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Old 05-26-2019, 03:35 PM
Brushwood Brushwood is offline
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Default 1930's Kay Deluxe Round Hole Archtop?

I just picked this up today from the local Craigslist for a song (pun intended and was hoping someone could confirm that this is a mid 1930's Kay Deluxe...and if so, could anyone tell me which of the different body woods they apparently put out for that model is on this this one? The bridge isn't original as well as the tuning pegs, but the original pegs were included. There is a slight neck bow at the top which I hope can be repaired, but the rest of the guitar seems to be in very good shape overall. I was planning on learning acoustic slide, so I'm thinking the Guitar God's sent me their approval of that particular journey...and feeling very lucky. Here are some pics:IMG_1012.jpgIMG_1013.jpgIMG_1014.jpgIMG_1015.jpgIMG_1016.jpgIMG_1017.jpgIMG_1018.jpg

Last edited by Brushwood; 05-26-2019 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:49 PM
drive-south drive-south is offline
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Im no expert on old Kay guitars but it may be birch. The adjustable neck is very cool.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:02 PM
Brushwood Brushwood is offline
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Originally Posted by drive-south View Post
Im no expert on old Kay guitars but it may be birch. The adjustable neck is very cool.
Thanks...I agree & think that the back and sides are birch on this one...I think the top is possibly spruce. Yeah, I haven't checked it out to see if it's without issues yet, but the adjustable neck could come in handy.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:03 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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That adjustable neck is classic Kay and Kay Kraft from around 1931, the neck is called a Zorzi adjustable neck, and they stopped them around 1935-ish and went to a normal adjustable bridge. Usually seen on the Kay Kraft instruments with two points on the upper bouts.

Brian
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:29 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I have owned one for decades. I love the sound of mine. Kind of combines the midrange punch of an archtop with the fatness of a flattop. It is an absolutely wicked slide guitar.

Kay Deluxe was the short lived name between Kay Kraft and Kay although these are properly referred to as Kay Kraft Deluxe. These were about the last Kays to have the Zorzi adjustable neck. Kay offered several versions having different body woods - birch, maple and mahogany. If I had to guess I would say your slothead birch body version is a K2 which was part of a budget line. Sounds like your neck may need to have compression frets installed to deal with the cupping.

Here is my K20 version. Mine originally came with a Kay Kraft Bakelite bridge which I replaced with an ebony one. Interesting guitar in that it has the Oahu style-headstock.

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Last edited by zombywoof; 05-27-2019 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:53 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Very cool guitars, both of them. I especially like the sunburst finishes on them.


whm
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:14 PM
Brushwood Brushwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I have owned one for decades. I love the sound of mine. Kind of combines the midrange punch of an archtop with the fatness of a flattop. It is an absolutely wicked slide guitar.

Kay Deluxe was the short lived name between Kay Kraft and Kay although these are properly referred to as Kay Kraft Deluxe. These were about the last Kays to have the Zorzi adjustable neck. Kay offered several versions having different body woods - birch, maple and mahogany. If I had to guess I would say your slothead birch body version is a K2 which was part of a budget line. Sounds like your neck may need to have compression frets installed to deal with the cupping.

Here is my K20 version. Mine originally came with a Kay Kraft Bakelite bridge which I replaced with an ebony one. Interesting guitar in that it has the Oahu style-headstock.

Thank you for the great info! I was able to use your lead and found a little more about my K2 version...I read, as you probably already know, that among a few other things mine has a little smaller body size (Auditorium) as opposed to yours (Grand Auditorium), but apparently with the same body woods. What gauge and type of strings do you like to use on yours for slide? Also, I finally looked closer tonight and the bow in the neck actually goes from the 1st to the 12th fret with the worst being at the 5th at .039 and the first 3 frets are pretty worn . Speaking of necks...I know that John Arnold, an AGF member and highly regarded luthier, is a very busy guy these days, but he lives in my neck of the woods and did a great job on some neck reshaping work for me a little over a year ago. If my luck continues, I hope I can get him to take a look at it sometime to see what he thinks.
Beautiful looking Kay Kraft Deluxe! Are there any videos or other ways I could hear what yours sounds like?
Thanks again
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:20 PM
Brushwood Brushwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Very cool guitars, both of them. I especially like the sunburst finishes on them.


whm
Thanks and I dig the looks too...very happy camper here. Zombywoff's is outstanding!
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:23 PM
Brushwood Brushwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
That adjustable neck is classic Kay and Kay Kraft from around 1931, the neck is called a Zorzi adjustable neck, and they stopped them around 1935-ish and went to a normal adjustable bridge. Usually seen on the Kay Kraft instruments with two points on the upper bouts.

Brian
Cool...thanks for the actual name and other info on the neck adjustment apparatus and dates 👍
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:17 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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The Zorzi neck is pretty much a convenient version of a kamikaze neck reset.

Regarding strings, while I generally string with 13s on a carved top, f-hole guitar, these Kays are not one of those. On my K20 I used to use 12s but as of late have taken to 11s with a .015 B and .012 E thrown on. If you plan to play slide on it though stick with 12s again maybe experimenting with a thicker gauge B and E.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:45 PM
Brushwood Brushwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
The Zorzi neck is pretty much a convenient version of a kamikaze neck reset.

Regarding strings, while I generally string with 13s on a carved top, f-hole guitar, these Kays are not one of those. On my K20 I used to use 12s but as of late have taken to 11s with a .015 B and .012 E thrown on. If you plan to play slide on it though stick with 12s again maybe experimenting with a thicker gauge B and E.
Gotcha and thank you Zombywoof...looking forward to the journey with this one.
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