OLD Kay Endpin Question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Bum Arm Bob, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. I have a 1943 Kay M1 that has never had an adjustable endpin. It still has the original tapered dowel that it rests on.

    My question is, if I purchase an adjustable endpin, will it just slide into the dowel hole with out any mods?
    Or is this something that will take an act of congress to make work?

    Thanks for any input you can give.
  2. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    You'll need a whole new endpin assembly (endpin socket with adjusting screw and endpin rod) which will need to be fitted by a bass luthier with a double bass endpin reamer. Or you could make a wooden dowel to fit you and your playing.
    Bum Arm Bob likes this.
  3. I elected to replace the endpin in my old German and paid my luthier $80 installed for a nice Ulsa endpin. Wooden endpins have a particular sound many people like, myself included, but modern conveniences have their benefits. Sometimes. :)
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  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    And you can have your wooden endpin and adjust it, too! :cool:
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  5. That's true, but then I'd be down one broom.
    thombo and foilracer like this.
  6. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I have this http://www.metmusic.com/parts/endpin/6425/bass-endpin-ebony-ulsa-model

    in my Kay. After experimenting with various 5/8" hardwood dowel rods and drumsticks I have returned to the stock hollow pin. Wood provided a bit more resonance but at the expense of a solid low end and balanced tone. The difference is slight. It's a well made unit.

    Bob, the stock Kay metal unit isn't something I'd agonize over. Spend some money and get a proper unit installed.
    Bum Arm Bob likes this.
  7. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Kay did a lot of impromptu things on the production floor over the years, especially during the war. I'm not sure that I've ever seen a simple tapered dowel as original factory issue. I have seen that style on other brands and similar time periods. Folks with more Kay knowledge and experience than I have may have different information on them. I have seen a lot of stubby tapered solid wood endpins that were retrofitted.

    The most common factory spec was a straight tapered 1/2 pound steel adjustable endpin that has a bad habit of falling off and getting lost during transport; hence the simple retrofits that are common.It is also great if you get in a rowdy session after a gig and need you fight your way to the parking lot. The old original AMPEG endpin (Amplified peg...clever name for the company and their original product!) with the hollow aluminum tube and early microphone inside are the second less common units as factory spec. Endpins are like jewelry or other fashion statements. They seem to come and go with different trends and personalities. Believe it or not, I've had crusty crusty types come into the shop and specifically ask that I re bush / plug a nice newer endpin hole that was reamed and tapered and put them back to stock specs. ...funny. Most repair folks that I know are just the opposite- we have a drawer full of those original straight socket models. Aside from weight and tone, the straight socket design tends to get really loose during the dry season in some areas.

    As long as we are having the conversation, my personal endpin of the week is a 1 1/2" hollow titanium tube that was a spare I fabricated up for somone else from my old Litespeed titanium bike frame.....works great and King Kong can jump up and down on it with no worries. I'll have a similar batch of new oversized carbon and carbon / kevlar weave models coming out in the next few months for the summer destruction season.

    Good luck.

    Bum Arm Bob likes this.
  8. That's a new one on me. Every stock Kay endpin assembly I've seen with my own eyes was a clunky metal collar holding a rattly steel endpin of one of several different diameters.

    The endpin in my bass is similar to what Greg is using, except mine has a big fat rubber foot that screws off to reveal a sharp spike you can jam into a wooden stage for MOAR HORSEPOWER!

    Glad to know I'm not the only person who's ever had to use a Kay endpin as a billy club.
    Bum Arm Bob likes this.
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I've seen a few of those in WWII era Kays and I'm certain that they came from the factory that way. , similar to WWII Martins with ebony rather than steel neck reinforcement, no tuner bushings and plastic tuner buttons.

    I replace endpins with the #6425 so as to be able to use a 5/8" wooden dowel for a pin.
  10. jvgreene


    Mar 11, 2014
    N. Alabama
    I don't have a Kay, but I'd like to join in this endpin discussion. I just got an old beat up King that has this style dowel:

    IMG_2061.JPG IMG_2062.JPG

    However, I'm 6'2" and need a bit more height so I've been using this high-tech endpin extender:

    I have purchased the cheapish adjustable endpin from String Emporium, do you think this bass will need a reaming to have it installed? Unfortunately the closest bass luthier is 2 hours away in Nashville so I was hoping to be able to take care of it myself.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  11. An endpin reamer is a specialized, $300 tool and an endpin that fits poorly in the block can be trouble.

    Pay the $100 and have it done right.
    jvgreene likes this.
  12. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    The Endpin that Kay eventually settled on - and Engelhardt uses to this day - is that quirky solid steel unit that was mentioned above. It uses an unusual (in the bass endpin world) 1/2" diameter shaft. Yes, it can have a tendency to rattle -- as well as oscillate/buzz inside the bass, especially if you don't extend it out very far -- but both can usually be remedied cheaply with a thumbscrew that you can tighten better.

    The Engelhardt OEM endpin is possibly the only one that can be installed without the specialized reamer tool, as it is the only one (to my knowledge) that inserts into a straight hole. So a well-drilled 3/4" hole is all you need. And a complete endpin assembly (pin, collar, rubber cap) will run you less than $35.

    Here's what it looks like:
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