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Thread: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Nice looking Weber Coyote in the classifieds for $2450, NFI on my part, just living vicariously through other people's purchases!

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/110990#110990
    Jill, I do that multiple times daily.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    As for the Mando shop in Tallahassee. I went there once, it was a very uncomfortable experience. He seemed to be annoyed that I was there. He has nice mandolins but is reluctant to let you play them. He had a nice Collings I was really interested in and wanted to play. He went on and on about the price I informed I could read. As for the budget issue, I told him I didn't have one, if I found one I liked I would buy it. I got so frustrated I just left and have never went back.

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  5. #28
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Skaggs2.0 View Post
    Howdy y'all,
    I am wanting to upgrade from my Kentucky KM630s, and I need some suggestions for mandolins to look for.

    Here's a few things I'm looking for in a mandolin:
    (1) Must be an F style,
    I don't need a lecture on how I can get a better mandolin for cheaper if I went with an A...lol
    I have always not cared for the look of an A, and having switched from an A to an F back in 2003 when I got my Kentucky, I have come to realize that the scroll hanger makes it a bit more stable when playing standing up, because it's hinging offset from the center versus connected at the base of the neck. So I have made up my mind, I want an F style.

    (2) Ease of Playability. I played a Buckeye mandolin years ago that was made sometime in the mid 80s and it was incredible as far as playability, fretting felt effortless, and it was quite a bit easier to play than my Kentucky, which was set up pretty well. I also played a USA made Flatiron one time that played pretty well, but it was not quite the caliber of the Buckeye. The Buckeye felt like I was playing a dream… If there is such a thing… LOL

    (3) As far as tone, I haven't played enough good mandolins to adapt much of a taste for a specific color of tone, so coming from my Kentucky, I think I could get used to a few different types of tone, as long as it's clear.
    It needs to have plenty of volume tho, I tend to be struggling to have my mandolin get heard when playing with my Bluegrass band, I need something with some punch to it.

    (4) Fit and finish/quality craftsmanship/close attention to detail, etc. I am an artist, and a perfectionist to an extent, so it bothers me to see shoddy work, crooked lines, etc.
    I say this because I was looking into Winky Hicks mandolins after hearing a guy play one that sounded awesome, but he seems to focus on the tone and getting it just right, and it doesn't seem like he puts much time into the small stuff like the inlays, binding around the scrolls, etc. and I don't think I can get past that.
    I see you are from Pensacola? If I have that correct, there is a place there on N Pace Blvd, I believe called Blues Angel Music. Don't know what they are like, but I do know they are an Eastman Mandolin dealer. He has several Eastman models he shows on his web site. One in particular I noticed was an Eastman MD915. Used (store demo) for around 2 grand. Kind of distressed finish. AAA flamed maple and Adirondack Spruce. I think new they are about $2500.00. Might be worth a look? Looks like they are open 7 days a week. (850) 457-7557.
    Eastman's always sounded pretty good to me. Their lower end models always were a little thin, on the high end, to my ear. Don't know about their high end stuff. As for their looks though, from what I've seen, they are especially careful to detail. Especially in their high end models. With a good set up this one might be a pretty good deal?

    OOPS! Just saw your post. Looks like you played the Eastman's. Sounds like the high end models are a little thin, just like the 615 I'm in the process of unloading. I can vouch for the Bruce Weber built Weber's. Mine is a true "Banjo Killin' Beast." A little out of your price range but I can imagine any Bruce made Weber in your range would be a killer.
    Last edited by willkamm; May-20-2017 at 3:06pm.
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  7. #29
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by willkamm View Post
    I see you are from Pensacola? If I have that correct, there is a place there on N Pace Blvd, I believe called Blues Angel Music. Don't know what they are like, but I do know they are an Eastman Mandolin dealer. He has several Eastman models he shows on his web site. One in particular I noticed was an Eastman MD915. Used (store demo) for around 2 grand. Kind of distressed finish. AAA flamed maple and Adirondack Spruce. I think new they are about $2500.00. Might be worth a look? Looks like they are open 7 days a week. (850) 457-7557.
    Eastman's always sounded pretty good to me. Their lower end models always were a little thin, on the high end, to my ear. Don't know about their high end stuff. As for their looks though, from what I've seen, they are especially careful to detail. Especially in their high end models. With a good set up this one might be a pretty good deal?

    OOPS! Just saw your post. Looks like you played the Eastman's. Sounds like the high end models are a little thin, just like the 615 I'm in the process of unloading. I can vouch for the Bruce Weber built Weber's. Mine is a true "Banjo Killin' Beast." A little out of your price range but I can imagine any Bruce made Weber in your range would be a killer.
    Yes I played those Eastmans, actually played them again today to see if they had opened up any, but yes they (the 815 and 915) were both "thin" sounding. They both play decent, and if I didn't have mine I would seriously consider the 815, it's a blemished model, and I could pick it up for $1200 or so, but when I got home and played mine again, it played and sounded better...again. Mine has just really opened up, and I don't know how much those will open up, or if the "thin" sound would change much with a different nut and bigger frets (like mine has). Not worth it to me cause I already have something that plays "almost" as good as them.
    Yeah that's what I want is a "killer", I just don't want to break the bank...but I guess that's what everybody wants isn't it? Haha

