Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

  1. #1
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    After several months of consideration, I finally pulled the trigger on a new Kentucky KM-272. The mandolin arrived this past Monday, and I have been playing it consistently ever since. With that in mind, I thought that I would share some of my initial thoughts about the instrument - especially since there seem to be very few (if any) reviews on the internet:

    Construction and Aesthetics: Upon reasonable inspection of the mandolin, I can find no significant problems with fit, build, or finish. To be quick and concise, it should suffice to say that this is definitely a higher-end Chinese-built mandolin. I was first attracted to this mandolin because the look of the mandolin reminds me very much of my beloved 1929 Martin Style-20, and other similar Lyon & Healy mandolins from that era. Personally, I like to be 'different' - and this mandolin certainly looks and sounds 'different' than the scores of f-hole, sunburst and/or F-5 style mandolins that seem to permeate the mandolin world.

    Neck: Having never owned and/or played a Kentucky mandolin before, my only impressions came from fellow Café members who seemed to form a general consensus that Kentucky's have 'thick necks . . . and this instrument most certainly follows that apparent pattern. (Note that a 'thick' does not mean 'wide' - the girth is vertical from the fretboard-down, and not horizontal from side-to-side). For comparison sake, I will say that this neck is substantially 'thicker' than my Gibson, Washburn, Martin and The Loar - but very, very similar to my Eastman. To be honest, I found the thick neck a bit off-putting in the first moments of playing it, but even with my smallish hands/fingers, I easily adapted to it in less than 45 seconds.

    Action / Playability: After a proper set-up from the seller, the action on this mandolin is smooth, easy and consistent, all the way up and down the neck, with no dead spots. I think it is worth noting that, even though I play with a very light touch, the strings on this mandolin are not necessarily set as low as possible - and even with the strings at a slightly elevated level, I can still play it lightly, and have no problem with easy fretting. One of the nicer features about this mandolin is that the neck joins the body at the 14th fret, not at the 10th fret like most other 'A'-style/oval-hole mandolins. Although I don’t often play much above the 8th or 9th fret, on those occasions when I do need to get up higher on the neck, the extra access comes in very handy.

    Tone/Volume: With a price tag of $400, I was not expecting the 'woody' tone of a vintage Gibson oval-hole mandolin, but overall I would have to say that I am very satisfied. The volume and tone are very well balanced from string-to-string, without any distracting 'tubbiness' on the low end, or excessive sharpness on the high end. While I would not classify this mandolin as a 'banjo killer' I can say with complete confidence that the volume is very comparable to my Gibson F-5G. The sweet spot on this particular instrument seems to be 'A' and 'D' stings, when played from about the 4th to the 10th frets. The most astounding feature about this mandolin is the sustain . . . although I am really not sure if you would call it 'sustain'. Yesterday while playing a piece that relied heavily on the mandolin 'sweet spot' mentioned above, I noticed a type of reverb/echo coming from the instrument. My first instinct was to reach over and turn down the reverb on my amplifier . . . but the mandolin was not plugged in! The reverb sound was a totally natural acoustic effect coming from the sound hole. I was blown away! I have never experienced anything like this from any acoustic instrument that I have ever owned . . . and trust me, I have owned LOTS of them.

    Overall Impression: I have played other imported mandolins that were literally twice the price of the KM-272, but were not half as good. If you are looking to get into a decent oval-hole mandolin at a price that won't put a huge hole in your bank account, I would highly recommend checking out a Kentucky KM-272.

    I hope this helps.
    - 1929 Martin Style 20
    - 2015 Washburn M1SDL
    - 2016 Kentucky KM-272
    - 2017 Gretsch 9350 Park Avenue

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MikeZito For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    4,867

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    I have noticed here lately that there seems to be a lot of different Kentucky models being asked about and placed in the ads...I wonder how much difference there is in all of those models, some of the photos look the same as other models...I do know that everything higher than a 900 was said to be made in a different factory then the lesser numbers but I wonder if that still hold true?
    I hear a lot of good things about the so called lesser models...

