4/13/2011

c.1955 Kay Electric Mandolin


This is a customer's instrument, and was made by Kay, probably in the mid to late 1950s. It has a single "blade" style pickup, volume and tone control, two-point body, and a heck of a lot of class and style. The neck is only slightly warped (typical for Kays) and boasts a 14" scale length. It plays nicely and has a good (if not very loud) acoustic tone and sweet electric tone.

My work on this instrument was: cleaning, new strings, light setup, installation of some new 18:1 Grover tuners, and regluing/reinforcing of its cracked-in-three-pieces pickguard.


Top is like 5-ply spruce, back and sides are 3-ply flamed maple, and the neck is a solid hunk of maple with a rosewood fretboard (and there's a rosewood adjustable bridge, too).



Cool big block position markers. Bound on top, back, and fretboard.



Crazy giant jack plate allows access to the electronics. Note the bit of foam I've popped in under the string ends -- this mutes overtones that may muddy up the tone.



New Grover tuners fit right in where the old ones left off... including perfect alignment for the screw holes.




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