Vintage Instruments: Electric Guitars

Bookmark and Share

c.1961 Kay Jazz II

The Jazz II was Kay’s top-of-the-line thinline hollow body in the early 1960’s, and replaced the Barney Kessel signature models as the company’s flagship guitar after Kessel and Kay parted ways. It’s a supremely cool guitar, and sounds amazing thanks to its Gold K “Kleenex Box” pickups and original Bigsby B6 Vibrato. This example is a somewhat rarer variation of the Jazz II and features a full Kelvinator headstock and natural finish over figured maple.

Full hollow thin body with laminate maple back and sides, 4-ply bindings with white outer edge, original Bigsby tailpiece and bridge, mirror silver pickups and surrounds, and scalloped-edge Kay pickguard. Bound rosewood fingerboard with pearloid “Quadrant” inlays, long 25.8” scale, and 1-11/16” nut. Full, rounded C-shaped neck carve that’s not unlike a 60’s Guild in feel and extremely comfortable. The neck has recently been refretted, original-style Grover Rotomatics reinstalled and the neck oversprayed and touched-up. The work is very well done and the finish repair is well matched. The neck feel is fabulous. Body finish is 100% original.

With its unique styling, cool Kelvinator headstock, supple-feeling vintage Bigsby, and top-notch playability this Kay Jazz II is a shop favorite.

With period original soft-shell case

← Back to Electric Guitars