Kay K-161 Thin Twin Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1956)

Kay  K-161 Thin Twin Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1956)
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Item # 9213
Prices subject to change without notice.
Kay K-161 Thin Twin Model Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1956), made in Chicago, natural top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body; maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a very nice example of Kay's K161 Thin Twin, one of the classic 1950s guitars most associated with original Chicago blues players. The original pot date codes are mostly soldered over; the only visible one appears to indicate 1956, which would be in the middle of the model's run. With a natural flamey maple top and back, dark sides, and a tortoise celluloid pickguard, this one is quite a looker, topped off with a metal Kay logo on the mahogany-faced headstock. The body is actually semi-hollow, with a lot of open space under the pickguard but also some fairly hefty blocking inside.

The neck is BIG but comfortable with a deep, round profile topped with a bound, pearloid-block inlaid rosewood fingerboard. There is a truss rod adjustment at the back of the heel. 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. This is a cool and correct example of the "Jimmy Reed" version of the model, with the same features as the slightly earlier one he's pictured with in the 1950s apart from different headstock decoration and slightly larger knobs on this one.
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.).

This is a super clean and all original example of this Chicago classic, one of the nicest we have seen. The finish shows just some very light dings, dents, and scratches and some minor checking. Everything is original and complete; the only alteration is added strap buttons. The celluloid heel cap has a bit of outgassing but nothing severe; all the binding is intact with no issues. The metal Kay logo shows a bit of tarnish.

The original brass frets are intact with very little wear and this is a good-playing example by Thin Twin standards, with a straighter neck than most and a reasonable neck angle. This model is something of a blues connoisseur's instrument, with a totally distinctive sound and feel. Excellent Condition.