Kay K494 Electric Mandolin c 1965 | $395 | (v 2113) The Kay K494/495 Electric Mandolin appeared at least as early as 1960 in the company's catalog, and continued as a model through the mid-sixties. This particular example could date to 1965 since one Kay historian claimed that the 'cheese grater' pick up cover appeared at that time.
This is a particularly clean and original example, and if you've ever wondered what it would be like to walk into a music store in 1965 to check out the instruments, this one would exemplify what a fresh, new mandolin would would look like.
The top is made from two-ply spruce. The back and sides are birch. The binding is white paint. The neck is likely poplar and the finger board likely maple painted black. N-15 is stamped inside the body in dark ink, but it's common knowledge that these numbers are neither model, date code nor FON numbers, and their true meaning lost to time. The bridge is Brazilian rosewood with adjustable wheels. The Kay logo is painted in white on the head stock, and black on the pick guard. The metal parts are bright and shiny, like new.
Overall length is 27". The body measures 10 3/4" across at the lower bout. Scale length is 14". The neck measures 1 1/8" with string spacing 1 3/4" across at the saddle.
The mandolin is very solid. We see evidence that the neck may have been re-glued at one time, but it's hard to tell. We also note that the saddle part of the bridge had been altered at some point for an unknown reason. We recently leveled and dressed the frets, whit appear unplayed. There are no cracks, scratches or dings of note, and in fact, one could claim this piece 'near mint'.
The electronics function as they should, including the tone and volume controls, input jack and pick up. The action is set at 5/64", and the mandolin plays well, and even sounds decent w/o an amp.
Comes with its original 'alligator' case also in excellent condition.
Cash, checks, PayPal, money orders or bank wire. We don't accept credit cards at this point.
We ship usually within a day of payment. International customers, we are not CITES certified. Any guitar with CITES-protected materials (Brazilian rosewood, ivory et al) shipped outside the US will be shipped at the risk of the buyer.
Forty-eight hour test drive on all instruments..if not to your liking, return for refund minus shipping costs.