Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Ktone Mandolins

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    5

    Default Ktone Mandolins

    I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on Ktone mandolins.
    I did read about the inexpensive mandolins on Ebay, but still interested in the Ktone.
    There was some good reviews about the seller, but just would like some more
    info on these mandolins.
    Thank You.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,879

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    I'm a longtime and frequent poster of the Cafe and I've never heard of Ktone. Some quick Google searching didn't turn up much other than a banjo hangout post that mentioned buying one on Ebay for $130. I'd recommend avoiding.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    Thanks for the input
    whskywolf

  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    11,354

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    With a little more Googling, found several references to K-Tone, as a line of cheap instruments sold on eBay, emphasis on distinctive looking solid-bodies: they have a guitar shaped like an AK-47 assault rifle, a bass shaped like an eagle, etc. etc. Prices in the $100-150 range. General reviews were on the lines of "I didn't expect much, so I wasn't disappointed."

    One Harmony Central reviewer did offer some very relevant opinions on customer support by the manufacturer, whoever that may be:
    Good luck finding ANYTHING online about this bass or KTone. I often wonder why some instrument manufacturers choose to list absolutely NOTHING, such as brand name and / or serial number, on their products. Are they so ashamed or embarrassed at the extensive lack of quality and workmanship, that they want no one to know who manufactured the piece? Sure seems that way to me. Worst of all, choosing to remain anonymous provides NO customer support, which is about as low as a company should sink.

    Here's a link to the entire review; it pertains to an electric bass, but may give you some idea of the overall quality of the K-Tone line.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    Thank you all for the input. From what I have read I will steer away from these mandolins.
    whskywolf

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    The K-Tone Mandolin: I know that it has been awhile since the original posting – but as an owner of a K-Tone who was looking for information on the mandolin before purchase myself, I figured I could shed some light on the conversation.

    The K-Tone Mandolin is sold on E-Bay for just over $100. As far as cost, this is the cheapest mandolin I have found. It is manufactured in China and ships fully set-up.

    Quality: The soundboard is made from laminated compressed woods – This is not the ideal spruce top. The toning keys are okay (not great, but they do the job). After initially replacing the strings, you’ll find you have to tune the mandolin almost constantly. However, after about a week the mandolin stays in tune for the most part. Although this is frustrating, the constant tuning of the mandolin trains the beginner ear to the proper pitch quickly. The neck is mahogany and the fretboard is maple (painted black to look like ebony – you will see the color wear the longer you own the mandolin). The neck is straight and the workmanship is neat and tight. The bridge is cheap, but the feet do sit flatly on the mandolin as they should. Finally, the tailpiece on my mandolin is ever-so-slightly angled. This effects the sound quality of the mandolin overall.

    Good: As a new mandolin player without a lot of money to invest in an instrument I wasn’t sure that I would like, the price is perfect. If it wasn’t for the K-Tone, I doubt I would have started playing because of the cost of the instrument. It is also not a very loud mandolin and lacks the punch of the pricier models. This is good for apartment living and for all those who live with the new Mandolinist. Also, because it is shipped fully set-up, the new Mandolinist can begin to play right of the box (To be honest, I didn’t even know a mandolin had to be set-up at the time I received the instrument). Another point to be made: Because of the lower quality of the mandolin, you really have to develop your technique to get the right sound. The increased technique will make you a better mandolin player overall. Finally, if you are just starting out, some of the money you save on the mandolin can be used for a higher quality digital tuner, a good metronome, and the beginner instructional books (with CD) that will help you develop your playing and prevent you from getting bored or overwhelmed with the mandolin.

    Bad: If you are an experienced mandolin player who is looking to purchase a new instrument, you will notice the lower quality of the instrument and be dissatisfied with the purchase. I imagine this would also be the case for experienced musicians that are looking to learn the mandolin. However, if you a looking to purchase a mandolin to keep yourself practicing, the K-tone does the job and will keep you playing until you can afford a better model. Finally, though this does not have to do with the K-tone itself, I received a lot of Spam mail from China Sellers after the purchase of this mandolin. It is a small inconvenience for a purchase that I would make twice.

  7. The following members say thank you to Nonni for this post:


  8. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    11,354

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    So, to summarize: not a very good mandolin, but decent for the price. As I quoted from other reviewers of K-Tone instruments, "I didn't expect much, so I wasn't disappointed."

    Nonni, I applaud you for your "glass is half full" attitude -- a not-so-good instrument leads you to perfect your technique in order to get a passable sound. The money you save by buying a "cheapo" can be spent on accessories, instructional materials, etc. If a mandolin doesn't project, well, then it won't be so loud as to bother others. And you apparently found the factory "set-up," which I doubt was given a lot of time or expertise, acceptable for your purposes.

    I would hazard a guess that most mandolin players started out on a low-end student model, and it's always good to find one that's at least playable and non-discouraging to the beginner. Glad that it worked out for you!
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  9. #8
    Confused... or?
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Over the Hudson & thru the woods from NYC
    Posts
    1,338

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    And the half-glass gets even fuller when you realize that you can bring it to the picnic, or the beach, or the 5-year-old nephew's house, or even the next forest fire without too much risk!
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  10. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    I found a KTone on eBay and ordered it. I'm a newbie to mandolin but have played guitar and bass for a long time. The fret size difference is a bit to get used to but other than that the mandolin seemed to be pretty good for the price.

    Both E strings ended up breaking when I tried to get it up to tune so I had a 6 string until I could get them replaced. It looks like the factory only used 8 of the 12 string retainers so I set the new E strings up with the left turns towards the tuners.

    The new D'addario's got to pitch without breaking. I'm not sure why the original ones did.

    Overall, for the price the instrument is playable for a newbie. I'll let you know if I decide soon that I should have went for a used Fender or Ibanez once I spend some time learning the basics on this one.

  11. #10
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    6,922

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    You spent an awfully long time last year agonizing over a mandolin purchase last year, I thought you bought one then.
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

  12. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    An update to my earlier post.

    Now that I have a vast amount of experience with the mandolin (a few months now)

    The Ktone is not quite as playable as I thought. The action is really high a the lowest setting and any attempt to lower the bridge results in more buzzing. The 2nd fret has a buzz on the low A and High F#.

    Does anyone have a good idea if this is something a professional can resolve for about $40 - $50?

    Thanks,
    Duane

  13. #12
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    3,042
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    I would not put more good money after bad, to be honest...... do a bit of reading on basic instrument setup. Check the neck for proper relief and look for raised, improperly set frets. The bridges on these cheap things sag... as do the tops eventually. Put the $50 in a savings fund towards one of the Loar/Eastman/Kentucky A models. A whole different level.

  14. #13
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Effingham IL
    Posts
    925

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    I was wasting time at a music store in St.Louis Thursday. Played an A-style "Kentucky", nice @ $399. Played an A-style "The Loar", really nice @ $499. Also an F-style "The Loar" @ $1099. A-style "The Loar" was easier to play and just a better sounding mando that the F-style.

    But when we have posts that ask if a $4099.00 mandolin (like the "Breedlove" A-style I played) is really worth and plays better than a $499.00 mando. YES, YES a thousand times YES!!!!!!!!! Talk about sssaaaawwweeeeeett!! The butter was melted people. I could still hear the last chord ringing in it 5 minutes after I put it back on the wall... Sustain... it had it and more.

    Ok, I liked it, I liked it a lot! Yes, save your money, save it fast and UPGRADE!

  15. #14
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    3,042
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Ktone Mandolins

    The point is that at that at least the $399/$499 mandolins are properly made using good designs, decent materials, and are properly put together. They do last. The Ktones are not, and don't.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •