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  #1  
Old 07-14-2019, 07:47 AM
414CE Koa 414CE Koa is offline
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Default Info/Options for the neck of an old Kay Archtop

Howdy all!

My Dad has had this Kay Archtop since he was a kid. Played it for a while but it has spent most of it's life in a case. It is actually in very good condition over all minus the neck. It is the old steel reinforced design with my truss rod adjustment. I was thinking of bringing it to a local guitar tech that I use for my other guitars. Honestly minus the bow it is a great sounding guitar. All original I think. Is there something that can be done about the neck even though it isn't adjustable? Also the only markings in the guitar are 339. Does anyone have any info or know where I could find it? I have searched online but have only found 1 pic/video of this exact guitar and it was just a guy playing it.

Thank you!



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  #2  
Old 07-14-2019, 02:08 PM
coldfingers coldfingers is offline
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Hard to tell from the photo exactly what's going on with the neck, but it might be possible to pull the frets, plane the fretboard flat (or close to flat), then refret it.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:16 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Looks like another victim of the old New Brunswick (NJ) Black Diamond strings...

FYI a well-equipped tech might be able to steam-press the neck - a far-cheaper solution than planing/re-fretting, but not applicable to every situation; I've been using these guys for a number of years and can recommend them without reservation:

https://www.repairguitar.com/
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:02 AM
SeamlessJam SeamlessJam is offline
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Black Diamonds killed the Supro Lexington I got for my 12th birthday. 1967.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2019, 07:48 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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There are four routes forward with a warped neck like that. One - learn how to play slide bottleneck style. That's what I do with my 1935 Dobro...

Two, have a luthier heat the neck/fingerboard and "slip" the glue joint while pressing the neck straight. Least invasive, but very often the neck really wants to return to the way it was, and does so, particularly if the reinforcing rod has taken a set.

Three, if the amount of bow is less than 1/16" or thereabouts you can remove the frets, plane the fretboard straight, and refret. Many vintage guitars have had similar repairs, it's pretty permanent but you are left with possibly a quite thin fretboard at one end or the other, or both.

Fourth - the best solution for a long term repair - remove the fretboard, straighten the neck with heat and pressure, plane it true, remove the steel rod and replace with a modern adjustable truss rod or with one or more carbon fibre rods. Leaves you with effectively a new neck in a modern style of construction. Once you are in it this far you can easily have the neck reshaped for a modern feel as well. And stop using heavy strings on the poor thing!
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2019, 10:00 AM
414CE Koa 414CE Koa is offline
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Thank you all so much for the responses!! The guitar sat in its case for probably 20 years with thick strings so you are probably 100% correct on what happened. I have Elixir light gauge acoustic strings on it now. Honestly I have no issue with putting a modern truss rod in it if that can be done. I doubt the guitar is worth anything "original" and now it is more sentimental value than anything. I'll update you on what ends up happening. Again I really appreciate your input!
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Acoustic Guitars:
2007 Taylor 414CE Koa
2007 Taylor T5 C-1 12
2009 Taylor 414CE-LTD-R Fall limited
2009 Martin DC-1E
Alvarez Acoustic-Electric

Electric Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Gibson X-Plorer 76'
Schecter C-1 Classic
Fender American Standard Telecaster
Jackson SLAT-6 Soloist
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