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Late 1950s Kay Model K5965 Hollowbody Electric Bass (consignment) SOLD



Comments This is likely the best-condition Late 1950s Kay Model K5965 Hollowbody Electric Bass I’ve seen. There’s very little wear and one mark on the back. It looks like it’s spent most of its life in its case.

The Kay Model K-5965 started out as the Kay model K162 Hollowbody bass. The K162 was introduced in 1952, closely following Leo Fender’s groundbreaking 1951 Precision Bass, but with a completely different – fully hollow – design. The K162 was the world’s second electric bass, and the first electric hollowbody bass. The K162 became the K5695 in 1959. The primary difference between the two seems to be the colour of the pickup support, control plate, and headplate. The earlier K162 models used a ‘firestripe’ faux tortoise material, while the K5695 seem to use a less dramatic faux-tortoise headplate and creme plastic pickup support and control plate. These basses were discontinued in 1966.

The K162 and K5695 are popularly known as “The Howlin Wolf Bass”, because Andrew “Blueblood” McMahon used one in the incredibly popular Howlin’ Wolf band. it’s definitely worth seeking out the rare footage of Howlin Wolf shows, and the recordings are must-haves.

Read our previous feature on a 1957 Kay Model K162 hollowbody bass here

Serial Number N/A, but built by Kay in Chicago towards the late 1950’s.
Pricing $2,350.00 CND with original fibre case. SOLD
Neck Maple neck with unbound rosewood fingerboard. Large white dot position markers on the edge of the fingerboard. Faux tortoise headplate. These necks are very reminiscent of upright basses – thick, with a pronounced soft V profile.
Frets Original frets with very little wear.
Body Fully hollow, single-cutaway closed body with flat maple top and arched maple back, bound maple sides.
Finish Original gloss sunburst finish in very good condition.
Hardware/electronics Entirely original and clean. Kluson Waffleback tuners, blade pickup with original volume and tone knobs and tone switch, rosewood adjustable bridge. Creme plastic pickup supports and control plate.
Playability/Action This vintage bass plays very well! The action is at a completely reasonable height and there is still room to move the bridge around.
Case Original fibre (cardboard) case included.

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