Vintage American

On this page you will find several vintage American electric guitars spanning from the 1950′s to the 1970′s. Although I did own all of these guitars at one point or another, I’ve likely sold all of them, so none of these guitars are for sale. Tell me if any information is incorrect, or if you have any important information to add.

              Kay Archtop              Truetone Archtop          Penncrest Archtop      Old Kraftsman Archtop

Here are 4 vintage 1960′s Kay manufactured archtop electrics from Chicago. The first is an early Kay model with Klusons. The middle two are Truetone variations with non-original tuners and “cheese-grater” pickups (the second of these is labled “Penncrest”, and was probably sold at J.C. Penney). And the last one is an Old Kraftsman model which I don’t see too often.

                 Premier                    Marvel Leader           Sherwood Deluxe (Kay)       Kamico? (Kay?)

Four more vintage American archtop electrics. The first is a very well made Premier made by Multivox in New York. The second is a “Marvel Leader” with non-original tuners. The third is an all-original “Sherwood Standard” probably made by Kay. The last one is a no-name that shares some similarities with the Sherwood although I don’t know who made it (I made the pickguard).

       Harmony Broadway    OLD Old Kraftsman (Kay)         Orpheum (Kay)             Silvertone Acoustic

The first guitar is a Harmony Broadway with a Dearmond pickup (I never found out if it was original or not). The second guitar is a very old (1950′s) Old Kraftsman with an added mini-humbucker. The third is a huge 17-inch Orpheum archtop with an added Dearmond Rowe pickup. The last one is an old Silvertone with Klusons, and although it isn’t an electric, it had a hole drilled for an input jack, so it seems some misguided individual may have attempted to convert it at some point in its life.

        Harmony Hollywood       Holiday (Hollywood)        Harmony Rocket 1        Harmony Rocket 2

Four nice Harmony hollow-bodies. The first is a Harmony Hollywood with a pickguard I made. The second is an all-original Harmony Hollywood branded “Holiday” on the headstock and pickguard. The third is a single pickup Harmony Rocket. The last is a (poorly) refinished 2-pickup Harmony Rocket with a pickguard I made.

        Aldens Stratotone        Harmony Stratotone 1     Harmony Stratotone 2     Harmony Stratotone 3

Four different variations of the Harmony Stratotone. The first was sold via ”Aldens”. The second and third are almost identical except that the headstock graphics vary slightly. The last one is nameless and has the knobs on the pickguard (also a different pickup). It may have had an “Airline” sticker originally.

           Kay Vanguard            Old Kraftsman (Kay)           Kay Vanguard 2          Old Kraftsman 2 (Kay)

Four variations of the Kay Vanguard. The first two are the same except the second is marked Old Kraftsman. The last two are the same except for the headstock and tailpiece (and the Old Kraftsman headtock logo).

           Truetone (Kay)                Kay Value Leader          Kay (Vanguard?)           Kay Speed Demon

Four more Kay creations. The first is a “Truetone” Kay-made archtop with a “cheese-grater” pickup (same pickup in Jack White’s current Kay archtop, which leads me to believe his is actually a Truetone). The second is a 3-pickup Kay Value Leader with a maple fretboard. The third is like the Kay Vanguard, but the pickup is underneath the pickguard. The last one is a late model Speed Demon minus the original black pickguard.

 Silvertone 1448 (Danelectro)        Silvertone1448 (Danelectro)           Silvertone U-1 (Danelectro)       Silvertone U-1 (Danelectro)

Danelectro-made electrics for Silvertone. The first two are the amp-in-case 1448 model electrics, though they vary slightly (notice how the pickup is slightly higher on the 2nd model). The second two are of the U-1 variety.

            Alamo Fiesta                      Alamo Fiesta                Alamo Fiesta                  Alamo Fiesta

Four variations of the Alamo “Fiesta” model all made in San Antonio, Texas in the early to mid 1960′s. If anyone knows anything more about these variations – please e-mail me.

             Peavey T-15                 Magnatone Zephyr              Kapa Cobra                         Airline

This row starts with a near mint Peavey T-15 from the late 1970′s. The second guitar is a Magnatone Zephyr X-5, but somehow it had a Magnatone “Typhoon” neck from the 3-pickup model. The guitar was designed by Paul Barth, a co-founder of Rickenbacker and was likely made in 1965 or 1966. The fourth guitar is a great little Kapa Cobra with the original Hofner neck and Hofner electronics. The last one is a pretty rare Airline solid-body which is more commonly seen in a cool vintage green color.

 Custom Kraft?              Custom Kraft              Catalina                      Supro                     Supro

I suspect the first one here is a Custom Kraft, but I really don’t know, but as always it is surely a Kay product. The second is definitely a Custom Kraft (missing the headbadge tail-piece cover). The third guitar is a great “Catalina” electric that I don’t know too much about, besides that it was probably made by Kay in the mid 1960′s. The fourth guitar is an all original Supro with a great headstock covered in white pickguard material. The fifth is a tiny little refinished Supro which I have seen sold under a few different brand names.

   Supro? Valco? Japanese?       Custom Kraft                  Custom Kraft              Modified Kalamazoo

I don’t know anything about the first guitar here, but I’m assuming it’s American by the way the neck is attached, the tailpiece, and that little Kay bridge. The second is a Supro/Valco-made Custom Kraft solid-body. The third is a Custom Kraft hollow-body with very cool black sparkle paint. The last is an (unfortunately) heavily modified Kalamazoo by Gibson solid-body.

       Kay Swingmaster           Kay Speed Demon      Kay Value Leader Archtop   Kay Value Leader

Here we have four beautiful mid 1960′s Kay manufactured hollow-body electrics from Chicago. The first guitar here is a great early 1960′s Swingmaster that unfortunately had several fake gemstones glued to the headstock, but otherwise was all original (minus the pickguard). The second guitar is a pretty rough example of a Kay Speed Demon, with a home-made pickguard. The third guitar is a completely original Kay Value Leader archtop. The last guitar is a Kay Value Leader missing its oval Kay sticker on the headstock.

              Kay Galaxie

And here’s a beautiful early 1960′s Kay “Galaxie” with one of those famous Barney Kessel / “Gold K” “Kleenex Box” P-35 pickups made by Gibson which were included on Kay’s higher end offerings.

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