4/29/2010

c.1940 Kay "Lyra" 17" Round Hole Archtop Guitar


In this case, bigger really is better. This is a fairly rare, 17" archtop most definitely built by Kay in either the late 1930s or early 1940s. It's crack-free and the finish is really good save a little playwear on the fretboard and the tiny little pock here or there. It's a beaut.

I did a neck set on this and cleaned it all up and set it up. I also replaced the busted and rusted original Klusons with some newer repro Kluson-style tuners. Otherwise it's totally original.


There's a nice sunburst all over. The top is good quality spruce and all the bracing is spot on and well done. Nicely shaped and weighted.

I see Kays with a similar shape and size quite often but not with a round soundhole. This one is also just a hair over 17" at 17 1/8" across the belly. Bracing is ladder-style


Like a big old Gibson, it sits quite comfortably in your lap due to the narrowish waist.


Stenciled Lyra brand name, more than likely unoriginal bone nut.


Fretboard is a painted & dyed black maple board. There's wear to it in the first position but all the frets have loads of life left. Plastic/celluloid? dots.


Cool gypsy-jazzish wide oval soundhole. The pickguard is elevated originally though I've put some extra padding to get it off of the top (it had warped a little over time).



Rosewood bridge.


Typical period tailpiece.




Maple back and sides, more than likely laminated at 2 or 3 ply. Bound in white celluloid on the top, back, and soundhole.


New Kluson repros.






Tailpiece & end pin.

3 comments:

craig said...

i want to buy and play everything you post. sigh........

Antebellum Instruments said...

Me too.
Sigh.......

:)

Adria Ferrali said...

Hi there.I got the same one guitar down to my U.S. address in Montgomery ,Al. If you are interested in it, or you know who could be, let me know. Thanks.