My Michael Kelly guitar buying saga - sheesh

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by GCDEF, May 6, 2015.

  1. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I've owned a Michael Kelly Deuce, which is a semi-hollow and seen a few others and thought they were a really good value for the money. They came out with a new line of Strat based guitars and I thought I'd give one of them a try.

    I ordered one from the local dealer. He rejected it for what he said were cosmetic reasons and sent it back. This happened twice more. After several weeks and three attempts by the dealer, I still didn't have one. Around that time, one showed up as B-Stock on eBay. The seller said he had no idea why it was B-Stock, but everything on it was perfect. I bought it.

    It arrived and did look good, but there was no arm for the Floyd Rose. It's an HSS configuration and the neck pickup is supposed to be a coil-tapped stacked humbucker. The guitar had no tap switch for the neck and it sounded and acted like a single coil, not a humbucker. Also, the neck and middle pickups were way too low. When I tried to raise them, they couldn't go any higher without the screws coming out.

    Sigh. I called Michael Kelly support to see what was up. They looked at the others and found every one they had was like that. Apparently nobody had noticed the factory wasn't wiring or installing the pickups properly. They told me they'd hand pick the best one they had and make sure it was working properly and swap it for mine. It just so happens Michael Kelly has an office right across the street from me so they sent it there for me to exchange. The one they hand picked for me had the worst stain I'd ever seen. How that made it out the door, I have no clue. Really blotchy and big white rings around all the routes. I rejected it.

    To be fair, MK's customer service was being very responsive and seemed to want to make me happy. They took the one that they had used for pictures on their web site, which also had the faulty pickup configuration, and swapped out its electronics with the really ugly one they had sent me. So, several months and six guitars later, I finally have a nice looking guitar that actually works as advertised. If you like quilts, it looks amazing, plays really well and the Rockfield pickups sound really good.

    It took a while, and hopefully they'll get their QC issues worked out, because when they get it right, these are really nice guitars. This is the actual guitar I ended up with.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Who makes their Floyd Rose?
     
  3. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    No idea. It seems to work well though. I gigged the B-stock one a few times before they replaced it for me and it stayed in perfect tune all night.
     
  4. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Are their guitars made in the USA?
     
  5. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I think they're Korean. I'll check next time I have it in front of me. I only paid $375 for it.
     
  6. Axeaholic

    Axeaholic Supporting Member

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    holy crap ! that's a lot of guitar for 375$ I used to play a MK Banjo, was pretty tight
     
  7. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I think they're usually $499. Mine was cheaper because it was B-stock, but MK replaced it with a new A stock.
     
  8. pkvin

    pkvin Member

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    Glad it worked out! I've been looking at the 1965 and 1967, but there aren't many opinions on these yet it seems. So I'm torn.
    Preferably I'd get a standard MIJ strat but I need the 22nd fret! :dunno
     
  9. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    The local office had a 67. It looked really nice. The 64 is the only one with the stacked single coil and that seemed to be mostly where the problems were. Their support people were very helpful in making it right.
     
  10. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Is it the angle of the picture, or are the trem and the bridge pickup slightly off kilter? It looks REALLY nice for that price. Are you going to end up switching out the pickups?
     
  11. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Must be the picture. I really like the pickups. I'll be keeping them.
     
  12. John_M

    John_M Member

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    I had one of their LP types, the Patriot. Same issue as you, pickup height screws didn't work, advertised as 24.75 scale but was actually 25. I think the tops are paper thin veneers, similar to photoflame (maybe they're real wood veneers, but I doubt they are full thickness. ) But if it plays well and sounds good, then score!
     
  13. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    That's really the bottom line for me. I'm sure they cut corners, but import quality in general is much improved in recent years.
     

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