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Very Old Kay - considering selling it - need advice

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bassdogEmer, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. bassdogEmer


    Sep 14, 2005
    San Francisco
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie Amps, Bag end,Thomastik - Infeld Strings
    putting out the feelers -
    i have a very old kay I am thinking of selling. this bass is special
    it was made in 1937(first year of kay prodection) the serial # is 359 - meaning it was the 359th Kay produced. It's a concert model. this Kay was NOT produced in the states as the first ones were made in germany with Czech machines for tuners to get around importing problems due to WW2 as many lutheirs have confirmed for me. the Necks on these first Kay's are carved. it was a beautiful thick top - no damage accept for minor crack repairs. the fingerboard is high grade ebony and very thick. original tail piece and a beautiful dark brown varnish. the bridge is not original. the bass' neck has been realigned to afford a taller bridge to maximize punch. the instrument can be heard on the tom Waits recordings - mule variationa and swordfish trombones as well as a few others. it has a huge punchy dark sound. plays great. I just made a purchase so I considering letting this baby go - although it's a really special Kay and is the oldest I have ever seen. I am trying to figure out what it is worth to me. since the serial number is incredibly low - my lutheir based in NYC has said I should it's worth around $6500 but i wanted to throw it out the forum to see what you all think - pics comming soon!
    have at it! and pls let me know your thoughts/opinions
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    $6500 for a Kay? Best of luck. It kind of doesn't matter how low the serial number is, you're still in the marketplace of people buying instruments to perform with and THAT is still based on sound. As long as somebody can buy a bass that sounds as good or better for less money, you're gonna have a hard time getting that price.

    On one hand you have a great sounding plywood bass that costs $6500, on the other hand you have great sounding plywood bass that costs $3500, do the math...
  3. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    I agree with Ed. The only way I could see you getting $6500 is if you find a dyed-in-the-wool Kay collector who's just gotta have that bass. Most buying for sound and quality will pass it right by. You are bumping up against the prices for entry-level fully-carved basses.
  4. bassdogEmer


    Sep 14, 2005
    San Francisco
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie Amps, Bag end,Thomastik - Infeld Strings
    Thanks guys - I kinda figured that was the case but worth throwing it out to the forum to see. It is indeed a very old kay and the sound is killin but it's only a plywood w/a carved neck. Not fully carved which is why I purchased a carved bass again.
    the nyc market is a little out of control which is good to keep in mind cuz basses here sell for 1-2k more than they would elsewhere. Or at least it seems this way from my travels and lookin at bass shops all over the country. thanks for the input fellas. I am still going to Post pics anywhows