The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

NO LONGER AVAILABLE!!! Kay ‘TrueTone’ Speed Demon K573 Thinline Sunburst, 1962


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This Kay ‘TrueTone’ Speed Demon K573 guitar takes us back – a 1962 3-pickup thinline archtop, otherwise known as the K573 and sold through Western Auto mail order catalogs.

During the 1950s and into the 1960’s, the Kay company of Chicago was one of the largest musical instrument makers in the USA, which also meant in the world. Supplying guitars under a host of names to anyone who was interested, Kay products were sold in retail stores and mail order catalogs. Western Auto was one of the companies that Kay partnered with, and their instruments bore the ‘TrueTone’ name.

Kay instruments were used by professionals. There was a Barney Kessel model, and many prominent blues artists, including Hubert Sumlin of Howlin’ Wolf’s band used them. The Kay bass was one of the first popular electric basses, once Leo Fender introduced the concept.

Beyond the TrueTone name, this is a Kay K537 model, with an arched top and back body made of laminated Maple, a bolt on Maple neck with bound Rosewood fingerboard and brass frets, floating Rosewood bridge, trapeze tailpiece, and Kluson Deluxe single-line tuners. The original pickguard is intact and included. For electronics, three Kay ‘Speed Bump’ pickups were mounted, each with volume and tone controls. A four position, rotary type switch is mounted on the upper bout. The original nitrocellulose lacquer sunburst finish is in good shape, with a bit of wear and a few chips on the back and edges.

These guitars can sound great, especially for a 50’s blues sound. For professional use, they do require some attention and upgrading – brass frets are very soft and will wear quickly. Over time, a complex wiring harness will develop some quirks.

The original fibre (cardboard) case is included.


Price: $999.99 CAD
  • Model: Speed Demon K573
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 17/10/2018

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Soft case
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 648mm
  • Nut Width: 1.65in 52mm

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