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Help IDing Vintage Bass *PICS*(wooden endpin)

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ESPdesign, Aug 28, 2007.


  1. ESPdesign

    ESPdesign

    Jul 25, 2007
    It has no (Edit) volutes and a wooden endpin. I'm trying to purchase it off of a seller in another state. Any help is appreciated. The serial number is 12546.

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    THANKS! :hyper:
     
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, it has a scroll but no volutes. Apparently, the volutes were glued on like on the old Kay basses. It looks to have Kluson tuners like a Kay but if it were a Kay, AFAIK, the label inside would say would say so and "Kay" would be inscribed below the back of the scroll.
     
  3. ESPdesign

    ESPdesign

    Jul 25, 2007

    That's what I meant :oops:

    If I do pick it up, I can probably just purchase the Kay volutes. They would just need to be stained properly. The bass has no external logos, etc. The ONLY identifying mark is the serial number inside the f-hole. For $1000, I am VERY interested in the bass. It seems to be in great shape. This would be my first upright. It comes with bag/bow as well even though the bow will get used little.
     
  4. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    The lower rib on the left side of the photo, bass bar side, is coming lose at the C bout and top. With no volutes and the condition, you'd better have a luthier look at it before buying.
    It's gonna need some work.
     
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    That's a 1945 Kay C-1. If its healthy its a good deal.

    The giant F-holes are pretty distinctive, especially when combined with the teeny gears on the tuners.

    I don't see how you can tell that the seam is popped Clink. I can see that the edge of the top is scraped but I'm not seeing a separation. Course, I'm old. :)
     
  6. ESPdesign

    ESPdesign

    Jul 25, 2007
    The second photo you mean? I see what you're talking about. I can't see that costing too much though in respect to initial cost of a good bass.
     
  7. ESPdesign - volutes are available from Roger Stowers, http://www.kaybass.com for $30 . . . pre-1952 should have the oval shaped centers (as opposed to round)
     
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I thought it might be a 1945 Kay as well. As I mentioned in my post, it had the glue-on volutes and the Kluson tuners-- but-- it apparently has no Kay or associated label inside with the serial number, no Kay logo of any kind on the tailpiece, no painted purfling and it's not clear if "Kay" is carved on the back of the neck. Would a 1945 Kay have none of these? I guess, given the info on Stowers' site, it is possible-- but no Kay (or related) label inside?
     
  9. . . . after another/closer look at the photos, I strongly suspect that this old Kay very well may have been re-finished . . . it shows little or no evidence of the normal wear & tear or even any "rub marks" one would expect to see on a bass of this vintage . . . which would, also, explain away some/most of drurb's concerns. I have personally seen several authentic Kays w/o labels (they do dry-up & fall off occasionally) and/or the "Kay" inscription on the scroll (especially on the C models).

    The serial number is significant because:
    A description of the appearance of the serial number would be helpful . . . but . . . I see nothing that would contradict Jake's assessment : 1945 Kay C-1.

    Just mho - for whatever it may or may not be worth . . .

    btw, I play a '42 Kay M-1, which is considered to be in excellent condition, w/original finish to include accompanying wear/tear & rub marks as to be expected . . .
     
  10. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Clink, I see it now. Not a big job to fix that.

    Tejano, surely not "one inch high" numerals! :) More like 1/4".

    And yes, that's one photo I'd like to see; the serial number. It would be absolute confirmation of its Kay-ness to see the stamp.

    BTW there are plenty of Kays out there without one or more 'ears' and they play very well that way.
     
  11. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    That's what I'm talking about and no, it wouldn't be expensive to fix. I agree that it does look like a Kay, although I didn't see that last night. A Kay in that condition would be a good deal at that price. It does look like whoever refinished the bass sprayed lacquer over everything, including the fingerboard. Being a beveled (ridge between E and A)Rosewood board it may be the original Kay fingerboard. Plan on having it dressed.

    I played a beat to _____ and back Kay M-1 yesterday. It was without a doubt the loudest, punchiest cannon I've heard or played. Maybe the lack of finish helped;). They can be nice basses.
     
  12. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    btw, the Kay I played yesterday was missing its left ear. Maybe because the owner said that when he played it many years ago he carried it in the front seat of an MG,naked, with the scroll sticking up high. He named it the Van Gogh :D .
     
  13. . . . was it the driver and/or the bass that was NECCKKK-ED ? :D (The Streak by Ray Stevens)

    Yeah, Jake - RE: 1" - exactly! . . . that was just a cut & paste from the web site & I totally missed it . . .
     
  14. ESPdesign

    ESPdesign

    Jul 25, 2007

    This is exactly what I was thinking ;)

    I believe I'm going to pull the trigger on this bass. He's willing to ship it out, but I am so unused to making purchases to private owners without being able to drive there. What would be the safest route? A cheque or money order are the only two things that come to mind in regards to safe buying for both parties. :oops:
     
  15. Ask if he has a Pay Pal account - if not - ask him if he'll set one up (it's free to the both of you) - quick, easy, safe & hassle free - I've used it as a buyer on numerous occasions w/ absolutely no problemos whatsoevah . . .
     
  16. ESPdesign

    ESPdesign

    Jul 25, 2007
    Awesome. This should be taken care of by the end of the week. The excitement is mounting :D

    I appreciate all the help!
     
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Yep, I think you're right!
     
  18. MollyKay

    MollyKay

    Sep 10, 2006
    Southern PA
    Bass Hobby'ist
    Looking at the pictures closely this is a Kay...most likely a Sears or Selmer, Kay...which means it was made by the Kay Company but was sold through mail order catalog under another name. It looks as if everything has been refinished (everything including the tail piece). The wooden end pin is common; the dowel rod would have had a rubber crutch tip. The refinishing would have been done after the volutes came off, otherwise the wood under the missing volutes would be unfinished. Most non-labeled Kay basses also have a more sharp, unfinished F hole edge. This is one detail the non-labeled Kay basses have. I have a 1939 C-1 that is unlabeled. The serial number is written in pencil (if it is a 1945 it will be machine stamped in black numbers, not hand written pencil) viewed through the E side f hole with a good strong light. $1000 is a reasonable price especially if it is in playable condition. A loose bass bar is not an uncommon thing and should not stop your purchase provided you have a good luthier to do the repairs...enjoy the bass and don't worry about the lack of a label.
     
  19. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I didn't see any suggestion that the bass bar was loose on this bass. If it were, that should stop any such purchase dead in its tracks! In order to re-secure a bass bar, it is my understanding that the top would have to be removed. That is an arduous task on a plywood bass because of the danger of it delaminating.
     
  20. . . . EXPENSIVE - just to R&R the top + repairs . . . Hhmmm . . . . this is beginning to sound like maybe it's not such a "Sweet deal" afterall . . . :meh:
     

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