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1960s Kay Speed Demon K573 Vintage Hollowbody Electric Guitar Sunburst


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Up for sale, an early 1960's Kay Speed Demon K573 thinline hollowbody electric guitar, with a trio of "Speed Bump" pickups. The Speed Bump pickup is one of the cooler sounding "off the beaten path" '60s single coil designs, delivering chime and woody cut in equal measure as well as a warm, wooly sound with the neck pickup engaged. The rotary four-way pickup selector switch and individual Volume and Tone knobs for each pickup present a huge range of classic Kay tones. The fully hollow maple body has the benefit of both the low end fullness of its construction and the attack and brightness associated with maple as a tonewood. The instrument weighs 7lbs 5oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 roundwound strings and comfortable action.

The maple neck has a U profile carve with tons of shoulder and substance, measuring .970" deep at the 1st fret and 1.020" at the 9th. The bound dark Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the original medium jumbo brass frets which show virtually no wear with well-rounded crowns. The scale length is a full 25 5/8", and the nut is a modern carved bone replacement, measuring 1 11/16" in width. The face of the headstock features the raised metal Kay badge, and the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines hold pitch well with stock white buttons.

On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, and save for light patina on the tailpiece hinge, the chrome plating on the hardware is bright and clean across the tailpiece anchor, speed bump pickup covers, and sextet of knobs. The original pickguard with faint music stand graphic is intact, as is the floating rosewood bridge. There is some sinking of the top beneath the bridge, yet perfectly stable and setup to perfection with all three Speed Bump pickups sitting close to the strings for an optimal response. The Tobacco Sunburst gloss nitro lacquer finish highlights light flame figuring central to the back, with more faint figuring on the lower bout on top. The finish exhibits some modest chipping on the body parameter, with vertical lacquer checking across the body, some dings clustered on the treble side lower bout, a few nicks on the headstock edges, and sparingly little additional wear.

A padded gigbag is included.