Re: Help for choice mandolin....
Kentucky used to use "S" suffix to indicate an all-solid-wood mandolin. This could be one of the older "snakehead" (tapered headstock) Kentucky instruments made in Japan, before production was shifted first to Korea, then to China.
Here's a 2013 thread on the subject of the KM-180's lack of a truss rod. There are uncounted thousands of mandolins out there that are built without truss rods, and probably most of them never suffered from not having them. On the other hand, a truss rod can be very helpful if the neck changes, warping from too much string tension, humidity changes, or whatever.
Your paying the equivalent of $165 US for the mandolin -- with a case -- which is a very good price for an all-solid-wood mandolin from a generally-respected brand. I'd say that chances are the lack of a truss rod won't affect its playability, but that's not an ironclad guarantee.
Overall, seems a good choice. Let us know your experience with the KM-180S.
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