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Re: Kay vs Englehardt

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Posted by David H. Powell ( on September 30, 2002 at 00:14:35:

In Reply to: Re: Kay vs Englehardt posted by Adrian Zavala on April 09, 2002 at 23:24:52:

: : : Hey guys,
: : : I currently own an old '59 Kay upright model C-1. I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of how much it is worth. Its in fair condition but has some moderate chipping on the bottom back edges. Also it has a slight worn groove on the D note on the A string which causes it to buzz on that note sometimes. Recently set up with new bridge by lisle violin shop. Also new set of helicore strings. Im looking to sell it and purchase an englehardt ES 9 swingmaster. Im looking for any, and I mean any advice, offers, or input in general on this purchase Im contemplating. How does the ES9 sound, play, differences? Thanks in advance.- Adrian

: : Adrian...

: : Offhand, I'd be curious as to what you expect to get from a new Englehardt that you're not getting from your Kay. As you probably know, they are very nearly the same instrument, though there are some minor differences between the S9 and the C1 models.

: : If I were in your position, I would be looking at what needs to be done to get your bass in the condition that would make you happy with it. Sounds like some work needs to be done on the fingerboard - maybe you need a new one. Maybe you're looking for a different kind of sound - that could likely be accomplished with different setup, different strings, etc.. And you're investment would be limited to a few hundred bucks at the most.

: : The good news is that it seems like older Kays are in good demand - you might even be able to sell yours for more than you'd pay for a new Swingmaster. But you'll still have the setup costs for the Englehardt - or pay a higher price with setup included.

: : Unless there is something seriously wrong with your C-1, I don't see how you're going to be much better off with a Swingmaster.

: : Just one opinion, of course.

: : ...Rich

: Thanks Rich,
: Your right, there really isnt anything "wrong" with my Kay other than the cosmetic stuff and the fretboard. I think what Im really debating is that if a new ES9 is pretty much the same as my "old" Kay, why not have the "new" ES9 and bypass all the shopwork and repairs. I just started playing a few months ago and purchased this Kay for $400. At the time, I didnt know what I had was a popular bass. What I guess my question comes down to is "Why does everyone rather have an old beat up Kay than a brand new Swingmaster?" What is the "demand" all about? Is it just the same like buying an old 65 mustang and fixing it up rather than purchasing a better car brand new from the dealer which is going to last longer and give you less problems. Is the Kay name all hype or is there a valid reason to play it over a new bass of the exact same construction? I would love some insight into this question. Thanks for the reply to my post! Adrian

If you are seriously interested in selling the old Kay, I might be seriously interested in buying it. The C-1 model is a lesser bass than the M and S models because of its lower quality wood in the fittings. I think the "older is better" has questionable validity for plywood basses, but who knows really. The more expensive Kay's and Engelhardts have ebony or rosewood fingerboards which are more resistant to wear (wouldn't be as likely to develop a groove).

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