This is a Kay K573-Speed Demon, shaded walnut finish/tobaccoburst, semi-hollow body, electric guitar made by Kay of Chicago, IL circa 1962. This is a player’s grade guitar or beginning collector’s model. It works and sounds great but has been sanded and played for many years. The Speed Demon models were offered between 1960 and 1966 in various department store catalogs catalogs and sold under the Kay brand. The unlabeled headstock means this was sold through a department store like Dillards or another of the long-ago closed chains. Similar models were sold by Sears but they are very rare. The Kay-branded models had crown-style headstock versus the paddle/hockey-stick-style on this model. The only other significant difference is the knobs. This guitar has large black plastic/bakelite knobs with a chrome top versus Kay’s white knobs.
The guitar is 100% original and in good condition. The photos really tell the story. Someone, long ago started to sand off the finish but didn’t complete the job. It shows plenty of playing wear, scratches, and dings from the last 60 years of use but overall it’s in nice playing shape. It has a beautiful, spruce top with curly maple back. The pickups have a great range that will work for Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz, etc and all are strong/loud. Each of the three pickups has a unique tone and they multiply when used together. The neck pickup sounds very full, the middle is similar but has a tremolo effect, and the bridge is full but more gritty and twangy. It includes a gig bag.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Kluson Deluxe tuners, 6-inline with white plastic knobs. Black headstock with no logo or signs of ever having one.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Bolted-on neck (3 bolts), fully bound rosewood fretboard with 19 frets. It has circular mother of pearl block inlays for fret markers. The action is fast. The string height at the 12th fret is 0.063 inches. The neck is straight. There’s no fret buzz anywhere on the neck. The back of the neck has nominal playing wear for a 60 year old guitar. The brass frets have minor wear with plenty of playing life left.
Three single coil pickups that are super strong. There’s a 4 position rotating, silver-colored, switch for neck, middle, bridge or all three pickups. It has individual tone and volume controls for each pickup. Definitely bluesy sounding pickups with a rich, strong tone that can easily work for Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, etc.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
The Dimensions are:
Overall length: 42″Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Body width: 15″
Body thickness: 1.85″ (2.61″ with the neck)Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Scale: 25.5″Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Width of the nut: 1.65″
String height at 12th fret: 0.063″Description from VintageSilvertones.com
Here’s the original description from the 1962 Kay catalog:Description from VintageSilvertones.com
THINLINE “SPEED DEMON”…exciting as tomorrow, a trim 1 3/4 thin, auditorium size– 40 1/4″ x 15″. Fully arched spruce top and curly maple back, completely laminated. Thin-Lite neck with adjustable truss rod; celluloid bound oval rosewood fingerboard; celluloid bound top and back edges. Powerful magnetic pickup adjustable for perfect tone balance. Separate tone and volume controls. Special electric strings and adjustable rosewood bridge. Shaded walnut finish with golden sunburst top and back…hand rubbed and polished. A real all-star performer for the most demanding guitarist.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
K572……………. $129.50escription from VintageSilvertones.com