Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Standard Mandolin XVI: NOW SOLD

This mandolin has now been sold. Many thanks for your interest.
Cheers Gary


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Kay EB100 Bass: NOW SOLD

 Thanks for your interest.

Cheers Gary

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Nava Electric Mandolin now complete


As you can see above, the latest e-mando has now been completed and is looking (sounding and playing) rather lovely, if I say so myself! Photos below, thanks for looking.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Kay EB 100 Bass Guitar: restored and ready for sale

As you can see the Kay bass has now been completed. In this video, I talk about some of the issues solved, give my impression of the instrument, a bit of a demo. Below are some more of my thoughts and photo……

When you see these styles of Kay guitars and basses advertised, more often or not the seller will say made by Teisco in Japan 60s/70s. However, Teisco ceased manufacturing in 1967 and the label on the back of the neck states, “Made in Taiwan,” and  so to my mind that claim is doubtful. I failed to find any real authoritative information about these Kay guitars. I did read somewhere that these guitars were made in Taiwan using leftover parts from the Japanese Teisco factory and this rings true to me.

There is much that I like about this Kay bass. Firstly, with its 15th fret neck joint and light weight (2.7kgs) I find it extremely comfortable to play. I also find the neck profile and string spacing suit me and bizarrely if I were to make myself a bass, I would seriously consider the Kay’s dimensions! The pickup has a great tone too, although a tad microphonic. And of course, it does look very cool!

Dislikes? Well, the bridge is very basic and lacks the adjustment that a modern player would expect. However, with patience an acceptable action and intonation can be found.

It’s easy to assume that old vintage guitars are great just by virtue of their age. But, taking this Kay bass as an example, it must be remembered that they weren’t great guitars when they were new and 50 odd years of wear and tear hasn’t helped. I can remember, back in the day, seeing guitars like these for sale in Woolworths and my Aunt’s mail-order catalogue! These guitars may never have seen the inside of a music shop.

So, what was this project all about? Well, for me the challenge was breathing new life into an almost wreck of an instrument, saving it and making playing it an enjoyable experience for its next owner.

I’ve enjoyed restoring the Kay and have had fun playing it but it’s now time to pass it on and make room for new projects: I can’t keep them all!

If you are interested in making this bass yours, I'm looking for offers between £200 and £250 (plus shipping). You’ll find contact details on my website.

Cheers Gary

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Sunday, August 13, 2023

Project K pt 5

In this video, I look at refurbishing the neck of the Kay EB100 bass

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Friday, August 11, 2023

Project K pt 4

 The body gets its bits back!


Sunday, July 30, 2023

Electric Mandolin Build Part 5

With the majority of the construction now complete, it’s time to concentrate on the tailpiece and bridge and getting the mandolin set-up. The bridge is made from rosewood and will be adjustable for height; so a bit of design work first……

….and then after a bit of work, it’s starting to emerge out of the wooden blank. Much of the shaping of the bridge goes on during the setting-up of the mandolin i.e. slots for string spacing and filing the correct break point for individual string’s intonation.
The tailpiece is hewn from a piece of extruded aluminium angle section.

Once the tailpiece is made and fixed into position, the setting-up procedure can begin.