Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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Identifying Kay Guitars Unlike modern manufacturers like Fender, Taylor, and Martin,  The Kay Musical Instrument Company did not publish t...

Identifying and Dating Kay Guitars

Identifying Kay Guitars

Unlike modern manufacturers like Fender, Taylor, and Martin, 
The Kay Musical Instrument Company did not publish their internal serial number system and thus most Kay instruments cannot be pinned down to an exact date of manufacture. 

This is my best attempt at pooling information together to help people identify their instruments

I cite my information as best as I can but there are points that are common knowledge among the Kay community or are observations and conclusions that I have reached from my work.
Pictures are mine unless otherwise cited.

If you are unable to identify your instrument, feel free to Contact Me and I will do my best


Its a safe bet to say that a decent chunk of Kay-built instruments do not say Kay anywhere on them which has led to decades of confusion which I hope to untangle. 

A significant portion of Kay's business was producing and selling instruments to retailers who would then sell them as their own house brand of instruments. There are a variety of names that Kay guitars appeared under from Airline to Marathon to Silvertone to Windsor! And yet there are plenty of Kay guitars that left the factory without a single marking at all.

Company History

  • The Andrew Groehsl Company was formed in Chicago and began production of guitars, mandolins, and traditional European instruments
  • Groehsl is bought out by Henry "Kay" Kuhrmeyer, Frank C. Voisinet, and Charles G. Stromberg and thus formed Stromberg-Voisinet. [7]
  • June, Kay Kraft line is announced to be shown at the S-V booth at NAMM [9]
  • July 1st, The Kay Musical Instrument Company is formed [8]
1938 [9]
  • 62 employees were involved in the production of instruments
  • Instruments were sold through 40 wholesalers in 15 states on top of  mail order
  • The total sales of the company amounted to around $250,000
  • 60 percent of all finished instruments were sold outside of Illinois
  • Kay purchases Barth-Feinberg, a large music retailer in New York [13]
  • The Kay Musical Instrument Company is purchased by the Seeburg Corporation, a jukebox manufacturer [12]
  • Kay was purchased from Seeburg by Valco [11]
    • Japanese-imports led to decreasing profits and Seeburg's desire to get out [14]
  • Valco goes out of business
  • The "Kay" brand is revived and applied on Japanese-import musical instruments

Headstock Shapes and Logos

February 2024, after Michael Wright threatened legal action against me for referencing his book and including a picture of 3 lines of text, I will no longer recommend his book. His complete lack of understanding in how Fair Use works, my lack of funds to defend myself from his litigation, and his attitude towards a fellow appreciator of Kay guitars have resulted in my complete loss of respect for the man. His book will no longer be referenced or recommended on my website

If you want to find his book, you'll have to do it the old fashioned way but realize that he saw this website and decided I needed to be put down.

Image of a 1930s chopped flat headstock used on certain Kay models has been removed
after threat of legal action by who claim to be the copyright holder to the referenced 1930 catalog. It'll be public domain after a few years

Quintessential Kay shape

Image Credit: Reverb - BirdHouseMusic
Large 3-point
Gibson-esque "open book"

Harmony-esque 'rounded'
Three-line 'a' logo
3 point rounded
Metal cursive logo




'T' logo 

Wider 'single point' headstock

'Spade' with 'plectrum' logo


Kay instruments had a variety of ink stamps, most of which have meanings that have long since been lost. You can find the stamps on the inside of the back of the instrument which is usually visible with a flashlight via the f-holes or sound hole. It is a consensus of the Kay community that Kay instruments do not have a serial number system and that most of the stamps are likely related to the batch of instruments that it came from. It is also not unusual for a Kay guitar to not have any stamps or markings at all 

