Up for sale, a 1960 Kay Value Leader model K1962 vintage USA-made electric guitar. Extremely soulful and professionally setup, this Kay benefits from recent fretwork, a carved bone nut, and a modern set of Kluson tuners, all ensuring a reliable gig and studio-worthy playing experience
One of Kay's most tonally satisfying models, the dual pickup Value Leader boasts a hollow, Les Paul-esque body and a pair of Kay's pancake pickups (otherwise known as "zippos") which deliver a tone that is pure early Rock & Roll percussive cut and woody sparkle. Both single coils have strong output, and there's plenty of sinewy snap and taut bass on tap. This guitar has a very fat neck pickup tone with growl and punch, a spanky bridge pickup tone, and a full, complex sound when both pickups are engaged. The guitar is featherweight at only 5lbs 2oz, dialed in here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings.
The neck has a very chunky baseball bat C neck profile carve, measuring .910" deep at the 1st fret and 1.045" at the 9th. The maple fretboard retains the original brass frets which have been recently leveled and crowned, showing zero wear and playing cleanly in every register. At only 24 1/2", the scale length is very manageable, and the cutaway allows easy access to all 18 frets. The modern hand-carved bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width, and the strings are ideally spaced for comfortable chording and even fingerstyle playing if desired. The headstock features a set of modern Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines which turn smoothly and hold pitch reliably.
All of the electronics work as intended, with untouched solder joints and Centralab pots that date to the 15th week of 1960. On the polished aluminum checkerboard pickguard, all of the original mini Dakaware Volume and Tone knobs are intact, with helpful "V" and "T" graphics. Each pickup has its own pair of dedicated knobs, along with a three-way rotary pickup selector switch. The original floating maple bridge and trapeze tailpiece round out the hardware complement. The original two-tone nitro lacquer Sunburst shows heavy finish wear with prominent lacquer checking and black lacquer touchup on the sides and headstock face.
A vintage form-fit chipboard case is included.