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1950s Kay Pro K-172 Pre-Barney Kessel Hollowbody Electric Guitar Sunburst

Estimated price for orientation: 1 949 $

Category: Electric Guitar

Brand: Kay String Configuration: 6 String
Model: K-172 Pro Body Type: Hollow
MPN: Does Not Apply Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
Dexterity: Right-Handed Exact Year: 1950s
UPC: Does not apply

Up for sale, a 1950s Kay Pro model K-172 in excellent condition and in perfect working order. This precursor to the Barney Kessel Pro model features a pair of very sweet and round sounding pickups mounted to a fully hollow maple body. There's a nice bright and chimey character to the bridge pickup, which cuts through with a percussive clarity, while still staying fairly warm. The neck pickup is pure Jazz girth and fullness, and both pickups have very little hum while at idle, presumably making these pickups an early humbucker design. The guitar weighs in at a mere 6lbs 6oz and has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 nickel strings.The neck has a full no-nonsense chunky baseball bat C shaped profile, which has incredible depth and roundness, while still being very manageable for easy chording and lead work up the neck. The fretboard is a thick slab of Brazilian rosewood, with mint green binding and pearl block inlays. The original fairly wide frets are intact and have been leveled with fairly flat (yet still rounded) crowns, and only the faintest hint of wear beneath the plain strings in the first position. The guitar plays cleanly up the neck, and the generous treble side body cutaway gives plenty of access to the highest frets on the 25 1/2" scale neck. At the nut, the guitar measures a full 1 3/4" in width, and the original carved bone nut is present. The headstock retains the original "no-line" Kluson Deluxe strip tuners, which turn smoothly and have been fitted with new white buttons.The face of the headstock and neck profile have been oversprayed with clear nitro lacquer, and the "wings" of the headstock (which are separate pieces of maple laminated to the core section) have been reglued along their seams with some finish touchup as well, as these seams commonly separate along the screw line of the tuners over the decades. The nitro has also chipped away from the tuner post holes on the face of the headstock, although this is still an undeniably cool headstock face, with the inlayed pearl Kay script logo and Kay shield.On the body, the electronics are 100% original, with stock paper-in-oil tone capacitors and Stackpole pots. As the original solder joints are untouched and the factory work cleanly solders over the date codes on all four pots, we've elected to leave the solder undisturbed and settle on "early 1950s" as a close approximation of the date of this guitar (of course along with early Kay catalogs that inform on the few years this model was available). With the exception on a new chrome switch tip, the hardware is all original including the floating Braziian rosewood bridge, nickel trapeze tailpiece, Kay cupcake knobs, stock pickguard, and cream jack plate.The nitro lacquer finish on the body is 100% original and untouched with no overspray, and the color is a stately grayish amber that fades to deep black at the edges. There's quite a bit of curly maple figuring on the back in particular and also around the controls on the guitar's face, with very faint vertical lacquer checking across the entire body as well. There's a bit of finish chipping on the back adjacent to the jack plate, moderate patina on the nickel tailpiece, and a couple scuffs on the top adjacent to the bridge base, but overall this rare vintage Kay presents very well and is a particularly rare model.
Please check out our shop "Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar" on the web, and feel free to call us directly with any questions at 206.399.8518.
Shipping in the continental USA will be $60, fully insured and shipped via FedEx Ground. We will happily ship WORLDWIDE, but please contact us for an accurate international shipping quote before bidding or buying, as cost varies by buyer location.
International orders will be declared as “merchandise,” and the value of merchandise will be declared as the amount paid. We cannot declare anything as a gift or for a lesser value. No exceptions! The customer is responsible for all taxes and duty, which may be collected upon delivery.We do our best to describe all items with honesty and accuracy, but to be sure, please contact us with any questions or concerns prior to bidding or buying. We require payment within 48 hours of auction end. In the unlikely event of a return, buyer pays all shipping costs. Your positive feedback and five star ratings are very important to us, and we appreciate your communication in resolving any issues!