This is a Kay K161 (Thin Twin: Jimmy Reed model), natural, semi-hollow body, electric guitar made by Kay of Chicago, IL between 1957-1958. The “Thin Twin” models were offered between 1955 and 1958 in the Sears catalogs. The 1955-56 models had a white engraved headstock while the 1957-58’s had black. It’s nickname comes from the two very thin pickups. Aside from some cosmetic differences it’s identical to the Kay guitar Jimmy played (Kay model: K-161). It comes with an original two-tone case which is in very good condition.
The guitar is 100% original (except a strap button was added) and in very good condition. It shows some wear, scratches, and dings from the last 50 years of use but overall it’s in nice playing shape. It has a beautiful, finely flamed, curly maple body with mahogany sides. The pickups give a great blues-jazz range with the neck being full sounding and the bridge gritty and more twangy. It includes a gig bag.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Kluson Deluxe tuners with plastic knobs. Black plastic or bakelite engraved headstock.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Glued-on, fully bound rosewood fretboard, 19 frets. It has real mother of pearl block inlays for fret markers. The action is medium fast. The string height at the 12th fret is 3/8″ (5mm). The neck is basically straight (very minor relief-see photo below) and has never been reset or reglued. There’s no fret buzz anywhere on the neck. The back of the neck has extensive playing wear. A strap button was added but it’s a hex screw. The first three frets are worn. They’re brass. So we’ve dressed them to extend the life. They should be good for a long time now.
Two single coil pickups that are super strong with giant magnets driving them beneath the pickguard. There’s a 3 position slider switch for neck, bridge or both pickups. It has individual tone and volume controls for each pickup. Definitely bluesy sounding pickups.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
The Dimensions are:
Overall length: 40.25″Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Body width: 15″
Body thickness: 2.75″Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Scale: 25 7/8″Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Width of the nut: 1 5/8″
String height at 12th fret: 1/16″Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Here’s the original description from the 1961 Kay catalog:Description from VintageSilvertones.com
THE GALAXIE…featuring the smartly modern Arched Thinline silhouette, this fine guitar is 1 3/4″ thin! A real swingin’ electric with the powerful, sensitive Gold “K” professional pickup. The “Thin-Lite” neck adjusts easily and quickly for trouble-free service. Beautiful curly maple top and back with wide, heavy celluloid bound edges and top edge inlay. Oval inlaid rosewood fingerboard, celluloid-bound; nickel silver frets. Nickel plated hardware; machine heads fitted with covers and bushings. Special electric strings matched to powerful pickup. Stunning light walnute finish with golden highlights, beautifully hand rubbed and polished. Auditorium size, 40 1/4″ x 15″.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
K580 ARCHED THINLINEGUITAR… $99.95
K9612 Sturdy carrying case for K580. $16.00escription from VintageSilvertones.com