Price paid: $ 595
Purchased from: gearhounds
Sound — 9
It sounds awesome, metal metal metal! Using Fender Mustang I, Blackstar HT40. So far, pretty quiet, no microphonic noise or squeals - the neck pick-up sounds pretty damn good, as well as the 81 [contemplating changing the EMG to the Duncan Gus G Fire set, we shall see!] This is basically your prototypical shred machine, it can go toe-to-toe to my Kramer SM-1, even though it's all passives, with Duncan Cool Rails and Alternative 8 - it's more versatile than the KEXMG, but hey, the Kelly is my dedicated metal machine.
Overall Impression — 9
I play hard rock/metal, this guitar will be in my rotation of a Kramer SM-1 and Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom just fine. Been playing for well over 35 yrs. If stolen/lost, I'd get another one! I love the lightness of the guitar overall, plus the access to the higher frets is exceptional. There's nothing to hate, it's a great guitar. I initially thought this model was going to be built in India, and much to my surprise, it was made in China - HOWEVER, it allayed all my fears [I played a Jackson Scott Ian ATL Solist MIC awhile back, came away impressed!] - overall, it's a keeper, I just can't complain!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar can withstand anything you throw at it, it'll hold up - it's not like I'm gonna throw it off a building or anything remotely questionable like that, haha! Hardware is solid. Strap buttons are huge, you could conceivably go without the straplocks if necessary [slapped it on anyways, it holds good]. Finish overall is pretty good - I anticipate no problems overall in both rehearsal/live gigging situations, as well as recording - if I should make any after market changes, maybe an Origina FR and possibly [as I've mentioned somewhere around here, LOL!] going with Duncan Gus G Fire pick-ups.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Guitar was set-up well, just had to make minor adjustments to the FR - I may still have to take it into my guitar repair shop one day for an adjustment/set-up deal. Pick-up height was fine. The top looked pretty cool, the routed out area under the Floyd Rose was well-done. No noticeable flaws, just perfect - surprised of the level of quality of this guitar, considering it was Made In China [and plays a helluva lot better than the Epi Slash AFD I had long ago - even the punch, fat sounds of the EMGs sound great in this guitar!
Features — 9
- Made in 2012 - 24 frets, compound radius neck left unfinished [tung oiled] - Basswood body, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with jumbo frets and pearl sharkfin inlays - Classic Kelly body a la radical Explorer style - Floyd Rose Special whammy - it stay in-tune very well, was very surprised! - EMG 85/81 pickups - Volume+Tone+3-way toggle - Came with Dunlop straplocks - Furnished in black with white bevels, all black hardware - it just looks KILLER, omigawwwddddd - virtually my dream guitar at 3/4 the price of a USA Kelly, it was a great deal I just couldn't pass-up!