Michael Kelly guitars

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by nickurso, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. nickurso

    nickurso Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
    Anyone know about Michael Kelly guitars? Looks like they are made in Florida, some are really good looking and the prices are nice. Asking for a friend ;)
     
  2. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes @nickurso . I bought one for my daughter in 2011 for 200E used - model name : Mickael Kelly Jumbo FT.

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    The guitar was nice, well built and good sounding... But unfortunately too big for her (she was 15), despite being thinline :

    upload_2021-6-2_19-52-42.png

    So we traded it + cash for a cool Gretsch Corvette G-Love...

    upload_2021-6-2_19-53-46.png

    Obviously, that Mickael Kelly Jumbo FT was not made in Florida, but in China.

    The rare MK I saw here were all Chinese. Maybe the Florida-made one were never imported in France ? The French distributor did not listed any in 2011, AFAIR...

    A+!
     

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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
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  3. OzzPocket

    OzzPocket Gretschie

    458
    Aug 11, 2020
    NYS
    I just checked out their website....I had never heard of them, so know nothing about them....but I would guess these are imports and not actually made in Florida (again, I don't KNOW that...but if they were, they'd surely be touting "Made in USA" all over the place).....they look nice.... Maybe you should "take one for the team" and try it out and review it here! ;-)
     
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  4. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    Made in Korea. Boutique looking guitars. I love them. They copied the boutique look. Quality too. I watched a live video with them the other week. Strat style has 7 sounds out of it. And it is so nice. The wanted the boutique look at affordable prices. The Michael Kelly Guitar Company is a US musical instrument company founded in 1999 and based in Clearwater, Florida. Michael Kelly imports high quality instruments manufactured to their specifications (mainly from South Korea. I love them. I have been told Sam And ash owns them? I love the brand myself.

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  5. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
  6. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
  7. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    I personally have know about the guitars for a long time. Quality for 800 or less. Some are expensive. Most is under 600 dollars. I love the Strat style. And the discontinued semi hollows. 335 style as well. You can not beat them for the money. Quality pickups, parts, and everything else. I watched a video a few weeks ago live. Sam and Ash I was told owns the brand now? but I do not know if that is true?

    So if you need more info just ask.
     
  8. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    Korea made not china.
     
  9. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    That darkwood tele looks amazing.
     
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  10. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    Back in the late 90s to early 2000s when I lived in Dothan AL there was a Mom and Pop who carried them. I was mostly into Bluegrass back then, but I twanged on a few of the LP type ones, along with the line of Michael Kelly mandolins. Im pretty sure its a Florida company that imports them. They were usually well set up off the rack, so maybe they did a USA setup thing after the boat ride, idk but there are importers who do that.
    They were basically well made imports, I'm guessing Korea back then, probably China or Indonesia at this point, on par with many decent Samick products. The LP style ones played above their price point I thought.
    The bad thing was they were over the top blingly with gold, abalone, flame, burl, and so forth. Some photo finishes on the lower end ones and thick poly over real wood on the more expensive ones. Trying to be PRS fancy on a budget. The looks of em just didn't work for me, but they were decent guitars. How they sounded plugged in I have no idea really. The mandolins had the same overly done fancy thing, decently put together but pretty much sounded like any other $300-$600 pac rim mandolin.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
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  11. Its my understanding that there is no one named Michael Kelly that these are named after. I think they pulled the name out of the air. Not to say there aren’t real Michale Kelly’s on the planet, just none at this factory.
     
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  12. CamH

    CamH Electromatic

    I snagged a used MK patriot/spalted a couple of months ago from a friend. Les Paul-esque. Korean mnf. It is a great guitar for the price! Budget and quality combined. I think the name MK is based on the names of a couple of the owners kids or something like that. I cleaned it, set it up, replaced the volume and tone knobs with T style knobs. There was a slight asymmetrical spin with the original knob design that bothered me. Used coil splitting guitar for about $166 usd I couldn't pass. Bought a hardshell case for it. I like this guitar!
     
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  13. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    They are and always have been made in South Korea. I just watched a live video from the company. I was told on a forum they were owned by Sam And Ash? I will have to ask Michael Kelly about that myself.

    That is the look they were going for. High dollar boutique style at a affordable price. The look is not for everyone. Like the Wolf, AIO, and the new BC Riches.
     
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  14. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    I think you got a well made guitar. Congrats.
     
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  15. mrcoffee23

    mrcoffee23 Gretschie

    356
    Sep 23, 2009
    Virginia, USA
    Sam Ash now carries them, and in my last in-person visit to a Sam Ash store they took up most of the available space, since supply chain issues have slowed production of Epi, Squier, Fender, etc.

    It would seem they are designed to compete with upper end Squier and Epi, and some Fender models, but add a lot of fancy looking woods to distinguish them. You can't simply expect to sell many strat copies if you aren't a well-established name, so you have to offer something different, in this case, fancy looking wood.

    Build quality seems solid and good for the price point.
     
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  16. Scott Fraser

    Scott Fraser Country Gent

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles
    The company is named after the owner's two kids. That's Michael and Kelly.
     
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  17. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Lots of companies use bogus names, or names that have no longer any connection to the original (Danelectro, Supro, etc.). Doesn't make them bad, just unoriginal and relying on name recognition they didn't rightfully earn.
     
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  18. I learn something here all the time! Thanks!
     
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  19. Archtops

    Archtops Synchromatic

    546
    Mar 4, 2021
    SoCal
    Definitely cool looking guitars.
     
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  20. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    518
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
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