Kay Upright Bass 1950's

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ebozzz, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I would like to get into playing an URB at some point in the future and I am beginning to research what it will take to get started. While looking around, I ran across this:

    Kay Upright Bass 1950's

    I still have a lot to learn about the cost involved with purchasing, repairing and maintaining these types of basses. Realistically, what kind of cost would be required to repair this one based just on the what's listed?

    Most of the things that I do will probably be using an electric bass but I would really like to try to develop enough skills on the URB to be able to do some work. It will probably be less than a year before I make my first URB purchase. Would the one listed above be a good option if I was ready to buy or would one similar to the item listed below be a better alternative? Thanks.

    Kay M5 Upright Bass 1950's
  2. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    I wouldn't do it. While the price is not all that bad, you would end up paying over half of that price to get it playable, based on the description of the repairs needed. I recently bought my first bass, an Engelhardt EM-1, for $999 new. This is a lower-end student bass, but my music goals are modest (folk, bluegrass). Engelhardts are made from the old Kay jigs. So why pay almost $900 for a beat up Kay with dragons and stickers on it when you can get a new bass that is fairly playable right out of the box for just a bit more? I would be patient and buy the best bass that you can afford.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    In the Denver area, get a hold of my friend Paul Warburton ([email protected]) -- he'll be able to point to you in the right direction. Tell him I said 'hey'.
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    My guess is you'd spend the entire purchase price all over again on repairs. From what they say, a new fingerboard (sorry, fellas, it's not a "fret board")
    is needed. The bridge doesn't have adjusters, and you'll be stuck with whatever height it is. Then there's cost of shipping. All to have a bass that looks like s--t.
    And what's with the "maybe" needs bass bar reglued? They sell instruments for a living and they can't tell? Bull.
  5. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    Thanks a lot! I'm still several months away from purchasing but I'm trying to get ready for it. I'll contact Paul today. ;)

    Don and Jim, good advice. I'm just beginning this quest so I really don't have a clue as to what's a good deal. From what I've heard from you two I certainly know what a less than favorable deal is! I'll keep researching. I've done pretty good with purchasing my electric bass gear. Hopefully my luck will continue. Thanks. :)
  6. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Isn't Arvada near Denver? Bob Monroney is a real nice guy, also a luthier in Arvada. He's been very helpful to me and is very generous with his advice on the 2xbasslist.

    His contact info is in my Double Bass Luthiers Directory- http://www.urbbob.com/luthiers.html
  7. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    You're exactly right. Arvada is less than 30 minutes from where I live if traffic is good. I bookmarked your site and added Mr. Monroney's name to my contact list. Thank you so much!
  8. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I'm a rookie URB guy too but even I would stay away from that one. A few months ago I paid $1600 CDN around ($1050 US) for a '62 Kay that was in excellent shape. I took it into a luithier and gave him pretty much a blank check and all he needed to do was give it a good setup (including shaving the bridge a bit) and a new set of strings -total -$200 US. It plays and sounds great. The one you're looking at would need major rework I would think- including refinishing the wood (unless the artwork is cool to you).
    I would keep looking for a better used deal or consider something like a new Engelhardt.
  9. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Thanks Dave! No, that artwork is definitely not cool to me. I'm not ready to buy yet. I'm just trying at this point to figure out what I need to be looking for in a good deal. With the help that I'm getting here on the forum plus some that I hope to get locally, I hope to be able to make a good decision in the near future. Thanks again for the help! :)