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Thread: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

  1. #1

    Post Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    Newbie here! I have been interested in mandolins for quite some time and recently decided I'm going to pull the trigger. I have researched a few and read through some old posts comparing different models. There are a couple I was looking at. One is the Kentucky KM-505 and the other is the Loar LM-600. While the Loar is a beautiful F style I want the one that will sound the best, and be better long term.
    What are the pros and cons of each? Also if it makes a difference: I do have smaller hands.
    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    I’m sure others will join in soon enough, but I’ll start the ball rolling.

    First and foremost, whichever mandolin you end up getting, make sure it’s properly set up by an experienced luthier or a store that offers quality set-ups as a part of their service.

    I’ve played a few The Loars and, in my opinion, a KM505 is better.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    Thanks Johnny! Yes, they are both lightly used and being sold because they don't get much play time. I checked with both owners and they were each set up with by stores that are reputable and have great reviews on this site.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    there are, of course, other things to consider. Is your heart totally set on an F style, or will an A scratch your itch? You get more “bang for your buck” with an A, as those scrolls cost more money.

    The KM 505 has a more slender neck than any The Loar I’ve ever played. The Loars have really chunky necks. The 505 has a slightly radiussed board with smaller frets. The Loars have flat boards with larger frets. Some people are fine with either, but I personally prefer a radius - it’s just more comfy my hands. But that’s me.

    Good luck with the hunt!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    My first mandolin was a KM 505. It was a good starting instrument, and is a keeper if MAS doesn't raise its head. Haven't played a Loar, but I can recommend the KM 505. In my case MAS got a hold of me, and I now own a Collings MT2 that cured the MAS (at least for the time being). I don't lust after an F style, so I think I should be fine with the MT2.

  6. #6
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    I'd recommend the 505 as it'll be better for the same money. Unless you just have to have an F style. I'd also recommend if at all possible to play both
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    Don’t assume a mandolin hasn’t changed after two or three seasons. I’d still have a luthier evaluate it. It really does not matter which you get if the setup is fine. Any mandolin will give you the experience you need to buy your second mandolin, and your second mandolin is the important decision.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Don’t assume a mandolin hasn’t changed after two or three seasons. I’d still have a luthier evaluate it. It really does not matter which you get if the setup is fine. Any mandolin will give you the experience you need to buy your second mandolin, and your second mandolin is the important decision.
    Silverangel A
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Don’t assume a mandolin hasn’t changed after two or three seasons. I’d still have a luthier evaluate it. It really does not matter which you get if the setup is fine. Any mandolin will give you the experience you need to buy your second mandolin, and your second mandolin is the important decision.
    .
    Well put.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    I remember being in the same position. I read a bunch of what should I buy threads, and bought an Eastman 505. The months on that mandolin gave me the confidence to play some others in stores. I found out quickly I liked larger frets and the tone spending significant sums of money would get you. I could play well enough to tell the difference. Virtually any mandolin would have done the same. Your second mandolin is your first educated choice.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    Kentucky makes a really good mandolin. A Loar LM 600 VS is a pro level instrument

    Good luck deciding!
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    Thanks for all the help! I ended up going with the Kentucky KM505, from the comments here and other info, I think it will be a great beginners mando that will hopefully serve me well as I learn 🤓 Should have it in hand by the end of the week and I can’t wait!

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  13. #12
    Registered User Gary Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky KM-505 vs Loar LM-600

    I don't think you'll be disappointed. I bought the 505 from one of the previous posters in your thread. Even though I've gotten more expensive mandos now I can't seem to part with it. It is a great bang for the buck mandolin!

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