The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

SOLD!! Kay K5920 Single Pickup Thinline Bass Sunburst, 1962


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The Kay K5920 Speed Demon hollowbody electric bass was one of the Kay company’s many instruments aimed at beginner to semi-pro players. In the late 1950’s when these basses appeared, advertising campaigns were still focused on convincing upright bass players to switch to electric. Kay guitars and basses were frequently found in the hands of Blues artists.

The Speed Demon name applied to the Kay K5920 and other models referred to the neck, and in particular to the adjustable truss rod that made getting around on these models so much faster than previous instruments, particularly basses. The Kay K5920 features a fully hollow body with a single Florentine (pointed) cutaway, made of laminate wood and with an arched top and back. The neck is poplar or maple with a rosewood fingerboard – at the time ‘Rosewood’ most commonly came from Brazil – and the tuners on one side of the headstock. The headstock features a Kay badge similar to but simpler than that found on the Kay ‘Kelvinator’ models – they were called this because of visual similarities to refrigerator badges at the time.

For electronics, a single ‘speed bump’ pickup is located in the middle position. The bridge is rosewood – again Brazilian – providing a nicely acoustic, low-sustain, ‘thumping’ tone.

The Kay K5920 Speed Demon basses were built into the 1960s, by which time electric basses had almost completely displaced standup models. Rapidly increasing stage volumes were making acoustic or hollow electric basses impractical, and before long most basses were either solidbody or semi-hollow with a center block to reduce feedback.

This example was built around 1962 in Chicago, Illinois, and is in good playing and original condition. There are a few marks in the finish, but the bass plays well.

Price: $1,850.00 CAD
  • Model: K5920 Speed Demon Bass
  • Year: 1962 | Approximate year
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, built around 1962 in Chicago, Illinois
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 15/09/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.16lbs 2.8kg
  • Scale Length: 30.83in 783mm
  • Nut Width: 1.503in 38.17mm

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