4/15/2016

1960s Kay Student "Parlor" Guitar





While it's hard to get downscale from a Harmony H929, this '60s Kay attempt certainly aspires in that direction. It's an all-laminate guitar along the same lines as the H929, though it's even more spare on the bracing (it has two braces on the top and that's it) and the tone is... thinner.

Still, for fingerpicking it's not a bad choice for campfire use and the like, though it's a bit "plonky" for flatpicking. I worked on this for a customer who wants it for exactly the suggested use (campfire, car guitar) and it got a "neck reset" via adjusting its own bolted-on contraption at the neckblock and also adding a "set" screw through the heel. After that it got a fret level/dress, a replacement bridge, and a setup.

The neck does gain a bit of relief when tuned up (even with its short 24 1/4" scale and 11s on it), but it plays decently nonetheless -- and that's all we can ask for, really, so the mission is accomplished!


I may sound like a "downtalker," but I honestly enjoy old student boxes like this a ton. They're "democratizing" instruments in that anyone can own one and get one going for casual use on the fairly-cheap.





The new bridge is (shockingly) Brazilian rosewood that I've "recycled" from the back of a baritone ukulele bridge (hence the tiny holes in its front face). I compensated the top edge and... boy it sounds better than the psycho plastic bridge that was on it when it came in.



The tuners aren't half-bad!



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