#1
I live in Thailand and there is very limited choice in guitars in the shops any where near me so I am having to research on the net what to buy.
I think I have decided on a model from the Michael Kelly range from everything I have read and heard, it seems to be great value for a great guitar. I just have a couple of questions that will help me decide which model.

1. Is there a big difference between a rosewood or ebony fret board and if so what would it be?

2. What would be the difference between the Michael Kelly PAF plus and Rockfield SWC pick ups? Also, any info on EMGs (I don't think I want active pick ups from what I've read).

3. Does it make a big difference to the sound if the mahogany body has the maple top or not?

4. In the future, is it going to be a PITA not having 2 volume and Tone controls? Or is that something that I wouldn't really notice?

Any other advice or information would be great, particularly if you have experience of the Michael Kelly guitars (or alternatives?).

Sorry, that was 4 questions but I will be very grateful for any info or advice you can give me.

I ought to add, I'm interested in blues, classic rock (Led Zep, Dio, Black Sabbath etc) and some metal (probably no heavier than Metallica) and some Thai music you will probably never have heard of.
#2
Quote by Henry Wilt


1. Is there a big difference between a rosewood or ebony fret board and if so what would it be?

Yes. Ebony is generally a darker wood, and very often stained to be uniformly black. Ebony is denser than rosewood, and has a brighter tone. You won't notice the difference a whole lot because the fretboard is a smaller part of the amount of wood that makes up the guitar, but it does make a slight difference.

Quote by Henry Wilt


2. What would be the difference between the Michael Kelly PAF plus and Rockfield SWC pick ups? Also, any info on EMGs (I don't think I want active pick ups from what I've read).

I believe both the Michael Kelly and Rockfield pickups would be decent, probably similar-styled pickups. They probably won't be amazing, but probably not too bad at the same time. Active EMG pickups are mainly for pushing the front end of your amp to give it some extra drive. I personally don't like active pickups, but you may find they suit your needs well. EMG also makes really nice single coil active pickups, which I believe are what David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) uses in some of his guitars.

Quote by Henry Wilt

3. Does it make a big difference to the sound if the mahogany body has the maple top or not?

Short answer- yes.
Long answer- it depends on the thickness of the top. Some guitars have a thin veneer (as little as 1/4 of an inch thick!) on the top, usually as an aesthetic addition. Some guitars, namely Les Pauls and similar styled guitars, have a thicker maple "cap," which helps bring out the highs while the mahogany is a fairly dark and heavy wood. Maple is actually fairly similar to ebony as far as sound (and probably density) goes.

Quote by Henry Wilt

4. In the future, is it going to be a PITA not having 2 volume and Tone controls? Or is that something that I wouldn't really notice?

I have a Les Paul that I almost never play anymore since I got it signed. Even when I did play it, I didn't really find myself using all 4 knobs. At the most I would use the volume for the 2 pickups, but usually only to use the pickup selector as a killswitch. Unless you really feel the need to have all of that precise control, I think it's pretty unnecessary.

Quote by Henry Wilt

Any other advice or information would be great, particularly if you have experience of the Michael Kelly guitars (or alternatives?).

I can't say I've played a Michael Kelly guitar, personally, but I have heard pretty good things about them. From what I can gather, they're pretty good mid-range guitars. I'm not sure where they are made, but I want to say they are Chinese.

Brands similar to Michael Kelly would be Schecter, LTD, Ibanez (namely the ART series), or the PRS SE series.
#3
Thanks for the detailed answers Pac-man, and from what I've read the guitars are made in Korea which I believe is a plus quality wise.
#4
Michael Kelly makes amazing guitars in terms of value. The PAF pickups are going to be a bit rounder sounding. An ebony fingerboard will feel smoother, but won't make too big of a tonal difference. A maple top will not have much of an impact on tone. Most people don't really use all four knobs that much, other than as a killswitch as Pacman said, or for a less drastic volume shift.
#5
Thanks trueameican, I've read a lot about how people see them as great value guitars with excellent quality, that's why I've pretty much decided on one.

One other question, if I may. They list 3 different Bridges, all TonePro's, one locking, one fully adjustable and one string through the body. I am assuming that the action can be adjusted with all types right? Is there an advantage of one over the other?

Thanks again.
#7
Oops, that's me looking stupid then. I thought the action was adjusted from the bridge. What is the reason for an adjustable bridge then?
#8
Quote by trueamerican
Action is based on neck relief.

No it isn't. Action is the height of the bridge, don't go making yourself look stupid by telling people to adjust their action with the truss rod...
Actually called Mark!

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#9
Thanks for that Mark, so I wasn't completely wrong then, that makes me feel a little less stupid.

Are there major advantages for one type or the other of the bridges I mentioned earlier? From what I have read I believe that the string through the body helps give more sustain but other than that I haven't got a clue? (back to being stupid )
Last edited by Henry Wilt at May 22, 2011,
#10
Quote by steven seagull
No it isn't. Action is the height of the bridge, don't go making yourself look stupid by telling people to adjust their action with the truss rod...

Man you're just a real dick, aren't you?

Action is affected by both of those- that is, truss rod and bridge adjustment.

Henry, which guitar are you looking at? String through is where the strings are run through the back of the body and out the top and across the bridge; common on Schecter guitars. Locking I believe is that you can lock the bridge in the position it's in so that it won't move out of place over time (not really a necessity). Fully adjustable is probably just the traditional bridge style- like they have on a lot of Les Pauls.

I've heard that string-through isn't as good because the string doesn't have as much contact with the body as it does with a stopbar tailpiece, but I doubt it would be an audible difference.
#11
Yup, that's me.

Action is the height of the strings - if you want to adjust it you move either part of or the entire bridge up and down. Indisputable fact. End of discussion.

Neck relief is adjusted by the truss rod, and whilst that obviously plays a part in how your guitar will behave when you set a low action it has nothing to do with adjusting the action in of itself.

Saying "Action is based on neck relief" is, for whatever reason, and incorrect statement. Believe it or not people do screw up their guitars after being given incorrect advice - if you want to adjust you don't immediately start dicking around with the truss rod.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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#12
I never agreed that what trueamerican said was correct, I was just pointing out that string height is affected by both. You can't sit there and expect me to believe that adjusting the truss rod doesn't affect how far the strings are from the fretboard.
#13
Oh it'll affect it alright, but you'd be a fool to go near your truss rod if you specifically want to adjust string height.

I can stop my car with the handbrake if I want, but you'd be perfectly entitled to tell me I'm wrong for doing it because it's not what the handbrake's for, and using it to stop my car isn't particularly good for it.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#15
Thanks again for the detailed info on the bridges Pac-man, that was pretty much what I was thinking about the locking and adjustable types but couldn't understand why you would have a locking bridge.
I'm looking at the Patriot range and am tyring to decide between the Custom, Glory, Limited or Vintage. I think the prices are very similar so I just wanted to sort out if the specs of one are particularly better than the others.