One of the first Kay M-1 Bass Viols (i.e., upright basses) ever manufactured. The The Kay Bass and Cello Registry ( confirmed that it is Maestro series, built in Chicago in 1938, and appears to be in standard configuration. The Registry also said:

"The M-1 was Kay's flagship model from the beginning of bass and cello production in 1937 through the company's liquidation in '69. Characterized by its violin corners and rosewood fingerboard and appointments, it was the secondmost-popular model after the less expensive C-1. I estimate total M-1 production in the 12,000-13,000 range. This instrument has a three-piece reinforced neck, a legacy feature from the M-1 Alvin Hawes, Kay's original topline bass, which had been recently discontinued."

It sounds really great but obviously has a lot of scuffing and scratches. (From a previous owner, I'd like to emphasize.) I listed it as in good condition because it perfectly fits Reverb's definition: "Good condition includes items that are in fine working order, but have significant cosmetic imperfections."

A few years ago, I had the bass worked on by expert luthier David Wilson of Ashley Hammond in Issaquah, Washington. The upper part of the neck has a crack you can see in the last photo, and David said when it was initially repaired, they used the wrong kind of glue, so he repaired it with the correct glue.

As you can see in the pictures, there's an onboard mic installed by a previous owner. I didn't use it a lot, but it worked fine last time I did.

Comes with a Hercules stand and bow.

When I list instruments here, people always seem to ask why I'm selling. Sadly, I have physical issues that make it highly improbable I'll ever be able to play an upright again.


This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.Learn More.

Listed2 months ago
ConditionGood (Used)
Good condition items function properly but may exhibit some wear and tear.learn more
  • M-1 Bass Viol
  • 1938

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Son of Geezer

Seattle, WA, United States
Joined Reverb:2019

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