Kentucky KM-174 Standard A-model Mandolin with Oval Soundhole
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This Kentucky mandolin is sweeter than black-strap molasses.
In the early 20th Century, mandolins like these revolutionized the way music was created in America. As an orchestral Instrument the mandolin enjoyed an unprecedented popularity and the instrument of choice was the flat-backed, oval hole mandolin, most often constructed in the A style configuration. Most of those mandolin orchestras are no longer with us but the popularity of the instrument has not waned.
Oval-holed mandolins are a bit less percussive than their f-holed counterparts and produce a warmer quality of tone. It is this richness of tone that has drawn so many artists to the KM-170 Series Kentucky Mandolin. In keeping with tradition and design the neck joins the body at the 10th fret. The slim, fast neck is constructed of a single piece of maple and is re-enforced with an adjustable truss rod. The neck is attached to the body with a complex dovetail join for maximum security and sound transmission. The bridge is adjustable for easy adjustment of string action. Tuning is quick and precise with the M-120, 14:1 ratio Gotoh tuners. The snakehead peghead shape is overlaid with Indian rosewood then inlaid with pearl and abalone in the unique arrowhead design.
- Solid, hand-carved and graduated spruce top
- Solid, hand-carved and graduated flamed maple back & sides
- Solid one piece maple neck adjustable truss rod
- Nitrocellulose lacquer finish available in three color options
- Rosewood headstock overlay with mother-of-pearl Inlays
- High quality, nickel-plated Gotoh tuners with engraved plate
- Traditional rosewood bridge and bone nut
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Comments about Kentucky KM-174 Standard A-model Mandolin with Oval Soundhole:
When I recieved this mandolin in the mail, I must admit I was greatly underwhelmed. It looks very plain and requires a good deal of setup out of the box. I had to hammer down the first 10 frets to correct a lot of string buzz. Getting the bridge set just right was a bit of a pain. The nut needed filed out a good bit. The only thing that was set correctly was the truss rod, which I guess is the most important anyway. After about 3 hours of setup work and a new set of strings, I found that this thing actually plays well and sounds really good. It's my first all-solid mandolin, and after roughly 10 hours of playing the sound really opened up. It has a sweet singing midrange, but very little cluck and chop. This makes it great for Irish traditional and Classical music, but it gets lost really quick in a bluegrass band. Bottom line: If you don't mind tweeking your stringed instruments, go for it. It would be tough to find a better mando for the price, used or new.