It is certainly possible that the workers at Kay knew how to interpret these stamps and maybe even track down a date in case of a quality control issue. Any such knowledge has been lost and never surfaced. Coincidences where the stamps appear to refer to the year have happened but they are infrequent enough to just be happenstance.
  • "L#### ####" or "L####"
    • The "lot" number of the instrument which refers to which batch of instruments it came from
    • It does not contain any information about the year that the instrument was made.
    • Rarely, the second set of numbers is the model number but I've only seen it on the K-6100 and K-6000 models
    L590 6889 in a K-6970 Swingmaster
    L4229 6100 in a K-6100 Western Dreadnought
    I've only ever seen the numbers match on the K-6000 and K-6100 models
  • "K-#### ####"
    • Numbers immediately following the "K" are the model number of the instrument
    • Any additional numbers have no known meaning and are presumed to be a batch number

    K68 is the model number of this mandolin
    468 is a batch number
  • "N#", "P#", "B#"
    • No known meaning
    • Commonly (and incorrectly) attributed to be a model number 
    • N numbers can go up to 15. [3]
    • P numbers can go up to 7. [2]
    • B numbers can go up to 10. [4]
    • N and P numbers can occur together
    • B and N numbers can occur together
P4 stamp

N-2 stamp

    • "DEC ####"
      • Only appears on some instruments built in the 1930s and 1940s
      • "DEC" would logically refer to December but I have not found any stamps referencing any other month so I'm unsure
      • "####" or "##" refers to the year the instrument was built
    "DEC 1938" with what looks like a "2" written after it

    "DEC 1941" 
    (the year is stamped upside down)

    "???? 45"
    • "SECOND"
      • Appears on instruments from the 60s with obvious blemishes such as a knot in the wood (as was the case with this instrument)
    Image Credit: Ebay

    • "K##" stamped on the back of the headstock 
      • Only appears on instruments built in the 1930s and very early 40s.
      • "##" refers to the model number of the instrument.

    Tuning Machines

    Kay guitars used tuning machines from a few suppliers during their lifetime. Waverly tuners are able to be dated within decade ranges while Kluson tuners can typically be dated more exactly and are the best method of putting a year behind your guitar. I've attached an external resource which I frequently use and two articles that I have written about these tuning machines below.
    • Waverly
      • "Square" and "Small Bell" end plates used in the 1930s and into the 40s
      • "Bell" end plates used intermittently on student level instruments in the late-50s and 60s
    • Kluson
      • Appeared as early as the late-1930s and continued until Kay's demise
      • Often removed, sold separately, and replaced with cheap tuners 
      • Unique "scalloped" plate end design is easily identifiable
      • Appears on most instruments prior to the 1960s 
      • Remains on mid and higher tier instruments 
    • Misc Japanese
      • Took over on student model instruments in the 1960s
    Identifying Kluson closed-back (1947-1969) tuners:
    Identifying Kluson open-back tuners (1930s-1947):

    Kluson tuners are currently being produced by WDMusic and their reproductions can be pretty close to the originals. The best method of confirming originality is to look at the washers on the ends of the tuner shaft. Original, vintage tuners will have metal washers while reissues will have nylon washers

    Nylon tuner washers indicating reissue tuners placed on a '60s Kay


    Kay guitars have a reputation for using laminated woods (as opposed to Harmony's reputation for solid wood) and their instruments were advertised in catalogs as "crack proof". However, this is not a strict rule and finding a Kay built with some solid wood is not nearly as uncommon as people think.

    You can identify a solid or laminated top by checking any unbound edges to see if the wood grain is consistent or by using a mirror and a flashlight to do spot checks on the grain from the outside and inside of the instrument. If an instrument has cracks in the wood that run with the grain then that piece of wood is solid. 
    • Spruce tops
      • Solid tops are prevalent on flat top guitars until the 1960s when it becomes hit or miss
      • Pre-1960s archtops are likely to have solid tops
      • Thinline/hollowbody instruments have laminated tops
      • Most, 50s-60s, student model instruments have laminated tops
    • Birch tops
      • Appear on student grade instruments like archtops and flat tops
      • Often laminated
    • Mahogany back and sides
      • Laminated more often than not
    • Maple back and sides
      • Highly figured pieces are often laminated
      • Solid sides and back do exist but they are typically not as figured
    • Birch back and sides
      • Often laminated
    • Brazilian Rosewood
      • I do not know whether the Kay Kraft Model C has solid or laminate
      • The K-6000, most famously used by Elmore James, has laminate back and sides
    Solid body instruments are typically constructed of multiple pieces of poplar and can feature a maple veneer on the front and the back.

