Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 74

Thread: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

  1. #1
    No natural talent Dave Hulse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Littleton, CO
    Posts
    25

    Default Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I bought mine in December 1989. I have a May 1988 catalog that shows it retailed for $1195 where as the KM-1000 retailed for $995.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KM850sd.JPG 
Views:	509 
Size:	62.1 KB 
ID:	46533   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KM850bk.JPG 
Views:	476 
Size:	51.3 KB 
ID:	46534  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I have one I bought new in 1982. I have never seen another one though.

    I changed the bridge last year and that is the only thing I have had to do to it. Mine has "The Kentucky" on the headstock.

    Not sure how many were made. I have seen where they retailed $200.00 more than the KM1000 also.

    Mine will never be for sale in my lifetime.

    Did you buy yours new in 1989 or used?

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    4,922

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I have a friend who has one with block inlays in the fingerboard. It sounds pretty good. He was going to bring it to me to sell for him, but he has not done that yet. He may have second thoughts.
    Have a Great Day!
    Joe Vest

  4. #4
    No natural talent Dave Hulse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Littleton, CO
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEE View Post
    Did you buy yours new in 1989 or used?
    I bought it new with the Superior rectangular case.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    The km-850 was priced higher than the km-1000 the 850 was made on a construcion line when the 1000 was handbuilt.That is odd I have owned numerous kentuckys but never a 850 thats a rare mando.I think i would hold own to it .I would love to add that with my sumi 1000 and my 1500 collection.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colo Dave View Post
    I bought it new with the Superior rectangular case.
    Yeah, Mine came with a rectangular case also but it is not labeled so I am not sure what it is.

    My KM850 looks like yours except there are several frets missing right over the sweet spot. It came from the factory that way. Its not scooped as there are frets ahead and behind. I think it is the ,25th, 26th, 27th frets that are missing. Everyone thinks I pulled them but I did not.

    My binding is also yellowed but is in good shape.

    I also have the dot fingerboard.

    According to the frets article the KM600 and KM900 were handbuilt. Not sure why the ones in between were not or why the KM850 was priced higher than the handbuilt KM1000.

    It is nice hearing from someone else who owns one.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEE View Post

    According to the frets article the KM600 and KM900 were handbuilt. Not sure why the ones in between were not or why the KM850 was priced higher than the handbuilt KM1000.

    It is nice hearing from someone else who owns one.
    The km-600,900,1000,1004,1500,km-dawg and the kh-1300 mandola was all hand built by sumi who makes mandos under his own name now.All the rest of the mandos such as km-160 km-180 km-250 and 250sc and km-380 km-500 km-700 km-750 km-800 km-850 was all built on assembly lines in a totally different shop.The reason the 850 was priced higher was because of the dress up factor as in fern inlay silver and gold plated hardware and the mother of pearl on the ebony fingerboard and the finest wood better than the 1000.The 1500 and 850 both are made with the finest choice woods and look excactly the same but the 1500 was hand carved by a luthier.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I met a guy at bus stop (McDonald and Broadway, Vancouver BC) who had one. We played while waiting for the bus. He had it for ten years and not only could he play the mandolin sounded good. He also said he never had seen the cafe.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Mandospurge- Do you have any idea how the KM850 was built in the factory. Did they have a dupli-carver or some other machine or how was the top and back shaped?

    Thanks

  10. #10

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEE View Post
    Mandospurge- Do you have any idea how the KM850 was built in the factory. Did they have a dupli-carver or some other machine or how was the top and back shaped?

    Thanks
    All the japan factory made kentuckys were made using a dupli-carver

  11. #11

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Here is how much the 1500 and 850 look alike on some of the km-850's they used the word the kentucky on the headstock in this pic of a km-850 they do not use the word The as in the kentucky most km-850's do. thhttp://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46573&stc=1&d=12550838 01e.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	km-850.jpg 
Views:	402 
Size:	135.6 KB 
ID:	46572   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	km-1500.jpg 
Views:	772 
Size:	51.6 KB 
ID:	46573  

  12. #12

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Here is the old saga pricelists http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46576&stc=1&d=12550845 14http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46577&stc=1&d=12550845 14
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	850 price.jpg 
Views:	380 
Size:	102.9 KB 
ID:	46576   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1500 prices.jpg 
Views:	410 
Size:	152.2 KB 
ID:	46577  

  13. #13

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Thanks, MANDO SPURGE, thats a lot of information. Explains a lot I have wondered about over the years.

  14. #14
    No natural talent Dave Hulse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Littleton, CO
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEE View Post
    My KM850 looks like yours except there are several frets missing right over the sweet spot. It came from the factory that way. Its not scooped as there are frets ahead and behind. I think it is the ,25th, 26th, 27th frets that are missing.
    That is quite strange. How about a photo?
    '91 Flatiron A5 JR
    '93 Flatiron Performer A
    Kay archtop morphed into a OM
    Mann EM-5
    Mid Mo M-0
    Collings MF

  15. #15

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I'll get one as soon as possible Dave. I don't have one on the computer so I'll see if I can get one of my kids to take some photos and I'll post them. I don't own a camera. I think I can get it done tommorrow.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    here's the pictures...





