1960s Kay-made Old Kraftsman "Galaxie" Hollowbody Electric Guitar

A friend of mine dropped this off for "juicing-up." I've seen a lot of Kay-made guitars of this variety through the shop but they're only rarely loaded with the nice "Kleenex box" pickups like the one this guy has. The adjustable poles (for string-to-string balance) and stronger output make these pickups more useful for modern applications than most old Kay pickups.

Like other "Speed Demon"-type Kay guitars, this one has a long scale, medium-fat neck, and a heavy-duty, thick-ply body. At first glance you might think "poor man's ES-125T," but they really are beasts unto themselves. I do like the figured-maple veneer on the body, though, and the tobacco sunburst.

Work included: a fret level/dress, replacement wiring harness, general cleaning, compensation of the saddle for 3-wound, 3-plain modern stringing, and a good setup. The neck is straight, the truss works, and it plays on-the-dot with hair-above 1/16" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, strung with 46w-10 gauges.

Scale length: 25 13/16"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at saddle: 2"
Lower bout width: 15"
Upper bout width: 10 1/2"
Side depth at endpin: 1 7/8"
Overall body depth: ~2 1/4"
Top wood: ply figured maple
Body wood: ply figured maple
Neck wood: poplar
Neck profile: 10" radius board, medium-to-big C-shape rear
Fretboard: rosewood
Bridge: rosewood, adjustable

Condition notes: general wear-and-tear to the finish, knobs are quite faded/worn, and the hardware is all tarnished or downright rusted. The guitar is, however, 100% original except for its missing pickguard.

These pickups are excellent when they're working! They're height-adjustable, too, overall. When you remove the pickup ring, that reveals access to two height-adjustment screws. I find that, generally, these like to be cranked as close to the strings as you can get them for best tone. The adjustable poles help a lot for string-to-string balance, too.


Robert said…
This is a Kay Galaxie. I have one; having done research and spoken with Kay representatives I am convinced of the fact. Reverb's Price Guide is as well.

Cheers, Robert
Robert said…
sorry, an Old Kraftsman Galaxie - mea culpa
Jake Wildwood said…
Thanks, Robert, I'll update the post!
Unknown said…
Easiest way to identify a Galaxie is the triangular Neck inlays and Kleenex Box pickup. I’ve got a blonde one with open F Holes.