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Identifying a plywood bass with no labels

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by onemadmando, Dec 10, 2006.


  1. onemadmando

    onemadmando

    Dec 9, 2006
    I have a old plywood bass with no label that I would like to try and identify. I dont know where to start. Any help someone can provide would be greatly appreciated. The only thing I see inside the E side F side hole is the number 8908 written in pencil. I will be able to get some pictures of the bass tommorow but am new to the site and do not know where to post them. Thanks for any help you can provide.
     
  2. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    You can open a Photobucket account and copy (control c) and paste (control V) to your TB post. Easy as ??
     
  3. onemadmando

    onemadmando

    Dec 9, 2006
    I hope someone can ID this bass I took a bunch of pictures but I did not know what to take pictures of for Identification purposes. Maybe someone can zero me in. I can take more or better photos if needed. The only thing I see that is significant to my eye knowing nothing about basses is that where the sound post meets the back there is a small round disc between the post and the back. I cannot recall having seen this before in other basses I have looked at. But I have very limited experience in this arena. Any help provided will be very much appreciated. Thank You The disc can be partially seen through the F hole in one of the photos. The pictures are posted on photobucket at the link below I hope it works.
    http://s127.photobucket.com/albums/p135/onemadmando/
     
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    C'mon Bob, you knew it was a Kay when he posted the serial number! :)

    Also, 1941.
     
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Mad, the disc is to keep the soundpost from punching a hole in or otherwise distorting the plywood. It seems as though all but the first couple of years have them.

    Nice looking bass by the way. :)
     
  6. onemadmando

    onemadmando

    Dec 9, 2006
    I can't thank you enough. Could anyone give me an Idea of what the bass is worth. I just recently got this bass for my wife she wants to learn to play and I need to insure it. What year did they start building Kay Basses. Thank Again.
     
  7. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Nice Kay. Real purfling and a carved scroll instead of glued on volutes. With the purfling around the f-holes, it looks like an S-1 model.
    The first Kays were made in 1937.
     
  8. According to http://www.kaybass.com, that bass would have been made in 1941?

    Is the brass plate part of the neck repair?
     
  9. onemadmando

    onemadmando

    Dec 9, 2006
    I don't know if the brass plate was put on when the neck was repaired. It looks OK to me so I have not fussed with it. There are a number of places around the back of the bass where the outer layer of laminate is chipped off for several inches up to the purfling line. What is the best way to repair this or at the least keep it from getting worse? Any ideas on the value of this bass would be appreciated as well. Thanks
     
  10. While I did suspect that it was a Kay, I've seen serial numbers in instruments which are the date when they were made (YYMM). So it could have been another brand bass that was made in August 1989. (Never Assume!)
     
  11. onemadmando

    onemadmando

    Dec 9, 2006
    I live near St. Louis Mo. Do any of you fine luthiers know of a reputable shop where I could have this bass evaluated and appraised. I really would like to get it insured ASAP but the insurance company wants to know what it is worth. I paid $400 for it but suspect it is worth considerably more from reading on this site but do not have any idea of what to tell them. Here is the link again to the pictures of the bass. If that helps. Thanks again. Roger
    http://s127.photobucket.com/albums/p135/onemadmando/
     
  12. You might peruse the basses for sale at Fretwell Bass to give you some idea of what people are willing to pay for Kay basses. Jerry Fretwell is very knowledgable about the Kay basses.

    http://www.fretwellbass.com/uprightbass.php?bassid=1

    Not everyone here at TalkBass thinks the Kays are worth these prices but apparently they are in demand by some folks, especially bluegrassers.

    Looks like you have a nice one there. Kay basses were first made in 1937 so yours is definitely a vintage one. Yours might be a model S, which is "top of the line" as far as an older Kay goes. If you want to learn more: http://www.kaybass.com/
     
  13. It looks like I'm in the wrong part of the country for selling Kays. I can't sell the ones I have for anywhere near those prices here in Kansas.
     
  14. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I can't get near those prices here in Columbus Ohio either. I sold a blonde '55 for $2000 earlier this year and had to throw in a full circle pickup to make the deal.

    For plywood the NS Cleveland is so far beyond the level of these Kays that it makes little sense to plunk down over $3000 for one of these boxes that don't sound near as good.

    Investment buying of a Kay is still a crapshoot IMO.
     
  15. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1! Are people really paying those prices?
     
  16. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    +1. A while back I played an Upton Hawkes laminated model along side two Kays, and for me there really wasn't any comparison. The Upton for $1800 was far superior to the Kays. Not only was the Upton lam much nicer and easier to play, it was also much louder and more punchy (which others also noticed right away).
     
  17. drurb wrote:

    "+1! Are people really paying those prices?"

    I Guess The Answer Is Yes. Look at the Fretwell "Basses for Sale" link above & scroll down to see the "Sold" section.
     
  18. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    It says it was sold but not for how much. For all we know they sold for significantly less than the asking price.

    Although one never knows for sure. I'd be curious to hear from someone who actually makes a sale for those asking prices. I wouldn't be surprised if they are selling there but it's just as possible the asking is an attempt to move the market up.
     

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