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Thread: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

  1. #1
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    Default Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Does anyone know what top woods that Kentucky uses for the tops on the KM-900 series mandolins? They are said to be a copy of the one and only A-5 Loar signed mandolin and I believe that was made with Red Spruce according to info that has been sent to me...

    Thanks....Willie
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Yes, it is Red Spruce (Adirondack)
    2017 Kentucky KM900
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    This is from the Saga website about the KM900

    “Solid carved Adirondack spruce top provides you with superior note clarity and volume to spare
    Solid flamed Michigan maple back and sides ensure extra punch
    Slim flamed maple neck for comfortable, easy action
    Premium ebony fingerboard gives extra durability and striking good looks
    High-gloss lacquer sunburst finish for a vintage look and appeal“
    2017 Kentucky KM900
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    Troy Shellhamer 9lbShellhamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    The actual Saga site specifies Adirondack on the 1050 but they specify "Select Spruce" on the 950.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Current KM-900/950 mandolins spec "German Spruce" and "Alpine Maple". That is a a recent change. I don't recall exactly when, but I had a phone conversation when them about the change. Maybe 6-8 months back.

    Everything above the 950 is Adirondack and Michigan maple.
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Robert, Does that hold true also for the KM-956? I understand that is the same as a KM-950 except for the color....My 956 sounds different than the 900 that I owned a few years ago...

    Willie

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    Current KM-900/950 mandolins spec "German Spruce" and "Alpine Maple". That is a a recent change. I don't recall exactly when, but I had a phone conversation when them about the change. Maybe 6-8 months back.

    Everything above the 950 is Adirondack and Michigan maple.
    Is there a way to tell by looking at and holding the mandolin in person? I’m supposed to get my new KM900 from The Mandolin Store today. It really doesn’t matter to me what species it is as long as it sounds good, but it would be nice to know what it’s made of.
    2017 Kentucky KM900
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  9. #8

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Poole View Post
    Robert, Does that hold true also for the KM-956? I understand that is the same as a KM-950 except for the color....My 956 sounds different than the 900 that I owned a few years ago...

    Willie
    Oh yeah, forgot about the 956. I imagine that would fall under the German/Alpine as well if it was made recently.
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  10. #9

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Quote Originally Posted by Skaggs2.0 View Post
    Is there a way to tell by looking at and holding the mandolin in person? I’m supposed to get my new KM900 from The Mandolin Store today. It really doesn’t matter to me what species it is as long as it sounds good, but it would be nice to know what it’s made of.
    Odds are TMS would be shipping a recent version and it would be German Spruce. It is extremely difficult to impossible to tell the woods apart visually though.
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    The current 2017 catalog says German spruce. Unless they've changed their minds since it was printed, which is always a possibility.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    It is extremely difficult to impossible to tell the woods apart visually though.

    It can also be extremely difficult to impossible to tell them apart sound-wise...
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    I stand corrected then, I must have found an outdated catalog online, I’ve had a bad habit of finding outdated stuff lately ��
    I got my mandolin last night, haven’t had much chance to play it yet, but it sounds good so far!
    2017 Kentucky KM900
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  14. #13
    Registered User samlyman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Robert: I have a 2015 KM 950. do you know what the top wood on it should be?

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    I have owned both a KM-900 and a KM-956 and they sure sound different to my ears...The 900 was when they first came out and I suppose it was Red spruce, the 956 is German spruce and sounds different, not better or worse, just different...Both are great mandolins, the 900`s have small frets which I didn`t like and is why I sold it,, the 956 has a radius finger board which I also don`t like but will get used to it...SOON I hope...

    Willie

  16. #15

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Quote Originally Posted by samlyman View Post
    Robert: I have a 2015 KM 950. do you know what the top wood on it should be?
    Possibly Adirondack, but I am not 100% sure on that. There may have been years where it wasn't. The German Spruce is a very recent change.

    I really should have been keeping catalogs all of these years for reference. I actually did for a while, but it started taking up a whole filing cabinet, so I tossed 'em.
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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  17. #16

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    It can also be extremely difficult to impossible to tell them apart sound-wise...
    It is funny at times.

    We all know that the various wood specs would never be randomly changed based on what materials were on hand at the time.
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  18. #17
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-900 series mandolins???

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    We all know that the various wood specs would never be randomly changed based on what materials were on hand at the time.
    No. Never. Absolutely...
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
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