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Thread: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

  1. #1
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Wow. I just listened to the $299 retail KentucKM150 on The Mandolin Store's Website. I'm an Eastman fan myself, but this mandolin appears to woof on the video.

    .

    Notice how even the notes are across the fretboard -- and while some of that is the player, it really does compare (sonically in my subjective listening on an imperfect medium) to the Gibson F5G sample he played the other week. I know that the recording is a significant factor too, but in comparison to many of the other, more expensive, mandolins this seems good. I know it's an import. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1tFwAYVj5Y
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    Troy Shellhamer 9lbShellhamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Can't beat 'em!

    Thanks for posting!
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    Registered User Ken Olmstead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Yes, this video is causing quite a stir on the Café! Fantastic tone he is getting there!!
    http://www.youtube.com/user/tenorbanjoguy

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    I've heard a lot of amazing things about the KM150 about the great sound and reasonable price. If I am intereted in also being able to play plugged in, is it worth looking for an electric acoustic or is it just as good getting the km150 and mic'ing it?

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Quote Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
    Wow. I just listened to the $299 retail KentucKM150 on The Mandolin Store's Website. I'm an Eastman fan myself, but this mandolin appears to woof on the video.


    Notice how even the notes are across the fretboard -- and while some of that is the player, it really does compare (sonically in my subjective listening on an imperfect medium) to the Gibson F5G sample he played the other week. I know that the recording is a significant factor too, but in comparison to many of the other, more expensive, mandolins this seems good. I know it's an import. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1tFwAYVj5Y
    I too was ( am) an Eastman fan . I sold my MD 305 to 'upgrade to a 315 ' but when I came across this KM-150 , I bought it right away . Now when I play Eastmans they seem to be thin-sounding having played the KM-150 for the past while . I'm sure my ear has something to do with that ....however , as you've pointed out and as I also pointed out in a similar thread , I can't argue with Adam's video for the Mandolin Store or my own observations . Its just a GREAT sounding instrument and almost asd easy to play as my Eastman ...the Eastman's radiused fretboard being the difference there , of course. It records beautifully and my own KM-150 has improved tone-wise in the 7 or so months I've been playing and recording with it . I much prefer the recorded sound I'm getting with the Kentucky . Although again ....I think Eastman makes a great product for the price .

  7. #6

    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    The KM150 is another example of how lucky we are to have good quality instruments in the entry level price bracket.

    The Mandolin Store page of video clips by Dennis is a great resource for anyone wanting to listen to and compare different instruments. There are dozens of them to watch. Be warned - once you go there, it'll be difficult to switch off the computer.

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    I purchased an l r Baggs pickup . It's mounted externally so that if I needed to I could mount it to another instrument quickly . I use a mic only to record .

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    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron McMillan View Post
    The Mandolin Store page of video clips by Dennis is a great resource for anyone wanting to listen to and compare different instruments.
    Well, there is a caveat here. I'm not sure they are using 100 percent the same conditions for the recording of each instrument, so that the KM150 could sound better than more expensive instruments because it was better recorded. There is no substitute for playing them yourself against a hard wall, but I was impressed enough with both the sound and evenness across the strings to post about it. Adam really is one heck of a good player too.
    Last edited by Elliot Luber; Feb-17-2014 at 8:37pm. Reason: typos
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Maybe they sprayed WD 40 on it.

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    I was impressed by the video when I first saw it on the TMS website. I noticed that the description for KM150 mentions that 'These are the new improved models.'. I wonder what improvements were made, and if they might be responsible for the outstanding sound.

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Quote Originally Posted by shortymack View Post
    Maybe they sprayed WD 40 on it.
    I couldn't resist trying it . I just sprayed WD40 on my KM-150 and damn if that already killer sound didn't improve !! WAY better than when I rubbed B-B-Q sauce into the strings.

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    I use a cheap Epiphone MM20 for live shows but I might have to check this model out. It really does sound great, especially for the low price!

  16. #13

    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    I couldn't resist trying it . I just sprayed WD40 on my KM-150 and damn if that already killer sound didn't improve !! WAY better than when I rubbed B-B-Q sauce into the strings.


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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Not a surprise if you have had one. This was my starter mandolin and I recommend it for any other newbies out there looking to learn to play!
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Once in a while that CNC cut is perfect for that piece of wood. Grab it, I've heard them and they do sound good.

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    I would think that the outstanding TMS set up job has something to do with it it.
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    I have a KM-160 that I bought used, and started lessons 4 months ago. My instructor helped me check the settings on it, and consistently remarks about how good it sounds. If and when I decide to upgrade I will first look at the Kentucky models first.

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Had to comment here. I just bought a km-150 last evening... it is a beast! I'm really surprised to say the least. I've been playing mandolin for 12 years and I can honestly say that this is a super sounding mandolin. Way better sounding than it's price would indicate and very strong all over the fretboard. A great mandolin indeed. I'm blown away. I'm a very satisfied Kentucky mandolin owner now.
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Russell View Post
    Had to comment here. I just bought a km-150 last evening... it is a beast! I'm really surprised to say the least. I've been playing mandolin for 12 years and I can honestly say that this is a super sounding mandolin. Way better sounding than it's price would indicate and very strong all over the fretboard. A great mandolin indeed. I'm blown away. I'm a very satisfied Kentucky mandolin owner now.
    Congrats and welcome to the Kentucky Kamp ......a year since I last posted here about my Km-150 and still loving it . Might be one of the best musical bargains I've ever come across . The tone alone makes me want to pick it endlessly . My Christmas gift to my Km-150 was a Craigslist used-but -in-mint-condition hard-shell rectangular mandolin case for 35.00 . Second best musical bargain I've come across . And I'm pretty sure my mandolin sounds even BETTER now that it has new digs .

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Another big fan here.
    I still think that the "entry level" Kentucky mandolins (KM-150 [ff-hole] & KM-272 [oval hole]) are the best new mandolins available under $500 street.
    I'm really glad my first mandolin was a KM-172 (the old model # for the oval hole). It was a really solid sounding and playing mandolin.
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    All solid wood, bone nut, and every once in a while that CNC cut of the wood is perfect for a great sound. I have taught mandolin and recommended these to students for years. Folks get this misguided idea that an F is better but you won't find a better F than this A unless you spend hundreds of dollars more. There is an old PBS show about Howard Armstrong going home to East Tennessess. He plays a KM-150 throughout that show.

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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    I wonder how light those strings are in the video.

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    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM150. Surprising?

    Yes, set-ups an issue. Your mileage will vary.
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