Kentucky KM-270 Artist A-Model Mandolin Vintage Overview: Mandolins Around the World

ModelRatingFretsWeightOur topCheck
1Kentucky KM-270 222.75 pounds1 Check

Kentucky KM-270
Weight2.75 pounds
Our top1
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Kentucky mandolins are incredibly for musicians of all levels. Using the vintage example as inspiration the mandolin designers Kentucky have produced an unbelievable value for the mandolin players.

Kentucky KM-270 Artist A-Model Mandolin Vintage

Vintage example of the popular A-style instruments has a delicate and very expressive tone with a reverb component that smoothes and homogenizes the tremolo effect. The sonority is sweet. In comparison with that of instruments with a more modern design, it reveals itself guttural, in particular if the strings are plucked away from the bridge, while the definition is always excellent over the whole extension; the supercuts are brilliant and clear and are definitely strong when played near the bridge.

The projection is not its strong point while the dynamic is excellent, provided you do not force it to draw more sound than it is capable. The signal/noise ratio on the bass strings varies considerably depending on the force and the angle of impact of the plectrum; in particular it improves as the performer moves towards the fretboard, while on the high ones it remains practically constant. The mandolin remains an instrument with a “small” but extremely expressive voice, capable of becoming languid and it gives everything possible with a rigid but not too often elongated plectrum.

Features of then Kentucky KM-270 Artist A-Model Mandolin Vintage

  • The model has a body design in the style of the 1920s;
  • The body is made of the sitka spruce, the back and sides are of the maple;
  • High-gloss sunburst lacquer finish;
  • One-piece maple neck;
  • Rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl markers;
  • 22 highly-polished nickel silver frets;
  • High-quality tuning machines.

The mandolin is a purely solo instrument. It is also possible to use it “harmonically” to produce musical chords. To obtain the tremolo technique, it is essential that the plectrum be held firmly between the fingers, while the musician’s wrist must always remain loose and free to oscillate or there will be no chance of harmony.

The plectrum is also an important accessory for the execution. Its shape and the material of which it is composed influence and determine the sonority of the instrument.

A delicate and very expressive tone
A reverb component that smoothes and homogenizes the tremolo effect
The sonority is sweet
The supercuts are brilliant and clear
The supercuts definitely strong when played near the bridge
his mandolin comes with nothing, no picks, neck strap, case

Mandolin with an oval hole

As in all stringed instruments, the sound table has a sound hole from which the amplified sound from the speaker propagates outside. Shape and position of the hole, which opens at the top of the sound table at the end of the fingerboard and is almost always surrounded by decorative threads, change little in most traditional mandolins in which the hole can be indifferently round or oval. Mandolins with oval sound holes offer a characteristic sound that played a big role in the formation of music of the first half of the 20th century.

I just got this sweet mandolin. She sounds even better than she looks ? Not real ornate like some F-style mandolins, but with an absolutely beautiful tone! Better than I had hoped for. I played this exact model at a local buy and sell shop and next to instruments that cost hundreds of dollars more, it stood out. The oval hole maybe makes it have a fuller, more open sound. I found it here on Amazon with this sunburst finish. Wow! As someone who plays a high-end guitar and a mid-range violin, I can say that this is a solid, quality instrument. I am very happy to welcome her into the family. Bryan W. Reed

More or less at the center of the sound table is the bridge, a thin oblong wooden structure of pyramidal profile through which the vibrations of the strings in tension, positioned by slight grooves that determine spacing, height and diapason, press on it transmitting the vibrations at the soundboard that has the task of amplifying them. Essential for the sound is the base of the bridge which must be shaped to match perfectly with the sound table in order to offer the maximum contact surface.

How to choose a plectrum

The plectrum is held between the thumb and the forefinger for 1/3 of its length and with the simple movement of the wrist you have to strike once the string pair from top to bottom and from bottom to top. Performing this alternating movement very quickly on the same note gives the tremolo or trillato, an effect that makes the sound of this instrument unique.

In the music market there are millions of plectrums, each one different from the other, but they have the same objective. Therefore, if you want to acquire the correct prong is necessary to experiment with the weight of each of them, among all you will find one that suits and accommodate you. It is advisable to use those that are light and medium, but it is not a primordial rule.

How to hold the Mandolin

Tip:The most advisable thing is to hold the mandolin on your legs, the neck of the instrument should be pointing up and diagonally next to your body. Try not to press it with your torso, since the result of that action can affect the sound of the mandolin. With the help of your forearm towards your dominant hand, the mandolin should take a horizontal position and your arm should be bent.

Mandolin in American culture

The mandolin entered American culture through the waves of European immigration in the early nineteenth century, in a period of great interest in everything that was exotic and foreign. By the 1850s, the mandolin was in vogue and shared popularity with sitar, ukuleles and other novelties that entertained the American middle class.

With an increase in Italian immigration in the 1880s, the Neapolitan mandolin spread even further throughout the United States. By the turn of the century many orchestras were already in mandolins and these began to form schools. In this period the mandolin was the most popular instrument in American culture.

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