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Tailpiece from Kay bass

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by igor kondur, May 27, 2011.


  1. igor kondur

    igor kondur

    Jul 28, 2004
    NYC
    Hi!
    I have original
    tailpiece from old Kay bass,any suggestion about wood ?
    Thanks)
     
  2. MollyKay

    MollyKay

    Sep 10, 2006
    Southern PA
    Bass Hobby'ist
    The early tail pieces are usually rosewood or ebonized rosewood. Does the tail piece have a decal or the metal script Kay? Dating the tail piece will help ID the wood. Later production models are different then the early prewar models. The availability of woods determined what was used in manufacturing.
     
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    They are Ebony or Brazilian Rosewood but they made quite a few out of Black Walnut in the war years when imported woods were impossible to obtain.

    What's the serial number of the bass?
     
  4. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I know of two Kay tailpieces from the war years that are made out of Honduras mahogany that was painted black. They both happen to be on very nice sounding Kays ( one also has a Honduras mahogany fingerboard!). I've also seen an original slab cut maple Kay tailpiece.

    A lot of times Kay used whatever was available when they ran out of the usual materials.

    Does anyone know of a video link floating around the web that shows Mr. Rodgers visiting the Kay factory on " career day". I have a customer who swears she's seen it with Kay basses going down an assembly line in the background. I have not been able to find it....

    j.
     
  5. 360guy

    360guy Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Lansing, MI USA
    Yes, I've seen that video footage before. I think it is at the Englehardt factory. You might check with Mr. Mc Feely (seriously).
     
  6. igor kondur

    igor kondur

    Jul 28, 2004
    NYC
    I don't know about bass number(
    I have only tailpiece with "Kay " logo(but now without it)
    I 'll try to post pict.
    Thanks)
     
  7. igor kondur

    igor kondur

    Jul 28, 2004
    NYC
  8. E.P. Miller

    E.P. Miller Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    Nashville
    Looks like rosewood.
     
  9. tstone

    tstone

    Nov 16, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    If I had to guess, I'd say walnut.
     
  10. igor kondur

    igor kondur

    Jul 28, 2004
    NYC
    Ok
    Walnut or Rosewood)
    Thanks)
     
  11. +1 walnut
     
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    -1 I'm going the other way SUBIE - plain Brazilian from the sixties... ;)
     
  13. I'm of the walnut opinion. Molly, Jake, Mr. Stover or any other experts... is there a way to date them based on the material that is inlaid parallel to the top edge which the strings pass over? I dont know what you call it... tailpiece fret? Igor, what kind of strings are those?
     
  14. igor kondur

    igor kondur

    Jul 28, 2004
    NYC
    It's Velvet Garbo strings
     
  15. klyph

    klyph Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Cape Cod
    Man I hate to add to the confusion... BUT
    The grain at the edges sure suggests mahogany, to me.
    Walnut lightens over time- and I've never seen walnut this RED, but computer images don't always capture /reproduce color reliably.
    I guess I'll throw in my vote for VERY poor quality rosewood.
    How heavy is it?
    Rosewood will usually weigh at least 50% more than walnut of the same volume.
     
  16. 10-4 on color fade...the flatsawn face just looks like it belongs on a Marlin 45-70. ;)
     
  17. igor kondur

    igor kondur

    Jul 28, 2004
    NYC
    It's heavy
     
  18. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Right, like Rosewood! ;)
     

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