pretty good.
    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the kowin' of you."
    - Ian Tyson

  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify help

    It's one of these, imported under dozens of brand names maybe more.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Identify help

    Ah, I gotcha. Thanks for the input, much appreciated!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Identify help

    Well that's exactly what I'm looking for. I'm a guitar player and I DIY most of my projects. KY boy here just always wanted to get into mandolin. I plan on taking the tension off, trying to brace and remove the sagging. (have a few different ideas) This is just a family thing and I'm not trying to spend any money. Just something to fix up and get some new strings on it.
    I may replace some parts if I have some extra bushings/whatnot laying around. However, I'm not messing with the 0-fret on a cheap mandolin. I may do some drilling or something if I have some spare parts but otherwise I don't really mind. I can absolutely do the work because I'm good in my woodworking shop with the tools I have available. I've also modified guitars all my life, just not mandolins; mainly Electrics and Acoustics.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Identify help

    Thanks! I see what your saying, I've googled many times and I haven't found that one. There was always something different. IE the head stock or the Kay symbol or the. . . .

    Anyways, thanks for sharing!

    ps. More than anything, I just wanted to know what year it is. Probably going to be impossible to figure out but maybe we can track down a solid range of years somehow. Either way, thanks for all the advice from everyone!
    Last edited by Axxis; Jun-20-2020 at 9:50pm.

  10. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify help

    They started showing up around 1980, maybe slightly earlier and continued through the decade and again maybe a little later. Getting it down to a single year is probably impossible.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Identify help

    Thanks again! Post-1980, all I need to know, lol. I'm gonna get this thing ready to practice on and maybe I can buy a better one off one of you guys in a month or two. Anyways, thanks again for all the help.

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