#1
Hello, I am still searching for my new guitar, which I was planning to get an superstrat. But then I spotted a Jackson Kelly with a good price in the internet.
my question is: the jacksons Kelly body shape and cutaway are great for soloing ( access to the higher frets )??
In the moment, im using a King V, that its good but i didn't find it ideal because the body starts to the space after the 16th fret. If the kelly one is nearly as "ok" as the king V, im ok to.

The other question is: is poplar bodies great? They are light or heavier than basswood?
#2
Yes, the Kelly is great for soloing. Notice the cutout at the upper frets. Which Kelly are you looking at? If you get an X-Series or above even better, because those are neck-through. Poplar is a little heavier than basswood I believe.
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Feb 6, 2017,
#3
Thanks!
Im willing to get one more "entry level", the js32. My king V is the js30 and i really like it a lot, but i want a guitar to start messing up with the floyd and maybe in the future upgrade it.
#4
I have a MIJ KE3 Bolt-On Kelly. The neck joins the body right at the 17th fret. Fret access past the 21st fret gets a bit tight. With that lower horn coming out, there is no place for your hand to go - your fingers have to stay around the 20/21 and reach over to hit the higher ones.

Also, the entire fretboard is shifted to the left compared to my Dinky - it's just how the guitar sits on you - so from that aspect the higher frets are nicer because your arm isn't shoved in so tight to your body.

The neck-through models may have a bit better access as your thumb wouldn't get caught up in the Fender Strat style neck to body connection but I've never played one of those.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#6
+1 to what metalmingee said. I'd add that the Kelly is a neck-heavy guitar standing up, and the top back horn can be uncomfortable under your picking arm sitting down depending on your posture. Still, it's a cool guitar that turns heads on stage.
Ibanez UV777 - Carvin TL60 & 727 - Jackson KE3
Splawn QuickRod - Mesa Stiletto & RoadKing - Peavey Ultra+ - Peavey Bandit
Some pedlulz & cabz


7 String Legion
#7
check your local used market, for what it costs to get a new JS32 Kelly you can probably pick up a used X series or KE3 which will be better quality than the JS32 - although having a JS32 Kelly it is a decent playing guitar - pickups are meh but that is to be expected.

As mentioned they tend to be neck heavy when standing up, but if you move the stap button to one of the neck screws the problem is solved..
#8
BCKRedBaron guitarsngear

The neck dive is much, much better with a leather strap with a rough underside and Schaller Strap Locks - the locks allow things to swivel a bit and they helped a ton.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#9
The Kelly is designed more for looks than functionality. I have a similar guitar. The best of the guitars I have with a "star" style body is the Carvin V220, which reverses the bouts, putting the short bout on the treble side and the longer bout on top. It moves the frets back to the right eliminates neck dive, and with a smooth neck/body transition, is much better for upper-fret access.



Quote by metalmingee
BCKRedBaron guitarsngear

The neck dive is much, much better with a leather strap with a rough underside and Schaller Strap Locks - the locks allow things to swivel a bit and they helped a ton.


My issue with neck-diving guitars is that the work-around you suggest ends up pulling up your shirt in the back . You still have to support the neck with your fretting hand, and that doesn't contribute to great soloing or playing capabilities. And if your shirt comes untucked, you have a pointy headtock heading for the floor.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 6, 2017,
#10
dspellman

You're probably right. But Kellys look bad ass!!!
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#11
The neck dive problem im a little used to, thanks to my king V js30. So I think i can deal with that. But what caught my attention is, like you've mentioned, the mod to move the strap button to the neck joint.
Can someone explain me how to do it or share any links?
Plus, it can result in any problems in relation of tension or whatever?
Thank you all for the help
#12
About the kelly ke3, i have found some used models that looks very nice for the exact same price than the js32 but what concerns me is the missing tone pot im not a super metal distortion guy and im used to play so much different things in my guitars, so this for me is a thing to consider.
Yep, is a little odd that, with that mentality i like so much metal guitars haha. But their style and playability for me are the selling point (thin neck, 24 fret, crazy looks -and my indiference to the ibanez guitar looks haha-)
#13
Quote by jonomaia123
The neck dive problem im a little used to, thanks to my king V js30. So I think i can deal with that. But what caught my attention is, like you've mentioned, the mod to move the strap button to the neck joint.
Can someone explain me how to do it or share any links?
Plus, it can result in any problems in relation of tension or whatever?
Thank you all for the help


