Kentucky Master Models KM 1000, KM1500, KMDawg, KM600

  1. GTison
    Welcome to the discussion of these fun Mandolins. I have had mine since I purchased it New at Sabine Music in Gainesville, FL in 1984. The Serial number of this KM1000 is " 212 09 ".
    It is pretty loud and responsive. Still looks good and it is very easy to play. It has a real high neck set and the saddle is very high as well. The K in Kentucky doesn't have a long tail like some.

    List yours too!

    Especially if you have purchase date and Serial numbers!!
  2. mandotopia
    I have KM-1000 serial #106-14 purchased used in 1986. I believe it is from '79-'80 era but do not know for sure. Iam very happy w/sound. Clean but not real woody but I do not want a real woody sound.
  3. GTison
    Got to play a KM1500 from '86 I think. It was very responsive. Loud. Kinda like my KM1000 in that it didn't show as much bass response but the trebles were very cutting. It was tuned in the "GetupJohn" tuning, so I didn't get to play it much. Thanks to the owner for letting me see and play it. It had very flamey wood.
  4. hlebowi2
    I have a km1000 I got new in '84.
    John Sullivan from Portland took off the original lacquer finish, regraduated the top and back and varnished it, not long before he passed away a few years ago.
  5. RustyPickup
    I have 1983 KM Dawg (#83.12.17). I got her from Mandolin Brothers. She has a nice radius fretboard, and a very unusual sounding a-course, and prefers heavy LaBella strings. I think after they stopped making Dawgs--I heard they only made 45--they called them KM-2000s. I saw one once, but wasn't sure if it was just a KM Dawg without the name. They owner said that wasn't so, but I didn't have a chance to look especially closely. Anybody have ideas? Anyway, I'm glad the Kentuckys now have their own forum. Thanks, all.
  6. Mario D'Orrico
    Mario D'Orrico
    I have KM-1000 serial 07080103 purchased new in 2008 from The Acoustic Music Company in Brighton, UK. I am really happy for this mandolin. It has a great sound and incredible chop to be an chinese hand made mandolin.
  7. dan in va
    dan in va
    As of December '09, I'm the 3rd owner of a KM-1000, #'86.4.xx. The neck shape is superb and has good volume and a balanced tone. I'm thinking to get the fretboard extension bobbed soon.

    I'm looking for a Japanese made Kentucky mondola - can anybody help me find one?

    Good to meet y'all.....dan
  8. flightmedic
    Simular to Dan in VA, back in Dec '09 I found a KM-1500 in the Cafe classified's near by and was able to visit it, play it and ultimately purchase it. It is s/n 91602. I researched it by s/n and interestingly enough it shows up in the message archive as being sold at least 4 times. This "girl" has been around the block. I am very happy with her, and she's a "keeper". I have played a 1912 Gibby A quite a bit and have a feel for that old instrument sound and this Kentucky has got "it"
  9. Aehle
    I just discovered this group. I have KM-1000 and a KH-1300.
    KM-1000 Mandolin Serial Number: 84.9.34
    KH-1300 Mandola Serial Number: 84.11.42
    I assume the are from 1984?
  10. dan in va
    dan in va
    A search will turn up some good threads that have some serial # info. Aehle, according to these old posts, your mandos are 1984 vintage. You may already have read your # is in a code of: year.month.number made that month. There are lots of other #'s out there that don't conform to this scheme, and if there's a pattern it's a mystery. However, there are some random #'s with some owners' recollection of years bought.
  11. Aehle
    I wonder if there are any records of production numbers of all the models?
  12. dan in va
    dan in va
    It would be great if someone could share that info....if it's even known. I'll surely post it here if I ever find out.
  13. Aehle
    I've been compiling a list of serial numbers and known dates of new purchase. This is an attempt to sort out the Japanese Kentucky serial numbers. Send me you serial number, the model of the mandolin, mandola, or mandocello and other information that will help date the instrument.
    At this time I have over 30 instruments on the list.
    Mike Aehle
  14. Aehle
  15. dan in va
    dan in va
    Do any of you have a Kentucky MM that has had its fretboard extension bobbed?

