Re: Kay Bass for sale

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Posted by Bob Gollihur on January 10, 2001 at 17:03:54:

In Reply to: Kay Bass for sale posted by JTM on January 10, 2001 at 16:45:07:

: I have the opportunity to buy a Kay bass from the original owner who bought it about 60 years ago. The owner probably hasn't played it in more than 20 years and since that time has had it stored in his basement. A friend of mine who is also a bassist turned me on to the guy and thought it might be in good shape (he didn't buy it himself because he already has a Kay bass). In talking with the owner, he told me it has no strings (which also means then, that their is no bridge or tailwire - or at least they are not attached). This also means that I won't be able to play the bass and check its sound out prior to deciding to go forward with purchase, repair, and setup.

: What are the possible horrors I should be looking out for when I look at this bass and conemplate whether or not to buy it? I intend to take the bass to David Gage in NYC to have him look it over and give me an estimate on the cost to put on a good set of strings, make any repairs, and set up the bass.

: I've been advised that a good Kay bass, already set up, could sell for $2000 to $2500 depending on the condition. I would guess that a fair price to pay for this bass would be $2000+/- less the cost of the repair. My guess is that the repair would be at least $1000 for strings bridge, tailwire, soundpost, and dressing the fingerboard. Any reapirs would probably be additional.

: Does anyone have any thoughts, cautions, concerns, objections, horror stories, or other information that would strike fear in my opportunity?

Are you going to be able to take it to Gage prior to purchase?? If so, he sure has a handle on what to look for. One potential scary thing that is hard to know without having a playable instrument is if the bass bar is loose. Repairing a loose bass bar usually means taking the top off, and expensive proposition. If it's a subtle disconnect, I personally don't know how to detect it without playing it, but I wouldn't be surprised if Gage does. Most any other faults could probably be detected visually.

Good luck!

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