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I'm in the Kay Club now!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Mike Carr, Oct 7, 2003.


  1. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I found a great bass recently.
    It's a Kay S-8 # 20821 from the early 50's.
    It needed a bit of work done, but now it's fine and sounds and plays great.
    I now know why many of you like Kays so much.
    This bass has got a wonderful sound.
    I sure do like this bass!
     
  2. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Color me green. I'm still looking for a bass and, more importantly, a way to justify it to the wife:confused:
     
  3. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    congrats...
     
  4. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    SWITZERLAND
    Congratulations Mike...
    I have owned my 1952 Kay M1 for almost 5 years now.
    i paid $600 for it but after i spent $500 on it,
    (new adjustable bridge, new endpin, new soundpost, planing fingerboard and new tailpiece cable...) I just love the sound of my bass, i have had lots of compliments and some bass players didnt believe it was a plywood bass, my luthier (which repairs lots of basses from the Milano metropolitan area orchestras) told me that he never heard a plywood bass sound so good...
    i dont play in a orchestra and i dont think i will in the near future so this bass keeps me happy, my bass gives me the sound i love and is as solid as it can be, i constantly tour with him i know i dont have to deal with carved basses weather problems.theres been a lot of beautifull music recorded and played with Kay basses(and other plywoods) , good luck with your new baby...

    NUNO
     
  5. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I think the sound of this bass should be appropiate for any style of music, short of classical. However, it does sound nice when bowed, a lot better than I expected.
    Most of what I do is gig wise is jazz, so it will be great for that, and it's so loud that I might be able to get away without having to use an amp in some situations.
    I only wish that I could afford the cargo fees to bring it on the road with me, I work a lot overseas, Asia and the Mid-East, but I've got an Eminence that works well for traveling.
    Meanwhile, I'll be playing the heck out of the Kay while I'm in town!
     
  6. silvertone

    silvertone

    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
    Just retrieved my renovated 1954 Kaye C-1 Bass from the Bass Doctor (Matt Bohn) in Felton, CA.

    I bought this in Oakdale, CA last September on my way to The Strawberry Music Festival in Tuolumne...
    I got a great deal on this but it had a lot of issues.
    Following a few months at the good Doctah's shop this baby now has a new ebony fingerboard, adjustable bridge, a reset soundpost, a new endpin and a replaced scroll ear.
    Matt did an A+ job! Worth the wait.

    Played it last night at a jam and got many compliments on how good it sounded - great tone!
    Per the reccomendation of several in other threads I went with Evah Pirazzo (Weich/Light) gauge strings and I purchased a used/nrearly new Realist pup from a TB'er for a bargain price...

    The interesting story with this bass is that it was used for nearly 30 years by a player from Turlock, CA in a Louis Prima / Swing Jazz cover band in the Central Valley.
    By the time I got it, the fingerboard was cracked and heavily rutted but the bones of the thing were in good shape.

    I'm psyched and eady to gig! Kaye_C-1_34405.jpg Kaye_C-1.jpg
     
    bassguppy, brendanbassix and Reiska like this.
  7. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    Congratulations on your new Kay - nice job resurrecting an ancient thread!
     
    silvertone likes this.
  8. Wow, that's really clean! Has the neck ever broken?
     
  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Nice bass, congratulations.
     
  10. Rayjay

    Rayjay Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    My Kay was by far the loudest bass I've owned, or been in the same room as
     
  11. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    I play my Kay on 90% or more of my gigs. It amplifies great and I like the sound under the bow. It's not the most refined or complex tone, but it's deep, punchy and even. My old flat back sounds better at home but I don't get paid to play at home.
     
    james condino likes this.
  12. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Greg nails it. My rebuilt '47 is very consistant and reliable. The thing that all of the tone snobs miss is that most of my gigs are loud and rowdy and lots of alcohol and other things in packed clubs with everyone shaking it all night long. I pound the $&!@ out of my old Kay at high volumes where my expensive carved bass just can't handle it. When I gig with my fancy bass, in ideal conditions, sure the voice is better, but I'm always worring about it like a sleep deprived new mother protecting her baby and when I bring out the old Kay, my stress level is so much lower and I just laugh when some drunk girl spills beer on it or it gets another scratch. There are also a couple of small venues that I play in acoustic where my seemingly much better voiced 1937 American Standard gets lost in the room and the old Kay cuts through perfect.

    j.
    www.condino.com
    www.kaybassrepair.com
     
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Jake's wife's Kay is a joy to play. Leaves me wanting for nothing. They can be very good instruments.
     
  14. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    USA
    I've never played a Kay but obviously they are popular. Would love to try one to see if i like it. My concern is the thin neck claim. Anyone know how a Kay neck differs from the Upton Standard ply? Thinner i presume?
     
  15. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    They did have thin necks from the factory, along with a few other quirks. When you hear folks like Greg and Jake and I talking about them, it is usually one that has had a neck rebuild to correct those issues. Thin factory necks seemed like a good idea for factory student basss at a time when the Fender P bass was new and hip, but for geezers like us a modified thicker neck makes all the difference.
     
  16. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Maiken's lovely '50 M-1 is Maiken's no longer. It now belongs to a very happy guy in Snohomish. :thumbsup:
     
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Lucky guy.

    I'll look forward to hearing the bass that replaced it.
     
  18. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    You are wise to be concerned about the neck profile. That includes the width and depth of the neck. The Upton Standard plys have "proper" necks, unlike an unmodified Kay. The original Kay necks, as has been discussed here so many times, can lead to severe left-hand fatigue.
     
    Seanto likes this.
  19. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    I don't have a problem with the width but the thinness is another thing. I hate it. A nice thick fingerboard or shim and all is well. On mine, I had enough thickness to round the neck profile as well. Who thought a square neck was a good idea?
     
    james condino likes this.
  20. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Apologies, OP, for the complete hijack...

    She's been playing a hybrid Roma for the past couple of years, it just spoke to her, but I've just re-assembled the Rauner (Wilfer Model 12) that's been hanging around and its a great sounding bass. Its voice is crisp and deep and wide and even and I haven't even gotten to the finer points of the setup yet. :cool::thumbsup: