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
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
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