New@NAMM 2015: Michael Kelly Guitars

January 16, 2015
Following the success of last year’s 1950’s series, Michael Kelly introduces the vintage styled, double cutaway 1960's series of electric guitars for 2015.
 
Staying true to the brands “Boutique Within Reach” mantra, the new series avoids cookie-cutter specs and harnesses inspiration from the great boutique builders utilizing top shelf components, hot rod modifications and meticulous construction.
 
Each model features a humbucker and two single coil pickup configuration, 25.5” scale bolt-on maple necks, with a six inline headstock but it is details like the rear cover plate that set these guitars apart from the rest. For decades, guitar players have removed their back plates in pursuit of better tone. The open cavity and springs that attach the bridge to the body resonate louder when the guitar is played. The typical cover muffles that sound. In the past players would remove the plate entirely to let that tone breathe. Each of the 1960’s models will feature a specially designed, open air back plate to help deliver that cherished sound while maintaining the look and feel of classic electric guitars.
 
The 1963 is an alder body with flamed maple top and a maple neck. The 22 fret rosewood fingerboard offers a 10” radius neck with medium jumbo frets and a 1.70” bone nut. The white mother of pearl pickguard is accented by the MK Twin-Edge, 2 point floating tremolo, chrome plated hardware and houses a humbucker in the bridge position and a single coil in the middle and neck positions. Controls include a five way switch, a master volume and a Hum Tap push/pull master tone control that splits the humbucker in the bridge position. Available finishes include Blue Jean Wash, Translucent Red and Aged Cherryburst.
 
The 1964 is an alder body with quilted maple top and a maple neck with matching headstock. The 22 fret rosewood fingerboard offers a compound (10” to 16”) radius, jumbo frets and a Floyd Rose locking nut. All hardware, including the Floyd Rose Special tremolo bridge is black. Rockfield pickups drive the tone pallet and are mounted directly to the body. The humbucker is in the bridge, a single coil in the middle and a stacked single coil is in the neck. Controls include a five way switch, a push/pull master volume, and a push/pull master tone. The push/pull master volume controls the coil tap for the neck pickup and the master tone controls the coil tap for the bridge pickup creating a Two Tap tone system. Available finishes include Hint Black and Dark Amberburst.
 
The 1965 is a swamp ash body with a hand selected quilt maple top, real flamed maple binding, and a maple neck. The 22 fret rosewood fingerboard offers a compound (10” to 16”) radius, jumbo frets and a 1.70” bone nut. The white mother of pearl pickguard is accented by chrome plated hardware and houses a Rockfield humbucker in the bridge position, a Rockfield single coil in the middle and a Rockfield stacked single coil in the neck position.
 
Controls have been given a boutique mod called the Full 14 custom modification. The Full 14 mod includes a five way switch, a push/pull master volume and an on/on mini toggle. In addition to the standard five tones expected with a typical 5-way switch SSH configuration, the Full 14 adds new controls and configurations. The push/pull master volume controls the coil tap for the bridge humbucker pickup giving it a traditional single coil tone option.
 
The mini toggle can then be used to add in the neck pickup in configurations that would not have normally included that option. This presents a wider range of tone configurations including the highly desirable three single coil setup. Top shelf hardware such as the Grover locking tuners and the MK Twin-Edge 2 point floating tremolo elevate the boutique status. Available finishes include Aged Cherryburst, Hint Black and Amber Top.
 
The 1967 is a swamp ash body with a hand selected quilt maple top, real flamed maple binding, and a maple neck. The 22 fret maple fingerboard offers a compound (10” to 16”) radius, jumbo frets and a 1.70” bone nut. The white mother of pearl pickguard is accented by gold plated hardware and houses a Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid Custom Shop humbucker in the bridge position, a Rockfield single coil in the middle and a Rockfield stacked single coil in the neck position. Controls have been given a boutique mod called the Full 14 custom modification. The Full 14 mod includes a five way switch, a push/pull master volume and an on/on mini toggle.
 
In addition to the standard five tones expected with a typical 5-way switch SSH configuration, the Full 14 adds new controls and configurations. The push/pull master volume controls the coil tap for the bridge humbucker pickup giving it a traditional single coil tone option. The mini toggle can then be used to add in the neck pickup in configurations that would not have normally included that option. This presents a wider range of tone configurations including the highly desirable three single coil setup.
 
Top shelf hardware such as the Grover locking tuners and the MK Twin-Edge 2 point floating tremolo elevate the boutique status. Available finishes include Aged Cherryburst and Tobaccoburst.
 
Retail pricing is as follows:
1963 $580 Retail$399.99 MAP
1964 $729 Retail$499.99 MAP
1965 $729 Retail$499.99 MAP
1967 $875 Retail$599.99 MAP
 
To learn more online, please visit www.michaelkellyguitars.com
Or visit NAMM booth #4878 in Hall C.
 
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