#1
Longtime Lurker/Reader here.

So I put my hands on a "Kay" 12-string guitar today. Found it in an antique shop downtown. Current Owner believes it to be made in the 1960s. Guitar is in decent condition, no major dings anwhere. Notice adjustment bolts on either side of the birdge. Strings are old, and in dire need of replacement. The guy is asking $125 for it w/o a case. I'm somewhat interested.

I'm not knowledgeable with older instruments, or Kay instruments for that matter, so I was hoping someone may be able to give me some insight about this guitar?

Edit: Near positive it would be a Kay KD28-12 guitar.
Last edited by anowilisgvyona at Sep 22, 2011,
#2
To the best of my knowledge, "Kay" was sort of a generic type brand.

12 Strings lead a very hard life, and if you don't have the knowledge to check it out very thoroughly, take someone who does. Sometimes it's best to have a disinterested party to check something like this. They're more likely to think with their head instead of their heart.

12 Strings are very hard to finger, and a low action is a must. Check that the bridge saddle has sufficient plastic showing above the bridge itself, so you can drop the action if necessary.

Personally, I don't know if I'd take a chance on a no name 12 string guitar that old. That said, I'm in no position to evaluate it.

Here's the Wiki page on Kay instruments: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kay_Musical_Instrument_Company
Quote by anowilisgvyona
Edit: Near positive it would be a Kay KD28-12 guitar.
I wouldn't be going too far out on a limb here by saying, in all likelyhood the "D-28" in the model number, is a Martin D-28 homage-slash-ripoff"...

There's nothing like a 12 string to play those old 60's and 70's protest songs. If you do decide to buy it, you could always throw a "Hootenanny".....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 23, 2011,
#3
Wow! If it's in somewhat playable shape, it *might* be a find. There's some little info on these around the 'net. Fer the asking price; not too bad..better if ya can get it down some, Thataways, at least it's damm'd near a historic piece that'd make a fine wall hanger! LOL Even better if it's still palyable!

My '67 issue is an unknown model, "N5" stamped inside. Concert body. Plastic "K in circle" applied logo on headstock; as compared to earlier "refigerator" badges supplied before an uncertain date early/mid sixties.
Bracing coulda been better! mine grew a bit and the action got sorta high! Mine was/is a solid spruce top, mahogany sides, back and neck. Black/white/black plastic binding at the body edge and soundhole. Neck is 1 lam of black binding. Rosewood FB is quite flat, 1 7/8" wide at the 1st fret, 1 15/16at the nut. Frets are thin and not real high, no way to gauge 'em. Rosewood bridge was held on by three, floral pattern sex-bolts. Black laminate fancy pick-guard.

I still have most of the parts and one day will resurrect the old beast. Just hafta find a proper set of tuners and a whole buncha time!
#4
A quick web search netted these results as to potential selling prices for the 12 string in question: http://www.harmonycentral.com/products/109181

and this auction from Goodwill Industries (???); http://www.shopgoodwill.com/viewItem.asp?ItemID=6811121

Obviously there would be shipping charges. I bring this up as it would appear that the instrument can't be regarded as "collectable".

My recollection of this time period, (and I did live through it), was that there were any number of junk guitar brands around, notably Danelectro and Harmony. These were targeted at beginning players. Substitute, "Japan" for "China", as place of manufacture, and you have the relative marketing landscape.

I actually believe that today's low priced instruments are better values, mostly attributable to refined mass production techniques. On the downside, there are a whole lot less trees now, than there were during the sixties.