1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Kay Bass Value

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by lonote, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. I am about 4 weeks into double bass ownership and it seems I need a different instrument. I have a 1967 Kay M-3, a 1/4 size instrument. It plays and sounds good but it's just too small, which should have been no surprise...but it was. I have no idea how much I should ask for it. It is in very good shape, said the luthier, and it needs nothing except a new bridge and strings; it is structurally sound and has only a few small dings. I have looked everywhere I can think of but I have only come across one of these basses for sale for $1,750. Ideally, I'd like to sell mine and use the money to buy a 3/4 size. I am looking for a ballpark figure so that I can be realistic when I sell it and have some idea what price range I should be looking for in a 3/4 instrument. Is the $1,750 figure realistic?

    I appreciate your help!
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    IMO, $1,750 is pretty optimistic. The Engelhardt contemporary (same bass, different name) sells for less than a $1K brand new. Throw in set up costs, and you have maybe around $1,200 in it.

    There is some sexiness to having Kay on the label, but in your case, I wouldn't expect it you help you very much as 1/4 basses are really only desirable if you are buying for your child.

    You may get lucky an find a 5 foot nothing lady at bluegrass festival that thinks a 1/4 is the answer to her bass playing needs, but otherwise it's a child's bass. I don't know too many folks who are going to spend the extra loot to have the name Kay stamped on the 10-year-old's bass.

    If you want to get rid of it in any kind of timely manner, I'm thinking somewhere around that same $1,200 is best case. Even then it'll take a while to turn over. There just isn't that much demand for a 1/4 bass.
  3. As long as I carry something a foot thick to put under the endpin when I play it, it works fine! I suspected that a 1/4 size wouldn't exactly trigger a feeding frenzy when I decide to sell it. Thanks for your help!
  4. I agree. I love my Kay s-8. There tends to be a premium for the name. I'd put it on the classifieds here on TB
  5. cabin dweller

    cabin dweller Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Ridgeland, WI
    I would have a hard time parting with the little kay, onless there was no chance of a grand child or great grand child of the family wanting to learn some ur someday.
  6. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    $1750 for a 1/4 size Kay that needs a new bridge and strings is a little steep. Of course, the value of old instruments is based on what the market will provide, but anything over $1000 would be gravy, IMO.
  7. Thanks, everybody. For now, I'll take it (and a cinder block to raise it up a bit) out to a few gigs and see what it sounds like in a band setting. I have only played it at home, so I need some idea what it (and I) sound like. I may just keep it since it fits in my car, if for no other reason. If/when I sell, I'll ask $1,200 or best offer and consider anything in the $1,000 range.
  8. Mark E Chachich

    Mark E Chachich

    May 6, 2004
    I made an endpin for my Kay M-2, it has worked fine ever since (about 25 years).

    best of luck,
  9. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I just setup a kay that a friends wife bought for him for $35. It is in excellent condition for a 40 year old bass. And it sounds great !
  10. MarkRubin

    MarkRubin F L T

    Mar 14, 2005
    Austin TX
    Speaking purely as a guy who sells basses for a living, I'd say $1750 is optimistic at beat.

    A 3/4 or "regular" size Kay fetches between $1800 and $2400 in my market (Austin TX) depending on condition and model. Why, I have no earthly idea as I have lovely European plys that out play and sound most Kay's, but what do I know...the allure of history and fasion seem to outweigh any other concern to the typical Kay bass customer.

    But the 1/2, 1/4 and even 1/8th size instruments are of negligable value at best. I sold a 1/4 for $600 and danced for joy and it sat on the floor for nearly 2 years.

    I love being proved wrong however. Best of luck!
  11. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Sell Tickets and drop it off a tall building
  12. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Mark- May I be the first to welcome you to Talkbass. If y'all don't know, Mark is a great bassist, one-half of the video in "The Ungentle Art of Slapping", and can be heard on some Bad Livers cds.

    BTW, how long have you been a lurker? ;)
  13. Welcome to TBDB Mark!!
  14. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Welcome !
  15. ...and settle for $2000. ;)