    I thought long and hard about this and worked on my pickin' technique to minimize pick click but decided it would be an improvement and increase playing enjoyment. Scooping and putting in faux frets seemed silly and the black tongue looks ugly to my eye. So it's down the road with John Hamlett, who will do the deed, bring the binding across at the 22nd fret, put on a new bridge and Monteleone style tailpiece, dress the frets and set it up. I'll let you know how it comes up.
  16. blubarb
    Now you may want to throw me out of this group because I don't know where this mando fits, but here goes. I bought this KM-500S mando new today 31st March, 2010 with serial # 20755. It says made in Japan on a sticker behind headstock. Great tone, but I have never heard of the 500S, just loved the tone.
  17. Doppelstopper
    I own a KM-1500 with serial number 83.12.13.
    As I was told, it was built 1983 and sold 1984 at the Frankfurt International Music Fair, Germany, in spring 1984 to Sam Hain, a very good German mandolin player. I bought it in October 2006 and need no other F-Style since then. Players like Ashby Frank (Special Consensus) or Andy Owens checked it out and were really impressed. If you want to have a look at it:
  18. Tony Avitua
    Tony Avitua
    I just received my new KM-1000 Master Model two days ago, and I am very happy with it so far. I need to figure out the secret to eliminating the pick click I already knew about. A friend told me that the spot I should strike the strings at is right over the last 1-1.5 inches of the extended fretboard. As a result, I hear the pick click as I play. If I move to the end of the fretboard, the clicks are gone, but I can detect a difference in the sound. I don't know how to tell the year, but the serial number is 09090517. I uploaded a couple pictures to my profile, and one to the group album.
  19. rickwilliams
    I got my Kentucky in September of 2003. It is a KM25th made on August 8, 2003. The serial number is 030001. It has done well in many a bluegrass jam session.
  20. flightmedic
    pictures... I bet the others would love to see some pics. Also what is the whole story on the KM25th. Sounds like an interesting mandolin.
  21. Wastafair
    Hi everybody,
    I am a newcomer here at the cafe
    I apologize for my bad english
    To Mario D'Orrico : I've got he next one !! I'm the owner of the KM 1000 # 07080104 !
    Also bought new at TAMCO in Brighton (in 2009). They nicely scooped the fretboard extension for me before delivery.
    I am very happy with this mando : good volume, very well balanced, nice woody tone. On the other hand, I think the frets are not wide enough and seem to wear out rather quickly.
    I have been amazed how the sound has been transformed since I've got the mandolin. I know that the subject of "opening up" is questioned here in the forum, with believers and critics, but, with this experience I am now convinced these things happen !
    This is the back of my instrument, I imagine it is very closed to yours Mario ?
  22. edance
    what are the sound diference between the 1000 and 1500?
  23. BIGDAD
    Hi all, Just adding another KM-1500/sn 91603, I think I got her at a good time while the economy is trying to recharge. I just finished setting her up with a few tweeks. She is a Killer -Loud and Proud . lol
  24. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Hi, I'm Michael and new to this group! I've had this old mandolin since the late 80s. I bought it used from a music store on the central coast of California for $300. It's a model KM600 and the serial number is: 84.5.29. If I understand correctly, that would make this a Japanese made mandolin from May of 1984. This is one great sounding mandolin. All I've every done to it is refit a new bridge that I bought from a musical parts supply house. The color has darkened over the years and I use D'Addario EXP75 Medium heavy strings on it for a good Bluegrass sound.

  25. lsisco
    Hey I just bought a used Kentucky KM-1000 last month and the serial # is 07080112. The #is very close to Mario's and Westafair's as noted above. If you two purchased them new in 2009 mine would probably have been built later on that year or the next. I'm not sure how many they were making per year around that time. I'm curious if yours have opened up any more over the last couple of years of playing??
  26. Werner Jaekel
    Werner Jaekel
  27. houseworker
    Hi, just bought a new KM-1000B, number looks to be 11060613 (not easy to read!).
  28. lsisco
    Welcome to the group. Hope you enjoy your new KM1000
  29. almeriastrings
    I'm the owner of the KM 1000 # 07080104 !

    Just to keep things straight, this one is now living with me where it joins KM-1000 08120336.

    07080104 was actually made in 2007.
    08120336 is a 2008.