Moving the strap button to the neck joint really doesn't help all that much. It needs a LOT more movement than that. Notice that on the V220, above, the strap button is near the 15th fret. On a Kelly, even if moved to the back of the neck, it's going to be closer to the 20th fret. This also moves the whole guitar to the left compared to the V220 (for example).
#14
I moved my strap button to the treble side, the neck end screw and neck dive is gone for me

jonomaia123
Remove the neck end strap button, remove one of the neck screws ( I recommend the treble side neck end screw) put the neck screw through the strap lock and back into the neck - done. If you want you can exchange the neck screw for one that is about 1/4" longer to adjust for the strap button but it isn't ,necessary
#15
Quote by metalmingee
dspellman

You're probably right. But Kellys look bad ass!!!


Agreed. And charvel stars (and mockingbirds, which have a similarish shape and also often neck-dive) too. I've never tried a carvin but I know they have a great rep, and i'm sure dspellman's one is great- but it just doesn't look as cool as the kelly, the charvel star, or the mockingbird and for a shape guitar like that where, let's be honest (for me at least), what it looks like is why I'm buying it (assuming it's a good guitar too, of course), I'll probably be willing to overlook a few niggles if it looks awesome.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
My IC520 Iceman had a tendency for the top of the body to tilt forward, away from me, until I moved the rear button from the bottom of the point to the top. That made it 50% better.

If I move the front button from the rear of the body to the side of the front slanted edge of the body it would be 100% cured I'm certain, but I'll need some sort of strap lock. The old worn out hole on my strap would slip out in no time on account of the slant of the upper 'horn'. It still has the neck dive, though not horrible.

But, yes, those Kellys have had a lot of plate screws removed and replaced with a strap button over the years.
Last edited by chaosinsues5 at Feb 6, 2017,
#17
Quote by Dave_Mc
Agreed. And charvel stars (and mockingbirds, which have a similarish shape and also often neck-dive) too. I've never tried a carvin but I know they have a great rep, and i'm sure dspellman's one is great- but it just doesn't look as cool as the kelly, the charvel star, or the mockingbird and for a shape guitar like that where, let's be honest (for me at least), what it looks like is why I'm buying it (assuming it's a good guitar too, of course), I'll probably be willing to overlook a few niggles if it looks awesome.


I built this thing some time ago for pickup testing (note the waterslide decal on the headstock and the neutrik panel jack for output). It's not a Kelly, but it's similar.



Since the original "title" question was regarding the Kelly shape's suitability for soloing, I think the question's been answered -- it's not bad, but certainly not the best choice, given the iffy upper fret access and the neck dive. Since I'm *behind* the guitar when I'm playing, the looks of the guitar really aren't the first priority, and I've found that very few audience members notice the looks of the guitar past the first minute or two. We once took a poll of people getting ready to leave one of our bar gigs one night and asked if them what they could tell us about the guitar the lead player was using (it was a gibson LP burst). Among the females, the answer most often recorded was...."Uh...it was red?" and among the guys, "I dunno -- I was watching the girls."
#18
^ Yeah that's closer to a kelly

(though I still prefer the shape of the kelly )

And lol yeah. But still when you're playing it you kind of know how it looks. And it looks really cool on a stand (though maybe that means i should actually play mine more )...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc


And lol yeah. But still when you're playing it you kind of know how it looks.


So I suppose the next question is: Who, exactly, is actually impressed by a particular guitar body shape and why? Who are we *trying* to impress? While we're at it, this is actually a fairly old body shape and not one that sells a lot these days. What about it do you really find appealing and why?
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 8, 2017,
#21
I expect most of us want to play something that looks cool to us, and therefore at least have the potential to look cool to others.

There are some horrendously ugly looking guitars out there that I don't mind admitting that I'd never play in public because, to me they look the opposite of cool. I can't believe at 45 years old I'm talking about looking cool, but rock'n'roll has plenty of coolness surrounding it, and image is a part of it.

