Hex Deluxe Review

manufacturer: Michael Kelly date: 03/04/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Michael Kelly: Hex Deluxe
It's got 24 medium-jumbo frets on a beautiful, smooth ebony fretboard. No sharp edges, no dead frets. 25.5" scale.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.3
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (2) 15 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Hex Deluxe Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 08, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 499

Purchased from: Merchant City, Glasgow

Features: Made in Korea, '08 model I believe. 24 frets with 25.5 scale on a gorgeous ebony fretboard with pearl inlays. A 'double Diamond' is the closest thing I think I can liken the inlay shape to. Mahogany body with a set-thru maple neck, and a nice figured maple top. 'Superstrat' body style, with carved tops on the horns for a more unique look. Original Floyd Rose bridge, and Grover tuners. EMG 81/85 active pickups with 2 volumes, a tone, and 3-way selector switch. The store gave me hex keys with it, but I think that's store policy rather than Michael Kelly's generosity. // 10

Sound: I play primarily metal, but I try to do at least a little of everything, so I know a bit about funk, blues, country, Jazz... you name it, I've probably touched upon it. Even Baroque and Classical-period melodies are not safe! The EMGs and mahogany obviously lap up every bit of metal you throw at them while asking for more, but I also discovered that the 85 also gives passable clean tones with some amp twiddling. At the moment I'm stick with a Line6 SpiderIII 15watt amp for bedroom practice, but I also gave it a quick run through my dad's Sound City valve combo, and it sounds incredible through both amps. I haven't encountered much noise yet, but then again I haven't been able to crank it up beyond household volume levels. I've got an Ibanez RG with Seymour Duncan Blackouts, though, and the EMGs seem to be just as quiet in the hum department. The EMGs aren't quite as organic as Blackouts or high-output Passives, but this thing was made for heavy playing anyway, and for that, there's little else better. The Floyd Rose spits in the face of the liscenced piece of shit on my Dean Razorback, and kept it in tune for a night of near-constant divebombing and screaming. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came set up absolutely perfectly, like everything I've ever tried and bought from Merchant City (I bought two cheaper Ibanezes there before). Very low action, but no buzz, and I can pull the Floyd right back without the strings buzzing off the frets or pickups. Pickups were set just low enough to avoid contact with strings while using the trem, but still high enough to pick up all the goodness from the strings. Balanced outputs between the pickups and across the strings. The routing for the tremolo is also much deeper than most FR-equipped guitars I've played, perfect for extreme tomfoolery. Absolutely no complaints of any type here, and kudos to Merchant City for always setting up their guitars before sale. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've only had this a few days, but it feels rock solid. No loose hardware or wiring, the finish seems solid (unlike my Dean). Strap buttons won't budge, but I'll be fitting straplocks when I get the chance, just as personal policy. I'm not much of a gigging person due to the appalling lack of dedicated musicians in my school, but I can't forsee any problems this guitar would give me Live. I'd still never gig without a backup though, just on principle. // 10

Overall Impression: As mentioned above, I'm primarily a metal player, and for thod price, I challenge you to find a better metal axe. I've played the six string for a year now, but noodled on bass guitars for 2 extra years before. In the guitar department I've got a Dean Razorback and a cheap Ibanez RG with Seymour Duncan Blackouts fitted. I had an Ibanez SAS36, but I hated the tremolo and the god-awful bridge pickup, so I sold that to get my RG. For amplification I just use my SpiderIII 15w, since I can't use much else in my bedroom. Never needed any effects pedals, since the Spider's built in effects are enough for practice. I've also got a Yamaha RBX375 and Tobias Toby Pro 4 bass, which is another lovely piece of Korean work. The first thing I asked when I tried this in the store was 'are you sure that's the right pricetag? '. I seriously could not believe such a quality axe would come in at 500 quid, even from a less-known manufacturer. If it was stolen, I'd take it back and castrate the thief by sticking his manhood under the strings and doing repeated tremolo screams. Otherwise I'd buy a new one in a heartbeat. The original Floyd Rose is definately a shining point of this thing. My Dean is liosted at anything up to 1000 pounds depending on stores, and it still only has a liscenced piece of shit. There really is a world of difference, people. The only thing I could possibly ask for would be Standard-fitted straplocks and Seymour Duncan Blackouts instead of EMGs. But that's just nitpicking. I compared this to a Prestige RG, several PRS guitars well above it's price, a Dean ML, and a Schecter Hellraiser. For the price, this outperformed them all, with the Schecter coming in a close second, again due to quality/price. PRS had better watch their backs from now on, as far as I'm concerned. // 10

