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Thread: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

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    Default Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    I have read through some older post it appears there was some issues with truss rods and necks?

    Also is the first 4 digits of the serial number the year and month? If so mine is 2018. I though they were discontinued.

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    I thought they were still making them, and as far as I know the recent Kentuckys have been really good, but I'm not an expert. Someone else with more knowledge will hopefully lend some insight
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    Check the setup measurements found in Rob Meldrum's free E book to determine if you need a setup.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    Ok great I emailed him to get the free ebook. It has a good setup on it aleast I feel it does. I have a Loar 700 , Eastman Md315 and now this Kentucky. I sold the Eastman cause I preferred the woddy tone of the Loar. I feel this Kentucky is kinda in the middle of the Loar and Eastman far as tone goes. Kentucky definitely plays easiest. I didnt have to sand the bridge feet. They are touching every part of the top. Just raised the bridge up a tad and it was good for me.

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    I’d say Kentucky has been a reliable brand for years, albeit with hot and cold quality control reviews. They seem to surge for a while with really talented builders - like Sumi - then lose those builders because they’re so good. At the very least, I’d say you get what you pay for, and sometimes a whole lot more. When I owned one of the A-900s a few years ago, it underwhelmed, but I’ve played some K-600s and K-1000s that we’re worth more than the asking price.

    What you can do is the fun part. Play the heck out of it and see where it takes you.

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    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    There were at least 2 different iterations of the KM-650. It was the one made circa 2007-2008 that had the neck and truss rod issues. They discontinued that one the new version that they now make is a complete redesign and no known issues. So it is important to determine which one you have the earlier one or the recent one. If it is the earlier one that doesn’t mean it has the problem. Some did and some didn’t. Check the truss rod for operation by loosening and re-tightening, and check the neck for proper orientation in all three axes. Up down, side to side, and twist. Or as another of our members puts it, “roll, pitch, and yaw”.
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    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    There were at least 2 different iterations of the KM-650. It was the one made circa 2007-2008 that had the neck and truss rod issues. They discontinued that one the new version that they now make is a complete redesign and no known issues. So it is important to determine which one you have the earlier one or the recent one. If it is the earlier one that doesn’t mean it has the problem. Some did and some didn’t. Check the truss rod for operation by loosening and re-tightening, and check the neck for proper orientation in all three axes. Up down, side to side, and twist. Or as another of our members puts it, “roll, pitch, and yaw”.

    Great good to know. That's what I was hoping for anyway. Mine appears to be a year or so old by the looks and smell. Still has the tag hanging on the headstock. If the first 4 numbers of the serial are the year and month then its definitely a 2018.

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    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    like eastman's , in my experience , the entry level kentuckys seem to sound better than the intermediate models .....then the kentucky seem to get good aain as you get into the 900's and above . I've played a few 600's that , as you say , seemed to fall in-between..... lacking tonal depth and character . I am curious about the Loars .

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    like eastman's , in my experience , the entry level kentuckys seem to sound better than the intermediate models .
    I don’t know, man.... I played a dynamite 815V a few years ago. It was the best Eastman I ever played. I think the issue is simply quality control, and add in that we expect the more expensive instruments to be superior. That 815V was also more suited to sound good, theoretically, with the red spruce, varnish, etc.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Just got a new Kentucky 650. What to look for?

    Ive had Loar 590 , 600, and this 700. The 700 just has a very woody old tone. The other were ok. The Eastman Md315 was ok too but didnt speak to me. I feel it did sound better than the Loar 590 and 600. I have an old Kentucky 620 thats prob 20 years old. Its ok entry level but this new 650 is something else. Not as woody as the Loar 700 but it just has a better response and plays better for me. I think I'll swap out the EJ74 for some Monels that should put me closer to what I like. Awsome feedback fellas. Much appreciated

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