Kay Vintage Electric Mandolin Venetian 1960's Thin-Twin Pickup!

Very Good
$125 price drop
As low as $44/month with
This seller is open to offers
Shipped From
Sammy B's Basement
Spokane, WA, United States
Joined Reverb
Reverb Protection

Buy with Confidence – Reverb Protection has you covered

  • Live support from an expert team of musicians
  • Simple and straightforward returns
  • A safe community for finding the gear you want

About This Listing


Finish: Lacquer, sunburst

Body Material: Looks like laminated Birch all around, Spruce laminate on top, Maple laminate on back and sides

Neck Material: Presumably Birch, but it's hard to say. Rosewood fingerboard with MOP block inlays

Neck Profile: Soft V - D

Fingerboard Radius: Flat

Scale Length: 14"

Nut Width: 1 1/8"

Height adjustable Rosewood and Bone floating bridge

Hardware: All hardware appears original, Kluson Deluxe tuning machines, Original tailpiece is in great shape. 

Electronics: This mandolin features a very cool "Thin-twin" single coil blade pickup with height adjustment, which is a pickup that is much more well known as being featured in certain Kay electric guitar models, but sounds really awesome in this context as well. The pickup works on one volume control and one tone control, which is currently not doing much to the tone, but could be easily outfitted with a new capacitor to get it working again, due to the easy-access electronic plate that the output jack is housed in (see photos for detail). I'll be getting around to this once I find the time, but just wanted to get this listed sooner than later in the meantime since this is on consignment.  

Case: This mandolin will ship in a non-original gig bag, see photos. 

Repairs/Modifications: It's pretty clear that these frets have been leveled at some point. It would also appear that the tongue of the neck has been sawed through and rejoined right where it overlaps the body, probably for the sake of correcting the neck angle and resetting the neck. I will do my best to make this visible in the photos, but it's pretty subtle, as the job was well executed. 

Neck Details: The neck looks nice and straight with a good amount of relief under tension and a proper ramp down after the body joint. 

Action: About .050" on the bass side to .030" on the treble side, measured at the 12th fret with the adjustable bridge maxed out all the way down. It's real low and frets pretty well all the way up the neck with the exception of a couple of the higher frets, but this could easily be corrected by raising the bridge based on preference. Currently its pretty great as long as you're not picking way up high on the neck. 

Fret Wear: Not a whole lot of string wear, the frets look to have been leveled relatively recently, no problems as it is. 

General Cosmetic Condition: It should be visible in the photos that the lacquer has flaked off mildly in some areas around the edges of the instrument, mostly along the seams between the top, back and sides, but the finish is in really good shape otherwise and this Mando is in pretty great cosmetic shape for its age. Garden variety scratches are visible if you look closely, but the lacquer hasn't checked at all and it's still nice and shiny with great color, and a surprising lack of wear to the back of the neck for an instrument of this age. Also, the headstock badge is still strongly adhered and in one piece, which is certainly nothing to complain about. This one has been pretty well taken care of it would seem, please look closely at the photos if interested, as I have done my best to represent the condition of the instrument from every practical angle. 

  You are looking at a pretty awesome little vintage Mandolin made in Chicago U.S.A. by Kay. The inside is stamped "N-3", and I am dating it to the 60's based on the hardware, pickup, and other appointments, such as the headstock badge and groovy checkered binding. Basically, it's an A-style body, but without the scroll, some would call it a "Venetian" body style. Plays pretty well with a warm yet solid tone when picked, definitely not the loudest mandolin I have ever heard without amplification, but if you are this far into the listing then I assume you are probably interested in making use of this awesome pickup -- most coveted and well known as being featured in the Kay "Thin Twin" electric guitar models, I encourage you to look into it -- and I must say that It does sound pretty excellent plugged in. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions if you are interested in this instrument, as I am more than happy to answer them. Thanks for looking! 

Product Specs

Listed5 months ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more
Made In
  • United States

Reviews of this Shop


Reverb Gives

Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music.

Carbon-Offset Shipping

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

iOS app store button
Android play store button
Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.