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Author Topic: Oddball Resonator  (Read 1835 times)

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Offline sabocat

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Oddball Resonator
« on: April 25, 2014, 02:57:45 PM »
I came within a hair of buying this a few weeks back.  Still may snag it is I can come to terms with the owner.  Not only had I never laid my hands on one of these, I had never even heard of one.   A 14 Kay Kraft slothead resonator.  I have seen Kay-made Nationals and Kay Deluxe resonators but never one with the Kay Kraft moniker.  It has a Shireson cone and plate (Shireson patented their designs in 1932).  As far as I can determine, Kay was building reso bodies and necks for both National and the Shireson Brothers.  National got hacked off about Kay supplying a competitor so went with Harmony to build the bodies in 1934.   Shireson was later successfully sued by National Dobro around 1937 and subsequently went out of business.  Some stories say that Kay and Harmony bought up the surplus Shireson hardware while others state that the surplus Shireson cones were hauled off the scrapyard.

Sound wise - it sure ain't no National El Trovador.  Not the loudest resonator I have ever played.  Kinda a cross between a Dobro and a National which is not surprising in that it has a Dobro-like bowl cone with a biscuit bridge.   If I had to put a finger on it I would say the guitar definitely has a banjo vibe.

So has anybody out there ever run across one of these or any Kay Kraft-badged resonator?





Si has anybody else ever run across a Kay Kraft resonator? 

Offline BottleneckJohn

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Re: Oddball Resonator
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 03:37:14 PM »
Those are awesome!
The body is deep like the El Trovador (Kay used up the stock of remaining El Trov bodies).
I have played several and they all had the Shireson cone system, sweet sounding too!
Kind of a mix between spider bridge and biscuit.

Buy it!  :)
"All Around Man" - Re-release on vinyl LP in April 2015!!
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Offline sabocat

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Re: Oddball Resonator
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 03:53:40 PM »
When I first ran across this guitar I kept my fingers crossed that I had stumbled on a Kay-badged El Trovador. 

The body on this one to me looks more like that used on that strange Kay Amplifying guitars and post-War Kay resos.  The thing is the Kay Kraft name seems to disappear after 1933 being replaced by Kay Kraft Deluxe (with Kay Deluxe appearing on the headstock). 

Bottom line though, if I can work out a deal I can live with on the guitar I will snap it up because I do think it is cool and it intrigues the heck out of me.  I should know over the weekend.

Offline nobocaster

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Re: Oddball Resonator
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 06:42:04 PM »
Cool guitar.  My friend got one very similar off ebay a couple years ago.  I can't remember if it says Kay Kraft or just Kay or...?.  It also has the Shireson cone.  His was the first like that I'd seen in person.  He got it in very poor shape and did a bunch of work to get it going.  He plays out with it quite a bit now.  It definitely has a unique sound among resonators. 

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Oddball Resonator
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 03:33:54 AM »
Here's mine, branded Kunow, and also for sale....

Offline sabocat

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Re: Oddball Resonator
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 05:48:51 PM »
I did snag the guitar - paid about $100 north of stupid for it but it is not the first time and will probably not be the last.  Makes a nice companion to my 1934-35 Kay Kraft Deluxe.

After a lot of digging I was able to figure out the resonator was most likely made in 1934.  Not that hard to figure out as apparently Kay only made resonators in those two years.  They also made S.S. Maxwell and Kay Deluxe resos apparently some of them with left over El Trovador bodies.  I have a friend of a friend who will spin a cone for the guitar but I figure to let it be for the time being.  But maybe somewhere down the line.   

Offline Rivers

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Re: Oddball Resonator
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2014, 05:19:23 PM »
As a matter of interest, what is the body depth? My El Trovador (albeit a recent reissue but a good one, I assume NRP measured an original) measures 3 5/8 at the neck joint and 4 at the heel.

Offline sabocat

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Re: Oddball Resonator
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 03:21:17 PM »
Can't tell you as the guitar went in trade on an early 1930s Oahu "Nick Lucas."

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