    Willie

  4. #3
    Registered User Tom Hart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Ottawa Hills, OH
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    What a detailed, thorough review. Have thought often of buying a 272. This may be the push I need. Thank you.

  5. #4
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Thank you for the excellent review. Been wondering about the Kentucky oval hole models. This isn't helping me fight MAS. Might be a nice compliment to my A Jr.
    1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 2018 Big Muddy MW-0
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/

  6. #5

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    I had actually given up the mandolin and traded my last one towards a guitar. But I have been really missing the mandolin even though I'm not a great player. Been looking at them for a couple of weeks. I wanted an oval whole and I've always wanted a Kentucky. Your excellent review tipped off the fence. Ordered a KM272 today from Musicians Friend. I had a 10% off coupon and some reward points so I ended up with a great price. It should be here Tuesday or Wednesday. I need to stop reading this forum.

  7. #6
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    I played a 272 and thought it was great. Definitely had a great tone and volume... great review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences!
    aka: Spencer
    Eastman MD-305

    Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.”
    -anonymous

  8. #7
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dickson, TN
    Posts
    3,180

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Here is a link to a nice youtube review of the KM - 272 by Jimmy Gaudreau. This is a SAGA promotion piece, but you can tell he was genuinely impressed. Here you go:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOYt29BaCk8
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
    2011 Mowry GOM
    2013 Hester F4 #31
    2014 Ellis F5 #322
    2017 Collings MT2-O #3666
    2017 Nyberg Mandola #172

  9. #8
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Quote Originally Posted by red7flag View Post
    Here is a link to a nice youtube review of the KM - 272 by Jimmy Gaudreau. This is a SAGA promotion piece, but you can tell he was genuinely impressed. Here you go:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOYt29BaCk8
    Yes, that Jimmy Gaudreau review was VERY influential in my decision to pull the trigger on a KM-272. When you watch the other reviews that he did for SAGA, he doesn't look nearly as impressed with the other mandolins as he does with the 272. To me, his excitement for the 272 was very genuine . . . and now I know why!
    - 1929 Martin Style 20
    - 2015 Washburn M1SDL
    - 2016 Kentucky KM-272
    - 2017 Gretsch 9350 Park Avenue

  10. #9
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    I owned an early 272. Workmanship and playability (TMS set up) were exceptional. Tone wise it was pretty good too. I thinned out my mandolins to one ff hole and one oval hole and it lost out to my Morris, but it was a very nice one. I don't think you can go wrong for the $$$.
    Thanks, Mike


    "Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!"-The Dude

  11. #10
    Chu Dat Frawg Eric C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    568

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    I have one of these as well. It is a joy to play. One thing I should mention since the OP did write about the neck profile is that the neck profile on the 272 is night and day compared to my KM-950. It feels much thicker and more rounded than the sharp and thin V-profile of the 950. I was surprised initially and was put off as well. However after a few moments playing, I adapt and don't really notice it.

    Nice review, and I agree 100%.
    Kentucky KM950 and loving it.

  12. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kernersville, NC
    Posts
    2,344
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    My first mandolin was the KM171(I think this replaced that line). About $225 on amazon at the time. In a box with bridge in a baggie. It served me well and I have some fond memories playing late night on it. Loud and evenly balanced. Easy enough to play. I took it local to a guitar tech for setup and he said there was nothing he saw that needed tweaking. After I got my next mandolin I discovered that properly cut nut made a world of difference - so take it to a mandolin guy if you have work done local.

    I like the looks of the KM272 series - pretty sweet for the $$. Congrats!

  13. #12
    Registered User Kathy-a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Big Bend N. Fl.
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    A great review. I love my KM 272. It has truly enhanced my mandolin journey. It looks and plays beautifully. It's affordable and fun to play and learn with. Purchased mine from Elderly since it comes setup. Totally agree with MikeZito - it's well worth taking a chance on.
    P.S. As a baseball fanatic-love your avatar!

