KE3 Kelly review by Jackson

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

Price paid: £ 395

Purchased from: Rikaxxe

Sound — 10
I play Metal/Metalcore/Thrash/Rock. I have a Marshall AVT50 (the old one) and Boss Metal Zone MT-2. This guitar was clearly designed primarily with metal in mind but I think it's actually quite versatile; You can get a very warm clean sound on the neck pickup and with a lot of distortion on it sounds great, the JB4 really comes into it's own.

Overall Impression — 9
The guitar matches my style of music well. If it were stolen I would buy it again because it's hard to find a guitar in it's price range that has 24 frets, a cool shape, a Floyd Rose and good pickups. I love the all things I mentioned in the previous sentence, I don't really hate anything about it there are just a couple of tiny (previously mentioned) problems. If there were 9.5s then that's what I'd give.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I think this guitar would definitely withstand Live playing, it's pretty solid. The volume knob and Floyd Rose seem like they would last a long time. The strap buttons are very good; they are the Jackson 17mm ones; Obviously the whole point of the wider strap buttons is so that your strap doesn't fall off but ironically this means you can't use strap locks so they could actually make your strap more likely to fall off. I would still take a backup to a gig just in case but this thing is reliable. The finish seems ok, I got a chip on the corner (sorted out very easily with black nail varnish) but I guess that happens on guitars with corners.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action is great, really low but not too low, it's really easy to shred on it. The pickups were abit too high because when I bent the Floyd Rose up a lot the strings touched it but that was easily sorted out with a screw driver. I wasn't sure where to put this but one small problem is that access above the 22nd fret isn't great, not terrible, but not great.

Features — 10
Made in Japan, 24 jumbo frets, Alder body, Maple neck, Floyd Rose Licensed Jackson Low Profile JT580 LP double-locking 2-Point Tremolo, bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan JB4, neck pickup: Seymour Duncan SH2N.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    victorkang wrote: 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?
    Pass. Don't even consider a single locking trem or funny-shaped guitar unless you have a backup. If you break a string while playing a locking trem, you're pretty much ass-out for at least a song - and that's if the strings are new. If they're old, it could take you 15-20 minutes to get the thing set up well enough to stay in tune for a whole song. Plus funny shapes are hard to play sitting down. Oh, and never EVER use a nylon strap with a funny-shaped guitar. I was playing a Firebird onstage, and the nylon strap and offset weight caused the thing to slide, and the headstock hit me right in the side of the head, in front of a couple hundred people. Very, VERY embarassing.
    I am just gonna to order one of these in Trans Red when pay day hits Ummmmm. Best 400 notes I ever spent. It will give me a great alternative to my Les Paul.
    Demonikk wrote: 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
    But the DJ600 is an artist series and only comes in the one colour scheme which isnt amazing to be fair, and its set up to someone elses standards, not factory settings. Id get a Kelly over that any day. But I'd still rather have and EX series ESP or a real Gibson Explorer over anything else, I don't really need a Floyd as i don't use whammy bars, and they are SWEET guitars
    This was my first good guitar and it was a great axe except for the pick ups. They sounded weak to me and I hated them. The Floyd Rose was flawless, though.
    one of the best guitars ever made; the pick ups, the bridge, the shape and feel of the guitar is flawless, i played one for about 3 minutes and fell in love with it, i wish i could own one
    i dislike the every reviewer plays either an AVT,MG, spider or frontman.....cept for the mosfet100 guy and AD30
    The necks on Jacksons are the smoothest and fastest playing necks ever. Thats why I bought one!
    I have the skull finish version.Payed about 1100 for it maybe 4 years ago or so. Great guitar and worth the cash,if I lost mine I would buy a new one.
    I hated this guitar for live playing.Just hung on me at a wrong angle or something.Very uncomfortable to play standing or running around on a stage.I put my EMG actives in it and it sounded great,and played great when sitting.I was given mine to me as a gift from my band so I wasn't out any cash.My band mate plays it now and he put the Duncans back in it and loves it,plays it all the time.But he also loves Ibanez RG and Jem's too.So.What the **** does he know about guitars...
    I have one (eerie dess swirl) and it is just the most amazing guitar fell in love with kelly's now If you can, buy one !!!