    Carved vs Pressed

    Carved top instruments have their tops built from a large solid block of spruce and are shaped to the desired profile. Pressed tops are either solid or laminated wood of a final thickness and pressed to their shape via heated molds. Carving a top is much more labor and time intensive than pressing so carved tops are typically reserved for the high end instruments and are less common than a pressed top.

    These are fairly uncommon but some of the high end models from the 30s and 40s may have them
    • Carved tops disappear entirely by the mid 1950s.


    Kay necks were 'guaranteed' against warping by the inclusion of steel rods (some adjustable) in the neck. The name "Speed Demon" originated from the name of the neck profile on some of the 50s guitars but was later applied to the K57x line of instruments [5]. 
    • Poplar is the most common wood used for Kay necks
      • Often finished in a brown lacquer to mimic mahogany
    • Maple 
      • Plain maple can be seen on some pre-1960 mid tier instruments
      • Figured maple can be seen in multi-piece necks on high end instruments
    • Mahogany 
      • Appeared as late as the 1950s on high end instruments
      • Much less common than the previous woods


    Wood analysis comes from personal experience and's article on identifying Brazilian
    • Brazilian Rosewood
      • Standard for most instruments up until the 1960s 
      • Started becoming reserved for only the high-end models
      • Tight, closed grain
      • Will not fluoresce under a blacklight when dissolved in water [1]
      • Very sweet smelling when sanded
      • Reddish brown to jet black color (some cheap cuts can be pretty light colored) 
    • Indian Rosewood
      • Picked up in the 1960s as a budget alternative to Brazilian
      • Open grain. Twice the pores per square inch as Brazilian [1]
      • Dark brown or purplish brown color
    • Maple
      • Painted black, brown, or chemically ebonized
        • Chemically ebonized boards appear in the 1930s on instruments such as the Kay Kraft line
      • Can also be left natural with lacquer or dyed red
    • Walnut
      • Used in the 1940s and sometimes lacquered over

    Position markers

    Pre-1950s position markers are often true pearl while later ones are often celluloid. I've seen true pearl on a 1966-68 flat top and have seen celluloid on a 40s archtop so it isn't a solid rule.
    • Dots
      • 3/8" pearloid or white dots in a single line pattern appeared in the 1960s
      • 7/32" mother of pearl dots at latest in the 1950s
      • 3/16" white dots in an alternating 1 and 2 dot pattern were common prior to 1960
      • Pick shaped inlays
        • Appeared on mid to late 60s guitars
        • Some painted inlays can be found like the K1160 "music note" guitar.


          • Composition
            • Standard nickel frets are the most common
            • Brass frets appeared in the 1950s and continued until the company's demise. 
              • Typically reserved for lower end instruments
          • Zero-Fret
            • Zero frets only appear on Kay guitars made after 1968
            • 1968-1970 - Valco-designed instruments
            • Post-1970 - Japanese-import instruments that use the Kay name
          • Size
            • Thin, short frets were common before and during WWII
            • Later guitars either had a standard size or a jumbo size which was wider
            • I cover a variety of exact fretwire dimensions on my article Vintage Fretwire Dimensions

          Truss Rods and Neck Reinforcements

          Kay guitars did not advertise neck reinforcements until the 1950s and from experience I have found that most instruments built before then relied solely on the strength of the wood. Kay used either a non-adjustable neck reinforcement or a true truss rod, never both.

