Shopping Cart


Your shopping bag is empty

Go to the shop

1957 Kay Thin Twin K161 Jimmy Reed Sunburst Vintage Electric Guitar, Silvertone


+ shipping

Up for sale, a 1957 Kay Thin Twin K161 "Jimmy Reed" model hollowbody electric guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order. A substantial fully hollow guitar that's in no way thin as the name would imply, this particular iteration is branded Silvertone on the headstock, noting that it was made exclusively for Sears' house brand by the Kay company in the USA. With its full 2 3/4" body depth, this hollowbody guitar has a clear, cutting acoustic quality that translates well through the slender blade single coil pickups. The guitar delivers an aggressive, slightly nasally honk with a bit of growl in the bridge position, and with both pickups engaged the guitar is open, percussive, 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 chiming and chewy. The guitar weighs 7lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-50 roundwound strings and comfortable action. The maple neck has a baseball bat C profile carve with generous shoulder in every register, showing light palm wear on the nitro gloss behind frets 1-3. The profile depth measures .899" at the 1st fret and .985" at the 9th. On the bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard, the original medium jumbo brass frets have good meat and well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear on frets 1-3, extending even more faintly beneath the plain strings until fret 5, with virtually no wear further up the board. The particular cut of Brazilian on this Silvertone is also extremely tight-grained and dark in color, appearing almost like ebony, with a similar glassy snap when you fret a note. The scale length is a full 25 3/4", and the original bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines are present and turn smoothly with new white buttons. The headstock features an overlay with the Silvertone script logo and pinstriping. All of the electronics work as intended, with the original pickup pair wired to the stock harness of Stackpole pots which date to the 8th week of '57 and paper-in-oil tone caps. All of the original hardware is intact including the Brazilian rosewood bridge, nickel trapeze tailpeice, cream "radio" knobs, and large aluminum baton switch tip. The cream pickguard with its shield and crown graphics is echoed by a matching accent piece at the neck heel, and the guard adds great contrast to the light curly figuring on the Sunburst maple top and back. Cosmetically, the guitar is a lovely example, and the Cherry Sunburst nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, showing some minor finish chipping adjacent to the binding on the top lower bout edge and bass-side waist on the back. Wear is otherwise limited to tight, faint lacquer checking across the body, along with a few requisite finish scuffs and minor nicks, mostly relegated to the back. A modern black tolex hardshell case is included.