  8. #30
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    I have a A style f hole Girouard mandola, which I bought from Carter's, when I had no intent for buying, as I was looking at high end mandolins 10k and up. I was in the front room and saw Girouard and picked it up an played it to hear what all the Cafe people were talking about. Was easy to play and had a deep rich tone that haunted me all that evening. I came back the next day and bought it, having to put an Old Wave (which I really love) up for sale to pay for it). I have not played one of their F model's but listening to the video of one at The Music Emporium in Boston, they sound awesome. From what I see, you get a lot of instrument for the money with any Girouard. I would not hesitate to pull the trigger on another. Last I looked there were 4 or so at The Music Emporium. Here is the link to all 4:
    http://themusicemporium.com/mandolin...ard--Mandolins
    Last edited by red7flag; May-23-2017 at 5:58pm. Reason: Typo
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  10. #31
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    Hey y’all, I was looking over my old post and realized I sounded kinda harsh, and snarky (not towards anyone in particular, but towards an idea) the idea of getting an A style to get more mandolin for the money. I am sorry to anyone who took that as me being a jerk, I try to not be a jerk all the time, but I was probably feeling jerkish at the time, and I’m sorry for the way that came across.
    I had read a few comments in my research where at least one person had the attitude that people who chose an F style over A style were wasteful and too picky, and I guess that made me mad...haha
    Anyhow, now that that’s off my chest, I feel a little better!
    Jesse Kinman

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  12. #32
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    And to anyone interested in an update on my mandolin acquisition journey, I’ve decided to give Tyler White a shot, I plan on ordering a custom mandolin from him in 6 months or so, and to tie me over until then I have a budget of no more than $1000 (approved by my wife too...lol) to get something better than my current Kentucky, as a Christmas present to myself!
    Jesse Kinman

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    2003 Kentucky KM630S
    Tyler White custom F5 #16 coming soon!
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  13. #33

    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    I'd get a 900 or higher Kentucky, or hope to find an older Weber Hylite.

    Another thought.....a teens Gibson would be a great partner for a modern F style.
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  15. #34
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I'd get a 900 or higher Kentucky, or hope to find an older Weber Hylite.

    Another thought.....a teens Gibson would be a great partner for a modern F style.
    I just ordered a KM900 from The Mandolin Store on Friday, can’t wait for it to get here!
    Jesse Kinman

    2017 Kentucky KM900
    2003 Kentucky KM630S
    Tyler White custom F5 #16 coming soon!
    Huss and Dalton RD-M

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  16. #35
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    as many have said on various posts over the last several years, your Kentucky 900 may need a bit of tweaking to optimize its potential. i believe Dennis and his crew will take it up from the level at which its finished in China, but it may benefit from a little more fine tuning once it arrives. shouldn't take more than some truss rod tweakage and perhaps a lowering of the action at the nut (by a qualified luthier) or the bridge (by you!). let us know how it all turns out!

  17. #36
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    It comes with a “pro setup” from The Mandolin Store, and I asked him to make it slightly lower than what they normally set it up as(medium/low). I’m hoping to not have to touch it, but it I must I can. He also said he’d “pick me out a good one”, which was nice of him. I’m really excited! I know I sound like a kid, but I’ve been playing on a KM630S since 2003, never could afford nuthin else, so this is a big step up for me!
    Jesse Kinman

    2017 Kentucky KM900
    2003 Kentucky KM630S
    Tyler White custom F5 #16 coming soon!
    Huss and Dalton RD-M

    https://www.youtube.com/user/kinmanknives

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    Congratulations! If you’re able to keep both, the 900 and your new White will make a nice pair!
    Chuck

  19. #38
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    My reason, (or rather one of my reasons) for talking my wife into letting me buy a better Kentucky mandolin to tie me over until I get the White, is that I know that after I spend $3.5k+ on the White, my wife’s response to me wanting to spend another $1k on a back up would be “Why do you think you need another mandolin?????” Hahahahaha
    Jesse Kinman

    2017 Kentucky KM900
    2003 Kentucky KM630S
    Tyler White custom F5 #16 coming soon!
    Huss and Dalton RD-M

    https://www.youtube.com/user/kinmanknives

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Upgrading from my Kentucky KM630s, need suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Skaggs2.0 View Post
    It comes with a “pro setup” from The Mandolin Store, and I asked him to make it slightly lower than what they normally set it up as(medium/low). I’m hoping to not have to touch it, but it I must I can. He also said he’d “pick me out a good one”, which was nice of him. I’m really excited! I know I sound like a kid, but I’ve been playing on a KM630S since 2003, never could afford nuthin else, so this is a big step up for me!
    I once asked Dennis to "pick out a good one" - a Kentucky KM1000 for a student of mine and believe me, it was indeed a "good'un"! As in "unbelievable" for a $1500 F5 mandolin! I'd say it's pretty rare to find such consistently good service from a retailer these days... and reports from everybody here on the Cafe seem to confirm it. So hats off to Dennis and the crew at The Mandolin Store... they have truly earned their stellar reputation.

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