SOLD: Kay Five String Double Bass Viol, S51 Model, 1943


Hello! Thank you for viewing one of our SOLD double bass listings!  This instrument is no longer for sale, but check out what’s currently available in our list of Vintage and Used Double Basses. Upton Bass is also the proud builder of new custom upright basses at every price point. We want to help you find the perfect bass!  Contact us at or call the shop at +1 (860) 535-9399

Kay S51 Five String Double Bass, 1943

This rare Kay 5 string has been carefully rebuilt by Upton Bass to preserve every detail of its original character.  A very fun American plywood upright bass ready for a new lifetime!


1943 Kay S-51 “Chubby Jackson” Five String Double Bass Viol, SN 11287

Label says Kay S-5-1, which was apparently handwritten “Bass” over a cello label. As it came from an original owner, long stored and recently revived by Upton Bass, it seems to have been unknown by the Kay Bass registry. So this debutante to the Kay legacy could well be one of the earliest S-51 CJ “Chubby Jackson” models extant.

We bought this Kay five string double bass in 2016 from a local musician whose father owned it since new, and it was falling apart! Although everything was peeling apart and becoming unglued, nothing was actually broken…so it was a good candidate for a rebuild.

We re-pressed the plates, fit a new bass bar, reset the neck and slowly, over the past two years, brought this bass back from the dead!

Upton Bass String Instrument Co. specializes in building award-winning custom double basses and offers accessories for the double bass. Upton Bass also services all instruments and bows of the violin family with world class restoration and repair, to view our online restoration portfolio visit

Upton Bass is ready to offer advice and answer any questions regarding double basses or related bass topics. Please contact UB at or call the shop at +1 (860) 535-9399. Hours of operation Tuesday through Saturday 10am – 6pm. The Workshop (The Barn) and showroom are located in Mystic, Connecticut conveniently between Boston and NYC.


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