1953 Kay 161 Thin Twin

This is a vintage 1953 Kay 161 “Thin Twin” electric guitar. This particular example is in very excellent condition and features a blonde curly maple top and back with dark mahogany sides. Also referred to as the “Jimmy Reed” guitar, the Kay 161 was one of the longest produced guitars by Kay Musical Instrument Company.

The unique feature of the K-161 is the twin pickup units with the three way selector switch. The units are mounted in a solid bar which is a continuation of the neck. This type of mounting makes the entire playing scale very rigid, and produces a pure, concise electronic tone with much greater sustaining power.

Pot Codes: 304320 (20th week of 1953)

The original finish looks exceptionally nice and crisp. It does not display any fading or weather checking, and only displays almost no wear on the top or back. The frets are very nice and only show minimal fret wear on the first few frets.

The original neck is straight and feels very nice, which is very rare for these guitars. All of the hardware is in very nice condition and does not exhibit any oxidation.

With regard to function, this Kay is surprising. The neck is feels amazing for an early ’50s guitar. Both pickups work perfectly, all pots work great, and all corresponding hardware is in near perfect condition. As shown in the pictures, the pots were replaced, though the original pots and switch will be included. The guitar is a light 6 lbs 4 oz.