Which is best The KM-15o or the KM-160? I always kick these posts off with a disclaimer. Kentucky has been making mandolins for over 30 years and just like many other products, they have been through several redesigns. A current model is not the same as what was made 10, 20, 30 years ago.
depending on the period of production, the KM-160 was not always the higher model. It also gets confusing when we compare different years.
The KM-150 mandolin is still a current production model. The KM-160, has been discontinued. The last of the KM-160 mandolins would have been made around 2012. This is the same year that the KM-150 was redesigned. Kentucky KM-150 mandolins made from mid 2012 on are superior to KM-160 mandolins of any year. If we compare both models from 2011, then the KM-160 has a slight advantage.
Now let's make things even more confusing. KM-160 mandolins have been made in three configurations. All solid (more recent), fully laminated, and with a solid top and laminated back and sides. For Korean made versions before 2001, a KM-160 was all laminated and a KM-160S had a solid top. The KM-150S was all solid.
Through the years, the "S" extension has been used randomly to designate both solid top, and all solid. This extension alone does not tell us if a mandolin is partially laminated unless we also reference the year it was made.
The KM-160 model was dropped from the Kentucky line in 2001, but made a comeback in 2007. And here is the final answer to the Kentucky KM-150 vs KM-160 Mandolin debate. The KM-160 is the better model if made between 2007 and 2011, but not better than KM-150 mandolins made from 2012 on.
Comments will be approved before showing up.