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

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1944 Kay K-60 Catalog Excerpt Image Credit:  VintAxe The Kay K-60 was a top of the line archtop model built by Kay craftsmen and reta...

Kay K-60 and K-62 Television Jumbo Archtop

1944 Kay K-60 Catalog Excerpt
Image Credit: VintAxe
The Kay K-60 was a top of the line archtop model built by Kay craftsmen and retailing for $65. Michael Wright's book "Guitar Stories Volume 2" has some of the most complete model information and dates about Kay guitars but his date range for this model is incomplete. He mentions both the K-60 and K-62 as being built from 1938-1939 but my research in old catalog scans show that they were available as late as 1944 and as early as 1941. It is not present in the 1948 catalog. Assuming that Wright came to his number via a resource I did not find, I think it is safe to assume these guitars were built from 1941 through 1944 with earlier models and later possibly existing

They are jumbo archtops meaning their lower bout measures around 17". They use quality woods like actual flamed maple for the necks, Brazilian Rosewood slab fretboards, and plenty of real pearl inlays. The tops are carved spruce with laminate flamed maple back and sides.

Expect quality hardware like open-back Kluson tuners with or without the stamped shafts. The tailpieces are also quality and quite ornate, I have not been able to discern who made those. Note the bridge on these instruments is a unique "ribbon" design which flares outward towards the tailpiece, on the bass side, and towards the neck, on the treble side. And the celluloid pickguard is incredibly thick too.

1944 Kay K-62 Catalog Excerpt
Image Credit: VintAxe
The K-62 is identical to the K-60 in nearly every way except that it is finished in a clear, natural lacquer instead of sunburst. It may or may not also have a painted stinger on the back of the headstock.

This model number may have been reused for Kay guitars with the antenna fretboard inlays but that instrument is not the focus of this article.

1 comment:

  1. I think you have it backward; the K-60 and 62 nomenclature was reused for the model you discuss here, those with the antenna fretboards being the earlier version. Mine has the antenna inlays and is stamped "Oct 40." Apparently they subsequently changed the desige.


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