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Kay Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Steve Carr, Jun 25, 2003.


  1. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr

    Jun 25, 2003
    I have been an electric bass player for 25 years. My new interest is the double bass. I have found a Kay (in need of some repairs). It is a '40s C Model. Would anyone have any info on this instrument.

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Most likely a C-1, which was the bottom of line model with gamba corners and rosewood trim. Now don't let "bottom of the line" change your mind...I have one and it sounds and plays just fine. You should ask to have it looked over by a luthier before you buy to check the neck, bassbar and seams. Frequently a good deal turns into a not-so-good deal when the repairs to get it into playable condition add big bucks to the price tag.
     
  3. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr

    Jun 25, 2003
    Thank you. I have not yet seen the bass. I have been told it needs a bridge and possibly a fingerboard (at least work on the fingerboard). He wants $900 as is or $1200 to $1500 to set it up. I will need to drive 175 miles to look at it (if this is a good price)..

    Steve
     
  4. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    I'd say that's about average...I paid $1K for mine and have spent maybe $250 on some fingerboard work and a new bridge. These seem to average about that range on Ebay. They generally hold their value well.
     
  5. Steve. I have owned two C-1's I just sold one of them (1947) for 950.00 it was kind of beat up around the edges. the neck and fingerboard were in excellent condition ..It could have used a new bridge, nut and strings. The other one I have is a 1951 c1 that I am working on replacing the back because of a giant crack the length of the body. I bought that one for $250.
    Steve Did you go to college at Purdue University in the early 80's. I knew a bass player with the same name as your's.
     
  6. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr

    Jun 25, 2003
    Thanks for the info but I am not the Steve Carr you knew in the 80s. I bought a Christopher hybrid two weeks ago and I'm having fun learning to play. It has good tone and good sustain. It won't be long...

    Steve
     
  7. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I have a '39 C-1. I've liked it very much, but I've got a fingergoard issue to deal with. It's a pretty thin board and neck to begin with, and this one has been planed down very thin to the point where the neck appears to be bowing. I've got the new ebony board for it, and luthier lined up, but haven'tgot the money to finish it yet. It's playable as is, but could be better.

    It's a pretty big sounding bass for not having much depth.

    When I got this one a few months ago it was about $1200.00 with most everything restored except for the fingerboard.

    I think I put up some pictures of it in the picture section of the site.

    Good luck.

    Bill Graham
     
  8. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    i bought a 1956 C-1 in pretty good shape for $800.

    there is a crack in the neck which has not yet been an issue, i did put a new bridge on (carved myself), and it came with the original soft bag.

    great sound, and i'm very happy with my first URB.

    -erik
     
  9. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr

    Jun 25, 2003
    Thanks for all the input. In my quest for the perfect beginner's bass, I decided on a Christopher hybrid. It has good tone and fair sustain and, I too am enjoying my first UB.. I do have a new question.. How long should I expect strings to last. Do people change strings every year, twice a year or just when they die????

    Steve
     
  10. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    There are several factors; chief are your PH and the string type. Some peoples sweat (including Ray Parker occasionally on this list) wear out strings faster. Also, gut or synthetic core strings tend to go dead quicker than steel. E & A go dead quicker. You will usually notice it first as the pizz gets more thuddy and later as the pitch gets fuzzier and harder to tune as you bow. Some strings get better as they are older. I used to love 2 year old Spirocores and hated them new. They are a string that never seems to did.

    In general, gut or synthetic will last 9-15 months depending on how much humidity change they have gone through. Steel will be slightly longer, although it can be much longer or even shorter. For example, I've found that the Helicore E & A goes dead really quickly for pizz, although it usually sounds good arco for a long time.

    Monte