          Neck Reinforcements

          • Pre-1940s - None
          • 1950s-1959 - U-shaped steel bar, open-end facing downwards
          • 1960s - Rectangular steel bar

          Truss Rods

          • "Thin Lite" which was introduced in the early 60s and is most similar to a Gibson style rod. Appears on mid-tier instruments.
            • The design is a long carriage bolt between two half-moon washers. It is held in place by the square hole in one washer.
            •  These often become dislodged and are rendered inoperable but they can often be "repaired" by pulling the truss rod (by the nut) away from the body perpendicular to the strings and slowly turning until the end of the rod locks back into the washer.
          Kay truss rod illustrating the design and the flaw that plagues them
          • "Kantilever" or "Balanced Tension" which was introduced in the 1950s and is adjustable at the heel of the instrument. Appears on higher end instruments like the Thin Twin and some of the fancier archtops
            • These are terrible and don't work well at all
          Image Credit: 1959 Catalog

          Neck Joints

          The Zorzi adjustable neck joint was invented by Joseph Zorzi who was hired at Stromberg-Voisenet in either 1926 or 1927 [6]. It first appeared in 1932 with the line of Kay Kraft instruments that it is best associated with. But you can also find them on other 30s lines like the Kay Deluxe. It was intended to prevent against costly neck reset operations by allowing the user to easily adjust the angle of the neck to the body.

          The Zorzi neck joint disappeared, along with the Kay Kraft line, at the end of the 1930s.
          'Zorzi' adjustable neck joint on a 1930s Kay Deluxe
          The joint featured a radiused, dyed wood block with a raised center rail that was secured to the body of the instrument with three small nails. The neck was carved to mate with the block and had a groove which could slide along the rail. A bolt protruding from the neck fits through a hole drilled in the neck block and is secured with a wing nut. That bolt is held in place by a wood screw driven through the heel of the instrument.

          Instruction Sticker
          Image Credit: Facebook - Thom R
          The mounting hardware that appears on the Zorzi neck


          The most common and traditional neck joint for guitars and stringed instruments. Kay cut big, sloppy dovetails and relied on the glue to hold them in place which is why tons of Kay instruments have necks pulling away from the body

          Bolt On

          1961 was a transitional year for Kay when instruments started switching from dovetails to a 3 bolt system. It is prominent in electric hollow-body instruments and student model acoustics. The nicer acoustics typically kept their dovetail joints.
          1960s 3 screw neck joint

          1968 saw the introduction of a micro-tilt adjustment in the new Valco-designed instruments.

          3 screw neck with microtilt


          Pyramid bridges appeared on some instruments in the 1930s through the 1940s. Bridges from this era also have two pearl dots hiding bolts that mount the bridge to the top.

          Brass decorative carriage bolts are a staple of Kay flat top bridges from the late 1940s until the end of the 1960s. They typically have brass nuts which are tightened from underneath to secure the bridge to the guitar top.
          Kay bridge bolts
          Flat top bridges can either be pinned or pinless and generally look similar to the picture below. Some Kay jumbo guitars have an adjustable saddle built into the bridge and a third decorative bolt

          1960s flat top bridge
          Standard on most all Kay flat tops

          1940s archtop bridge
          (with added B string compensation)
          1960s hollow body bridge


          Early Kay builds featured foil labels which were adhered to the back of the instrument and are visible through either the soundhole or the bass f-hole. These often fall off and are lost but can be very helpful when they are still intact.

          Light Blue/Silver Label (1930s)

          "Manufactured by Kay Musical Instrument Co Chicago"

          Dark Blue/Red Label (1940s)

          "Worlds Largest Manufacturers of String Instruments"
          "Kay Musical Instrument Co"
          "Chicago Established 1890"


          Kay guitars did not use Gibson or DeArmond pickups like people on the internet often claim. The design and materials of Kay pickups are unique compared to original pickups from both of those manufacturers and so I believe it is more likely that Kay wound them in-house using their own employees.

          I've put together a guide of all the Kay electric pickups I've found and the date ranges that they appear.

          $$$ Value $$$

          The big question everybody asks is "How much is my Kay guitar worth?" and that is a fantastic question! It depends heavily on condition and playability since every Kay guitar is at least 50 years old and needs a good amount of work to get it back into playable shape.
          The value of your instrument is directly related to the amount of work it needs. 

          I often see people selling their Kay instruments for $300 as "wall hangers" or "slide guitars" which is a nice thought but ultimately like selling a wrecked automobile for $10,000 as a "lawn ornament".
          People won't pay top market value for a project instrument.

 is one of the greatest resources for finding what your guitar really sells for, I would highly recommend checking there and clicking the "Show Sold Listings" checkbox in the filter. Find out what your instrument actually sells for, subtract the cost of repairs, and you should land around a fair price for your instrument.

          Feel free to Contact Me and I can provide information about your guitar's model and age

          Common Issues 

          DIY repairs are the quickest way to damage and devalue an instrument
          Always consult with a reputable luthier (not a guitar tech) before performing any work
          Never ever use super glue, epoxy, gorilla glue, or Titebond III
          Guitars that are 'repaired' with these are often beyond saving
          • There are cracks in the wood
            • This occurs when an instrument is exposed to a climate different than the ideal (70 degrees Fahrenheit and 45-50% humidity) and the wood has shrunk
            • Do not try to fill the cracks with glue or put clamps on the guitar to press it together
            • Your guitar needs proper humidity and cleats
          • The neck heel is pulling away from the body
            • Do not shove glue in there, you won't do anything except make a later repair harder
            • Some folks put a screw through the heel to hold it in place. I don't like that method but oh well
            • Your guitar needs a neck reset or a proper bolt-on conversion
          • The frets have large divots in them
            • Frets are like tires on your car, they need replacing every so often
            • Your guitar needs a refret
          • The strings are buzzy or the neck is bowed
            • Most Kay guitars lack adjustable truss rods and so forward bow cannot be easily repaired.
            • Your guitar needs a fretboard planing and refret or more ideally a truss rod installation
          • The strings are too high off the fretboard
            • As string tension and climate shift the wood in a guitar, they inevitably need the neck to be steamed off and a new angle carved relative to the body.
            • Some people will recommend shaving down the guitar bridge which is like putting a bandaid on a broken bone and damages the original bridge beyond repair.
            • Your guitar needs a neck reset 
          • The bridge is lifting and coming off
            • Many bridges are glued directly onto the lacquer which causes them to lift and raise the action. 
            • Do not use glue to fill the gaps or drive screws into the bridge to bring it back down. The only fix is to remove the bridge, lightly scrape off any lacquer, sand the bridge bottom to match the contour of the top, and reglue it.
            • Your guitar needs a bridge reglue and often a bridge plate patch
          • There is no sound coming from the electronics
            • This can be a variety of things from dead capacitors, dirty potentiometers, shorted wires, and even dead pickups.
            • Don't replace any vintage components unless you absolutely have to
              • Tone capacitors are often the first to go and replacing them is not unheard of
              • Pots can be cleaned with DeOxit 
            • Your guitar needs an electronics evaluation and cleaning


          The internet and the incredible effort by members of the community to digitize old catalogs make it quite possible to date instruments made by Kay between the 1950s and 1970s. Anything before 1950 gets a little trickier to date due to the lack of available catalogs

          Once you have used the above information to get an approximation of how old your guitar is, I would recommend checking out these resources to try and narrow down the date of production.

          Catalog Scans

          Model Numbers and Production Dates

          This excerpt is one of the most complete lists of Kay guitar model numbers and production dates from Michael Wright's book "Guitar Stories Vol. 2: The Histories of Cool Guitars". I intend on developing a Kay model database at some point




          1. Replies
            1. During the 70s, I'm not too familiar with the later import Kay guitars as I am with the American build instruments

            2. Hi! I have a red K model K117 but can't find anything about it. What can you tell me? Thanks in advance!

          2. k18 6616? no rod in neck

          3. Thanks for all the great info! I have a Kay acoustic #L7902. Is there any way to identify it?

            Tim (

          4. I have a p4 acoustic with no truss rod and just a sticker on the head stock. L2450 6110

            1. Shoot me a an email and I'll do my best to identify it

          5. I was given a Kay f-hole arch top as a project to see if I could make it playable as ...." I cannot."
            Its floating bridge was not stable so I carefully sanded the feet to more closely fit to the body.
            I also added a piece of pine wood to the floating bridge in order to bring the strings up off the frets....and to raise the trapaxoidal bottom as well up and off the body.
            This was sufficient to stop the thing from buzzing.
            Its missing the totally cool head label...and I'd love to find one and apply it with the three small screws where the holes are. The tuners have been cleaned and oiled and are very, sensitive...the smallest turn make a clear adjustment up or down in pitch.
            Its not prefect and the action is high by it nature....but the tone is sweet and particularly good...with rich overtones and undertones which are uniquely pleasing. If you can find a head label....let me know....any one from late 50's or early 60's would be much appreciated.