    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	100_1790.jpg 
Views:	255 
Size:	154.5 KB 
ID:	46636

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	100_1801.jpg 
Views:	257 
Size:	127.8 KB 
ID:	46637

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	100_1812[1].jpg 
Views:	274 
Size:	167.0 KB 
ID:	46639

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	New Image.jpg 
Views:	279 
Size:	236.8 KB 
ID:	46640

  17. #17

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    In the first picture you will notice that the binding is missing on part of the extension. It was intact until I got a buzz sound I could not find and I thought the binding was buzzing against the extension. I later found I had a cracked bridge instead so I removed that part of binding in one of my aggravating pursuits of finding the buzz. I also removed the finger rest but have it stored safely away.

  18. #18
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    24,269

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Check out this story about Dave Apollon (posts number 2 and 15). That could explain the missing frets.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Here's another picture of the top. This shows the yellowed binding.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	100_1800[1].jpg 
Views:	309 
Size:	131.4 KB 
ID:	46641

  20. #20

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Check out this story about Dave Apollon (posts number 2 and 15). That could explain the missing frets.
    That could very well be the reason, Mike. I would like to point out that it came from the Kentucky factory that way and there were not any frets pulled as I bought it new with the tags on it from a music store.

    I wonder how many came from the factory with this type fretboard?

  21. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646 N, 74.2083 W
    Posts
    24,269

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I'm trying to remember where I saw a picture of a fretboard like that. I think it was here a few years back but I can't seem to find it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Here is another picture of the back and another question. Notice the ridge that runs up the back seam all the way to the button? Does You KM850 have that type back, Colo Dave?

    How about the Km1000 and KM1500 models you own MANDOSPURGE?

    Of course anyone who knows is welcome to answer also. Thanks.



    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	100_1808[1].jpg 
Views:	286 
Size:	126.6 KB 
ID:	46665

  23. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Panama Cit
    Posts
    1,584

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I apologise for the length of this post in advance but if you are interested continue on.
    Good discussion about 850's features. As far as production numbers I would GUESS that there were thousands of these made. Back in the 1980s I used to see these a lot. A lot more than Gibsons. I know at least two people off the top of my head.

    I too own some catalogs and price list from the 1980s. When I purchased my KM1000 in 1984 the list price on ALL the mandolins almost matched the serial number. A KM-850 list price was $795. As the exchange rate between the dollar and the yen changed in the late 80's so did the list prices. I believe so much so, that the production eventually moved to S. Korea because the price points were so messed up. I have a catalogs from '84 and '89 and'95

    I always thought it was silly that an 850 was made of fancier woods than a KM1000. Like a little wood could make SO much difference in price. They had to select plainer wood to make a KM1000, right beside making a KM1500. Why? Marketing plain and simple. There are other weird marketing/pricing differences. Like a KM700 having "torch" inlays on the fingerboard, yet still costing less than the KM850.

    Some immediate differences I notice are as follows. The ridge in the carving of the back is NOT on the KM1000 or KM1500. Also, none of the factory made mandolins (from this time period) including the KM850 have the "neck riser" or ears as I call them, where the neck and body binding all meet. This indicates a different type of neck joint and neck construction. However in the 1994 catalog I believe the KM700 it shows has these "ears". Production I think had changed to a different factory by this time.


  24. #24

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    Thanks GTison for the information. Curious about the thousands being made as the owners seem to be keeping very quiet if that is so. I've googled and searched and only got a handful of hits. Of course, what do I know? I have only seen 2 or 3 owners who owned them in the archives.

    Thanks for the comparisons also, a lot of info there.

    Interesting about the neck joints also, I was not aware that risers were the sign of a dovetail joint. I wonder what kind of joint they used on the KM850?

    Thanks again for the information.

  25. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Panama Cit
    Posts
    1,584

    Default Re: Anyone else have a Kentucky KM-850?

    I think that the neck joint changing over the years is also interesting. I'm not sure what they do now. I don't think the "ears" mean dovetail joint really. Because Webbers have these and they are not true dovetail. The early 1970s Gibsons didn't have these ears either. I think that it really indicates that the neck and fingerboard extension are probably all one piece, not two separate pieces. This would allow for easier construction.

    As to my estimate of thousands, I take what I've seen, multiply that times some number, times your area, times 50 states, times the years they've been selling them, on and on, = thousands (to me anyway). But what do I know. As to numbers of mandolins, I'm always suprised at how many newer Gibsons there are in my relatively rural area. I see them for sale from time to time from folks I never heard of. There used to be 3 F5Ls within 3 miles of my house. So, there are more mandolins in closets than one might think.

Posting Permissions

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