Identification is complicated by the fact that Kay re-assigned these numbers around , so many models have two different model numbers, one which was used in the '50 and another in the '60s, despite being the same guitar. But it's not hard to go through the catalogues, and to date most guitars by noticing slight changes in the models over the years -- such as pick-guard shape, tail-piece type open or closed end , etc. By going through the catalogues, most guitars can be pinned down to within a couple of years. More specific dating is possible with electric models by checking the stamp on the back of the pickups, in the format "mmddyyyy" e.
Of course, that only dates the manufacturing of the pickups themselves, which may have been in stock for some time before they actually went into an instrument, so strictly speaking that stamp only establishes an easliest possible date for the instrument as a whole. As for the vexed issue of monetary value, most posts naively assume that there is an absolute answer to this question, but of course, there is not. Value is set by two factors: This equation changes on a daily basis, and so no answer can be given to these questions other than saying check these links regularly, and watch how prices are evolving.
Auctions are a much more accurate guide of actual market value. And finally, to the so-called "experts" who will tell you that Kay guitars are not really collectable, I will quote a slight variation on the immortal words of P. Wodehouse from the dedication of his autobiography of , "Over Seventy": It's a great way to learn lutherie. Who's going to practice re-setting a neck on a 12 grand Gibson? Hi I have a Blonde hollow body Guitar with two pick ups and a single cut away, fitted with a Bigsby tremelo arm.
Can anyone tell me how to check out the serial number printed inside. Can not find any info on either and have been looking for years. Both are excellent guitars, play and sound great. Can email pics if necessary. Thanks for any and all help I have an acoustic guitar, not an archtop, it has a gold sticker on the top with the letter "K" exactly like the Kay logo.
It has a model number inside of K Can anybody tell me anything about this guitar and it's value? I can't find anything on it. It's in great condition, seems to be all original and I believe it's from the 70's. I would like to know the value of a like new Kay guitar mentioned in the subject line.
How to Determine the Age of a Kay Guitar
This was a Fathers Day gift to me. Thank You, Jim Perry. Hi, I have a Kay Archtop guitar and the model No. Does anyone have any info on this model and why the "19" was written in? I was wondering if anyone could give me any info on a Kay acoustic guitar I purchased at an estate sale.
Inside is the model number L Excellent condition but I just can't pinpoint any information.
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I'm wondering about the year of manufacture and the small size. Again any info would be greatly appreciated. Have a k made in korea with double pick guards SN k adj bridge laminated wood back sides know anything about it. I have been all over the internet searching for information on my guitar. Either this a one of a kind, or I haven't found the right website. It's a Kay acoustic arch top 6 string with F holes. The identification inside is N2 and L It has a Kay V and Kay pick guard that I haven't been able to find in pictures.
I know it is over 50 years old. Does anybody know any history on this guitar and what it might be worth? It's got to be a rare model. I think you might have a Kay Upbeat Full Kelvinator guitar fror the late 's. Inside of my guitar, there is L If you look up this guitar on google, it could give you some hints of what type of guitar you have.
L , two F holes, arched top.. Anybody have a clue what year it could be??? I just bought this guitar with no markings and am driving myself crazy digging around trying to figure out what it is. The serial number is on the inside "L". It is a double F hole acoustic, with a floating bridge. I wish I had more info but the previous owner sanded down anymore info, hope someone knows about serial number lingo. I have a Kay guitar and I don't know what year it is. My grandfather gave it to my a few years back.
One of the best known Kay electric guitars during the s was the K " Thin Twin " , most visibly used by blues artist Jimmy Reed. This instrument debuted in , and featured a single cutaway body, a distinctive "fire stripe" tortoiseshell pickguard , and a pair of thin blade-style pickups that gave the guitar its name. Also in , Kay introduced the matching K " Electronic " Bass , which was the first commercially available thinline- hollowbody electric bass guitar , and the second production electric bass guitar after the Fender Precision Bass debuted in These instruments [ clarification needed ] are believed to be the first semi-hollow electrics [ citation needed ] i.
Their unique design [ clarification needed ] featured a flat top with no f-holes, a free-floating arched back, and two braces running along the top. The result was a semi-acoustic instrument that was feedback-resistant while retaining natural acoustic resonances. In , Kay added the K bass to its catalog with baritone tuning, according to the catalog, [ citation needed ] " tuned like the first four guitar strings but one octave lower. In the late s, various guitars in the Kay line were assigned new model numbers; according to the catalog, the Thin Twin became K and the Electronic Bass became K However, there were truss rod and neck issues.
Gold models had single coil pickups with clear silver plastic covers and phillips head bolt adjustable pole pieces. The Upbeat model came with an optional transparent black plastic cover. Valued among collectors, the headstocks from featured a reverse painted plastic overlay similar to the Kelvinator logo. The guitars featured art deco patterns.
Kay Vintage Acoustic Guitars | eBay
Kamico guitars were lower-priced versions of Kay's original guitars. They were among the first guitars to use a humbucker type pickup, predating Gibson by some few years.
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The most recognizable model is the Jumbo Jazz. Kay also made banjo's under the kamico name. Like their guitar manufacturing, the basses were hand crafted by skilled craftsmen using special ordered machinery. They even had a hot stamping machine that could emboss the trademark KAY cursive script. Manufactured in Elk Grove Village, Illinois , Engelhardt basses and cellos are sturdy instruments, widely used by students and touring professionals. The ES9 Swingmaster bass formerly the Kay S9 Swingmaster , is highly thought-of by jazz, swing, and bluegrass musicians. Kay flattop guitar played by Deacon John Moore.
K parlor guitar c. Kay Wah Wah 1 c. Style Leader c. Value Leader K 6-string Bass  . Value Leader c. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Kay Musical Instrument Company Kay's archtop electric guitars in In this picture, the dark numbers H represent the Harmony guitar model. In this case model Harmony "H" H The light blue number f represents Fall , which was when this guitar was made.
Help ID/Date old Kay acoustic?
Harmony used this type of markings from the s to the s. Internal Harmony marking for model H made in the Fall of F See the new and updated Hofner section by clicking here. Players and collectors consider D'Angelico Excel and New Yorker models to be amoung the finest archtop guitars ever made. They are extremely collectable.
Note that John D'Angelico died in , and his apprentice D'Aquisto finished his last few models that were "work in progress". Serial Numbers to D'Angelico serial numbers are not strictly chronological.
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Some overlaps in date ranges occur. Number range Year no number to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to Style A: Then in late the body changed to 17" wide and curved single bound f-holes. All models have multiple bound top and back, block inlays, peghead with broken scroll pediment framing ornamental cupola button , rounded angles on scroll, and in stairstep tailpiece. Some examples with peghead with broken scroll pediment framing ornamental cupola button and rounded angles on scroll.
Stromberg's workmanship is generally considered amoung the best, though not quite as good as D'Angelico archtops. Stromberg's late model guitars from the 's have great sound that makes them quite collectable. The early models with multiple top braces do not sound as good, but are collectable because of the Stromberg's reputation.
G-2 and G-3 Cutaway: Deluxe and Deluxe Cutaway: Cutaway models very rare.