            1. Repro head labels can actually be found on Etsy! You can also find originals floating around on Reverb and Ebay too

          6. I have a Kay flattop acoustic, cursive metal logo on the headstock and the letters L 9201 inside the body. The guy who gave it to me said be bought it in the early 70s, but I think this is a mid-late 60s model. It also has a white plaque with KAY on a music stand stamped on it. The plaque is right where the headstock meets the fretboard. I haven't seen many models with this on it.

            1. Hi Dan, send me some photos via email. That plaque with the music stand is accurate for mid to late 60s

          7. OI have a korean made kay 360 or 369 hard to tell like sa parlor guitar ive seriously hotrodded check it out on my fb page

          8. Thanks for this. I was able to ID my mystery guitar with no logo or label as a Kay from the 60's. I found the headstock and you supplied the fret marker info. The stamped serial number was a tantalizing lead that of course led nowhere.

          9. My Father's old Kay K - 27 Circa 1952 - 1956 .

            Definitely a project guitar. I have most parts which are not existing / installed. He never had or used a guitar case for this guitar - played it often - didn't really maintain it as well as he could have.

            I wrote you earlier and sent some photos which may be of help to offer a realistic " as is " value NOT INCLUDING any body neck finish.

            Thank you.

          10. Thank you for the wealth of information. I have had and have Kay and Harmony guitars. I find most of them at "best" are pretty terrible unplyable instruments. The necks were falling off, the necks were warped on some. The pickups were like 4.17 Ohm so really quiet. The budget instruments of today are head and shoulders above theses old guitars. I have paid as little as $8 for some of these to as much as $150. That was all before the collectors got all crazy. The reason I have owned so many is they were cheap and plentiful. So I would buy them and practice my guitar repair skills trying to make them playable. I have a couple of playable nice ones. Some became firewood. I bought a really nice looking Orpheum King arch top with a solid spruce top for $150. Turns out someone had used 2 part expoxy to set the neck and I destroyed the things trying to get it apart. The action was like 1/2" at the 12th fret and the neck had no truss rod and was warped. That was just a sad dream of a guitar that never lived up to what it could have been.

          11. I have a sunburst flat top and I don't think I have a truss rod. There was a sticker on the head stock. It reads p4 but also "L2450 6110" and I'd really like to know what it is. It had messed up action so I took strings off and was going to get a new bridge or something. if you could email me. I could shoot some pictures too. Thank you for this page

          12. I am restoring a 1960 Kay Style Leader K1983 and need to get a bridge. Might anyone know where I could look to find one?

          13. Thanks for all the kool Kay info & catalogs ! I'm getting a 59 or 60 cutaway jumbo.cant wait.pete

          14. Yatahe. Ilive in Alaska. I have a thin hollowbody archtop electric. It has the klenex box pickup near the end of the fretboard. The tailpiece looks like a trapeze except has a bar running down the center (so 3 bars running same way as strings) and a flat bar running perpendicular to the strings halfway between the pivot and where the strings attach. Sunburst pattern. Les paul design the cutaway has a sharp point. 3/8 pearl dots in a single line on fretboard. Brass frets. Metal cursive logo. Bolt on neck Didnt see it in the 66 or 68 catalog. Looks like someone scribbled their initials inside on the back near the cutaway. Thank ylu in advance.

          15. Montgomery Ward in the mid to late 1930s and possibly the very early 40s had a month and year stamped into the instruments it sold. I have seen those stamps in instruments made for the company by Gibson, Regal and Kay. I have a feeling that Wards may have done this themselves, possibly for guarantee purposes. On that basis, I think any Kay guitar with such a stamp- right way up or upside down, was an instrument sold by Montgomery Ward. Kay used lamination to strengthen necks in more Ritzy models and a steel rod as strengthening was mention in the advertisement by Sears for the 1941 Silvertone Crest archtop that was made by Kay.

