About This Listing

This is a very rare and unique archtop from Kay! It looks like a few other models from the 30’s and 40’s but there’s no model number or serial number of any kind to aid in dating. The only identifying mark inside the body is a Kay sticker that verifies that it was made in Chicago.

What I do know is that it’s big, has a super chunky neck, and has a great-sounding Dearmond pickup that was probably installed sometime in the 50’s or 60’s. The pickup is pretty dark-sounding but very warm and rich so it’s perfect for jazz. The volume pot works great but the tone (assuming thats what the second knob is meant to be) is either not working or barely working as it doesn’t seem to change the sound much.

There’s no truss rod but I had my luthier touch up the frets so it currently plays quite well up and down the neck with minimal buzzing. It is properly intonated and the action is very comfortable, but the bridge is pretty much bottomed out so there’s not much room for adjustment. The neck is a very deep “U” shape but surprisingly comfortable — I don’t typically like baseball bat necks but this one plays nicely. It’s proven to be very stable in the year or so that I’ve been playing it but I do humidify my instruments and keep the temperature controlled.

The tuners are definitely new, but the original tuners and pickguard (pictured) will be included in the sale. You may be able to reinstall the original tuners but they look pretty rough.

There is currently a strap button installed on the neck, and pictured you’ll see the top of a broken screw the previous button was attached with. It broke immediately after I tried to get a strap on it but the new one seems to work fine.

There’s obviously plenty of play-wear and scratches I’ve tried to capture accurately here but there doesn’t seem to be any major structural issues. There’s no significant top sink, no cracks, and no evidence of a headstock break in the past.

This one is sold as-is, so please ask any questions prior to purchase!

High-quality padded gig bag is included.

Listed3 months ago
  • Archtop
  • Sunburst
  • 1930’s-1940’s
Made In
  • United States
Body Shape
  • Archtop
  • Surface Mounted Pickup
Right / Left Handed
  • Right Handed
Number of Strings
  • 6-String

About the Seller

Charlie's Gear Depot

Chicago, IL, United States
Joined Reverb:2016
Items Sold:65

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