Sponsored By
 
Kentucky KM-505 Artist A-Model Mandolin
 
A great value in an A-style mandolin from Saga Music, with solid woods and vintage-style appointments.
By: Dan Gabel
August 15, 2016

Kentucky mandolins are built by Saga Music, which also builds Blueridge guitars, Regal resonator guitars, Cremona violin-family instruments, and other popular brands. Like other Saga-built instruments, Kentucky mandolins have become a go-to recommendation for folks looking for high-quality, playable instruments at reasonable prices. With Kentucky’s Standard series for entry-level mandolins, the mid-priced Artist series, and the high-end Master models, they cover a lot of ground in the mandolin market.

The Kentucky KM-505 Artist A-Model is at the high end of the company’s Artist series, with a price of $795 list and about $520 retail. It has a solid, carved Sitka spruce top; solid, carved flamed-maple back and sides; and a solid maple neck with an ebony fretboard. The neck has a standard 1⅛-inch nut width and a rounded D-shape profile that is super comfortable to play. And with an adjustable bridge and two-way adjustable truss rod, the KM-505 can be easily set up to any player’s preferred specs.

Visually, the KM-505 has a cool vintage vibe, with Kentucky’s “mountain rose” inlay on the peghead, a black-and-white layered pickguard, 1920s-era tailpiece design, and a classy “amberburst” finish.  

Overall, the KM-505’s tone is rich and round, as you can hear when Peghead Nation mandolin instructor Joe K. Walsh plays the instrument in the video above, with deep lows and long sustain, particularly on the G and D courses. While the trebles are sweet and relatively mellow, they still manage to cut through when playing with an accompanying guitarist. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a great first instrument, or an experienced player looking for a solid, road-worthy A-style mandolin to add to your collection, the Kentucky KM-505 Artist A-Model should be on your short list.

To study mandolin with Joe K. Walsh, subscribe to The Advancing Mandolinist and/or Bluegrass Mandolin Jam Favorites on Peghead Nation.

SPECS: A-style mandolin with solid, carved Sitka spruce top, solid flamed-maple back and sides, solid maple neck, ebony fingerboard. Adjustable ebony bridge. Black-and-white layered pickguard. 13 7/8-inch scale. 1⅛-inch nut width. Gotoh tuning machines with ivoroid buttons. Two-way adjustable truss rod. Loop-end strings only. Amberburst finish. Made in China. $795 list. SagaMusic.com

Related Instrument Demos Posts
 

Northfield Flat Top Octave

Peghead Nation co-founder Dan Gabel and instructor Joe K. Walsh demonstrate Northfield’s popular octave mandolin.

Read More

 

Eight Mandolin Picks

Joe K. Walsh demonstrates eight of his favorite picks, including picks from Apollo, Bluebird, BlueChip, D’Andrea, and Wegen.

Read More

 

Shubb Fine Tune Capo on Octave Mandolin

Joe K. Walsh demonstrates using Shubb’s yoke-style capo on a Northfield octave mandolin.

Read More

 

Flynn Cohen’s Mandolin Setup

Peghead Nation instructor demonstrates the Northfield F5S and other gear that he uses on tour.

Read More

 

The Brazilian Mandolin

Peghead Nation’s Brazilian Choro Mandolin instructor Ian Coury demonstrates eight-string and ten-string mandolins and discusses their roles in Brazilian music.

Read More

 

Pedro Santos Ten-String Bandolim

Peghead Nation’s Brazilian Choro Mandolin instructor Ian Coury demonstrates his main instrument and talks about the history of the mandolin in Brazilian music.

Read More

 

Artist Series “4th Generation” F5 | Northfield Mandolins

Dan Bui demonstrates a Lloyd Loar-style F5 from Northfield Mandolins at the Music Emporium.

Read More

 

Apitius Yorkville

Aaron Weinstein demonstrates his new jazz mandolin.

Read More

 

1910s Gibson H-1

Joe K. Walsh demonstrates his vintage mandola, which he set up with an old DeArmond pickup for playing electric.

Read More

 

Collings MT2 Quilted Maple Mandolin

A great A-style mandolin built with premium woods.

Read More

 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Julian Lage, “Nothing Happens Here” | Collings Guitars
The jazz phenom performs live in San Francisco using his Collings OM1 JL signature model.
 
 
 
 
 
  Follow Us:  
 
  About Us       Shop         Support         Contact Us         Email Sign up         Advertise         Sitemap         FAQ         Privacy         Terms         Subscribe   Sign In  
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 PegheadNation.com