The Kentucky KM-140 may well be the best sounding partially laminated mandolin available. This is one of the few that actually sounds better than some all solid instruments. That’s right, there are quite a few all solid mandolins that do not sound as good as the KM-140. Why is that you ask? The KM-140 has a carved top. Of course, that alone is only part of the reason. Granted, the carving on the Kentucky KM-140 is done well. So is the lamination. The mandolin is nice and light. It is not overbuilt like many mandolins at the price point. While tuners are not the greatest out there, they do get the job done and have no issues staying in tune.
The newer KM-140 mandolins have larger frets than those of the past. They also have a slightly wider nut and string spacing making them easier to fret. If you have been thinking about a KM-150, what exactly are you giving up with the KM-140? Obviously the solid back and sides, which are also mahogany instead of maple, but past that, nothing that really matters. The KM-150 does have noticeably better tone when played back to back with the KM-140. Without the KM-150 Mandolin in the picture, the KM-140 does just fine and produces a nice pleasing tone.
The Kentucky Mandolins also use lacquer instead of poly. A good thin Poly finish is really not such a bad thing, but lacquer is generally preferable.
The binding on this is ivoroid and the neck and body are fully bound.The fingerboard is rosewood with MOP dots. There is a classic dovetail neck joint. The nut is made from bone and measures 1-1/8” in width. The scale length is 13-7/8”. There is an adjustable truss rod and the tuning machines are made by Gotoh.. All in all, great specs for a mandolin in this price range!
This is made in Saga’s new workshop and is the first time that production for this model is fully controlled by Saga (not a third party factory). The difference is evident.
If it is within your budget, jumping up to the KM-150 does get you slightly better tone. If you can not justify the price, sleep well knowing that the Kentucky KM-140 is a nice mandolin that is more than capable!.
Amazon typically runs great deals on these. Check the current pricing:
Check Prices: Kentucky KM-140 Mandoin
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