Electric Guitars/Vintage Electric


Hollow Electric
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Hi Dr Moore,

A good friend of mine recently passed away and left me his guitar.  I did some research and I think it is a Kay with 2 Gibson P-35 klennex box pickups. But I haven't seen this style in any of my searches. There is a metal plate on the back of the head that has the number 1080 imprinted on it.  Any help on ID and value would be appreciated.

Kay Swinger Master on Ebay
Kay Swinger Master on  

Hi Steve, I do hope the things I share with you will help. Your Kay Guitar is a very nice guitar and a bit odd. You know from your research a double cutaway is not  normal for Kay. They did make them in a few models. Your guitar looks like a Swingmaster Double Cutaway. A guy by the name of Barney Kessel had a say over many Kay designs in the 1950s and beyond. He was a jazz guitar player, because of that Kay made many single cutaways with pick ups that had a low output like the P35 pick ups on your Kay. That put the guitars in a less than desirable place. Gibson sold a lot of hardware and electronics to Kay,Silvertone, Harmony and Airline guitars. These were mostly made in Asia. They were seen as beginner guitars. I found some people who are not beginners on Youtube and writing about their Kay Guitars. The Telecaster Forum covers many guitar topics. A post on that forum rings true about the value of a great Kay.  He said   " you can ask for $1400.00  then sell it for $400.00." looking at sale history, this seems true. The Kay Arch Tops were over shadowed by Gibson, Ibanez, Gretsch and Epiphone. Many sell in the four hundred dollar price range new. Gibson will go on will very high prices for past and present guitars.
You have a nice guitar, I would play it and have fun. Thanks Steve I welcome any more questions, I would like to see the head post and tuners. You said you think it is a Kay? I went with that for the answer for you. Thanks Kevinpaul.

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DR Kevin P Moore


Guitars and cats make life so much better. Playing the guitar is a wonderful thing, fixing you guitar is not that hard. I have played since I was a kid and started to fix guitars and the other things that needed repair. I still repair guitars for friends and myself and do enjoy it. I rebuild old guitars to their former condition, all amps and music gear. That the mystery out of where and when a guitar was made. The value of it and the difference between junk and a guitar you can grow old with. Ask me things and have some fun.


The fascination with electric guitars is the top for me. I fix amps, wiring and put the things that fall off back on. The way to really set a guitar up and make it a player. Buying a guitar is an art, and good amps that will get out that tone we all look for, Zen guitar and amplifier is a way to approach it. Better is no worry ask an expert.

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Library of congress, five patients. I write on several guitar forums and many essays on guitar health.

PhD, MS, BA and a BS all from CMU. I have a BA from Mercyhurst College.

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