Do you know how the older version of Kentucky mandolins was? It was made with pressed solid wood, a heavy-duty mandolin.
But luckily, here comes the new and improved version of Kentucky that offers a lot of can’t-miss features. Regardless of whether it’s the first mandolin you’re purchasing or the 10th, you won’t get something as good as Kentucky at mid-range.
Am I fanboying too much? Sorry, I was just stating the obvious!
Joking apart, today we’ll review the great Kentucky KM-150 mandolin. So, stay with us if you’re planning to get one Kentucky for you!
What Makes Kentucky KM-150 a Top-Notch Mandolin?
When I was a newbie at playing mandolin, I looked for solid construction that comes with pretty well-joined parts. Moreover, I wanted something that has a decent tone without any unnecessary vibrations or harmonics.
And, then I got to know about Kentucky KM-150 which is quite unbeatable for its quality and affordable price. It’s a great choice for beginners who don’t want to spend a fortune but want a better-sounding mandolin that has a high-quality finish and doesn’t cost much.
There are numerous options at lower and higher prices but this mid-ranged price is quite decent for the overall quality of the mandolin.
Therefore, if you’re a beginner and willing to spend under $500 for purchasing a mandolin, there are a few to zero mandolins that can fall Kentucky at the bottom of the list.
Kentucky KM-150: Specs At a Glance!
If you’re in a rush, just have a look at the listing below to get an idea about the specs of the product. We’ll explain everything later.
Size: 26.38 x 10.25 x 3.38
Weight: 5 Pounds
Back and Side Material: Solid Alpine Maple
Finish: Sunburst high-gloss
Body Style: A-Model
Fingerboard Material: Tonewood
Top: Solid German Spruce
Scale Length: 13 ⅞”
String Material: Alloy Steel
Number of Strings: 4
Kentucky KM-150: A Deeper Dive into Features
From here, you’ll get a crystal clear idea about the major features of the mandolin, explained.
The first question that may spring straight to your mind is, how does beginner-friendly mandolin sound? Well, it doesn’t give you the best sound quality than all over the other options but it’s close to the best in this price range.
Mid-ranged mandolins are always known for mid-level sound quality. You shouldn’t expect it to be so loud but it offers a smooth and decent sound that’s more than enough for its price.
And, the high-quality finish of this instrument is used to protect the wood which may subtly affect the sound of the mandolin. Overall, you’ll be happy with the quality-price balance.
Kentucky always does play nicely. The neck profile, wide and large frets allow you to play the mandolin pretty amazingly. The neck isn’t that slim but it still gives a fast feel. It’s pretty comfy working up and down the fingerboard.
But the large fret may not be your cup of tea because of the room between the frets when you’ll play high on the fingerboard. However, it won’t be even noticeable as long as you play below the 15th fret.
And, when you’re a beginner, you probably won’t play that high often, so the trade-off will be well worth it.
Kentucky is a pinnacle of mid-ranged mandolins and its design is a big reason for this.
Along with amazing tonality, it comes in a beautiful design. The fit and finish of Kentucky also are unquestionable. The sunburst finish gives the mandolin a classic and attractive look.
Overall, it’s a solid body, pretty nice and clean.
Starting with the tailpiece of the mandolin. It comes with a stock tailpiece and it works just fine for beginners. However, if you are a fanboy of cast tailpieces, then you can easily upgrade your Kentucky as it comes with a standard screw pattern.
And, about the tuners. There’s nothing special about the tuners, they are of the average grade. Although they aren’t the smoothest possible tuners, you can turn the mandolin pretty easily, they will hold just fine.
The bridge of Kentucky contains a compensated saddle that offers you an improved intonation. Also, it’s adjustable through thumbwheels as well. Some users claim that the wooden endpin for the mandolins’ strap buttons comes tight. So, be watchful with these.
The endpins aren’t glued in so they may pop out. However, don’t think of this as a flaw because it’s just a feature. Some users don’t prefer the glued endpins.
Ease of Set-Up and Use
This part is very important for beginners. Here Kentucky failed to please the users because it doesn’t come readily. So, you have to set it up before using it. And, this is what beginner users feel disturbed about.
But it’s not an uphill battle to set this mandolin up. You can easily remove the screw using a Philips screwdriver. Then, just use a ruler and measure the nut down to the 12th fret to set up your bridge. It’s not that complicated, rather quite manageable.
And, about using the mandolin, there’s nothing wrong. It’s pretty user-friendly so you will surely love holding the mandolin for long.
Pros And Cons List of Kentucky KM-150
The advantages and disadvantages will help you more to make the right decision about whether Kentucky is your cup of tea or not.
- The all-wood construction is high-quality
- Comes in a beautiful high-gloss finish
- Beginner-friendly for the smaller-sized neck
- Offers a mid-range price
- Great tonality
- Handcrafted parts
- Amazing sound quality for the price
- Doesn’t come with a case, you need to buy one
- Requires set-up
- Dull tone on the lower register
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How much does a decent mandolin cost?
Answer: For a good-quality mandolin, you should spend a minimum of $300.
Question: What makes a mandolin sound good?
Answer: Using a relaxed grip on the pick will work like a champ when you want the sweetest tone.
Question: How difficult is a mandolin to play?
Answer: Since the mandolin has fewer strings than the instruments, it’s very easy to learn and play.
Question: What’s the difference between A-style and F-style mandolins?
Answer: A-style mandolins come without any points whereas the F-style ones have two points on their lower part.
By now, you know the ins and outs of Kentucky KM-150. Hopefully, now you know if it fits all of your needs or not. Although this mandolin isn’t the best of all, it still is an unbeatable option for thousands of reasons. So, feel free to pick this if you think it’s the right one for you!