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1950s Kay Thin Twin K161 Jimmy Reed Blonde Vintage Electric Guitar, Old Kraftsman w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1950's Kay Thin Twin K161 "Jimmy Reed" model hollowbody electric guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with a brand new two-tone Kay hardshell case. A substantial fully hollow guitar that's in no way "thin" as the name would imply, this particularly uncommon iteration is branded Old Kraftsman on the ornate headstock, noting that it was made exclusively for the Spiegel mail order catalog by Kay in the USA. With its figured flame maple top and back. mahogany sides, and 2 3/4" body depth, this hollowbody guitar has a full and detailed acoustic quality that translates well through the slender blade single coil pickups. The guitar delivers a percussive, slightly nasally honk with a bit of growl in the bridge position, and with both pickups engaged the guitar is open and glassy. The perfect analog for your favorite acoustic guitar, the tonal response is markedly similar, with great string-to-string balance and a taut, focused low end character. The neck position is the warmest and fullest of one’s pickup choices, yet still plenty chiming and chewy. The guitar weighs 7lbs 13oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action and accurate intonation, strung with 12-52 flatwound strings with a wound G.

The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a deep and very substantial U-shaped profile carve, measuring 1.075" deep at the 1st fret and 1.235" at the 9th. The sheer size and heft of the neck assures that the guitar sustains and resonates beautifully. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard has been professionally refretted with flawless medium jumbo fretwire, playing cleanly up the 25 3/4" scale. The upgraded hand-carved bone nut measures 1.650" in width. On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe "no line" tuning machines are present and function as intended, fitted with new buttons. The headstock face is truly one of the more eye-catching designs ever offered by Kay, with a Medieval-esque look, turquoise "K" shield at the apex, and white lightning bolts on either side of the vertical "Kraftsman" text.

All of the electronics work as intended, with the pickup pair wired to a harness with original Stackpole pots, upgraded tone caps, and a fresh 1/4" input jack (original jack and capacitors also included). Hardware includes an upgraded nickel ABR-1 bridge which delivers better articulation and top end than the stock rosewood saddle (also included), along with the original nickel trapeze tailpiece. Plastics comprise the original quartet of cream "radio" knobs and distinctive cream baton switch tip, as well as the tigerstripe tortoise pickguard echoed by a matching accent piece at the neck heel. There is light curly flame figuring across the top and deeper ripples of flame extending liberally across the back, paired with a dark walnut stain on the mahogany sides. Cosmetic wear is limited to light buckle rash central to the back, faint lacquer checking on the body as a whole, and a few additional minor scuffs and nicks consistent with light, careful use.

A modern premium Kay two-tone hardshell case is included, along with the original rosewood saddle, tone caps, and input jack.