Say hello to the new Kentucky KM-276 model! As many of you know, this is not an entirely new mandolin, but instead a new color option for players that prefer a more organic look. This is based on the popular KM-270 Oval hole mandolin.
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.
For those of you that didn't know, Rover mandolins are owned by the same parent company that makes Kentucky mandolins. They also have some similarities, but they remain distant cousins rather than siblings.
Oval hole mandolins tend to have a more mellow, woody sound. They have more sustain and are usually more pleasing when played solo. F-hole mandolins tend to be louder with more projection. This is one of those cases where you can’t have both, or at least not 100% of both.
The Kentucky Mandolin Company is based in San Francisco, CA. Through the years, the mandolins themselves have been made in Japan, Korea and most recently (since 2001), China. The latest versions are some of the best ever.
They sure look the same in photos. In fact, looking at them head on, you are not going to be able to tell them apart. Your eyes are not fooling you. Everything you are seeing is identical, because nothing on the front side of these two mandolins differ.
If you are looking for a nice low cost mandolin to learn to play on, or maybe want a second mandolin to leave at work, take camping, or loan out, you have probably ran across the Kentucky KM-150 and The Loar LM-170-VS models.
The main differences will be that the KM-250 Mandolin uses slightly higher grades of woods, upgraded tuners and has a radiused fingerboard. Whether or not the flat fingerboard on the KM-150 is a disadvantaged, is really more of a personal call.
The KM-500 is now a color variation of the KM-505. The KM-500 mandolin has a traditional sunburst finish, while the KM-505 mandolin has a lighter Amberburst finish. This is a case where you can choose based solely on appearance.
What is the difference between the Kentucky 171 and 174 mandolins and do either one of them feature a radiused fingerboard. Also what Kentucky A style mandolins feature the radiused fretboard and do they come with a case or bag?
All of the Kentucky mandolin are under a one year manufacturer's warranty. The Kentucky warranty is pretty standard among instrument makers. It covers defect in materials and workmanship, but does not cover abuse.