|Early Kay Guitar|
Some of Kay's lower-grade instruments were marketed under the Knox and Kent brand names.
Kay also produced a line of Archtop Acoustic guitars under the brand name Kamico. The company outsourced its amplifiers to a rival company called Valco.
Kay produced a high-end line of guitars it called the Gold K line. Some were archtop and some solidbody. These are valued by collectors, however because of Kay's reputation for producing budget department store guitars, artists of the late 1950's and early 1960's did not take them seriously, with the exception of Barney Kessel.
Kay guitars manufactured the Kessel archtop electric model named after him. Kay merged with Valco in 1967 and it's name was dissolved in 1968.
It is ironic that during the days of Stromberg-Voisenet ownership a guitar was offered for sale called The Kay Kraft Guitar. Most of these were made in 1920 through 1930.
The Kay Kraft had some very interesting features. For instance it came with a bolt-on neck that allows the player to adjust the neck angle and set string height.
This wood combination gives the guitar its model designation. STYLE A came with mahogany back and sides. STYLE B- maple back and sides. And STYLE C- had rosewood back and sides.
|Recording King Tenors and Mandola|
As I have mentioned, perhaps the neck was the most interesting feature since it had a tilt adjustment mechanism and a height adjuster. Making a neck adjustment was simple. You reached inside the guitar and turned a wing nut. By doing this you have essentially done a neck reset.
The tilt adjustment was accomplished by a screw on the bottom of the heel. The bottom section of the guitars sound board was decorated with elaborate gilt decals.