Price Estimate?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by tplyons, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I see used Kay M-1's all the time, but how much would an old Kay C-1 go for? I've fallen in love with one and the thought of offering to buy it when I leave the school has crossed my mind more than once. It's a high school instrument, been around the block a few too many times, definately has had it's ass kicked, no structural problems to the body but the neck has been snapped and improperly repaired (the joint is coming undone causing the neck to bend forward) and it's just plain old and played a lot. How much do you think a fair offer would be if I was still in love by the end of next year?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A neck repair could easily run you $500, maybe more.

    A brand new Englehardt C1 is only about $900, a used Kay C1 maybe $1500 in VG to EXC shape. The M and S models are the ones that get the $$$$.

    Unless you can get that Kay for $500 or less, you'd be throwing good money after bad.
  3. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I was following Kay prices on E-bay for about 9 months. I was going to get one until I got a great deal on the Christopher I bought. There seems to be a wide range. I've seen "nice" ones go from 1200 to 4500. I've also seen beat up ones go for 2000. I saw one that was in pieces, neck snapped off and open seams, that sold for 1500. Go figure.
    Although I wouldn't buy on E-bay, It's a pretty good way to see what they are going for. Here's one
    And here's one that sold recently
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I kind of see Kays as the Fenders of the DB world. Some have the mojo, and some don't. But they all seem to command higher prices than the materials and craftsmanship suggest is appropriate.

    Unless you have a personal love affair with the bass, I would be very hesitant to spend more then $1200 or so total on the bass. That includes the buying price as well as what it takes to make it right.

    I can't imagine getting any more than that for a beat up C1 with a neck repair.

    If you really want yo give it that Kay kind of love, just squirt some Elmer's in the neck joint and run a couple of drywall screws through the heel. :) (Note to all sensitive luthier types: This was an effort at sarcastic humor!!)
  5. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I've seen more than one with this repair technique.
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    Me too. I saw one a few months ago that looked as if someone had used a spade bit to make a nice, clean recess in the heel. They then ran a huge lag bolt through the heel into the neck block. Wasn't real pretty, but it didn't appear it was going anywhere. From the looks of it, it had been that way a long time.

    If you go to enough bluegrass festivals, you'll see bass mutilation in forms you never could imagine.

    One of my recent favorites was an old Kay that had lost its saddle somewhere along the way. Someone (the owner alledged it was that way when he bought it) had roughed out a rabbet in a piece of deer antler and put it under the tailgut to keep it from goofing up the top.

    I also saw one last summer with a tennis ball wedged between the tailgut and the table. For the life of me, I can't figure that one out.
  7. I saw this bass for sale on ebay and was drawn to the line about the neck repairs being made by a "master craftsman". Fortunately, I don't know too many master craftsmen who would drill a hole through the back button into the heel, glue in a dowel and not even try to hide his buchery. "master" repair
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    Master plumber maybe?

    I did notice this in the description as well:

    " . . .

    (d.) It is 8 inches from the nut to the bridge, from the bridge to the tuning keys goes from 45 to 49 inches. . . ."

    Eight inch string length? At least it would answer all those "how do you get that thing under your chin" jokes that I have to endure. :)

    Also, if you were going to pin the neck with a huge dowel, wouldn't you at least swab a little dark stain over it when you were done? Maybe he wanted everyone to see his "master craftsmanship."

    Wonder what kind of bass that is?
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    With that curve on the bridge you could pull off four-note voicings with the bow!