3/22/2015

1960s Kay K6109 X-Braced Dreadnought Guitar




Update 2015: This guitar now comes with a K&K acoustic pickup installed and a jack on the side. Good sound!

Two x-braced Kay dreads in two days? Sweet. This one's a little later (mid-60s) than the 50s K6100 I posted yesterday, but it's every bit as much of a killer guit. It's basically the same guitar but has natural-finished laminate mahogany back and sides and still retains its original "wrap-around" rosewood bridge. The rest of the specs are the same: long 25 3/4" scale length, 1 5/8" nut width, big old squared-off dread body, and plenty of carrying power. Oh -- and this guy has a truss rod rather than a plain non-adjustable steel rod.

Work included a fret level/dress, relocating the saddle 1/8" to the rear, new tuners, and a new bone nut and saddle. She plays spot-on (3/32" bass, 1/16" treble at the 12th fret) and has an enormous, raucous sound. It's punchy in that D-18 kind of way but has that Kay growl rather than Martin creaminess.




There are no cracks on the guitar and it's had some old work done: bridge reglue and neck reset. The previous job on the neck was great but the fretboard extension had been shimmed up too high and so there was a "ski jump" over the body. I pulled the extension off and reglued it. Now it "dips down" slightly but that's a far cry better than "dipping up!" The old bridge reglue was well-done as well.

Overall the guit is pretty clean but does show usual minor use-wear and weather-checking.


The headstock logo is pretty fun, no? So... automotive.


The board is radiused and rosewood and has giant yellow-green pearloid dots inlaid. The frets are medium-size and in good shape now that they've been leveled and dressed.



Lucky enough for me, when I moved the saddle back 1/8" (for proper intonation), the darker grain line of the rosewood completely hid the darker fill job. I, of course, made a fully-compensated saddle to replace what was left of the original bone one.




Nice, right? I'm so used to murky back finish on Kays and it's a relief to see the hog pop out.


I replaced the lame replacement tuners that came on this with these Kluson-style repros that ape what would've originally been on it.






Here you can see the string path of the "wraparound" bridge.




An old chip case comes, almost as a standard feature, with a guitar like this.

No comments: