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Thread: KM900 neck heel question

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    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default KM900 neck heel question

    I just acquired a KM900 and noticed that the heel looks like it's made with two pieces of wood. Is this common for the KM900?

    Here are a couple of pictures that show the seam in the heel area.
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    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”


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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Greg...I own one of earlier KM-900`s and mine has a solid one piece neck and heel...If yours is a used one it may be that someone tried to install a strap button on the heel and the wood split so they had a repair job done on it...Other KM-900 owners will probably chime in and let you know if theirs is like that, I have only seen the one that I own so I can`t say for sure if others came from the factory like that or not...Doesn`t seem like Ky would ship something like that though....

    Willie

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    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    I'm pretty sure it came from the factory this way. The color and finish match perfectly. I also can't imagine attaching a strap button that low on the heel.
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    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    That has to be a repair; they've not managed to match the fit of the binding.

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    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    The fit of the binding is perfect and the finish is smooth in the area. What you see is the flash reflection.
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    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Oops. Repost.
    Last edited by G. Fisher; Apr-28-2012 at 3:34pm.
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”


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    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Oops. Repost
    Last edited by G. Fisher; Apr-28-2012 at 3:35pm.
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”


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    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Looking at the side shot at full resolution, one can clearly see not only the upper join, but a lower one maybe one millimetre above the binding. The section between that lower join and the binding is of variable thickness, and not smoothly finished, unlike the rest of the instrument. The binding thickness also varies in that area. I've enlarged the relevant section of the picture.
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    The end on shot shows the same when viewed full size.

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    Registered User Dave Weiss's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Greg, lots of mandolins are like that. There would be an awful lot of wood wasted if the heel, neck and peghead were from one piece of wood. Look closely at where the peghead meets the neck and see if you can see the splice up there ...
    >>>===> Dave

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    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    The finish is completely smooth with no bumps at all.

    That's what I was thinking too Dave. They had a good piece of wood and just needed a little piece to make it work. It sounds great anyway so maybe that has added to the tone.
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Quote Originally Posted by houseworker View Post
    Looking at the side shot at full resolution, one can clearly see not only the upper join, but a lower one maybe one millimetre above the binding.
    I agree. Something happened there. That is absolutely not typical of factory binding work on a KM-900/1000/1500 series. Seems very odd to me. While a 2-part heel is quite common as a wood saving measure (especially on guitars) the curious feature here (as houseworker illustrates) is the binding. Normally, on these mandolins, it is pretty much flawless. Did something go wrong in manufacture? Or was it a post-shipping repair? It is certainly not normal, however, on these.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    If it plays fine,forget it. It's no less valid a way of constructing a neck that having the headstock made from 3 pieces of wood butt-jointed together to give the width. It might simply be that the binding wasn't totally 100 % correct,but i agree,it's not usually like that on the KM900's shown on here,
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    I thought by now a dealer that sells the KM-900`s would have responded with some info, I`m sure if KY made them this way then some dealer must have had some pass through their shop....

    If someone that didn`t know how to install a strap button properly they might have tried to drill through the little "Nipple" on the back and into the bottom of the heel and in doing that the wood split and they had it repaired....Thats just a guess but some people just try things without any knowledge of what it involves or what they are doing....If it sounds OK to you then I wouldn`t fret over it....If there is a KY dealer in your area take it to them and see what they have to say about it....

    Good luck with it.....Willie

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    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Mystery solved.

    I the checked with the original owner and he received the mandolin new with the two piece heel.
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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Looks like a typical neck pull to me. Could mean more trouble ahead. Watch it closely.

  16. #16
    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    As I stated before there's nothing wrong with the heel or neck.
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”


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    Registered User Dave Weiss's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    Looks like a typical neck pull to me. Could mean more trouble ahead. Watch it closely.
    Sounds like a typical leg pull to me. Good one
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  19. #19
    Registered User Dave Weiss's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Oops, egg on my face , but still not something that I'd get all wound up about...
    >>>===> Dave

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    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Quote Originally Posted by G. Fisher View Post
    As I stated before there's nothing wrong with the heel or neck.
    Except that it's got a very visible repair to the heel, judging by the photos you posted. I very much doubt Saga sold it in that condition, unless it was as a heavily discounted 'second'. Because the quality of the repair is uncertain, so too is the reliability of the neck joint. It may not have affected the playability, but it has certainly affected the value of the instrument, and you should have paid well under the normal market price for it.

    You haven't said where you acquired it, but I'd be wary of placing too much trust in the original owner's explanation.

  21. #21
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Almeira - Many thanks for the link to John Hamlett's neck (head) block re-build - masterly work !!,
    Ivan
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  22. #22
    Long , Strange Trip Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    I'll second the thanks for the Hamlett neck block rebuild, good to see how it is done correctly
    Jim Richmond

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    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I'll second the thanks for the Hamlett neck block rebuild, good to see how it is done correctly
    Likewise. I find myself in awe of that level of craftsmanship.

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Thanks for the Hamlett link too. What I see in his 2nd photo is what I see in the OP 2nd and 3rd photo. I've seen 100's of neck pulls and this is how it starts. It could remain stable or it could continue to get worse as changing humidity and air conditions change. Leave that mandolin strung up to standard in a car trunk on a hot summer day and I bet it gets worse. It did not come from Saga this way.
    Wise men know what they see and say what they know.

  25. #25
    Robert Fear Folkmusician.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM900 neck heel question

    Just based on the pics, I am in agreement with F5Loar. The neck heal being two piece is no big deal and I imagine it came from the factory that way. It does look like the neck is starting to pull loose though. If the finish is not cracking at the seam (as it appears to be in the images), then no worries.
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