7/24/2010

c.1960 Airline by Kay Guitar


Another cool old guitar, made by Kay for Montgomery Ward's Airline brand, with big old open tone and (now) easy playability. This guitar, while I indicate c.1960, is more than likely a late 1950s guitar. It's got a nice build to it very similar to other 50s Kays... and as we all know... Kay products started to suffer in the 1960s. Its body shape is the same as this Galiano labeled Hawaiian guitar I worked on previously.


I did a setup, fret dress, cleaning, etc. new bone nut and saddle, too, and new bridge pins. Otherwise it's all original. Materials include a good solid spruce, ladder-braced top, what looks to be either birch or maple back and sides (with some curly figure on the back, actually), and a rosewood fretboard and bridge. The top is an attractive tobacco-burst finish and the back and sides are a darker nut brown color. Guitar is bound top, back and soundhole with cream trim and a matching cream pickguard.


Funky "Airline" sticker -- not much effort on Montg. Ward's part!




This is a player's guitar for sure and sounds great picked hard as a bluegrass machine, fingerpicked blues-style, or used as vocal accompaniment. Like a lot of ladder braced guitars, it has growl and character. This guitar also has a 25 3/4" (long) scale, which makes it really responsive.




I'm guessing birch back & sides -- check out the light curly figure in the wood, though. Not bad.


Original Kluson Deluxe 3-on-a-strip tuners. Nice!







Overall a great little campfire, go-anywhere, or use gigging guitar. Solid build and good robust sound. I like.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...
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