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Kentucky make a range of archtop mandolins and they are all classic designs of high quality and value for money. Kentucky were originally made in Japan in the seventies, I played one at Mandolin Brothers New York in the late 1970’s and was surprised by how good it was, assuming it was US made. These early mandolins stood out in quality and sound. Since then Japan has become very highly regarded in their instrument building. The Kentucky brand was in danger of becoming unaffordable and so Saga Music California made a decision to move to China for their products. As with all Saga brands their quality and value has only gotten better and better. Kentucky are now one of the premium mandolin brands worldwide.
Eastman are also at the top of the list and between these two companies there is an enormous choice of high grade instruments that actually compliment each other. Kentucky are definately worth a look in the lower price range and Eastman present fine options in the higher end with added bonuses of K&K pick-ups being factory fitted. Both brands are dependable in their value for money and performance.