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May 6, 2021 - 2:06:23 PM
10 posts since 1/1/2014

Need a spare Kay “vari-tone” ring as originally supplied with the Kay Jose Silva Models

May 6, 2021 - 2:15:06 PM

11411 posts since 10/27/2006

Does it look like this?

No, I don't have one nor do I know where to find.

Most Kays can use this from Stew Mac as-is since the pot is 11".

May 6, 2021 - 2:17:18 PM
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10 posts since 1/1/2014

Exactly. The Silva pots are like 10.5 so I don’t think the standard rings will fit.

May 6, 2021 - 2:28:39 PM

10 posts since 1/1/2014

And thanks for the pic!

May 6, 2021 - 3:16:17 PM

11411 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by billyknox

Exactly. The Silva pots are like 10.5 so I don’t think the standard rings will fit.


I thought the VariTone reduced the head area similar to gimmicks made by Grover and others. I thought the heads were 11 like all other Kay banjos.

According to his own PR, he was quite the performer:

Here's the old catalog page:

May 6, 2021 - 3:20:32 PM
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10 posts since 1/1/2014

Those models take a 10 & 15/16. They are great banjos. Way undervalued

May 6, 2021 - 3:25:20 PM

10 posts since 1/1/2014

10&15/16 head that is...

May 6, 2021 - 3:34:20 PM

10 posts since 1/1/2014

No. The vari tone does not have contact with the head/reduce the head surface.

May 6, 2021 - 3:46:04 PM

10 posts since 1/1/2014

...except at the outer lip ring. See pic above

May 6, 2021 - 4:24:47 PM

2599 posts since 3/30/2008

The Silva models were a sea change for Kay in the mid fifties, when they decided to aggressively enter the professional market. However, I believe very few were made, & they came & went with little impact. I think they're terrific banjos & hidden gems. The Vari-tone ring voice is unique.

(When  I first saw your post, I said a silent prayer to st. Jude ) 

Edited by - tdennis on 05/06/2021 16:31:21

May 6, 2021 - 4:44:43 PM

20 posts since 11/20/2020

Founder Henry Kuhrmeyer retired from the company in 1955, and the new management regime moved aggressively to expand guitar sales, particularly electric guitars and basses. This diverted resources away from basses and cellos in particular, and I expect banjos and mandolins as well, which were the company's original cash cows in the '30s.

Steven Ayres, Kaybass.com

May 6, 2021 - 4:51:30 PM
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10 posts since 1/1/2014

Some of their best instruments were made up until 1960. Their high end amps are phenomenal. The Kay 1, 11, 21 Archtops are out of this world. The Kessel electrics are works of art. Premium hardware on all of their makes during this period.

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