Monday, July 13, 2009

Update on the 1953 Kay...

We are getting close to completion…Lonnie is pushing to make the bass playable for an upcoming jam/camping weekend. Yesterday he spent the day on set up and finishing the bridge. I test drove it last evening but found the action a bit high for the Thomastik Dominant strings so he is lowering the string height for me, just a little bit.

The bass is LOUD and has a nice growl. We tested the volume and it pushed 82 decibels at five feet…that is loud for a Kay…usually that volume comes from an American Standard or an Epiphone…this must be one of THOSE Kay’s…a good one.

Lonnie's brainstorm modifications either worked or this is just a good Kay bass…or both. The lightening of the tailpiece and the bridge definitely did not hurt the volume. We will take it on a real test drive out under the moon and stars to see what others think of the sound and tone. I know I am already happy…we have rescued, recycled and restore another fine American made plywood bass…nothing better then to save a few new trees and an old plywood bass...we both love this stuff!!!

More to come.


  1. I bumped the bridge at one point but was able to slide it back in place. I can see pencil marks where it looks like the bridge feet were. It is lined up with those marks left to right but off a little top to bottom. Any suggestions?

  2. Loosen the string tension slightly and then move the bridge north and south to center the feet with the notches on the FF holes. Centering with the notches is the ideal position. The feet should fit flat to the surface of the bass. The bridge has a tendency to creep north with tuning. Keep an eye on the bridge position for optimal sound.

    Keep thumping!!!