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Thread: KM1500 Fret Size

  1. #1

    Default KM1500 Fret Size

    I have a new to me 2014 KM1500 coming Thursday. I was playing my KM150 and KM171 oval last night and had never noticed, I'm still a Newb, that the 150 has larger frets and the 171 has the smaller "vintage" frets. Does anyone know if the 1500 will have the larger or smaller frets? I've not been able to find any info on this. I'm hoping it has the larger ones as I seem to think the larger ones makes it easier to play.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Google "Kentucky Mandolins" and the info should be on there...I am sure that a new 1500 would have the larger frets, most likely radiused also...

    Willie

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  4. #3
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Measuring will give you number data..


    Long Ago, I got a digital Caliper from Stew Mac, unlike other Digital calipers,
    for luthiers , they got a notch ground out

    to measure fret thickness with the tang settling in the slot.. this is for refret matching ,
    before using the fretwire..

    another digital caliper, any, the depth gauge end, will tell you those dimensions..
    top of fret to fingerboard surface..

    The calipers are also useful in measuring string thicknesses.. to get the same,
    though you forgot what you put on..





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    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  5. #4
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    I thought the km1000 and km1500 had flat fretboards and skinny frets

  6. #5
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWilliam View Post
    I thought the km1000 and km1500 had flat fretboards and skinny frets
    I think you're right. It's the km1050 that has wide frets, compound radius on FB.

    km1500 has gold hardware too, I think.

    Similar numbers are confusing.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

  7. #6
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWilliam View Post
    I thought the km1000 and km1500 had flat fretboards and skinny frets
    At the Saga Instruments web site, yes, both the KM-1000 and 1500 have flat boards. The specs didn't show the fret size. The 950, 1050 and IIRC the 956 have radius boards. I also says the 950 has medium sized frets, and the 1050 has taller and larger frets than "The vintage instruments." I believe the 1000 and 1500 are considered "Vintage" style.
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  9. #7

    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Yeah, my understanding is also that the 1000 and 1500 have flat boards and smaller vintage-style frets.

    Having said that, a decent set-up will help. I personally prefer a radiussed fretboard and larger frets, but each to their own.

    The thing is, though, that those Kentucky master models are nice instruments. So, if you fall in love with its looks and tone, but still hanker after larger frets, you could always get an experienced luthier to replace the frets. And, while he's doing that, he could also put a radius on your fretboard, if you wanted.

    My wife bought a lovely used KM1000 from a fellow cafe member. Very nice instrument with a beautiful flamed back. After a while she decided that she preferred a radius and larger frets like I have on my Northfield. A local luthier (who I've used for years on guitar repairs) did a fantastic job in replacing the small frets with large .80 Evo Gold frets, adding a compound radius taken from accurate measurements of my Northfield, and he also scooped the fretboard extension.

    So, enjoy the 1500 when it turns up. Hopefully you'll love everything about it, but it's nice to know that things like frets can be replaced if necessary. (At a price).

    Hope this helps,

    Johnny

  10. #8

    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Folkmusician.com says it has a radiused fret board, but nothing about the frets.

  11. #9
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size


  12. #10
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Mine's radiused with normal frets.

  13. #11

    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Bumping this to verify if it had a fretboard radius or flat and if the frets are smaller/vintage or larger? I am literally searching everything but this forum is the only thing that leads to any decent info.

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    The (new) one I encountered last year was a) Radiused board and b) Narrow frets.

    Very nice mandolin. It even had a pretty good setup out of the box. Only minor tweaking needed. Very good quality bridge and other hardware.

    Worth looking at the excellent Northfield NF-F5S too...and also the Nashville-built Flatiron's... though you would be looking 'used' in both cases to get closer to the price of a KM-1500.
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  15. #13

    Default Re: KM1500 Fret Size

    Any recent KM-1500 is radiused with 1.3mm frets (little over .051).
    Robert Fear
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