Kay Flattop tenor guitar: model number and date please?

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Posted by Len Liechti on Wed, 05/13/09 - 15:24:43.

I have just obtained a Kay flattop tenor guitar with what looks like a spruce top, mahogany back and rims, and mahogany neck with rosewood board. It has separate open-back Kluson tuners and the smaller type Kay aluminium headstock plate logo with the "K" symbol in a circle. Rectangular rosewood pin bridge with scalloping to sides of the slightly compensated saddle. Tortoise teardrop screw-on pickguard, tortoise/white binding to top and soundhole, tortoise only to back. Lower bout is just under 15 inches wide and the shape is roughly OM/OOO. Printed inside the soundhole are the codes L2351 and N4. The Klusons are inscribed Kluson Mfg. Co., Chicago Ill. and Pat (but no patent number). Nearest info I've found online is for a model 661 (?) tenor on sale on Silvertone World, clearly an identical instrument apart from the logo, whose seller says the Silvertone version was only offered in 1964-65. Can anyone please confirm actual Kay model number and probable date(s) of production, and whether body woods are solid or laminate? Len Liechti, Bath, UK.

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Re: Kay Flattop tenor guitar: model number and date please?

Further research into the excellent Silvertone World website turns up a page on the Silvertone 661 tenor guitar, which is exactly my Kay with a Silvertone screenprinted logo in place of the Kay tinplate one. Offered in Silvertone catalogues only for 1964 and 1965, and as the site says, well after the folk craze and the need for a flattop tenor to emulate the Kingston Trio had passed. Catalogue entry refers to solid spruce top and "mahogany-finished body" - presumably laminates then, as the back is one-piece. I assume the Kay itself dates from the same period. Would still appreciate original Kay model number, unless that's the L-2351 code? Best, Len :-)

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