          16. I have a 3 pickup Vanguard with the cleaver head. The pickups date 1962 but you have the Cleaver head not used till 65?

          17. Guy found this KDG-88 in a dumpster and I bought it. It needed cleaned, a tuning mech gear, and new strings... its one of the best sounding acoustics I've ever played. (its rosewood I think). Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks.

          18. I found a K7120 in fair to good condition. I could barely see the model #. What kknd of value am I looking at for this guitar?

          19. Any information... i have a Kay 12 strings KD 28-12 Made un Korea
            What year is Made this guitar ?

          20. Kay 0112 - 12" wide lower bout. (Late 50' early 60's) My understanding is these are solid spruce top with solid mahogany back and sides. I really enjoy small body guitars, but not a laminate. Does anyone know if this model is solid wood ?

          21. When was the K-312 made and was it all solid woods?

          22. Hi, I have 2 Vintage Kay guitars. One is the Kay 6868, and it is in excellent condition. It is an archtop style and is complete, but it is rather large for me. It is curly maple (laminate) and it looks pretty, but I'll sell it. Not sure what it is worth. The one I'm very interested in learning to play is a Classical Kay Model 7005. This guitar is really beautiful. I found it in one of your links to the Kay Vintage Catalogs. This guitar has a Brazilian rosewood back, sides, and fingerboard. It is quite striking. The spruce top is quite dark, very reddish colored. It appears different than catalog shows, which is a very light spruce. I plan to have it restrung, so I may learn to play it. Do you have any idea of the value? Thanks

          23. Hi. Great page. Very useful. I was given an old acoustic in surprisingly good condition. I'd love if you could date it and maybe discover a model number. The head stock has a sticker. The bridge was never glued down, or has come off (no glue marks). I imagine I'll sell,... is there a Kay collector site you might know of? Thanks again. Email me at info -at- bradthepainter dot com. Here is my axe:

          24. I have a Kay520, hummingbird I purchased as I was leaving Parris Island, South Carolina in 1973. One of the inlays has disappeared, but otherwise it is in fairly good shape. I haven't played it in forty years so I'm giving it to a young man who teaches piano and has three kids so they may choose to learn to play. I learned a lot from your website, thank you

          25. I have a tenor with Silvertone on the headstock. Inside is the only markings, that read L 871. Is this from the mid 60's ?


          26. Is there any Guitar Company that is making a version of the 60's Kay Vanguard II Guitars.
            I would be grateful in any assistance you can give.

            Thank you kindly,

            Hector R Uriarte Jr.

          27. HI, I have my dad's Silvertone/Kay all mahogany archtop that I am pretty sure is late 40's/early 50's with the Silvertone logo. Inside it has P4 as you described. I have a pic of him with a resonator guitar dated 1938 and his Sears Home Study guitar books also dated 1938. Near as I can tell is must be one of the K-models sold under the Silvertone name, but no steel reinforced neck indication, the neck is like a 2x4, but the action is really low, and no bowing. I am figuring that he got it when he came back from WWII around the time he and mom starting having us kids 47-49, and I have another jazz guitar book dated 1955, so I am thinking that might be when he bought this all mahogany one, perhaps a leftover model. He worked close to a Sears. Thanks for the info, it helped me narrow down an approximate time of purchase.

          28. I have a parlour size KAY. Fret markings on 3, 5, 7, 9, 12 and 15. White plastic pick guard. Number L9860 AND N-3 stamped inside the body. A solid white emblem on the headstock with KAY in capital letters and the K tripod under it. It does not have an adjustable trussrod. It appears to be BIRCH top and sides with a plywood back. The bracing is just three straight pieces spaced 6 inches apart. The back and sides are painted black with a sunburst top and adjustable bridge. There appear to be Klusen strip open back tuners.


          Please include a form of contact or reach out to me directly ( otherwise you likely won't see my response

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