Fifties Dark Blonde K-11

The Kay-11 is second from the top in the old Kay archtop hierarchy (someone correct me if I am wrong).  I like them because they are a bit fancier than the regular Kays.  They don't necessarily sound better than the other early fifties Kays but they have a classier look to them.  They have extra binding all around and binding on the F-holes.  They have a five piece neck as well.  They do not tend to come with warped necks as often.  I think maybe the necks are straighter because of the neck laminations.

I bought this baby off ebay with the neck detached.  I guess over time it had just dried out and came apart.  The tailpiece was all bent up and painted blue.  It had no bridge as well.  The tuning keys were original.

I had it cleaned up and put back together.  The neck is straight as a pin and the new bridge is a nice repro that is better made than the originals were made.  You can’t tell the tailpiece was trashed at one time.

It plays great and has a full balanced sound but it is a loud little stinker.  The highs are especially smooth.  When you pick it hard it doesn’t mush out it just gets louder.  It is an old battered gritty workhorse of an archtop.  It drips with that funky character that can only come from years of play.

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