60s Kay N-4 arch top custom rebuild with short-scale 12-fret slot head neck, 1 3/4” nut, modern adjustable truss rod, fitted rosewood bridge w/ bone saddle and tone fit for a vintage acoustic flattop

Vintage Kay 000-flattop in X-braced spruce/mahogany with 1 3/4” nut, strong depth and projection, friendly to most styles of play.


Kay Musical Instrument Company produced many different acoustic guitar brands/sizes over the years. I happen to like this 000-size body which was originally built as a 14-fret guitar but has been converted, in this example, to a 12-fret configuration. Now the guitar’s scale length calls for the bridge position to be located where tone is enhanced…in the sweet spot of the lower bout. This results in one fine sounding flattop, which can handle most any style of play and is a bit easier to fret as well.

SPECS: 000-size body, 12-fret neck, slotted headstock, X-braced spruce top, mahogany sides and back in original factory finish, 3-ring rosette, white top binding, poplar neck with adjustable truss rod, vintage easy-turn tuning machines, “C” neck profile, new radius’d ebony fretboard with new frets, new ebony bridge with compensated saddle slot, MOP inlays, bone nut/saddle, ebony pins. Nut width: 1 3/4”, String Spacing: 2 5/16”, Scale length: 24.9”, Upper bout: 11 3/8”, Lower Bout: 15 1/2”, Body length: 19 7/8”, Widest body depth: 4”, Overall length: 39 1/2”, Neck thickness at 1st fret: 13/16”, Neck thickness at 5th fret: 13/16”, Action: 3/32”, string gauge setup: D’addario EJ26 custom light gauge in standard tuning.

CONDITION: Conversion from 14-fret standard 25.5 scale to 12-fret 24.9 scale neck. Added book matched spruce top to original hog sides and back. Other work included neckset with added truss rod, new radius’d fretboard/frets, pyramid bridge, setup. Please note that vintage, repurposed materials and finishes will have underlying swirls, scrapes, scratches, bumps and bruises. Any new features added during the rebuild were made to fit in with the old.

SOUND: The larger body size and new bridge position deliver as expected: a full tone with accompanying projection and sustain. Playability is quite nice and strings are easier to fret as a 12-fretter. Action can be adjusted higher to suit your playing style. Click the soundclip link and have a listen.

PRICE: $899 (fly not included)

Link to video soundclip here.



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