  14. #13
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Thanks for this. I decided to buy one based on your recommendation. Backordered at the moment, unless I wanted the KM-270 which is the same build but a sunburst finish. I prefer a natural finish, so I placed the order on the KM-272 with Elderly. With their current price and holiday specials and free shipping, it came out under $340! Should be here sometime in mid January. Looking forward to comparing it to the Breedlove Crossover OO that I have.

  15. #14
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Reviving an older thread by adding a recent audio/video sample. Hope it helps.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeBMkN5YcC8
    - 1929 Martin Style 20
    - 2015 Washburn M1SDL
    - 2016 Kentucky KM-272
    - 2017 Gretsch 9350 Park Avenue

  16. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MikeZito For This Useful Post:


  17. #15

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    I picked one of these up from elderly based on your vid, Mike and I am really pleased with the quality of this mandolin. Good, rich tone. Excellent bang for your buck.
    Pava A5
    Mid-Mo M4
    Kentucky 272
    Trinity OM

  18. The following members say thank you to Em Tee for this post:


  19. #16
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Hey Em:

    VERY glad to hear that you are pleased with your 272. I may be wrong, but as I searched through all of the Cafe posts on the KM-272, I can't recall ever seeing anything negative written about it . . . and if there ever was a negative or bad review, it was certainly a minority opinion.

    Congratulations and enjoy!
    - 1929 Martin Style 20
    - 2015 Washburn M1SDL
    - 2016 Kentucky KM-272
    - 2017 Gretsch 9350 Park Avenue

  20. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Love my Kentucky KM-272. It's loud and the oval hole sound is unlike any of the F hole mandolins I own, it has a certain charm. The quality is high for the price range and I love mine. I bought a nice hard shell case for it. The tuners are decent and the fit and finish is similar to much higher priced mandolins. I took the pick guard off and don't miss it. The oval hole sound fits many music styles including old timey stuff, choro, and classical. The amber finish of the top has a mellow warmth.

  21. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Chester County, PA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Mike reviewed the KM 272 much better than I could, so I can only concur with what's already been said.

    I too have been and continue to be very pleased with my KM 272. It was my first mandolin and I wouldn't do anything different if I had to do it over again.

  22. #19
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    One showed up at my house a week ago (how did that happen?!) and I'm liking it a lot. Nicely made, good-looking, sweet sound.
    1988 Reno mandolin, Trinity College mandola, Kentucky KM 272 oval hole mandolin, a few bowed string instruments and some stray woodwinds

  23. #20
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    To the best of my knowledge, 4 or 5 people (on this thread and others) have said that they purchased a KM-272 due to my review and/or video. If anyone at SAGA music is reading this, I am open to the idea of getting an endorsement deal with Kentucky . . . .
    - 1929 Martin Style 20
    - 2015 Washburn M1SDL
    - 2016 Kentucky KM-272
    - 2017 Gretsch 9350 Park Avenue

  24. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MikeZito For This Useful Post:


  25. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    I just purchased a km272 through the MC classifieds this morning! A guitar player for 40 yrs, this is my first mando and I can’t wait to start learning/playing this beauty. Anxiously awaiting its arrival ..yes, Mike your review+YouTube was the tipping point for me as well. Thanks for the great review + info!

  26. #22
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: REVIEW: Kentucky KM-272

    Hummmm - another sale thanks to the review and video . . . and still no call from SAGA. What does Jimmy Gaudreau have that I don't . . . besides great skills, immense talent, legions of fans, a successful career, highly acclaimed albums, and the respect of his peers?
    - 1929 Martin Style 20
    - 2015 Washburn M1SDL
    - 2016 Kentucky KM-272
    - 2017 Gretsch 9350 Park Avenue

  27. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MikeZito For This Useful Post:


Posting Permissions

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