Slightly less mysterious cool guitar: Kay Value Leader (name found)

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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thisisnickpaige
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Slightly less mysterious cool guitar: Kay Value Leader (name found)

Post by thisisnickpaige » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:16 am

My friend is trying to find the origins of his great uncles guitar, anyone seen one of these before?
It kind of looks Silvertoney but has this kind of russian feel, yet also that Japanese Teisco vibe, and a hint of Hofner... any clues?

Edit: it’s called a Kay Value Leader, thanks guys!
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Last edited by thisisnickpaige on Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

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marqueemoon
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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:33 am

Kay Value Leader

It’s American. Those “pancake” pickups are some of my favorites ever. Very clear and open sounding.

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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by Jazzmastervsjaguar » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:50 am

It's a Kay Value leader. These are fun little guitars. I'm a sucker for all the guitars that were made in the 60's from Chicago though.

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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by thisisnickpaige » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:03 am

Wow, thanks guys, he'll be stoked! Anyway on dating these things?
...Wine, drinks, walk in the park, perhaps? ;)

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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by Jazzmastervsjaguar » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:11 am

The pick ups usually have a date stamped on the bottom of them. Also the pot codes will be able to tell you.

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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by R_T_Hermit » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:04 pm

I have absolutely zero help, but I just have to say that it is truly a seriously, mysteriously cool guitar. Having grown up way back in the day when kids mostly had Kay’s & Stella’s... it’s a pleasure to see an old warhorse that survived. ;D

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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by Squirrel » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:33 pm

That thing is in seriously great shape. I've always had a bit of a thing for Value Leaders and I may eventually buy one, seeing as I can still get one from America without CITES tearing me a new bumhole.

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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by jthomas » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:13 pm

Given the 3 screws securing the neck to the body, I'd be willing to bet that it was built at the Harmony factory (also in Chicago) for Kay.

Check out page 6 of this Kay catalog:

http://www.kayvintagereissue.com/pdf/1961catalog.pdf

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thisisnickpaige
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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar

Post by thisisnickpaige » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:22 pm

jthomas wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:13 pm
Check out page 6 of this Kay catalog:

http://www.kayvintagereissue.com/pdf/1961catalog.pdf
Wow, that was incredibly cool, thank you for sharing! My friend is stoked at all this stuff. It’s like discovering a piece of your past.

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Re: Mysteriously Cool Guitar: Kay Value Leader (name found)

Post by mgeek » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:12 pm

haha this thread cracked me up...Kay Value Leaders are really cool, but it's hard to think of a less mysterious sixties budget guitar... ;D

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No so mysterious cool guitar: Kay Value Leader (name found)

Post by thisisnickpaige » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:54 am

mgeek wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:12 pm
haha this thread cracked me up...Kay Value Leaders are really cool, but it's hard to think of a less mysterious sixties budget guitar... ;D
Threads name changed appropriately. ;D

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Re: Slightly less mysterious cool guitar: Kay Value Leader (name found)

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:23 am

I have one of those, exactly like that.

I use it for slide sometimes.

It's not much use in any other context... at least not with the original frets (which, on mine at least, are made of brass and are very soft... they melt if you look at them).

I'm glad to have mine.

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Re: Slightly less mysterious cool guitar: Kay Value Leader (name found)

Post by thisisnickpaige » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:35 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:23 am
I have one of those, exactly like that.

I use it for slide sometimes.

It's not much use in any other context... at least not with the original frets (which, on mine at least, are made of brass and are very soft... they melt if you look at them).

I'm glad to have mine.
Wait, brass? Why on earth? I guess that was cheaper than steel or nickel for them. I don’t know what his has, but it sure looks cool, though.

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Re: Slightly less mysterious cool guitar: Kay Value Leader (name found)

Post by øøøøøøø » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:04 pm

thisisnickpaige wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:35 am
øøøøøøø wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:23 am
I have one of those, exactly like that.

I use it for slide sometimes.

It's not much use in any other context... at least not with the original frets (which, on mine at least, are made of brass and are very soft... they melt if you look at them).

I'm glad to have mine.
Wait, brass? Why on earth? I guess that was cheaper than steel or nickel for them. I don’t know what his has, but it sure looks cool, though.
"why on earth?" indeed!

Probably very cheap, and very easy to work with. This was Kay's very least-expensive line of electrics. But they do have a certain charm!

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