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zombywoof

The Beast Has Landed

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Pics of the result of my first GC visit - a 1957-58 Kay K-24. Nothing delicate or dainty about this one. 17" lower bout, ladder braced, solid spruce top and solid maple rim with a laminate maple back. The thing to keep in mind with these is that it has a 26" scale which means a set of light gauge strings are putting as much tension on the neck as a set of mediums on a Gibson. As to sound, this guitar comes off as the cosmic love child of a flattop and an archtop. It is loud and about as in your face as it gets with a big punchy mid-range but not near the low end you would expect given the real estate the top covers. The bridge on this guitar has got to be the most bizarre contraption I have ever run across. It is a front loading wrap around bridge with an adjustable saddle. It is perfectly playable at the moment although the neck is lifting a tad. But at the moment I am good to go with it and will cross that bridge when I have to.

 

Kay_Front_3.jpg

 

Kay_Back.jpg

 

Kay_Bridge_2.jpg

Edited by zombywoof

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Zomby does it again! You must be psychically connected to the world of great vintage acoustics! Any chance of a sound clip?msp_thumbup.gif

 

I still do not know how to post that kind of stuff. One of these days though I will get my act together and ask my daughter if she can record some of these guitars. This guitar though really has a bit of that Leadbelly thunder. You cannot help but think what would a 12 string version have sounded like. That truly would have been something.

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I've never seen anything like that...but I like it!

 

'woof, I could've used you yesterday...went to a local shop , the one Id been dealing with that is now under new ownership. They've got an old Harmony Sovereign in pretty bad shape, and I'd love you to give it a once-over. They're not sure how old it is yet (but don't worry; even if you say, "If you don't want it, buy it and I'll buy it from you", that's NOT happening again!)...on an unrelated note, they've got an old Kay banjo w/a gorgeous carving of an eagle on the back...never had an interest in the banjo, but that thing was beautiful...

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I've never seen anything like that...but I like it!

 

'woof, I could've used you yesterday...went to a local shop , the one Id been dealing with that is now under new ownership. They've got an old Harmony Sovereign in pretty bad shape, and I'd love you to give it a once-over. They're not sure how old it is yet (but don't worry; even if you say, "If you don't want it, buy it and I'll buy it from you", that's NOT happening again!)...on an unrelated note, they've got an old Kay banjo w/a gorgeous carving of an eagle on the back...never had an interest in the banjo, but that thing was beautiful...

 

Hey, if you head back to the store send me some photos. Harmonys often have date stamps in them so if it is there and readable it will tell you when the guitar was built. If you are talking about a Sovereign 1260, the easiest way to tell something about age is the logo. If it is block letter the guitar would be earlier than 1962 was in that year Harmony went to a script logo. If it is a 1203 Sovereign, which is an older model, they had Figure 8 shaped bodies up to 1957.

 

I am really not up on my Kay banjos though. Do you recall if the Eagle as inlaid or a decal?

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It's so cool to see these old guitars get the attention and the respect they deserve. Back in "the day" (my day, anyway), everybody I knew would have looked down their nose at a guitar like these - and I'm ashamed to admit I'm as guilty as the next guy. Where I ran if you didn't have a Gibson or a Guild (or in my circles, really, a Martin) you didn't have a guitar. What I wouldn't give to have another shot at the guitars that passed by me that I wouldn't give a 2nd look to. In my defense, I still look on the first acoustic guitar I ever owned - a big ol' Harmony Sovereign 1260 sold under the Airline name and nicknamed Hugo when I owned it, as a GREAT guitar.

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I have seen those Kay Monkey Wards slotheads before. And that is just a plain make you feel good story.

 

 

If you like this Kay though, wait to you see the one that is coming in, Not a Kay but a Harmony. It is an undocumented model. There are not only no catalog entries for it (it is a Wartime guitar) but no known surviving examples or even photographs of one apparently exist. As such I had only my gut to go by. This one will either show that I have great instincts or am in the running for bonehead of the decade.

Edited by zombywoof

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I have seen those Kay Monkey Wards slotheads before. And that is just a plain make you feel good story.

 

 

If you like this Kay though, wait to you see the one that is coming in, Not a Kay but a Harmony. It is an undocumented model. There are not only no catalog entries for it (it is a Wartime guitar) but no known surviving examples or even photographs of one apparently exist. As such I had only my gut to go by. This one will either show that I have great instincts or am in the running for bonehead of the decade.

 

 

 

 

I believeeusa_pray.gif

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