“Attention Kmart shoppers.”

You remember the old “blue light” special gimmick at America’s favorite discount store, don’t you?

That’s where I keep expecting the new “Ktone” harp guitar to turn up.

Don’t laugh.

This is just the latest iteration of that old “Mike Doolin rip-off” Chinese instrument from eBay’s Tropical Moon vendor (who went under a hundred other “brand” and user names).

Disclaimer: I don’t know if the new Ktone (not sold at Kmart, I was just joking, but sold on Amazon) is actually still the same company or instrument.  But it sure looks like it.

I bring all this up not to pick on them (though I am happy to), but because just this week I got two separate requests for strings for this instrument, both from knowledgeable guitar players.  Just goes to illustrate the many realities of the continually expanding harp guitar market.

One bought the new Ktone.  The owner “apologized”…he’d read my Public Service Announcement, but hopes to work on upgrading it to see if he can make something of it.

The other gentleman received from a friend a free used model with “Maestro” on the headstock (same instrument, just different decal).  He, too, hopes to string it up and try to get it working just so he can decide if he likes harp guitar, though he confessed “One might surely feel like the proverbial ‘turd in a punch bowl’ showing up for one of your yearly harp guitar meetings with this…”

His expression, not mine (but if the ____ fits…).

Speaking of entry-level harp guitars, I find myself on the horns of a similar dilemma, and recently posted a new Public Service Announcement about it.