KE3 Kelly review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (202 votes)
Jackson: KE3 Kelly

Price paid: $ 779

Purchased from: S.B.Music (Mumbai,India)

Sound — 9
I play mostly metal, and this guitar suits my style perfectly. Although, I found that the neck pickup is not too good, it doesnt't have a good response and doesnt't catch harmonics. The bridge pickup is brilliant, I could make the guitar scream out some nasty pinch harmonics. It is almose noiseless, and even with some earthing problem in my house this guitar doesnt't give me earthing noise(buzzing). With distortion on and the bridge pickup, I was pretty satisfied though I might replace them with emg's. The clean sound with both pickups split coiled(selector middle position) was also good. I'm playing this guitar on a PODxt Live and Marshall MG50DFX. The sustain of the pickups is very good, though the neck pickup is a moderate output one. The bridge pickup as I said, has lots of sustain and hot output.

Overall Impression — 9
My first impression of the guitar was that it's a bit smallish, the body could have been made a bit larger. But nevertheless, the shape is totally evil-looking. It kinda looks like a scythe. I've been playing for over 2 years now, and this guitar seems like a perfect match for what I play. The cut of the guitar is not deep enough to give an easy reach to the 24th fret, but I'm getting used to it. If your fingers are small think twice before buying this. I love the crimson swirl finish on my axe, it looks sexy. That and the shape is my favourite feature. Of course the tone of the guitar is killer too, but it'll be even more awesome with a EMG zakk wylde set. What I don't like is that the body should have been about 5% larger, and access to frets beyond 22 should have been a bit easier. The floyd rose bridge is awesome, the guitar will never go out of tune that way. I had compared this with ESP 250 series guitars, but I chose this one simply because it has alder body wood and the finish and shape of the guitar is unique and appealing to everyone.If it's lost or stolen, I'd hunt down the person Who stole it, but I'd probably buy something else to replace it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I plan to use this on stage, and I think it was made to play live. The hardware is pretty robust and looks like it can last me a long time. The strap buttons are a bit awkward because I'm used to playing on a Strat-shape, and these are a bit uncomfortable at first. I would use a backup definitely with this guitar, only because it has a floyd rose bridge and if a string breaks I'd need a second guitar. The finish is very cool, artistic and psychedelic at the same time. It looks like it has been hand painted. Look at it in dim yellow lights and you'll know what I mean.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It's proper Jackson quality. No flaws at all. It came perfectly adjusted, but I might lower the action a bit. It looks perfectly Brand New, though I haven't opened up the back panel yet, will do it when I install new pickups. The pickup selector is not noisy at all, I have experienced horrors with the one on my Ibanez GRX70. It does seem a little bit flimsy, but I guess that doesn't matter much. It does it's job well.

Features — 9
My Jackson Kelly KE3 PRO is made in Japan, 2007 model. The neck is rock maple/basswood, and it has 24 Jumbo frets. The body is alder. The finish of my guitar is a crimson swirl graphics finish, unique to Jackson co. The body shape is based on a Gibson Explorer style, but more edgy and bevelled. It comes with a licenced floyd rose tremolo system. The pickups are Seymour Duncan Jazz SH2N(neck) and JB4(bridge). It's simple H-H circuitry includes only one volume knob.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Qoute: I am a metaller but this guitar suits me perfectly but will also be able to play other styles very well aswell Metaller? WTF is that?
    yeah, kellys look awesome. i wrote the review on the KX10-D model, totally love it. yeah, same thing about the harshell cases. people always ask me wtf i play lol, even whem im carryin me fender 30 in the other hand!
    The neck on the KE3 is 1st Fret: .720 12th Fret: .805 The neck on the KE3 is actually about .035" thinner than the more expensive KE2.
    jon bon 12
    How thick is the neck on the guitar, I'm considering buying it but haven't found anywhere which will tell me the neck width
    operation ktulu
    GhostRecon wrote: marty friedman used to have a limited edition kelly/explorer with reverse headstock. it ruled the earth
    uh yeah its marty friedman
    marty friedman used to have a limited edition kelly/explorer with reverse headstock. it ruled the earth
    MonsterOfRock wrote: If you like Explorers and whammy bars, definately get this, its the only Explorer with a Floyd Rose in it, from what I know.
    It's not really an explorer though is it, but if you're looking for an explorer with a Floyd Rose, try the ESP/LTD DJ600. There are other ones too y'know, have a look around
    My mate owns one. Fucking mint guitar. Its a metal guitar through and trhough with a brilliant tone.
    I had a 1997 Jackson KE3. The older ones were much better than the ones they make now. Parents paid $730, $30 extra for the Translucent Blue, and I got it on Christmas. I even have the Guitar World that reviewed the model. After nine years of use and abuse, I finally had to retire it. I always thought it sounded great. I could get any tone I wanted, and I like the simple setup (one volume knob, and a pickup selector).
    i'm a starting player, and i've a JS30 kelly... am considering this guitar when i get better...
    i agree, this guitar WILL take a beating, no matter how well you take care of it. also, as a warning, the hardshell cases are frickin HUGE! people always asked if i played the keyboard
    The only one I ever played was severely damaged so I can't give an opinion either way on one.
    i have a kelly..actually i had a kelly 10 yrs ago sold it and missed it. i got one on ebay for 100 quid so i was well pleased. In comparison to my ibanez s series and les paul studio the pickups are awful, the woods are veru poor quality, the bridge is good however. Dont buy a kelly if you want to keep a mint condition guitar because it always gets bashed.
    I have a ke3 kelly. I replaced the bride pickup with a dimebucker, and it sounds pretty good. It's a pretty decent axe for it's price. but the epiphone zakk that I have is a much nicer guitar.
    yeah i ended up findin it cheaper on the internet. But if i didnt heve found it cheaper i would have never known i freakin awesome this guitar is. i love it for any kind of playin. i def suggest it for anyone.