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  #1  
Old 06-20-2013, 08:03 AM
blues4fatty blues4fatty is offline
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Default Marvel archtops - Harmony? Kay? other?

I recently got a fixed up Marvel archtop from Craigslist, circa 50s or 60s? Not sure if it's Harmony or Kay or something else... Does anyone know anything about these guitars?

Last edited by blues4fatty; 08-22-2013 at 05:14 PM. Reason: fix photo links
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2013, 08:44 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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...headstock design would indicate a Kay...interestingly the shape would suggest a later instrument...(late50's,early 60's)...but the celluloid overlay suggests earlier 40's/50's design....have alook around....

https://www.google.com/search?q=kay+...w=1366&bih=596

heres a similar one from an ebay listing...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-40...p2047675.l2557

Last edited by J Patrick; 06-20-2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:14 AM
Island Mfg. Island Mfg. is offline
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...No clue, but it's a beaut, nice find!
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:19 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Marvel was a brand name for guitars distributed by the Peter Sorkin Music Company of New York in the 1950s up to the mid-1960s. These were considered "beginner" level instruments, The headstock does look very Kay-ish but one of the rumors about these guitars is that they were put together with parts made by different builders.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:37 PM
concretecowboy7 concretecowboy7 is offline
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The headstock is definitely Kay. As others have suggested, that type of overlay is very early-mid 50's Kay.

Cool guitar!

Have fun with it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:53 PM
blues4fatty blues4fatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Patrick View Post
...headstock design would indicate a Kay...interestingly the shape would suggest a later instrument...(late50's,early 60's)...but the celluloid overlay suggests earlier 40's/50's design....have alook around....

heres a similar one from an ebay listing...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-40...p2047675.l2557
Thanks, Patrick! Yeah, for some reason my "gut" tells me it's a Kay too. The guy I got it from didn't know -- he guessed Harmony, and guessed 50s/60s... but it does look a *lot* like that eBay listing for a 40s Marvel (also noted as a Kay) -- minus the fancy stuff around the binding.... Huh.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:54 PM
blues4fatty blues4fatty is offline
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Originally Posted by Island Mfg. View Post
...No clue, but it's a beaut, nice find!
Thanks! I like it a lot!
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:55 PM
blues4fatty blues4fatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concretecowboy7 View Post
The headstock is definitely Kay. As others have suggested, that type of overlay is very early-mid 50's Kay.

Cool guitar!

Have fun with it.
Thanks, C-Cowboy! Yeah. Seems like Kay is the verdict. Early-mid 50s matches my intuition about the age, too. Definitely enjoying it!
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:57 PM
blues4fatty blues4fatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
Marvel was a brand name for guitars distributed by the Peter Sorkin Music Company of New York in the 1950s up to the mid-1960s. These were considered "beginner" level instruments, The headstock does look very Kay-ish but one of the rumors about these guitars is that they were put together with parts made by different builders.
Interesting. That matches the date range I'm thinking, for sure. I'll have to investigate this Peter Sorkin Music Co....
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:43 PM
ombudsman ombudsman is offline
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Marvel are Premier/Multivox products (Sorkin Music being the parent company).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multivox_Premier

Certainly some of their guitars were made with some parts that were outsourced, such as United-Code laminated bodies. I could certainly believe that neck was made by Kay. But they did at least some of their own manufacturing as well before going import-only sometime in the mid to late 60s. I have a couple of Premier electrics and have seen many others. Marvels are not as common but I have seen a few, both acoustic and hollowbodies with pickups (I think all of those I have seen were non cutaway archtops).
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:33 PM
blues4fatty blues4fatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ombudsman View Post
Marvel are Premier/Multivox products (Sorkin Music being the parent company).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multivox_Premier

Certainly some of their guitars were made with some parts that were outsourced, such as United-Code laminated bodies. I could certainly believe that neck was made by Kay. But they did at least some of their own manufacturing as well before going import-only sometime in the mid to late 60s. I have a couple of Premier electrics and have seen many others. Marvels are not as common but I have seen a few, both acoustic and hollowbodies with pickups (I think all of those I have seen were non cutaway archtops).
You guys are awesome! I knew folks here would help me figure it out! Thanks, Ombudsman. The neck is as thick as a baseball bat -- I believe that might be a Kay trait? Not sure. But the headstock definitely has a Kay look. I'll have to read more...
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:48 PM
ombudsman ombudsman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blues4fatty View Post
You guys are awesome! I knew folks here would help me figure it out! Thanks, Ombudsman. The neck is as thick as a baseball bat -- I believe that might be a Kay trait? Not sure. But the headstock definitely has a Kay look. I'll have to read more...
Sure thing.

To the best of my knowledge Premier/Multivox manufactured the necks of both of my two Premiers (and the body of one but not the other), and they are both huge, I mean, I think they may have the deepest profiles of any guitar necks I have ever felt in my hands. And they're round all the way, with no hint of D or V in the shape. So I am confident that it's a Premier trait, at least up until the mid 60s or so. Which is not to say that Kay couldn't have made them, or someone else to Premier's specs.

On one of them, on a scroll bodied electric solidbody with both neck and body made in NY by Premier, the neck/headstock is a single piece of brazilian rosewood (!).
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:59 PM
brian a. brian a. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
Marvel was a brand name for guitars distributed by the Peter Sorkin Music Company of New York in the 1950s up to the mid-1960s. These were considered "beginner" level instruments, The headstock does look very Kay-ish but one of the rumors about these guitars is that they were put together with parts made by different builders.

In addition, the Marvel name was used on archtop guitars made by Regal and marketed by the Slingerland drum company in the 1930s to early 1940s.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:12 PM
ombudsman ombudsman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian a. View Post
In addition, the Marvel name was used on archtop guitars made by Regal and marketed by the Slingerland drum company in the 1930s to early 1940s.
I've seen "Marveltone" guitars made by Regal; to be clear, you're saying there are also some called just "Marvel" ?
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:21 PM
blues4fatty blues4fatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ombudsman View Post
To the best of my knowledge Premier/Multivox manufactured the necks of both of my two Premiers (and the body of one but not the other), and they are both huge, I mean, I think they may have the deepest profiles of any guitar necks I have ever felt in my hands. And they're round all the way, with no hint of D or V in the shape. So I am confident that it's a Premier trait, at least up until the mid 60s or so. Which is not to say that Kay couldn't have made them, or someone else to Premier's specs.
That neck does sound like this one! Maybe it is a Premier/Multivox version of a Marvel. My hands are small, so this will probably be used for slide...
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