KE3 Kelly review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (202 votes)
Jackson: KE3 Kelly

Purchased from: River City Music

Sound — 9
My style is mostly comprised of metal and rock, but rarely I will play blues and funk. The KE3 works great for metal and hard rock, but for a bluesy or funky sound, you're going to want something else. I play it through a solid state Line 6 Spider II, with a EHX Metal Muff (which is a great complement to the KE3). The guitar puts out very little noise, and has a nice, full sound with or without distortion. The included Jazz pickup will put out decent cleans, and if you're only using it for an intro or a bridge once in a while, you'll be fine. If you need cleans for entire songs, you might put in a different neck pickup.

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is great. If you play metal and are in search of a low priced guitar to suit your style, this is perfect for you. The 24 jumbo frets are great for soloing. The cleans are a little lacking, but that's my only complaint. I would buy this guitar again, no question.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything about this guitar feels really solid and can probably withstand a lot of abuse. Everything is mounted really well, and the 'skulls' finish I got was amazing. I would use this guitar for a gig, but probably bring another, just because the KE3 doesn't perform great for funk and blues.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar comes set up well from the factory, with low action and .009 strings. I took the guitar in and had it set up for top heavy strings, because I play in a lot of dropped tunings. The pickups were set up great when I first played the KE3, and everything worked fine. No flaws or blemishes, no complaints.

Features — 9
I bought the 2006 model of this guitar around December 2006. With 24 jumbo frets, you are given the freedom of two entire octaves on any string, which is one of my favorite features of the guitar. The body is made of alder, and the neck of rock maple. A variety of finishes are available, mostly being transparent colors. The body shape is Explorer-esque, but more curved and pointed. The bridge is Floyd Rose, another nice touch. The only controls on the guitar are master volume and a 3-way pickup switch. The included TB4 and Jazz pickups (in the bridge and neck respctively) are great, but can be easily swapped for stronger pickups if nessacary. The tuners are locking, with an included hex wrench opening on 3 locks holding two strings each.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Great guitar, my second favorite of my guitars, ive used it at gigs and got good response
    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
    haha, on about hardcases cos i was thinking buying this as my second guitar ( i've been playing ageeees on my first, a wannabe strat. ) how much are the hard cases for them?
    i have this guitar in trans black, very sexy indeed, the cleans are very good but the distortion could be better so im thinking of upgrading to maybe a barenuckle nailbomb in the bridge and i dont have a mg or spier, i use roland cube 60
    I Have My Guitar Going Through A 212 Peavey Amp, With A Df-7 Distortion Factory. And To Tell You, It Sounds Awesome. I Have Mine In Trans Black As Well. I'm Tryin To Get The Peavey Windsor Head And Cabinet Amp Are They Good?
    i am thinking on getting this one or some simmilar costing ibanez, anyone has any suggestions on whish one should i get?
    MetalCro wrote: i am thinking on getting this one or some simmilar costing ibanez, anyone has any suggestions on whish one should i get?
    I'd Say...Try The Ke3 Kelly First , I Think It Would Blow Your Mind. What Kind Of Music U Listen To?