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overall: 9
Hex Deluxe Reviewed by: Issor, on june 09, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 525

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features: Made in Korea, in 2009. It's got 24 medium-jumbo frets on a beautiful, smooth ebony fretboard. No sharp edges, no dead frets. 25.5" scale. Thin-ish neck, perfect for my hands, and very fast finished neck. Has a flat profile. The headstock is a reverse blade with a twist- the top part is rounded rather than straight, concave. It has great grover tuners, and an ORIGINAL Floyd Rose with locking nut. Hard to believe given its 700$ price from Musician's Friend! Mahogany body. The top is the black vapor finish on a BEAUTIFUL two-piece burl top, likely maple. The edges are beveled, with a belly carve and a forearm carve, and the top horn is carved as well. It has a wonderful white binding all the way around the guitar, and white MOP inlays in what I suppose can be described like a separated Diamond. Finish is very durable. It has active pickups, though they are very new and relatively unknown - Rockfield Black Bettys. They have amazing high gain tones, but without sacrificing the ability to do cleans well. I can get great, heavy, bassy (but not overly so) death metal tones, then simply Switch channels and maybe Switch pickups and achieve wonderful clean tones as well. It has a 3-way toggle, 2x volume, 1x tone, though for some reason the volume knobs on mine are wired backwards - that is, the one in the "rear" is for the neck pickup, and the one in the "front" is for the bridge pickup. No big deal. I got mine from Musician's Friend, and it was Scratch 'n' Dent, so no accessories included aside from what comes with the guitar (allen wrenches, extra FR spring, tremolo arm). // 10

Sound: Can do a wide variety of sounds, though it arguable does metal the best. I play death metal most of the time, in the vein of The Faceless, Necrophagist, though I also play other types of metal (i.e. Mastodon, Meshuggah on occasion when I feel like not being able to play a song) as well as blues, jazzy metal (think Cynic), general clean songs (like some newer Cynic, some Buckethead, etc) and this guitar does all of them well enough. For what I bought it for, though, it excels. I dare you to find a better guitar for the price. I play through some terrible Ibanez TBX65R, though hopefully I'll replace that with a used 6505+ 112 combo soon enough, and be able to really hear what this thing can do. I don't use any affects aside from, occasionally, going into a DigiTech GNX3000 effects/amp modeler. I normally use the DualRect preset with the gain on about 50-60, the level at 79-89, 2-3 Bass, 1 mid, 8 treble, though sometimes I play -5 bass, 8 mid, 6 treble. The only effects I really use on that is the noise gate (my amp is noisy, and I'm sloppy!) and sometimes a stompbox or the whammy pedal. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I didn't get this from the factory - I got it Scratch 'n' Dent from Musician's Friend, so it was NOT set up well. The action was way too low and the FR not setup properly. I was, however, perfectly okay with this, as I'm willing to put in time to learn how to do these things myself. About an hour to change strings on my first FR, and then over the course of a few days probably 2-3 to really perfect it. I had to add another spring as I tuned down to Drop C/D Standard with 12-56s and didn't want to stretch the springs too much. I adjusted my action (very, very quick fix, all tools included) and it is now perfect. No dead frets, no buzz, but still a fast, low action. All of the hardware seems very solid so far. All of the routing is done very well, and very precisely. All of the wiring is very tidy and neat, with plenty of room for fun extras in the control cavity. The bookmatching on the top looks simply stunning, and all the controls are solid as well. The previous owner (or perhaps the shipping flaw, Who knows?) did make a very, VERY minor chip in the finish near the FR that I didn't even notice until I looked at it for an hour and a half in the right light at the right angle - and this brought the guitar down nearly $200! // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've never played Live, but it seems very sturdy and certainly sturdy enough to play as a main guitar. I don't think it's a good idea to go without a backup regardless of how the guitar seems, but for a show or two it probably wouldn't be a big deal. The finish is the perfect thickness, and I've hardly scratched it at all except for some very minor pick scratches. I haven't used a strap with it (waiting to get some strap locks), so I can't comment on the durability of the strap buttons, but they are fairly large. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a wide variety of music, from classical to metal and many places in between, and this -can- do all of them. It certainly isn't ideal for all of them, but for what I primarily play it does its job well. I've only been playing for about 1.75 years, but I like to think I'm at least fairly knowledgeable on gear itself. I didn't have the chance to play it before I bought it, but I still feel it was a solid decision, and I'm very satisfied. If it were lost/stolen, I'd certainly buy another one as soon as possible. It's just that good for the price. I love the price and the OFR, and can't really say there's anything I'm disappointed with other than the weird wiring on my volume knobs. My favorite feature is easily the neck and maybe the weight of the guitar on the whole - it's fairly light, but not too light as to sacrifice tone, and the neck is very comfortable and fast. I did compare this to a Jackson DKMG, and after playing that didn't really feel like it was exactly what I wanted, so I took a gamble with this one - I couldn't be happier in that regard, though I do wish it had a full carve, though that's purely aesthetic. A solid 9 overall, mostly due to its great price - pick one up! // 9

