Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: Zo Zo Music
Sound — 8
I play Classic Rock covers, a little Country, Blues and Funk so I think it will fit in just right. It is a sexy looking guitar and very unique. I play it through a Line 6 amp using just about any effect you can think of doing all types of music. The one I ordered came with really heavy strings on it and it sounded a little buzzy in places. I will replace the strings on the replacement guitar with light gauge DLR's once I get it back. It has 2 humbuckers on it with coil tapping so I assume it will be very versatile with the sounds it can create.
Overall Impression — 7
I play Classic Rock mostly, ZZ Tops, Loverboy, Sammy Hagar, Poison, AC/DC, NighRanger, Bob Seger, Grand Funk, etc., I think it's unique shape and style will fit in quite well. I have been playing guitar for 40 years. I have a Washburn electric, Fender Squire, Yamaha Electric Acoustic, J&G Italian made Acoustic guitar and a Stella-Harmony 4 string acoustic. I wish I would have asked them to plug it in first, dang it. I would replace it, but not sure with the same brand. I love the feel of it, not to heavy, but you can tell it's not a cheaply made guitar, it is very sleek and sexy too. My favorite feature is the ease of playing bar chords on the jumbo frets, I have carpal tunnel in my left wrist and usually have an issue playing bar chords for to long on my other guitars, but for some reason, this guitar doesn't cause as much stress on my wrist, and that is very cool. I did lots of looking at other review sites for about 5 different guitar brands in the same price range. $400 to $500 and this one had the best reviews of all of them, along with winning "best in show" at NAMM. I think it has everything I will need for what I do with it.
Reliability & Durability — 4
I am very concerned with playing this guitar for 4 hours on stage. Because I got a defective guitar to begin with, I am nervous for the future, but hopeful. I will take my even crappier Washburn with me for a backup. It looks like it is finished nicely and I'm hoping it will last for a long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
I checked the intonation and it appears to be off a little, but again, I don't care for the strings that it came with, so once I put the strings that I am used to using on it and check it out, I can't really say. The pickups, and construction of the guitar seems to be adjusted correctly, but I am not an expert in this area and I didn't have the guitar long enough to have all that checked out by a professional, but I am told by the company that all of their guitars go through a quality control check before they are sent out. uh, ok.
Features — 7
Brand new Black Vapor Michael Kelly Patriot Decree. I order the guitar from Zo Zo Music online and got the guitar 2 days later, great shipping. I plugged my guitar chord into the guitar and nothing, completely dead. I wiggle the chord and it crackled into life, so I duct taped it to my guitar strap so I could at least play a song or two before I sent it back. Contacted Zo Zo Music, they contacted Hanser Music Group who drop-shipped it for Zo Zo and they sent a return shipping label to return the defective guitar. Long story short, 8 days later and I am still waiting for my new "working" Patriot Decree. The good news is, that if I get one that actually works, I think I will like it. I played it for a couple hours before getting sick of it cutting in and out and the action and feel of the guitar was amazing, along with the beautiful shape and finish, I think it will be an awesome addition to my collection, when and if I ever get one that works. I have talked to several people who sell Michael Kelly guitars in Michigan who have told me this is a rare occasion to get a defective guitar from Michael Kelly. Lucky me.