The Delta Snake Review

The Delta Snake Review


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Latest gear report: 2007 Kentucky KM 172 Mandolin

Latest acquisition is a 2007 Kentucky KM 172, a sort of midline oval hole mandolin that ran at around 380.00 in an era where it seemed like there were dozens of 60 dollar mandolins around.

It was an import like many others in that price range, but the Kentucky brand seems to have a good reputation even with those who own American-made mandolins.

Considering it was an oval hole type, which doesn't make it as suitable for bluegrass (where the mandolins with F holes dominate), it was well liked, and if you look in of discussion forums for mandos, it's obvious it was a well regarded model. This type of mandolin is especially suitable for Celtic, folk, and blues.

It was certainly a success and most places had a hard time keeping it in stock. Particularly ones of this peach color, which still looks good even in its old nitro coat (nice touch not using poly).

It was an all solid wood instrument, with a tone many would associate with a more expensive instrument, and these days if you can find one it's a bargain compared to mandolins that you see even in the $500 range these days and sounds as good or better.

I got it to replace the old Martin that was being used on earlier recordings by the band. I could've gotten a more expensive one, but sometimes getting the right one with the right sound is more important.

I guess back in 2007, some guy back there in the mandolin factory was having a good day and put out a good product off the production line. From the sound of this one, I think it's going to have a good long life.