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Thread: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by Footedylan View Post
    Yeah Iíve talked to the head of saga in person at namm , and Iíll be honest they canít know for sure, he thought mine was an 83/84 there are a few tell tale signs of what years are what though, if you post a pics and of the headstock, headstock angle, binding, scroll size(it a big one to tell the year), and the logo on the headstock. Post some pics and I can probably help, Iíve studied them a lot since getting mine. They are amazing mandolins, hell dawg still plays his on stage all these years later. Iíve had the luxury living in Phoenix Az to play tons for new/modern gibsons and I wouldnít trade mine for them.
    I have no clue how to post pics here but I can email you some.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Just click on the 'Image' icon above the reply area.
    Choose an image from your computer files and select upload.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #28
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    Just click on the 'Image' icon above the reply area.
    Choose an image from your computer files and select upload.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm not seeing that option. Is that only on the desktop version?

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Testing
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    ... nevermind

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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Full front
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  7. #32
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Back
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  8. #33
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by Footedylan View Post
    Yeah Iíve talked to the head of saga in person at namm , and Iíll be honest they canít know for sure, he thought mine was an 83/84 there are a few tell tale signs of what years are what though, if you post a pics and of the headstock, headstock angle, binding, scroll size(it a big one to tell the year), and the logo on the headstock. Post some pics and I can probably help, Iíve studied them a lot since getting mine. They are amazing mandolins, hell dawg still plays his on stage all these years later. Iíve had the luxury living in Phoenix Az to play tons for new/modern gibsons and I wouldnít trade mine for them.
    Scroll
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  9. #34
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by Footedylan View Post
    Yeah Iíve talked to the head of saga in person at namm , and Iíll be honest they canít know for sure, he thought mine was an 83/84 there are a few tell tale signs of what years are what though, if you post a pics and of the headstock, headstock angle, binding, scroll size(it a big one to tell the year), and the logo on the headstock. Post some pics and I can probably help, Iíve studied them a lot since getting mine. They are amazing mandolins, hell dawg still plays his on stage all these years later. Iíve had the luxury living in Phoenix Az to play tons for new/modern gibsons and I wouldnít trade mine for them.
    Head stock side
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  10. #35
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Binding
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  11. #36

    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverAngelFan View Post
    Binding
    Sorry for the late reply, yours looks really similar to mine scroll size is the same aside from the logo they look super close, yours might be a little later 85 or 86, the tp cover doesnít look original the older ones were hand engraved The Kentucky, most of the 1500s were side bound but I have seen some top and side bound together. And Iíve never seen one with a sumi label in it. Here are some photos of mine to compare

  12. #37
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Do you have any pics of mandolins from 1987-1992 to compare to? That would certainly be useful. At first I thought this case wasn't original but I just saw a KM-1000 with the same case only red interior. Maybe that's helpful too.

  13. #38
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by Footedylan View Post
    Sorry for the late reply, yours looks really similar to mine scroll size is the same aside from the logo they look super close, yours might be a little later 85 or 86, the tp cover doesn’t look original the older ones were hand engraved The Kentucky, most of the 1500s were side bound but I have seen some top and side bound together. And I’ve never seen one with a sumi label in it. Here are some photos of mine to compare
    Check out this tailpiece

    http://www.mandomutt.com/products-pa...y-km-1500-sold

  14. #39
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Handwritten label. I can't get a clear answer from anyone as to what the S would indicate on the label.
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  15. #40
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverAngelFan View Post
    Handwritten label. I can't get a clear answer from anyone as to what the S would indicate on the label.
    When I bought my first Kentucky mandolin from Stan Jay at Mandolin Brothers in 1989 the S stood for Solid. Mine was an A model. Eventually some models were apparently brought in with a solid top and a laminate top with the same model number and an S on the end to denote the solid top models. Unless something changed I would assume that was why it was there. I think Saga was still evolving in that era.

    Through the wonders of archive.org and their Wayback machine here is a screen shot of a Saga online catalog page as an example. Unfortunately they don't have a listing before 2000. Not every model had two versions by the time this catalog was listed.
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  16. #41
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Eventually some models were apparently brought in with a solid top and a laminate top with the same model number and an S on the end to denote the solid top models. Unless something changed I would assume that was why it was there. I think Saga was still evolving in that era.
    I was always under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that the S suggested a solid top (and by extension laminate back and sides) on the 150 line to contrast it with the absence of that feature entirely on the (all laminate) 140 series.
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  17. #42
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    I was always under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that the S suggested a solid top (and by extension laminate back and sides) on the 150 line to contrast it with the absence of that feature entirely on the (all laminate) 140 series.
    That's what I said it eventually became but early on I not sure Saga had settled on that. If you look at the listing above there is a 140 and a 140S with the S being more expensive. The 140 series was obviously not all laminate at that time. The next page had other S and non-S listings. The lack of a 150S may have meant they didn't have any available. Here is the next page in that listing. I also need to correct my post above, this is a 2001 catalog. The 2000 page would not display.

    Keep in mind that the mandolin listed by the OP was made 13 years earlier than this online listing. By then I'm sure Saga had refined their approach.
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  18. #43
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Sure, S meant solid top on the low end models but the KM-1000 and up always had solid tops and it wouldn't be necessary to indicate that.

  19. #44
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Any more expert opinions?

  20. #45
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    The Saga number system evolved over time. What do you want the S to mean?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Stradivarius! Sorry... stupid statement. So sue me.
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

  22. #47
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    So no one here can disprove that this is indeed from 1988 as Saga stated?

  23. #48
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The Saga number system evolved over time. What do you want the S to mean?
    I have no idea what the S means. I'm not sure why they would find the need to indicate a solid top on a model that comes standard with a solid top.

    Saga says its from 1988, until someone can prove otherwise, I'm going to stick with what they told me.

  24. #49

    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverAngelFan View Post
    Saga says its from 1988, until someone can prove otherwise, I'm going to stick with what they told me.
    My guess was 1988 (this first two digits of the serial number -- the system used by countless Made In Japan instruments from mid 70-late 80's -- including Ibanez, Takamine, Epiphone, Aria, etc.)

    I would vote the S stands for solid wood top, again used by countless Made In Japan instruments from this period to indicate a step up from the normal laminate models, but I see your point....

  25. #50
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    Default Re: Help me date a Kentucky KM-1500

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverAngelFan View Post
    So no one here can disprove that this is indeed from 1988 as Saga stated?
    I didn't realize that was what you were looking for. I thought you had determined that. Keep in mind that when Sumi was doing these "all by himself" he wasn't seen as the superstar he is today. He was just the guy that had the contract with Saga to build those models. The other thing to keep in mind was that the labels might have been installed after they got to the US.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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