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Thread: KM-1500 neck issue

  1. #1
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    Default KM-1500 neck issue

    Hi, picked up a Kentucky KM-1500. It has 2 issues.
    1- The neck/fretboard is not flat. Where the neck meets the heel it bends down. I am thinking it needs fretboard removed and thin shim under the area. Not sure on best way to fix it.
    2- Very little neck relief and trusrod is loose. Not sure on best fix for thiseither. Anybody know how much I should expect to pay to fix this?.

    Pictrure not really showing it well. Thanks

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kjx39eanhz...56.25.jpg?dl=0

  2. #2
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    send it back to where you bought it and request a replacement. Kentucky ain't what it used to be...

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    For posterity. I'm assuming you bought this used. Is that the case?
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    Dang! Bail on that thing if you can. That picture show's more than I'd ever want to see.

  5. #5
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    I don't think it left factory like that. I can see cracks along binding and near neck, that often means the neck joint is loose and moving. This pushes the fingerboard extension forward and it pivots and bends down. That would be a bit more pricey to repair.
    Adrian

  6. #6
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    Bought used cheap. Agree Kentucky losing it. Its a 2018. Its playable to the 10th fret or so.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    There's no money above the 7th fret so you should be good.

    Move it along as a project and see if you can get at least some of your money back.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  9. #8
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    I think of the F5 as an instrument completely unto itself. Sure, it's a mandolin, but to me it's a VERY sophisticated piece of equipment! Woods, various materials and specific geometry join forces with varying degrees of craftsmanship to produce an instrument that looks "the way we want it to look"... like a F5. However when/if we expect to get looks, tone, volume, playability, response and flamed woods to boot for under $1,000 or even $2,000 or even under $3,000... well, we can always dream...

    I always encourage my students to spend their money on a good A model than a sub-par F model. I have no financial interest whatsoever in saying this, but I will say it nonetheless... if you want a really great bang for your F5 buck save your pennies and get yourself a new or used Northfield NF5S. That's the way to go.

  10. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    I've seen a few of the recent KM1000 and 1500's and they were definitely not bad mandolins. Some were better but no duds. There's no need to blame manufacturer.
    After one more look at the picture I see that the mandolin is refretted and see some chipped binding near one of the higher frets... I can now also guess the mandolin got refretted by not-so-experienced tech. Kentucky slots are some of the tightest I've seen so if he plainly hammered standard wire in the effect would be severe backbow especially up on the thin long extension. The force of the fretwire could result in some of the finish cracking and wood movement.
    I would check with good luthier if this is not the case... proper refret with fingerboard planing could bring it back to straight, though the extension might need some help of heating and clamping/wedging back to get in line with the rest.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    I’m with Adrian on Kentucky mandos. As for Glassweb’s comments, my 5 year old 1500 has plenty of “looks, tone, volume, playability, response and flamed woods” to suit me. Good bark too.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    A repairman will have to make an in-hand evaluation to be sure, but the chances are quite good that a plane and re-fret will take care of it.

  13. #12
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Findley View Post
    I’m with Adrian on Kentucky mandos. As for Glassweb’s comments, my 5 year old 1500 has plenty of “looks, tone, volume, playability, response and flamed woods” to suit me. Good bark too.
    I'm glad you got a good one and there are indeed good ones from that period, but from my experience (I teach and work in a music store here in WA state) they quality of the Kentucky line is not what it used to be.

  14. #13
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    I'm glad you got a good one and there are indeed good ones from that period, but from my experience (I teach and work in a music store here in WA state) they quality of the Kentucky line is not what it used to be.
    That can be said about many other brands... I repaired some G!#$()n brand mandolins that were totally screwed right from factory. Compared to that, this Kentucky has just cosmetic issues.
    Adrian

  15. #14
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    Thanks everyone for the ideas. It was refretted according to the seller, not sure why. They charged her $350 and was about 3 weeks ago. Not sure what I am going to do.Also looks like it has a radious bridge but almost flat fingerboard. Came with a nice Superior case that I wll keep. Only got $650 in it. I had to drive an hour to get it and while on my way she was getting offers for $1000. I will take to local luthier for advice

  16. #15

    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    It still sounds like a good deal, even with all the issues. It also sounds like you are not planning on keeping it, so I wouldn't put any money into it. FORTUNATELY, the fingerboard extension falls away from the strings rather than scooping upward -- then you would be forced to do something about it. The way it is now, it is playable up to the 10th fret, so that is plenty for most folks. I would leave it alone, set it up as good as you can, keep the case, then flip it and you should make a couple hundred and get a free case. Somebody should be happy to get a KM-1500 for that price.

    Otherwise, if you start spending money to correct somebody else's mistakes, you will end up losing money, IMHO.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: KM-1500 neck issue

    Good points. I would like to correct it. Ill see what the luth says. Thank you

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