KE3 Kelly review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (202 votes)
Jackson: KE3 Kelly

Price paid: $ 440

Purchased from: Creter Music

Sound — 9
I bought this guitar originally for metal and it works very well. I play it through a Marshall mosfet lead 100 head, crate 4-12 cab, boss megadistortion, and it gets a real good metal sound. Pretty easy to make pinch harmonics if you know where to do it. The biggest downside to the entire setup is the hot pickups, if you don't play the strings and you're running a high gain distortion setup, it will have a very high pitched feedback which gets really annoying very quickly.

Overall Impression — 8
I play metal, hardcore, metalcore/punk. it matches the genre perfectly. I own an Aria LP, for other bands I play through a boss super phaser, Korg AX100G, sometimes the jim Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Wah. I've been playing for about 2-3 years now. I compared this to some other Ibanezes it was a close call, but I don't really know what sold me on this. the thing I hate about this guitar is the hot pickups. I might even take it back because of it.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've yet to play live. I would imagine it would do pretty well. I would bring a backup just incase the pick ups go to hell. The strap buttons are solid but I would put straplocks on it because of the angle the strap makes the guitar be held. it falls off easily. The finish has no flaws in it. It will last a while.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I had my guitar guy set this up. Very good. Action is incredible. The pickups are stock as far as I know. Originally the pickup selector was being a little messy. It crackled but after some more tweaking, it sounds fine.

Features — 9
This guitar is a brand new 2005 model. I believe it was made in Japan, it is a solid top and you will feel it when you put it around your neck. I'm not sure what the body is, but the neck is maple. It has a floyd rose bridge, 3-way selector, double locking system at the neck and bridge. 22 frets.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Hi there. I am considering the KE3 Kelly for my first electric guitar (although I play some acoustic and classical). It is made in Korea, and it is about $400US, so is it worth the price?
    KVX10 KING V
    Hi there. I am considering the KE3 Kelly for my first electric guitar (although I play some acoustic and classical). It is made in Korea, and it is about $400US, so is it worth the price?
    Firstly, Jackson had their main manfacturing plant in Taiwan before the tidal wave hit. After that they moved to Japan, so their shipment is way behind. Anyways they are Japanese made, therefore meaning better quality, and you can tell if u have one from each country. Secondly since it is coming from Japan it may be a little more $ but not much. I wouldn't suggest it as a begginer guitar, because you will have a lot of problems with the floyd rose. Unless if u get a block installed. but other than that its an amazing guitar and the Seymour Duncan huimbuckers are HOT. I know because i have one.
    i am thinkin about buyin this guitar but at my local music shop it is 700 bucks! Is that a good price or should i look around on the internet or sumthin?
    The original price for this guitar is apox.$950-$1300. Depending on the finish(color) you get it.
    idk wat color 2 get on this guitar. I like the skulls but thats like $300 extra and i cant afford that. What color shouldd i get?
    Mine doesn't have a serial number or anything on it, I'm starting to think the guy I bought it off of, built a replica and stuck a Jackson neck/headstock on it.