Many people wouldn't be comfortable playing a goofy looking guitar in front of a crowd.
#22
Quote by chaosinsues5

Many people wouldn't be comfortable playing a goofy looking guitar in front of a crowd.


This one's out?



I actually played one of these over the course of a month (borrowed). Loved it. It's actually a fan-fret guitar (that's how they get it to look all bent -- that plus a lot of optical illusion).

But seriously, I think "fashion" has something to do with this. There have been cool guitars along the way -- in the '60's and '70's, an LP led the way. But by the late '70's, you were laughed at if you didn't have a hot-rod superstrat, spandex, big hair. That changed again toward the beginning of the '90's, and now you were laughed at if you DID have a hot rod superstrat, spandex and big hair. The pointies disappeared, LPs and strats returned. And now the cool guitar is whatever's black (because it's like, dude, 'sinister'). And lookee there, the pointies have returned (as long as they're black).

That white V220 is an archetypical '80's guitar -- actually appeared in a Starship video or two in the hands of Craig Chaquico. What it isn't...is black.
Here's that white one making an appearance during the song some say is the Worst Song Ever. It shows up early, about 26 seconds in.



And somewhere in this one, from the movie Mannequin:

Last edited by dspellman at Feb 8, 2017,
#23
dspellman

My Kelly makes me smile when I open the case and when I see a reflection of myself. Some leftover dream as a kid with the pointy body and headstock I suppose!!
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#24
I was 12 in '83 and already drumming and playing guitar. Craig's V220's in those music mags back then really caught my eye...same as the Kellys, Rhoads, BC Rich's and all the other 'metal' looking pointies that were flooding the music scene at the time. What a great time to be young.
#25
Quote by dspellman
So I suppose the next question is: Who, exactly, is actually impressed by a particular guitar body shape and why? Who are we *trying* to impress? While we're at it, this is actually a fairly old body shape and not one that sells a lot these days. What about it do you really find appealing and why?


I just like how it looks.

probably because I used to be a megadeth fanboy
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#26
Quote by dspellman

(a) But seriously, I think "fashion" has something to do with this. There have been cool guitars along the way -- in the '60's and '70's, an LP led the way. But by the late '70's, you were laughed at if you didn't have a hot-rod superstrat, spandex, big hair. That changed again toward the beginning of the '90's, and now you were laughed at if you DID have a hot rod superstrat, spandex and big hair. The pointies disappeared, LPs and strats returned. And now the cool guitar is whatever's black (because it's like, dude, 'sinister'). And lookee there, the pointies have returned (as long as they're black).

That white V220 is an archetypical '80's guitar -- actually appeared in a Starship video or two in the hands of Craig Chaquico. What it isn't...is black.
(b) Here's that white one making an appearance during the song some say is the Worst Song Ever. It shows up early, about 26 seconds in.


(a) absolutely, fashion very definitely is something to do with it

(b) hahahahahahahahahahaha
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
Quote by dspellman
So I suppose the next question is: Who, exactly, is actually impressed by a particular guitar body shape and why? Who are we *trying* to impress?

Ourselves and other guitar forum members obviously.
While we're at it, this is actually a fairly old body shape and not one that sells a lot these days. What about it do you really find appealing and why?

You might as well have asked why anyone finds anything appealing; I just do.

It looks aggressive but has curves in the right places at the same time. The contours follow continuity with the headstock shape and the sharkfin inlays. The body style and proportions are vaguely reminiscent of the Explorer, which is a shape I've always liked. There are a lot more practical musical tools than a Jackson Kelly, but I like how it looks to the point that I'm willing to live with those impracticalities. I'm not afraid to admit that the way something looks has a large bearing on whether I like it or not, and anyone who insists that it doesn't to them is a liar.

It is true that artist endorsement plays a part in how we feel about how something looks too, along with whatever flavor of the month it is in the fashion world. But that can be applied to any industry that designs anything to make it look better. It's nothing new or impressive.
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#28
I have a few guitars that are not ergonomically designed they are made for appearence as opposed to comfort although I have no issues playing any of them standing or sitting. The Kelly/modified Explorer shape was comfortable for me as well the upper rear bout can dig into your arm a bit but then again so can a non-contoured strat shape.






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