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Thread: Kentucky Dawg mando be a good mando for B-grass?

  1. #1
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    I am looking for a Dawg, and I think I read that it really is not all that "Bluegrass-ish" for some reason. Is that a fact? Thanks, dy.

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    Registered User kudzugypsy's Avatar
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    i had one, and played a few others. while you CAN play BG on anything - IMO, they are not going to cut it for that style. why? well, it was just a general lack of power. they play like butter, and have a very unique sound, but when your up against a good flathead banjo, it aint got the chittlin's. like wise, i have played a Monteleone that was very similiar, so i assume it was designed for tone, not horsepower.
    to me, it was the perfect jazz mandolin, which i believe was more the style it was designed to play.

    btw, they are so rare, that you would have better luck finding a Monteleone. i have only seen maybe 4 in nearly 15 years of playing and MAS - and i finally found one in Europe - i think there are a lot more of them over there than you would imagine.

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    I think they were pretty good for all types of music. I had a nice KM 1500
    when a friend had a Dawg model & IMO they were really about the same. YMMV

  4. #4
    Registered User kudzugypsy's Avatar
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    i think the KM-1500s were the bomb. i loved my 1500 so much that i searched the far ends of the earth for a KM-DAWG. when i got the dawg, it was just disappointing compared to the 1500. i'm referring to actual "trial by fire" - ie, in jam sessions / on stage. i will admit i was heartbroken, because i LOVE the Monte design and it played better than any mando i have ever held a pick to, but what do you do when you need that "umph"? i have ranted on here before about the 1500's and while i admit that i have played a few that were so-so, in general they hold their own with anything in the sub $4k range #- i would just rather have the 1500 anyday in a BG jam. i would actually buy another one (Dawg) - but not to play BG - which i guess is tele's question.

    i think they were designed / built different on purpose. one was to satisfy the new acoustic crowd, the other the trad BG crowd. in this regard, they did an excellent job.




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    Excellent info...thanks, I will search out a 1000 or 1500...

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    Registered User MANDOLINMYSTER's Avatar
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    Well.. I have an 84 Dawg, and I had an 83 KM1500, in my case the Dawg is a much louder and punchy mandolin compaired to the 1500 I had. There are so many variations between instruments, its not fair to say one model is better than another, you gotta play'em for yourself.My DAWG model works fine for bluegrass music.
    p.s. I will be keeping the DAWG around for a while cause its just to cool, and besides there were only 48 made. so when I'm dead and gone my kids will have a true collectable..I hope
    Michael Lettieri

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    What ballpark price are you thinking of. It seems that a Kentucky Dawg will cost about the same as a Collings MT or a used Gibson A9.

    Every mando is different (even of the same make and model)and the chances of getting a good one goes up with the number of instruments you have to choose from. There aren't many Kentucky Dawgs available that I have seen.

    Just something to think about.

  8. #8
    Registered User kudzugypsy's Avatar
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    hey michael, where did you get the 48 figure from? i knew they were rare, but i never figured that rare.

    believe me, if i found one that sounded even close to my 1500, i would snap it up. i really liked that mando, i dont mean to downgrade it in anyway - in my case, my band plays around 1 mic and we are a 5 piece band. the Dawg just didnt carry very well. i tried every setup trick i have learned on that one, strings, bridge, action jacked up, bigger frets...it just never came around. and that mando had been played A LOT, and i played it a lot too!

    tele, if you can get that one for around $2k, your not going to be disappointed in any way - they are really cool instruments. not to mention 1/10th the price of the real deal.

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    Registered User MANDOLINMYSTER's Avatar
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    kudzugypsy, There was a post a while back from, forget his name, I think Desert Rose Banjo's, mabey Steve who personally knows Sumi, and the history of the high end Japanese Kentuckys. I was also surprised at such a low number made.
    Michael Lettieri

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    Our banjo player owns a prototype DAWG which is a GREAT mandolin and also a fine mando for bluegrass. However, I played one or two later DAWS and they did not cut it for me. But that mando rocks!
    Who am I and if yes, how many?

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  12. #11

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    I had a Dawg, and while it was a nice mandolin, it didn't have the punch and volume of my Phoenix, which kicked butt. The Dawg was balanced, but not much bass end.

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    It sounds like some of the Dawgs were dogs. (sorry, but someone had to say it).
    I like the idea of being able to afford a "poor man's Monteleone" but I would have to play it 1st.



    Cabin Fever String Band

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