    There were a few minor changes between those years. Sometime towards the end of 2007 they changed the tailpiece plating from 'shiny' to matt to be a closer match to the finish on the tuner metalwork, for example.
  30. motorpool
    i have a km-dawg 85914 which i purchased from david grissman in the late 80s.... he said it was new....the dawg....haha...cause now i find out from ya'll that it was made in 85........theres a little sticker on the back of the head that says made in japan.... those guys can make a mandolin whew
  31. Paul Edwards
    Paul Edwards
    Just got a KM-1500 a while back.. seems to be 106044.. just throwing mine in the mix
  32. Troubadour
    Received a new (2011 model) KM-1000B Blacktop (Serial# 1101-0654) here yesterday and I'm slowly adjusting to it. Thought I'd join-up just to stay current.
  33. Mike Scott
    Mike Scott
    I received a brand new KM 1500 (varnish) from TMS a few days ago. Beautiful wood, even better tone and of course the set up is perfect thanks to The Mandolin Store. This is my second Kentucky MM. My first mandolin was a 2008 Kentucky KM 1000 that I sold when I mistakenly was not going to play mandolin any more. I love this new one - I never say never, but I won't be parting with this one any time soon. I will put up some photos when I get back to where my camera is.
  34. mandolinxtc
    I purchased a used KM-1000 around 1997 said to have been originally purchased around 1980. Serial# 110 12. Any knowledge of date would be welcomed. Thank's in advance!
  35. Pete Counter
    Pete Counter
    Joined this group when I got my KM-1500 about two months ago. I uploaded pictures but I have scooped the extention and drilled the endpin for a k&k internal pickup. I am still completely happy with this mandolin, fit, finish, tone and playability make this the best mandolin I ever had and I will never part with it. My only complaint may be the inside A string I have to fiddle with almost constantly to keep it in tune. I have tweeked the nut and bridge and sometime its fine for days and then back to constantly out! Anyway its a varnish model from TMS and the serial is 12030076.
    Hello Kentucky MM Enthusiasts,
    I'm pretty new to the whole mandolin thing. I've been looking for another, not too expensive mandolin for a while now. Most of the advice offered on this forum suggests that buying 'used' is the smart thing to do. I've heard and read good things about the 'Sumi-Era' (notice I don't claim that Sumi himself personally hand sculped each of these instruments) Kentucky Master Models.
    I played as many new and used Eastmans, Webers, M.K.s, Washburns and Morgan Monroes as I could get my hands on. Nothing really struck me as anything I just had to have. I found a used KM-1500 at a relatively decent price. I debated about spending a few bucks more and buying a new one, but opted for the old. So far, I really like it.
    It's got some small issues, mostly from sitting in the case for 20 yrs.+. I'm hoping, with the help of the folks on this forum, to slowly bring it back to its full glory.
    Mine is #84.1.xx. I am told that I am the third owner. I know the names of the first two owners and the history.
    I'm glad there is a little 'group' here with a common interest.
  37. papabear075
    Hi All,

    Just purchased my KM-1500 from TMS and it is on it's way! This is an upgrade from my first mandolin I got as a birthday gift about a year ago which was a Fender FM-100 so I am super stoked to start playing the Kentucky. I was originally looking at the 1000B but TMS had such a great deal in this one I couldn't pass it up. I'll post pics and SN when it comes in.

    Happy Pickin'
  38. Pete Counter
    Pete Counter
    Awesome Dave, I know your gonna be happy! Im still thrilled with mine!
  39. GTison
    Originally this tread and Group was for the earlier Master Model Kentucky Mandolins. Lots of folks have started posting about their newer models. Part of the reason for the Group was to share information about the 80's models because of lack of serial number data. Sumi has said that the serial numbers do not match the dates of manufacture. (Also He was only there during a certain period.) Try to keep it vintage Kentucky.
  40. GTison
    I did "unapprove" some messages. I was going to move them to the new discussion but I don't know how. soo... Sorry no harm intended.
  41. Pete Counter
    Pete Counter
    Sorry, I didnt see anything about this group being just for vintage kentucky... With the low members and scant discussions as it is.. i would think being open to all Kentucky Master Models would keep the group alive, but thats ok.. good luck with your group!
  42. Jim Nollman
    Jim Nollman
    Latecomer here. Someone needs to tell me if i make the cut for this group since I play an early 1980s Kentucky 850. I bought it on EBay in 2010 from its original owner. Since then I've done some work on it including adding a radius to the fingerboard, EVO frets, an Osage Orange burl pick guard. The action is low, low, low, and it plays, sounds, and especially looks as nice as an F5 at 3 times the price.
  43. Guitfiddle Mike
    Guitfiddle Mike
    Wow, no posts since 2014. I guess I'm a little late to the party as usual. I just acquired a KM-1500, Serial number 89302 (hand written on gold label). Was told it was an 80's Made in Japan model. I added pics to a thread in the general forum. Can't seem to do so in groups. Any info or confirmation of what I really have would be great. Can't seem to find an 89xxx serial via search.
  44. Guitfiddle Mike
    Guitfiddle Mike
    I have it on good authority that my KM-1500 is likely from March 1989.
    Thanks Mike!
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