Introduced in 1952, the Kay K-161 ThinTwin is one of the most identifiable guitars ever made by Kay. Often associated with the likes of Jimmy Reed, this twin single-coil pickup hollowbody electric features a 2 3/4" thick body with Maple top and back and Mahogany sides. It's a long scale guitar at 25 3/4" with a wider 1 13/16" nut width. It's also one of the most substantial neck carves ever made. Professional-grade in every aspect, it features a beautiful firestripe pickguard, bound Rosewood fingerboard with large block inlays, and a celluloid-inlaid peghead veneer. It's got its original set of "cupcake" knobs along with the trapeze tailpiece, wooden bridge, and even the matching firestripe heelcap!
Despite the larger neck and thicker parallel-braced body, it's still quite light at just under 7lbs. The original "Thin Twin" single coil pickups have nice strong output with a distinctive and clear voice. This is a great blues and slide guitar - just listen to early Hubert Sumlin recordings with Howlin' Wolf to get a sense of what these can do.
Condition: Very Good+. This is a mostly original example both structurally and electronically. The original "no line" Kluson tuners are fully functional. The tailpiece and bridge are also original to the guitar. The pickups are also original as is the wiring harness, with some slight alterations to correct some old grounding issues (additional braided wire soldered to the original pickup leads). The original input jack area was damaged long ago, and a plastic jack plate was installed to provide a more secure base for the jack. Frets are on the lower side but playability is still great. The neck is quite straight and stable despite the lack of a truss rod (likely due to thickness of the neck).
In the Catalogue Guitar Era, very few electrics get close to the quality of a K-161 Thin Twin. If you can handle the big neck, it's one of the coolest and most vibe-heavy vintage hollowbody electrics out there.
Priced with form-fitting aftermarket hardshell case.
- Neck profile measurements: 1.02" @ 1st fret / 1.22" @ 10th fret
- Pickup output: 10.78k each
- Weight: 6lb 13oz