Rick Kelly Guitars: PART IV

Messages
108
****.
Specs are ****ed up, build is sloppy, and it is THE best tele I've ever played.

Exactly my experience. I met with a friend last week and we put all our teles together to test. My Kellys are the best sounding of them all - more resonance, sustain, although not the best in terms of build quality. So the question is: Does wood contribute the most to the sound of an electric guitar?
 

Longer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,895
Exactly my experience. I met with a friend last week and we put all our teles together to test. My Kellys are the best sounding of them all - more resonance, sustain, although not the best in terms of build quality. So the question is: Does wood contribute the most to the sound of an electric guitar?

Not the most, but I think it helps in a big way.

Though on an electric, wood may play a small percentage in the overall tone, the real "chase" is in the final 10% to 5% anyway, you know?

To be more clear:
Imagine you wanted a Fender Nocaster, and you found a place that had 10 of them. All of them would sound 90% to 95% the same.
It's in the final "tone percentage" that the difference would be found.

Rick's wood adds that extra bit that puts his guitars over most others.
Just my take anyway.
 

Vertigho

Member
Messages
111
****.

Specs are ****ed up, build is sloppy, and it is THE best tele I've ever played.

"He slept, he stole, he was rude to the customers. Still, there goes the best damned employee a convenience store ever had." - Apu (after Homer quits his job at the Kwik-E-Mart)
 

jpastras

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,130
Although, I will point this out: I liked it back when Rick was doing spot-on 50's and early 60's reproductions, with normal finishes, etc. I still own 4 of his strats. All of my guitars are beautifully built. I also borrow my dad's tele. It is perfect in every way. The ferrules line up perfectly, etc. It's perfect.

The truth is, that stuff really doesn't matter much with Rick's guitars - lots of guys, especially Grosh and Suhr, can build a consistently perfect instrument, in terms of craftsmanship. The thing about Rick's guitars is that they have soul. There's just something weird and different about them.

I have said it before - Rick is not a guitar builder or a craftsman. He is an artist, and as an artist he has what it takes.
 

jpastras

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,130
Here's some video of my recently-completed blue Kelly strat. I have played better ( I am very uncomfortable doing "demos" - it'a much easier for me to play in a live band setting) but if you haven't heard the Mares, this is a good way to hear them. Hang tight through the octave thing - the neck is so damn big I was having trouble executing that on a very bright Deluxe Reverb!!! The mares have their own thing - a lot of upper-mid, and a "chewy" top end. Really good, but they don't flatter you - you gotta do things right!!

I LOVE the guitar and I am so happy to have it.

My phone' gyroscope is broken from being dropped too many times.



 
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seby

Member
Messages
164
I have never played one, but they sound (and look!) amazing. I like wide nuts and big necks, so I reckon that I would get on with one. When I am next in NYC I am dropping in for sure. I wonder if he does any electrics with a full 2" nut? Does anyone know? I mean apart from a custom build that is.
 

newgrassboy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
37
Here's some video of my recently-completed blue Kelly strat. I have played better ( I am very uncomfortable doing "demos" - it'a much easier for me to play in a live band setting) but if you haven't heard the Mares, this is a good way to hear them. Hang tight through the octave thing - the neck is so damn big I was having trouble executing that on a very bright Deluxe Reverb!!! The mares have their own thing - a lot of upper-mid, and a "chewy" top end. Really good, but they don't flatter you - you gotta do things right!!

I LOVE the guitar and I am so happy to have it.

My phone' gyroscope is broken from being dropped too many times.




Nice Jason, I love the sound of those Mares. Which model are they? I have a set of Hayrides in my bowery pine tele and it's a great combination of wood and wire.
 

jpastras

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,130
Thanks!

You know, I have no idea what model they are. I like to leave a lot of that up to Rick. He's very good at matching pickups to guitars. I specify body and neck materials and neck shape, and other than that, just say something like, "I'd like to try some Mares", which is exactly what I did this time. So I don't know what model they are.

They have a lot more upper mid and treble "slice" than Fralin Vintage Hots. If you play with a pick, they re to much for a blackface-style amp. If you play with your fingers, they are probably perfect for a BF-style. I think the Mares sound exceptionally good through my tweed deluxe, which is one of the clips above. They sound very good through either of my Marshalls. They were a little hard to manage through the DR - too bright and present.
 

jpastras

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,130
I have never played one, but they sound (and look!) amazing. I like wide nuts and big necks, so I reckon that I would get on with one. When I am next in NYC I am dropping in for sure. I wonder if he does any electrics with a full 2" nut? Does anyone know? I mean apart from a custom build that is.

One of his guitars that I foolishly sold had a wider nut. Typically, fender guitars were 1 5/8ths, but some fenders and a lot of Gibsons have been 1 and 11/16ths. Between the depth of the neck and the breadth, it was a crazy handful. I loved it, but foolishly sold it for an incredible deal on a Goldtop.
 

seby

Member
Messages
164
One of his guitars that I foolishly sold had a wider nut. Typically, fender guitars were 1 5/8ths, but some fenders and a lot of Gibsons have been 1 and 11/16ths. Between the depth of the neck and the breadth, it was a crazy handful. I loved it, but foolishly sold it for an incredible deal on a Goldtop.

I hope that the goldtop is a killer!
 

Timboguitar

Member
Messages
1,389
Here's some video of my recently-completed blue Kelly strat. I have played better ( I am very uncomfortable doing "demos" - it'a much easier for me to play in a live band setting) but if you haven't heard the Mares, this is a good way to hear them. Hang tight through the octave thing - the neck is so damn big I was having trouble executing that on a very bright Deluxe Reverb!!! The mares have their own thing - a lot of upper-mid, and a "chewy" top end. Really good, but they don't flatter you - you gotta do things right!!

I LOVE the guitar and I am so happy to have it.

My phone' gyroscope is broken from being dropped too many times.




Nice, nice tone!!!!!
 

Adam Spencer

Member
Messages
356
One of the benefits of the lead time being what it is... you get time to turn things over in your head and at about 3am this morning I had one of those "Doh!" moments when I remembered the Tele Custom and realised I could have a tele with LP style controls:

0137502306_gtr_frt_001_rr.jpg


So, my question is: has Rick ever done a Tele Custom style? If so, I haven't found any pictures of it yet.
 

istantodf

Member
Messages
211
One of the benefits of the lead time being what it is... you get time to turn things over in your head and at about 3am this morning I had one of those "Doh!" moments when I remembered the Tele Custom and realised I could have a tele with LP style controls:

0137502306_gtr_frt_001_rr.jpg


So, my question is: has Rick ever done a Tele Custom style? If so, I haven't found any pictures of it yet.
Good idea. Wondering the same thing. And even a thinline version
 




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