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Kay G101 acoustic travel guitar old but is it any good though?

January 26, 2020


This is a Kay acoustic guitar model
number G 101 manufactured by the Kay guitar company and I bought this guitar
over 30 years ago probably about 34 -35 years ago for my children as you can see
it’s a small body it’s what we call a travel travel guitar but it’s good for
children or small people if you compare it to a full-size guitar like this Takamine
as you can see it’s considerably smaller it’s 25% smaller
than a regular dreadnought some people get this mixed up with a parlour guitar
this is a travel guitar and it’s 25% shorter than a standard guitar whereas a
parlor guitar is 20% shorter than a regular guitar so that’s the difference
it’s 5% in it. Now. I bought this guitar for my children as I said to play
with and they’ve had it for years and they’re all grown up now and now I’ve
got grandchildren who are coming up I asked my children and said. Where’s that
guitar? My son had it and I said well let me have it back and I’ll fix it up so
I’ve got it back and I’m gonna fix it up and so I had to go to the guitar shop to
get some bits and pieces. Some new strings and I asked the guy about it and
he said. “O it’s just an old Spanish guitar just put some nylon strings on it”
so I bought the nylon strings but this has always had steel strings? Anyway when I was in the shop guitar shop. The guitar shop guy pointed out at the top of the fretboard that
fret right beside the nut and he said that is a zero fret? so I said okay and so
thinking about that I ended up going down a massive rabbit hold on the
internet researching this guitar and I found a whole load of stuff which is
obviously for another video I’m just gonna fix this one up but before I do
anything I needed to do some research on it and I discovered an incredible amount of history on this company in particular an
incredible history and I’ll relate some of that to you as I go along but
basically I’m just going to fix it up but like I said before the deck is very
nice and flat so we know it’s in good shape. The action on the fret board is very low and it’s very easy to play and then I
started looking at this guitar in a bit more detail at first glance it looks
like a piece of old trash but then when you start looking at it in detail you
start to realize there’s a lot of design features on there there’s a lot of
things on this guitar do don’t really add up to a cheap guitar like the neck
he’s got this joint on the back of it the neck is super flat okay it’s got
that zero fret on there and there’s a lot of things on this guitar do you
think well if this is such a cheap guitar why did they go to all that
trouble to make these refinements and that’s that kind of got me going that
got me going down the rabbit hole I’m gonna fix this one up I’m gonna
clean it up obviously it is going to take a bit of time I would have do a thorough
inspection on the inside I’m gonna change these strings make sure things
safe and secure on the inside check the soundboard the machine head’s are pretty gunky so I’ll have to take them off and give them a thorough clean
they’re very stiff as well they’re quite stiff some of them so I’m going to take
them off and clean them but yeah this is turned out to be quite an interesting
little project I’m trying to figure out what the wood is the top looks to me to
be spruce it looks like it’s very open grain spruce and the sides are a very
tight grain very tight grain on them and on the back on the back it’s actually matched the
wood on the back is actually matched this is two pieces of wood to have been
matched so the more I look at this guitar the more l’m thinking what is going on
here? I can’t even remember what shop I bought it in? but I think it was, it was obviously in London somewhere but I can’t remember what shop I bought it in. It’s got this little kay badge on it that means it’s one of two things is I’ve rather
mid-60s it could be mid sixties guitar built in
America or it could be a late 60s guitar that was built in Japan either way it’s
a great guitar it plays really well one of the things I’ve discovered while
researching this guitar is the reason this neck is so straight is because
there’s a there’s an iron bar inside there to keep it to keep you straight I
mean like to do that on the cheap guitar it’s like hey it works so there’s
there’s a kind of conflict in my head about this guitar but it survived and it
sounds okay sounds good even with crap strings and a busted saddle it sounds
okay and it holds a tune so it goes back to what I was saying before about if the
guitar was good in the first place in the past it’ll still be good in the
future and apparently although I was buying a guitar for my kids to play with
looks like I bought another decent guitar The more you look into these Kay guitars you start to see that people actually really do like him I was
gonna fix it out for the grandkids but I’m thinking to myself maybe I should
actually stick it up on the wall! No I’m gonna fix it up for the grandkids. Interesting rediscovery in the family attic so to speak I want to see
how this turns out and I’m glad that I’ve got some sound samples of what it sounds like now and what it looks like and I’ll be interested to see how this
fingerboard comes up I mean that’s what’s bugging me is that
that’s what’s really intriguing me is that stock that there. Why would you do
that on a cheap guitar? Why would you have a neck made from one solid piece of
wood when a scarf joint is much cheaper I’m a carpenter so I know about these
things this is intriguing thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.

1 Comment

  • Reply sketch and jam October 7, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    I learned how to play on an ancient travel guitar. Good for kids to learn on since the frets are closer. That zero fret should make the action a bit better than a standard guitar as well.

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