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Kay Basses

1939 Kay bass

Kay Double Bass – an iconic symbol of America’s creative greatness – innovative designs to meet the burgeoning demand of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In those decades, mastering a musical instrument was a talent enjoyed and respected by the majority of Americans. Live Big Band music was omnipresent: Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, every rhythm section anchored by the double bass. Add economic conditions with international trade restrictions and concern with the rise of Axis powers, and an opportunity was created!! Chicago entrepreneur Henry Kuhrmeyer, nicknamed “Kay”, answered the call to produce string instruments in the United States.

Today these Kays are historic, classic instruments, sought after as timeless representatives of an era gone by. Constructed with a quality of sound that has only improved with age, numbered and catalogued, perfect for collectability!!

Come see some excellent examples of Kay instruments, hear what you are missing! Call Mike at 860-685-1621 to see these basses:

Kay Bass Serial Number 5639, 1939 Five String in restoration, Let’s Talk!

Kay Bass Serial Number 5988, 1939 “Manhattan” model, original natural condition with original gut strings, $6,995

Kay Bass Serial Number 9211, 1941 S-8 model Beautiful sound spectacular condition, $6,995

Kay Bass Serial Number 12175, 1945 “CB” model Sounds good, condition rough, Let’s Talk!

Kay Bass Serial Number 19033, 1949 S-8 model Cherry colored varnish, original ebony fingerboard, adjustable bridge, $5,995

Kay Bass Serial Number 56449, 1968 C1 model light brown varnish, new ebony fingerboard, solid bridge, $4,995

Inquiries invited, please contact Mike at 860-685-1621 or email

2 Responses to Kay Basses

  1. Roger Kidwell

    My grandson (14) has been playing double bass for about 3 years and he has outgrown his 1/2 (3/4?) size bass. His present bass was purchased at Seery Strings in Bristol. Do you take trade-ins? Do we need an appointment? Are Saturdays available? Thanks!
    Best regards,
    Roger Kidwell

    • Michael Asetta

      Hello Mr. Kidwell Thank you for reaching out to Mike. This is Karen, wife and web master when able to do so! Sure Mike evaluates bases for trade-in. If your grandson enjoys playing his instrument, this is the place to come, Mike has 2 or 3 dozen on display. Saturdays are possible, not sure about this upcoming one. I will let Mike know of your interest. Best to call him 860-685-1621 or leave your number and I will be sure he reaches out. Thanks again Karen


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