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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Steve Killingsworth, May 11, 2004.

  1. While browsing ebay I came across this Kay. To my eye it bears a very strong resemblence to a new Engelhardt with a Kay tailpiece and sticker installed. Would a 47 year old bass look that bright and glossy? What do you guys think?
  2. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    The biggest giveaway of its being a legitimate Kay are the outer linings, which all but the VERY earliest Engels don't have. It's also got a bevelled board, where Engels have round boards, though not to say this couldn't have been changed. The lacquer shows some yellowing, which you wouldn't find on a recent ES-9 with relatively fresh clear. Too bad there aren't a coupla detail shots of the pegbox; the tuners, volutes and (of course) the presence of a "Kay" stamp would obviously bolster the Kay side of the debate. While I suppose you *could* accurately clone a Kay, there's more involved than slapping a Kay label and TP emblem on... And perhaps more importantly: Why bother? Well, other than to try to reel in 3500 clams and a guilty conscious? What I'd really like to know is how much the seller paid for it... :rolleyes:

    I came across a 50's Kay M-1B in 1998 that was in this kind of 'time-capsuled' condition. Apparently that was before the Kay market went completely out of control -- they wanted $1200 OBO.
  3. I see what you mean. I have also compared it to my ES-9 and notice that the neck heel is shaped differently. That old bass has evidently enjoyed the life of riley.
  4. Brent, when you mention the "volutes" of the scroll, do you mean it might be really carved or just the standard GLUED on volutes? I'm asking because I have my computer set for "speed" rather than quality so I can't see much in that area. Without getting all the Kay/Englehardt fans mad at me again. i'm impressed with your use of the word "volutes" in terms of these particular "knock off" scrolls!
  5. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Steve - Nice call on the neck heel. Paul, I was referring to the differences between the glued-on volutes (knock-offs ;) ) used by Kay and those used by Engelhardt. In the pic below, the volutes on the Kay on the left have a more "carved" look, if I may, while the Engel volute on the right is smaller, with less detail and depth. While I doubt the blonde in question has a fully carved scroll, some of the earliest Kays did have fully carved scrolls -- late 30's to early 40's, I believe.

    Attached Files:

  6. Over the years, Kay made many changes to the style and size of the glue on "volutes" on their basses. After a converstion with Roger Stower, I went thru my "junk" drawer and found atleast 4 different styles and sizes of glue on "volutes" that I had removed from old Kay necks over the years. There were probably more styles since I used to replace broken off ones with these salvaged volutes and would occationally run into one that was different from anything I had kept. I think it is a pretty safe bet that Kay had the volutes manufactured by outside sources and that the style and size changed from one batch to another. I had some photos of the different styles I made for Roger. If I can find them, I'll post them so you can see for yourselves.
  7. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Definitely post them if you gig 'em up; I'm interested in seeing the various styles. Did the same go for Engelhardt as far as you know -- have they had a number of different "volutes" over the years? Most Engels I've seen have the type pictured in my previous post...
  8. Since Englehardt parts are readily available, I never bothered saving the broken parts - so I don't know for sure . However, I'm sure they also out source their volutes, so it's probably also true for them.
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I'd actually love to have that bass, but it looks like it is already bid up to the $$$ I'd be willing (and able) to pay for it.

    I'll be interested to see what it actually sells for now that the bidding has started. I would be surprised if it hits the $3,500 BIN price, but I expect it will go for at least $2,500.

    If it is indeed the real deal, it's a pretty rare bird. Most all the Kays I see these days are beat.
  10. That Kay looks just like my Malino 200c all carved wood blond bass, what a resemblence. :eek:
  11. I recently looked at an early '60's Kay S-1, currently in the posession of the widow of a deceased friend, (She has an unrealistic idea of its value.) The scroll is one piece, the volutes being fully carved, though the carving is somewhat crude. The neck and scroll are original, as he was primarily a trombone player and rarely played the bass.
  12. pathdoc2


    Oct 16, 2002
    Allen, TX
    Went for just over 3K. What a beautiful instrument.
  13. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    $3,051.58 was the final bid. I hope it is better than the last 1940's Kay I played, it was a dog. :scowl:

  14. Quote: American Standards, which BTW, has a very similar if not identical rosewood fingerboard....

    Sounds like you know your woods but I thought my AS fb was rosewood until my luthier pointed out that it just looked that way. It was actually a very low grade ebony with so much brown streaking that it looked like rosewood to me.
  15. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    For this particular bass, these are not oddities; The bass is an M-1B, NOT an S-9, so it SHOULD have a rosewood board. I've also never seen M-1s with the ebony trim on the heel.

    $3K, huh? I'd still like to know what the seller paid for it... :eyebrow:
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    One of you guys should have bought that bass and sold it to me for $500 to improve your tax position.

    What an opportunity you missed. :bawl:
  17. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    For comparison's sake, here's an M1-B that we auctioned for one of the local school districts. It was donated to them, and they wanted to sell it to buy other instruments. It looks like the exact same bass, though not as pristine.
  18. I have heard and played many many Kays but I have yet to run across one that sounded like $3k. I cannot imagine laying down that kind of cash for one on ebay.
  19. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    The notion of Kay and AS parts being interchangeable has always bothered me a bit. What, exactly, would be common between the two? Endpins? Tailpieces? Aside from the possibility of Kay and HN White sharing a supplier or two, I really don't see the link. Can anyone shed more light on this?
  20. Neither do I.