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Help on Kay Bass Viol m1

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by monfoodoo, Apr 22, 2006.


  1. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo

    Apr 20, 2006
    I've been playing electric bass for about 30 yrs and about 5 years ago i ran into this guy(got to talking)and he said he had a upright he was going to through out,so i took it.the brace under the bridge was cracked,so the strings were laying on the neck.I never thought much about it since i just sat it in the corner looking cool.Since i found this site i started thinking about it.What i do know is that i don't know anything about DB's.Got my flashlight and got the model and serial number.
    What can you tell me about it and is it worth repairing?

    Kay Bass Viol
    Model- M1
    Serial num- 35625
    Thanks(scott)
     
  2. Sounds like a late 1954 M-1 Ply. As far as the brace under the bridge, do you mean the Bass Bar? You should take some pics and post them here. It may need a lot of work or not much, but it is impossible to say, sight unseen.
     
  3. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo

    Apr 20, 2006
    here are some images (scott)
     

    Attached Files:

  4. mdurell

    mdurell

    Mar 9, 2006
    Boulder, CO
    I'd loosen the strings ASAP to get the pressure off the bridge and get it to a luthier for evaluation... I would guess (and this is just a guess) that this bass may be worth repairing... But I guess that depends on the damage done to the top and to the bass bar.

    Really I think someone qualified needs to see inside that thing to really be able to tell.

    If it is worth repairing see about getting those dot inlays removed. ;-)
     
  5. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo

    Apr 20, 2006
    Do you know of anyone in Maryland that i should see about it?
     
  6. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo

    Apr 20, 2006
    OK, Thanks for your help! (scott)
     
  7. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    If that doesn't work out then you could also try Rumano Solano. Bob G's site says he's in MaryLand, but I'm pretty sure he's in Baltimore right now.
     
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.

    Baltimore is the city, Maryland is the State as in Baltimore,Md. (Maryland).
     
  9. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo

    Apr 20, 2006
    Thanks,i'll look into that. (scott)
     
  10. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Sorry, I meant to say that it says hes in annapolis...
     
  11. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo

    Apr 20, 2006
    I have to ask.Is this bass worth fixing,not the repair but what it is?(it is a 1954).Since i know nothing about DB's and reading the post on repairing,($1000 to $5000)
    for repairs,i'd need some reasurance.Does the Kay hold its value.Fix or not i will never let it go.
     
  12. mdurell

    mdurell

    Mar 9, 2006
    Boulder, CO
    This is where a luither comes in... Being a Kay it has some value but only a luthier can really look at it and determine how much the repairs will cost. Kays in good condition will generally fetch somewhere between $1-3000 depending on a number of factors. I just paid $2075 for a 1950 C-1. This was on the high side but the instrument spoke to me like no other I had heard in this price range. But, again, a good luither can give you some idea of the instrument's value.

    Just get this strings loosened ASAP and get the pressure of the top. Every second they are tightened your problem is getting worse.

    Also, the value of Kays has gone up considerably in the last 10 years or so. This doesn't mean this trend will continue especially with decent Chinese basses starting to come to the market that can be had for less money than a Kay. I see this Chinese trend continuing and there being more and more instruments on-par with Christopher's and Shen's. This could easily effect the resale market for plywood basses.

    Even still, my 55 year-old kay sounded pretty awesome and I think the age played a role in that. I would guess that the Kay market is probably peaked but will probably not start going down anytime soon. I'm sure there are plenty of folks on this board that would call $2000 for a Kay insanity, and other's would think it's worth it.

    Good luck, and let us know what the luthier says. Even if the repair is more than you want to spend you might find someone to buy it and willing to dump the money into it.
     
  13. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo

    Apr 20, 2006
    Thanks for the input.I'll post in the future and let you know.
     

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