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You guys ever hear of a company called Michael Kelly? I saw one at my music go round

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by FortyEight, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. JukeJointJunkie

    JukeJointJunkie Tele-Meister

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    Everyone I've seen in person was heavy.
     
  2. Bloozestringer

    Bloozestringer TDPRI Member

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    Yep. I tried one of the Fralin loaded models at Sam Ash. Sounded pretty good to me. Build quality was decent. I also played one of the Burl Burst ones with a 10.5-16” compound radius neck and that thing about walked out with me. That neck was so comfy to play. Throw the Fralins in that model and I would have bought it.
     
  3. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    Whoever runs MK has taken a page out of marketing 101. I've owned a bunch of their LP style guitars over the last 15 years, all very good quality guitars and could be had for around $200 in mint used condition. Recently they've expanded their lineup and have jacked the prices through the roof IMO. My local Sam Ash carries them and they run from $599 to $699 new. We've all heard of the Peloton exercise bike right? I saw an interview with the creator of that and he initially priced them at about $1200 but couldn't get them off the ground. He raised the price to $3000 and couldn't produce them fast enough. People see a budget price and they think budget product. If it's expense it must be good right? Right???
     
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  4. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

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    Last time I checked Sam Ash owned the MK brand.
     
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  5. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The MKs are pretty guitars with good reviews, and I pursued more than one unsuccessfully (on Reverb) before bitten by the Gretsch bug. Probably time for me to give them another look (if I can figure out where to put them ;)).
     
  6. Bonhoeffer

    Bonhoeffer TDPRI Member

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    Yes my guitar guys at Sam Ash told me SA had recently purchased MK. MK guitars all look great and feel pretty comfortable when I’ve tried them in SA. Agree w other posters that they’re pretty heavy.
     
  7. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Here is my Kelly. I don't know how anyone could think of this as a low-budget guitar. I have a Fender American Standard tele and this equals it in every way. (Maybe I'm just easy to please). The pickups sound great. They are HB's, but you can split them independently in any combination, so you can get a very wide range of sounds. It is a CC55 and sells for $650. I got mine used in a trade for a G&L, and I feel the MK is miles better. I really can't find anything bad to say about it. Actually one thing -- the headstock on the MK is longer than a Fender, so it won't fit in a standard case. I would encourage anyone to check one out and see for yourself. The way the business model is working for guitars these days, I think it's hard for off brands (ie, not Fender or Gibson) to make a dent. So i'm happy to own one of these, along with my Fenders. (I have a Reverend guitar as well, which is also great.)

    IMG_6972.JPG IMG_6974.JPG IMG_6976.JPG IMG_6977.JPG
     
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  8. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    I didn't notice the weight cuz I was too busy noticing how nice the body felt. LOL.

    I wasn't planning on buying it FWIW. I want to but I have other things I gotta buy right now. Like mics and such. LOL. Ugh. I personally don't care about the super nice looking grain on the top. So to me that's not a bonus and worth any extra money. However if it played and sounded real good that wouldn't matter. But my Squier was half the price and I'm really happy with it. And as purdy as this one is, I have this weird affinity / loyalty to Fender / Squier. It is probably completely misplaced but even just the shape of the headstock on this would be something that bugs me. I wish I wasn't cuz I know I'm overlooking other brands that are good.

    I think for me it partly helps me simplify things. If I leave myself open to like all kinds of brands it's like too many choices. LOL. I can't really explain it but I just like Fenders. I think it's just cuz back in the day it's what I figured out worked for me after trying other guitars.
     
  9. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    I owned a MK LP type that I bought as my first guitar on Craig's List for $200, 10 years ago. There was NOTHING cheap about it, and I've since had many, many other guitars. None of them is better than that MK, just different. I primarily play a tele and a Dano, but I do have a Hamer Slammer that I upgraded the PUPs on that I got for $100. I love that guitar, but I should have kept that MK.

    Those that say they are heavy are right. It's not like they are boat anchors, but mine was every bit of 9lbs.

    The people in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, or wherever else they build guitars are just as capable of building an awesome instrument as our brethren here in the US. It's all about the price point and QA/QC that they are contracted to provide.
     
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  10. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Meister

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    Nah, I think you're oversimplifying. Michael Kelly was always an under-appreciated brand. They had a small share of the market and their brand recognition was nil. They commanded low resale value because people who didn't know the brand just wrote them off as some sort of Dean copy.

    If they stole anybody's marketing plan, it was Hyundai's. Start with a few basic models, price them right and "they will come". They started offering interesting designs like the Hybrid models and quality that rivaled the top makers. Features like Graphtec nuts, TonePros hardware and Rockfield pickups were added to the top line guitars. They then introduced the Tele and Strat variants and pulled out all the stops on some models with over the top finishes like the Eclipse, Scorched Earth, Blue Fade and Blue Jean Wash and threw in Duncan and Fralin pickup choices on the high end models for good measure.

    This is similar to the approach Hyundai took with its cars, starting with basic transportation like the Exel and listening to consumer feedback to create better products with features people actually wanted (kind of where Gibson went off the rails). They introduced proof of concept, near-luxury cars like the XG Series at rock bottom prices and evolved into serious Japanese Car-maker competitors in all segments (Elantra, Sonata, Kona/SantaFe/Palisade/Genesis) at prices people can actually afford. Their cars kick serious butt, Michael Kelly guitars do the same.
     
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  11. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    I don't have a marketing degree, just going with what I know. Funny you should mention Dean though. Ben Chafin designed the neck joint for the Dean EVO guitars while working for them. He then went to work for MK which is why their LP style models sport that same joint.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    These days even economy-priced guitars can be amazing.
     
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  13. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    We almost bought a Hyundai Elantra our last car but then we got a pretty good deal on a Fusion S model. The Hyundais do feel like quality and we probably would've gotten more for our money with that car. I guess I was a bit concerned about how it would last. But I doubt it's any different than the Fords we got. I've still got a thing for buying american when I can. And I've had good luck with Fords last 10 years. But having said that I think you might get more value, possibly with some of the foreign manufactures like Hyundai.
     
  14. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    My local Sam Ash has a decent size line up of Kelly’s. They look great but I’ve never tried one.
     
  15. cbh5150

    cbh5150 Tele-Meister

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