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Question about Kay Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by slappin, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Hi there,

    I am brand new on this site. I own a Kay Bass Viola, Model M-I-W with the Serial Number 1153. Can anybody tell me how old it is and for how much basses like this one are traded ?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Two suggestions:

    1) Head over to this great site: http://www.kaybass.com/
    If I am reading the chart correctly, it seems like you are missing a digit in that serial #. That is, unless you have one of the first ones made in 1937! I'm not sure there was an M-1 at that time.

    2) Do a search of these forums. You will find a wealth of information concerning value.

    Oh-- and please fill out your profile.
  3. Hi Slappin,

    If my memory serves me,I think the MIW means the bass was sold unfinished.The W in the serial number indicating "White".My bass is an MIB,the B meaning a blond finish.Drurb has a good point,#1153 would be a very low number,indicating a very old bass.Mine is #32021.The website Drurb listed,run by Roger Stowe(?),listed mine around 1958 or so I think.So if yours is 1153 it might be real old.

    Value of Kay bass is tricky.Some people think they are way overpriced.Nice ones get listed on the internet sometimes at $3000.00.I bought mine for $500.The value is determined by what shape the bass is in.Has the neck been broken and repaired? That's a common problem with old Kays. Has any work been done to the bass? Often bassist will replace things on old Kays.Mine has a new end pin,bridge,tail wire,soundpost,been glued up,new strings etc.If you have a string repair shop near you,you might want to take to a luthier(a instrument repair person) to look it over and give you his or her opinion.Hope this helps.Good luck,and post some picture here if you want.
  4. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    My 1939 Kay is serial number 5148...believe that'd make yours pretty dang old...probably first year production.
  5. Slappin',
    Drurb and Big Mike are on target. My pickin partner Leo's bass is a 1938, C1, ser. #2964. Mine, a much later 1952, M1 is ser.# 29112. Roger Stowers web site is where you can more accurately age your Kay.
    As for value, Kays are very condition sensitive as Drurb says. Damage, repairs etc. can affect the value even given a low serial number, where a higher serial number in excellent condition can bring top dollar. Sounds like you got a nice one. It would be a good move to take the bass to your local Bass Doctor for a diagnosis and a tune up, then you're ready to rip!
  6. Thanks so much for your answers. That helps a lot. I love my bass too much as to sell it. I was just wondering what it is worth since I bought it pretty cheap from an old musician.
    If you want to check out my bass go to http://www.masondixonhobos.de

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