Kay K-161 Thin Twin Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar , c. 1954

Kay  K-161 Thin Twin Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar ,  c. 1954

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Item # 8247
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Kay K-161 Thin Twin Model Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar, c. 1954, made in Chicago, serial # K-1615-302, natural top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body; maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, grey chipboard case.

This is a very nice example of Kay's classic K161 Thin Twin, from fairly early in the model's run. The original pots are early enough to carry no date code, which in itself dates it to around 1954 or before. With a natural flamey maple top and back, dark sides and a tortoise celluloid pickguard this one is quite a looker, especially as it is topped off with an engraved and painted tortoise celluloid headstock. The body is actually semi-hollow, with a lot of open space under the pickguard but also some fairly hefty blocking inside.

This one has just had a very fine neck set and refret making it an excellent player as well. The neck is BIG but comfortable with a deep round profile with a hint of a "V" spine down by the nut. The Thin Twin (which, in truth is fairly deep by modern standards) has a unique sound, with the sweetly inefficient blade pickups letting a certain amount of acoustic flavor creep into even the raunchiest amp settings. A cool and correct example of the exact "Jimmy Reed" model, identical to the one he's pictured with in the mid-1950's except for the somewhat subtler celluloid pattern on this example.
 
Overall length is 40 5/16 in. (102.4 cm.), 15 in. (38.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 11/16 in. (6.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 3/4 in. (654 mm.). Width of nut is 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.). While we're very fond of many 1950's Kay guitars, even most fans will admit their original fretwork and necksets most often leave a lot to be desired. This one has had all that taken care of-perfect neckset, fingerboard trued and a new set of proper gauge frets-NOT made out of fast wearing brass like many originals. This is as good-playing a Thin Twin as we have ever had, and remains otherwise all original except for new tuner buttons. There is some minor wear and checking but no other damage or alterations. If you want one of these classic "blues machines" to actually play, this is a good one! Excellent Condition.