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Is Kay good? What a 'deadhead'...

Posted by thecowpokepicker on Monday, March 29, 2010

My first banjo is a Kay and it was a gift that I didn't want because I hear Kay was a bad brand. Wanted to buy me this pretty little Gibson with a fiddle shaped headstock, but no...

           "Oh, don't get it, we're going to get you one for Christmas!"

           "Please, don't! I just know you'll get a crappy one! Just at least give me the money!"

Well, there was two moths more of banjoless depression, and I opened up the case. Oh my gosh. Underneather the head and in the resonator was so dirty that when you shook it you could hear dust and dirt rattle around. No armrest, inaccessible truss rod, no strap holders, and rust and scratches everywhere, and permanant white paint splattered on everything! A hundred and fifty dollars for this piece of ****!

Determined to fix this thing, I spent two hours inspecting everything. I cleaned the inside and everything which was covered in about an inch of dust. Spent seventy five bucks on a danged armrest, tuner, strap, and cleaners and whatnot. And it still looked terribly ugly.

Seemingly years passed of practicing and picking, and there still lies the mocking little emblem on the headstock; KAY and a bunch of little stars going down in. But I guess I don't have much to say or really to complain about, it looks real old. So can anyone tell me anything about Kay, how old you think it might be? There are no numbers on it whatsoever. It seems like it could most possibly be a jumble of old banjo parts; but who knows, I'm just reading what's on the headstock!

Anybody know?  Cause I don't!

2 comments on “Is Kay good? What a 'deadhead'...”

Bill Rogers Says:
Monday, March 29, 2010 @9:02:31 PM

Sounds like mid-1960s. Kay bellied up in 1968; "Kay" banjos after that are Asian ones with Kay on them--no different than a bunch of other U.S.-labled Asian ones.

stanger Says:
Sunday, April 11, 2010 @3:38:03 PM

Yup- an early to mid-60's model. I owned one like it as my first banjo. They're not very good- the rim is particle board- but they have a marvelous neck adjuster that can really get the action very low.
Yours is probably an open back, and has a neck painted black, I'll bet. The resonated models were a bit better and more expensive. Save up your bucks for a better one, but the Kay will work fine as a pack-around banjo for camping and stuff.

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