Kay Guitars Announces Reissues of Classic Barney Kessel Models

The Kay Guitar Company has announced a set of reissues of its classic Barney Kessel signature models from the 1950s. The series includes three distinct models: the Jazz Special K8700V, the Artist K6700V, and Pro K1700V. All three are available in sunburst and blonde finishes, with the smaller-bodied Pro model also being offered in a jet black option.

These guitars were originally built for a limited time in the late 1950s as signature instruments for legendary Wrecking Crew guitarist Barney Kessel. They were the brand's top-shelf, professional-grade models during their original run, and rank as the most sought-after of all vintage Kay guitars on today's vintage market.

With these three reissues, the modern Kay company has captured the original look and tone of the '50s Kessels. Classic Kay appointments recreated here include Lucite pickguards, Kay "Kleenex box" style pickups, and that unmissable headstock shape that's come be known as the "Full Kelvinator" in vintage circles.

All three models are priced between $832 and $1,394 USD and ship with a deluxe hardshell case. Click on the images below to the see the full listings and specs on Reverb.


Barney Kessel Jazz Special K8700V
  • Body: 17" wide, single-cutaway, arched top hollow body
  • Back: Parabolic arched flame maple, Sides: Flame maple, Top: 3-ply spruce laminate
  • Pickups: 2 Kessel "Kleenex Box" Gold K Series single-coil with adjustable pole pieces
  • Available in natural blonde and tobacco sunburst

Barney Kessel Artist K6700V
  • Body: 15.5" wide, single-cutaway, arched top hollow body
  • Back: Parabolic arched flame maple, Sides: Flame maple, Top: 3-ply spruce laminate
  • Pickups: 2 Kessel "Kleenex Box" Gold K Series single-coil with adjustable pole pieces
  • Available in natural blonde and tobacco sunburst

Barney Kessel Pro K1700V
  • Body: Body: 13" wide, single-cutaway, arched top hollow body
  • Back: Parabolic arched flame maple, Sides: Flame maple, Top: 3-ply flame maple
  • Pickups: 2 Kessel "Kleenex Box" Gold K Series single-coil with adjustable pole pieces
  • Available in natural blond, tobacco sunburst, and jet black
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