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overall: 9.4
Hex Deluxe Reviewed by: metalman6669, on november 20, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699.99

Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com

Features: I have a 2009 model, It was crafted in Korea. It has a 24 fret 25.5 scale set through neck with an Ebony fretboard. The neck is quite thin, almost like a Jackson's. It has a beautiful Carved top with a stunning Blood red flame top finish. The neck is maple and the body is Mahogany. It comes equipped with an Original Floyd Rose tremolo, Rockfield Black Betty active humbuckers, and Grover tuners. It has one Volume, 2 tomes, and a 3 way selector Switch. // 9

Sound: I play a wide Variety of Music, everything from Jazz to Death metal, and the guitar suits all those styles very well. I play through a Peavey 6505 head and a Marshall 4X12 cabinet. The 08 models came with EMG 81-85's but for 09 they switched to Rockfield, which are not far off from the EMG's tone wise. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar it was perfectly set up and ready to play. I didn't have to do anything but lower the action a bit. The pickups were the correct height. The guitar had no cosmetic flaws at all. The only thing I noticed was that the locking nut had sharp points that are kind if annoying when playing on the 1st fret. After changing the strings and adjusting the Truss rod. I was able to achieve an incredibly low action, which makes it great for fast technical playing. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would own the stage live. All of the hardware is extremely durable. The strap buttons are very reliable, I have never had the guitar fall without strap locks. The Original Floyd Rose never goes out of tune, so tuning would never be an issue unless a string broke. I would always use a backup guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: I play in a Progressive Death Metal band, and the guitar is perfect for the kind of stuff I play. I have been playing guitar for 7 years and have played tons of guitars and the Michael Kelly Hex Deluxe is the best guitar I've owned and played. I play it everyday as my main guitar, and it is as good if not better then a Real ESP. I would encourage every guitar player to pick one of these beautiful instruments up ASAP. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Hex Deluxe Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 04, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: BBB Music

Features: Not positively sure where it's made or any in-depth thing like that, but it is a 24-fret, unfinished top, with a nice dark gray with lighter streaks crossing it horizontally. It comes with 2 black widow passive pick ups and no locking tuners. Mine came with a half-assed made carrying case also. It was basically a bag with a strap to make it easier to carry. Comes with a 3- way selecting Switch with one volume and one tone knob. I'm too used to my SG which had two knobs each so that's a minus. // 8

Sound: The sound is great. I used a Spider IV amp and it has the most perfect combination of low metal sounds, to smexy sounding artificial harmonics. Definitely a metal guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar, when I first got it, needed re-strung and the neck made a lot of annoying buzz. I dropped it back off to the music shop and after that I've never had any complaints. No buzz, dents, dings, scratches, glue, or any flaw you could think of have been found on this guitar since. The guitar is perfect for alternate picking and just feels greatly solid for fast playing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar lasted me through countless nights of drinking and playing metal shows. If any guitar can last through that, it's impervious to me. I have dropped it countless times and so far the only problem I've had with this guitar is the B string tuner doesn't like to stay in tune for over an hour... probably alcohol related. I give it a 7 because it does feel like if it were to drop about 5 feet, the neck would break instantly. // 7

Overall Impression: This guitar has nice inlays that are very easy to see and the neck has to be the smoothest neck I've ever played on..EVER. I used this guitar over my Gibson SG 2005 special when I would play shows with my old band. We primarily played a kind of Bring Me The Horizon and A Day to Remember style of music and we played in drop B. This guitar has to be the perfect guitar I've ever personally played for a progressive metal. If it was broken or stolen I wold totally buy it again for the price. I love the fact that it's cheap enough to dick around with, but still a great sound and fun to play every time I pick it up. This guitar will never get old. // 10

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