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SOLD Kay M-1 Upright Bass 1951

Discussion in 'For Sale: Double Basses' started by rtharris, May 27, 2018.


  1. rtharris

    rtharris

    Oct 22, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Price:
    1400.00
    Strings:
    4
    Location:
    California
    Solid 1951 Kay M-1 Upright. Set up and maintained by LA Bassworks, the Gold Standard here in Los Angeles. They also installed the adjustment wheels on the bridge. There is no break in the heel of the neck, a common defect in quite a few older Kay's. The neck is sculpted and plays effortlessly. The sound is complex and woody. These basses are going to be unobtainable before long, due to natural attrition rate. If you want a Kay, you should consider purchasing one sooner rather than later, when the price is out of reach.
    This bass was made in 1951. I like to think about the gigs it has seen. Think about this. It was active the last few years of Charlie Parker's short life. Could have been used on one of his gigs. Too far-fetched, Maybe.
     

    Attached Files:

    Steven Ayres likes this.
  2. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    A classic from the peak production years. I'm just noticing the black knob on the button — what can you tell about that?

    It would originally have carried the Kay shield decal on the tailpiece. These are very often lost over the years.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. rtharris

    rtharris

    Oct 22, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I will offer a plausible guess. The neck heel on older Kays will exhibit a crack. The Poplar wood seems to be the problem. This bass does not exhibit that crack. Perhaps this button is window dressing for a bolt that goes up into the neck, perpendicular to the fingerboard. If this bolt was put in prior to any neck problems, it would have prevented that crack. Does that make sense?
     
  4. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    No financial interest here. That is a GREAT price; it would sell for double that here in North Carolina. If it was closer, I'd probably buy it.

    I sure hope the price of these stays affordable for people, but I remember a friend paying that much for a 1959 Les Paul in the early '80s and we thought he was nuts and that he waaaaaaayyyyyyyy overpaid for the old piece of junk! Sometime ask me about installing a Floyd Rose in it around 1983......

    j.
    www.kaybassrepair.com
     
    justholler likes this.
  5. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    The necks are all maple, of course, but the most frequent neck problem on Kay basses is the neck popping up out of the top block, tilting forward, as the woods slowly shrink and the adhesive gets brittle. The correct fix for that means reinforcing the joint and resetting, but we frequently see the simpler but far less secure approach of simply pushing the neck back down into the failed joint and securing it with a screw or peg through the button.

    Poplar is more an issue when it's used for the top block, likely in part because it doesn't age well. At least some were built this way and maybe a lot of them, but we don't yet have anything like enough data to say. James C may have a better feeling for that.
     
  6. rtharris

    rtharris

    Oct 22, 2002
    Los Angeles
    James Condino, Actually, we're relocating to Florida in June. I could have it packaged, and ship it with our household goods. I'm already planning to do that with my carved top orchestral bass.
     
  7. Gil

    Gil

    Oct 20, 2008
    Sarasota, FL
    when and where are you moving to in Florida?
     
  8. rtharris

    rtharris

    Oct 22, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Our plan is to leave Los Angeles between June 16-21. We have targeted the West Palm Beach area, with its many communities close to the ocean. I would have LA Bassworks prepare the bass for shipping. I'm having a local company, Box Brothers, package the instrument, as they specialize in Antiques, and musical instruments. The basses would be shipped across country with our household goods by trailer. Does anybody have an alternative suggestion for packaging and shipment?
     
  9. rtharris

    rtharris

    Oct 22, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Below is an image with the Serial Number.
     

    Attached Files:

    Steven Ayres likes this.

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