In response to the folk boom of the late '50s and the rise of rock n' roll in the early '60s, every department store and mail-order catalog wanted to make sure they had plenty of guitars in stock. Mass-produced axes from brands like Harmony, Regal, Silvertone, and Kay may have looked the part and temporarily satisfied the desires of aspiring songsters and rockers. But these instruments were entry-level at best. Even though some were made out of the right materials, they were never actually built to be functional instruments that would ever tune and play properly.
Fortunately, Scott Baxendale and his team of luthiers in Athens, Ga., recognize the potential of these guitars and regularly remanufacture them. In doing so, they totally, re-build, re-brace, and re-voice these instruments, giving them new life and world class tone with no shortage of authentic mojo. These inspiring instruments are an exceptional value, and they're an incredible way to recycle and repurpose old axes.
This Baxendale Conversion started its life as a '50s Kay L3113. In its day, it was a serviceable entry-level parlor guitar with a cool sunburst finish. Despite its solid spruce top, this guitar was never built to last, so it likely became a wall-hanger at best as the action became unplayable over the years. But because of its short 24-1/2" scale length and slim neck profile, Baxendale has discovered this model makes a great fit for an Octave Mandolin Conversion.
This Baxendale ‘50s Kay L3113 Octave Mandolin Conversion has been totally re-braced to a scalloped, hand-voiced X-brace pattern. It is set up with 8 strings to accommodate Octave mandolin tuning. It also sports new frets, a new solid rosewood bridge with a bone saddle, a new 1-9/16"-wide bone nut, and brand new eight-on-a-plate tuning machines. Thanks to the refret, new bridge, and meticulous setup work, it plays like a brand new instrument. The 24-1/2" scale length can be a challenging stretch, but the extra tension gives this Octave a powerful, throaty voice with open, guitar-like resonance.
This Baxendale '50s Kay L3113 Octave Mandolin Conversion has mojo for days and the sound and playability to back it up. It's amazing how Baxendale is able to breathe new life and inspiration into worn-out old instruments like this Kay. This Baxendale Conversion includes a vibey period chipboard case. Every Baxendale Conversion includes a lifetime warranty.