UPDATE: This guitar was originally built as a fretless instrument, which you'll see in many of the photos below. It has since been fretted with EVO gold fretwire, as you see in the photo above. While the Special Kay is new, it was built several years ago. I fretted it only recently. Fretless guitars don't appeal to everyone and rather than let this excellent instrument remain unplayed, I decided to fret it. I cut the slots into the neck carefully and precisely by hand, seating the frets equally carefully, as if I were doing a refret in any valuable high-end guitar. The EVO gold fretwire is perfect for this, as it is somewhere between nickel fretwire and stainless steel in terms of hardness, so it seats very nicely. Because of it's hardness, it should also last much, much longer than standard nickel wire. It's also one of my favorite fretwires to play on. I used EVO gold fretwire in my Syrena mermaid guitar, as well, so you know I think highly of it.
When I first designed this guitar, my emphasis was riffing on a more traditional, vintage instrument. By exploring that mindset, I was able to add the idiom to my design vocabulary... like studying classical music if you're a metal player. While this guitar looks much different than my usual visual style, this instrument did indeed have some historical influence upon my later instrument designs - even those that seem to look nothing like it.
The name "Special Kay" took hold because the body shape is a derivative of my DonnaKay model, which, of course, is named after my wife.
The scrolls you see in the face of the guitar are inlays of ebony dust and epoxy. I meticulously cut the lines in by hand, then fill them with the dust/epoxy mixture which I level, sand, and finish over once the epoxy has cured completely. It's a tedious process, but it yields a nice line that can't be rubbed or even sanded off. The angular scrolled "J" on my 6-in-line headstocks such as the one on this instrument are also executed in this way.
basswood w/big leaf maple top, ebony inlay, custom white pearloid pickguard
Neck: hard maple w/drop-down 6-in-line headstock, walnut backplate, ebony inlay, moderate V carve, slightly assymetrical
Fretboard: East Indian rosewood, 22 EVO gold frets, 25 1/2" scale, 12" radius, Mother-of-Pearl sidemarkers
Nut: graphite, 1.70" width
Switching: volume control and 3-way switch
Tuners: gold Gotoh 6-in-line
Finish: aniline dye under hand-rubbed Tru-oil
This is a brand new guitar, though built several years ago. As a fretless instrument, it had been sitting patiently waiting for the right player to come along and show it some love. Now, it sports brand new EVO gold frets and MOP sidemarkers and I'm offering it for sale at a demo price so that it can find a good home. I'll even swap out the current P90s for either Searcy String Works P90s or Wolfetone P90s. Your choice.
Drop me a note with any questions you may have or to inquire about reserving/purchasing this instrument.
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