KE3 Kelly review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (202 votes)
Jackson: KE3 Kelly

Price paid: C$ 720

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Sound — 9
This guitar is basically meant for metal and rock. I noticed that it plays some great blues too. The clean sound better. The pickups aren't that great and I might get some better ones for it. I play lots of metal and bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica. Sounds great with some distortion. I haven't noticed any buzzes with the pickups or anything and if I did it would probably be coming from my amp. It has a very sharp sound. I play it through a Line 6 spider 3 amp which I don't recommend. Doing dive bombs and whammy sounds with this guitar is incredible. The sound for it is perfect.

Overall Impression — 10
I play metal so the guitar is perfect for that. If I had it stolen or lost I would definitely go buy the same guitar. I love the Floyd Rose. I can't play guitar without using it at some point. The one thing I want on this guitar is another volume knob so I could use the pickup selector as a killswitch because I am trying to learn how to play Buckethead so it would be a useful feature. I tried out a ton of guitars from Ibanez to Schecter and the reason I chose this one is because of the playability and the design of the guitar. Overall a great guitar

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will withstand Live playing. I have had no problems with it in the middle of playing. I wouldn't play it at a gig without a backup because it is better to safe then sorry and because it is rather easy to break a string because of the Floyd Rose.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was pretty well set up form the factory but is till got it set up from a professional to fix some personal bugs I had with it such as action and placement of the pickups. The pickups are apparantely very low from the strings but I didn't notice too much but I still highered them as they werent picking up the sound perfectly. The volume knob feels a little bit loose but it was fine once I bought the guitar but I guess it wore out over time. The guitar is rather neck heavy and is kind've hard to play standing up but it isnt too bad.

Features — 9
This beautiful guitar has an alder body (with flame maple veneer on trans finishes), bolt-on maple neck, compound radius rosewood fingerboard, Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups, Jackson low-profile double-locking tremolo and black hardware. Has 24 jumbo frets, eerie dess swirl finish. It has 1 volume knob and a 3-way pickup selector.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    hey pplz im probaly gonna get the Ke3 for a couple reasons. -The Ke2 is a $1000 more, and if you want an ebany fingerboard just order on from warmoth. -i can afford it, and still have enough to throw in some EMG's -the Ke2 is constructed out of Poplar which sounds exactly like alder (check warmoth if you dont belive me)and the advantages of neck-through are highly debated. the basic question is- Would you spen $1000 for an original floyd rose?
    _foo fighter_
    I bought a used KE3 about 6 months ago at a local pawn shop for $300. TOTALLY worth it, besides, I got a really good deal seeing as new ones go for somewhere in the $700 range... Plays amazingly well, the neck is fast and my crimson swirl finish looks awesome! If you tune the Licnsd. Floyd Rose right it will hardly ever get out of tune. 6 months and no problems! I don't even play that much metal and I love it. One question though, what pickups and/or amp should I get for playing classic rock, grunge, new rock, and some good clean sounds?
    Best Clean Chime: Bruno Underground 30 w/ REVERB. Spring for Telefunken tubes (especially the EL84s). You'll notice a huge improvement. Best Fender Clean/Blackface: Bruno Cowtipper 45 with REVERB. Get the RCA Blackplates and NOS Mullard rectifier. GE preamp tubes will sound just fine. Best SRVish BIG BIG Clean: KOMET 80. WOW Best clean on the planet: Dumble ODS but that's way out of reach for most at $35k each. Best lead tone: Trainwreck Express (New Transformer versions). Good luck finding one now. Next to that I have to like the Komets when dialed in correctly. The SLO is very very nice too but not as thick (yes Govt Mule but try to nail that tone yourself). Best Heavy OD: Diezel VH4 EL34 Best Classic Rock/Higher Gain Amp: Soldano SLO with all the mods and NOS KT66 Best Clean OD amp(s): Komet Constellation (darker) or Matchless JJ30 or DC30 or SC30 (pretty much the same on Matchlesses).