Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Kentucky KM-250S

  1. #1
    User purplemonky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    14

    Exclamation Kentucky KM-250S

    Hello, I am new to the mandolin and I am ready to upgrade from my $50 rogue. I have been looking at the KM 250s based on price and ratings at musiciansfriend.com. I was wondering if there is any one with some advice on this mandolin, or if there are any suggestions on a good mandolin in the $200-400 range.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    I started with a 2004 KM380, which at the time (I think) was basically the 250 with some cosmetic diferences. I think it's been a great mandolin for the money. Yep...I want to move up soon, but it's been a good and reliable instrument that I'll likely keep as a second "beater" when (and if) I'm ever able to afford something in the $2500 range. I did add a bone nut and an ebony bridge.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    I got a new 380s several years ago for less than $400. It's a great mandolin and it sounds very nice and woody and plays very well.

  4. #4
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,095

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    i got my kentucky from musician's friend and it has a nice, bright sound -- and it sounds much better since i got it professionally set up. so if you decide to go with the kentucky (mine came with the bridge down and the strings loose), be prepared to get someone to set it up for you. kentuckys generally get good reviews on the cafe as a good beginner instrument and there's a reason for it.
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  5. #5
    Registered User 45ACP-GDLF5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rutherfordton, NC
    Posts
    509

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    Quote Originally Posted by purplemonky View Post
    Hello, I am new to the mandolin and I am ready to upgrade from my $50 rogue. I have been looking at the KM 250s based on price and ratings at musiciansfriend.com. I was wondering if there is any one with some advice on this mandolin, or if there are any suggestions on a good mandolin in the $200-400 range.
    Thank you

    I bought one of these in '05 from Musicians Friend, and it had a very good sound to it. I kept it for about a year before I sold it, but my selling it had nothing to do with the mandolin itself. They are good mandos. Back in the mid 1980's, my mandolin teacher bought a KM-250s that was made in Japan. He still has it and still plays it on-stage. It was a banjo-killer then, and it still is. If you can find one of these Japanese made 250's, jump on it. If you can't, the new ones are worth the money. I've had an account at MF for several years now, and they are great to deal with.
    Molon Labe

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,731

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    I think the 250S is fine in that range, but you can sometimes find higher numbered models (at least prettier, if not always "better" in tone/sound) in that range used (or on clearance) as well. Beware the lure of Ebay deals...if you do buy there (or online in general, with the possible exception of the classifieds here--I've had good experiences x 2) try to buy from a dealer (ie, like the Mandolin Store, Elderly, JDMC, etc) so if there are issues you at least have a store to return it to...

    If you can, try to play a few different brands...Kentucky, Epiphone, Rover, Michael Kelly, and maybe even Eastman (though they tend to be a little pricier) and Washburn to get a feel for their necks and how they feel...I've discovered I like the beefier neck on my Flatiron pancake much better than the skinny neck on my Kentucky, though the Kentucky does sound great (it's a 675-S I picked up in your price range, but it came with issues based on the source)...that at least can give you some direction if you go the online route. In that range, if you happen to find something that sounds and plays well and is comfortable, don't be afraid to snag it regardless of the name on the headstock as there's significant quality variability from mando to mando in all of these makers, IMO.

    Also, if the Rogue is OK for a little while longer, you can find some pretty sweet A styles in the 500-1200 dollar range, though I haven't had the patience to save up there yet, myself!

    Good luck--
    Chuck

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1,614

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    Purplemonkey (if that is your real name..)

    I think it would be. The newer Kentucky 250S, 350S, and 380S are all very similar from what I can see. Differences seem to be minor cosmetic things (like amount of flame to the wood, shape of fingerboard extension, etc), though the 250S is priced lower than the others. I think the 250S and 350S have radiused fingerboards, which is a nice perk for some players, like me. I recently bought a slightly used KM505 for my stepsons - also very similar to the above, but a bit prettier trim as Chuck mentioned. These are ~$450 new, but used ones do show up. I got mine for <$300 shipped, with case

    My advice would be to be patient and wait for a previously owned 250/350/380/505 to appear, either here or on ebay, which will probably save you 1/3 or more. Contrary to the above advice, I would not be wary of buying one of these on ebay, though getting one from the classifieds here would be preferable - I think these mandolins are pretty consistent. They are all really pretty good for the pricerange, and any individual one is very likely to need some setup and adjustment before you're really happy with it.
    Jeff Rohrbough
    "Listen louder, play softer"

  8. #8
    User purplemonky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    Thank you guys, any advice on how to get the wife on board?

  9. #9
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,095

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    It helps if she plays an instrument as well or has some nice time-consuming hobby -- my husband has a half-dozen instruments of his own, so i'm home free, usually, but then my wants are few and cheap. Why do you ask?
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  10. #10
    Registered User testore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Turlock, California
    Posts
    1,775

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    I just picked up a fantastic KM505 for the store I work for. I was blown away. A great player! It's for sale in the classifieds here....and we can match any online price. We are a brick and mortar place, and I set it up.
    vesselmandolins.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    A friend of mine just got a 505 from The Mandolin Store, It had an incredible back and they had the best price he could find ($449)with a hard case. He is who turned me onto The Mandolin Store.

  12. #12
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bloomington, IN / USA
    Posts
    702

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    PurpleMonky,
    Ah yes, the ever present dilemma. How to get the wife to say "yes" to the purchase of something we don't need, but want soooo badly.
    FWIW, I have had good success in simply selling off a few things that have been gathering dust. (Things of mine of course. )
    Being a packrat by nature,this tends to be the hardest part of a new purchase.
    Hope it goes well for you and you can soon enjoy the fun of a new-to-you mandolin.
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

  13. #13

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    The wife confrontation. That can be a tough one.
    Get a girlfriend like me who is a mandolin fanatic, to buy one for you.

    Jillian

  14. #14
    Registered User Steve Perry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Elizabethtown, Ky
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    Quote Originally Posted by pager View Post
    The wife confrontation. That can be a tough one.
    Get a girlfriend like me who is a mandolin fanatic, to buy one for you.

    Jillian
    Yeah... but then how would he explain the girlfriend?
    Steve Perry
    Sumi SF5 Birdseye

    "Quit thinkin'... Just play"

  15. #15
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,968

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    Irish toast:

    "To our wives and our girl friends -- may they never meet!"
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  16. #16
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kerrville, Texas
    Posts
    1,883

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    This is a KM250S I hot rodded a couple years ago for a benefit. Pearl nut, CA ebony bridge, & Allen tailpiece. Those were nonated as well as a bunch of other stuff for a raffle (raised over $2500 for the mandolin package).

    http://ntbbluegrass.com/media/km250a2.mp3

  17. #17
    Mark Evans mandozilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Simi Valley, Ca
    Posts
    1,291

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    A KM 505 Hmm...very nice for the price. If your better half doesn't know much about mandolins, tell her your taking up table tennis and that your 505 is really a pregnant ping pong paddle with strings.


  18. #18

    Default Re: Kentucky KM-250S

    The New KM-250 (no longer has an S), went through an update. It now has a radiused fingerboard in addition to other changes. This model is now Sunburst and they make a KM-254 which is identical, but has the Burgundy finish. The KM-350 and 380 have a flat fingerboard.

    Some other differences, The 250 has a 14th fret neck joint, the 350, and 380 have a 15th fret joint. The 250 now has a bone nut, the 380 does not. The new 250 has a one piece neck, vintage truss-rod coverplate and a new tailpiece as well.

    Great mandos.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •