Up for sale, a 1966 Kay Apollo II Coronado electric guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Produced for the Gambles chain of retail stores by Kay, the "Coronado" was an iteration of Kay's Apollo II K365 platform. Produced in exceedingly small quantities in the waning years of Kay's USA-made output, the Gambles Coronado reworked the Apollo II K365 with a slightly different body shape featuring deeply contoured body edges evoking a German Carve look, as well as different switch placement and Bigsby vibrato than its Kay-branded brethren.
An expertly maintained and professionally setup example of this rare Kay semi-hollowbody model, the Coronado features a pair of Kay's famous P-35 "Kleenex Box" single coil pickups. First seen on Kay's late '50s Barney Kessel-endorsed instruments, the Kleenex Box pickups are in many ways comparable to a P-90. These single coils have a percussive cut and rubbery midrange snap with an inherent barking warmth and a very distinct sound in every pickup position. The neck pickup in particular is thick and wooly while retaining ideal bite. Featuring semi-hollow mahogany body construction with a full center block, a mahogany neck and a bound rosewood fingerboard, the Coronado has an inherent breadth and smooth growl, with a dynamic, lively quality that translates faithfully through the two Kleenex Box pickups. The guitar weighs 6lbs 14oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The mahogany neck has a profile carve which splits the difference between a U and a substantial soft V carve, filling the palm and feeling quite significant, measuring .965" deep at the 1st fret and 1.025" at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard features pearloid block inlays and original frets, freshly leveled and crowned and currently showing no wear. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck, and the nut measures 1 5/8" in width. The headstock has Kay's scythe or "bushwacker" headstock shape, retaining the small Gambles Coronado badge and original Kluson Deluxe double line tuners which turn smoothly and hold pitch as they should.
There is a V-shaped repair on the treble side of the headstock joint, not extending to the face and extremely cleanly repaired. The repair is smooth to the touch, and the guitar holds full string tension with ease.
The electronics all function as intended, with dedicated Volume and Tone controls for each pickup capped with stock transparent DeArmond knobs. The solder joints are untouched and the CTS pots date to the 39th week of '66. Hardware includes the original Bigsby B5 vibrato tailpiece paired with a vintage lightweight aluminum bridge and floating bowtie base. Cosmetic wear includes one scratch across the three-ply pickguard, some scuffing on top adjacent to the feet of the bridge, and various nicks and scuffs across the slab body, mostly relegated to the parameter.
A vintage black tolex chipboard case is included. The case latches are functional, and the handle is detached from one end.