Rick Kelly Guitars: PART IV

Longer

Silver Supporting Member
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1,888
I’m a year in on my custom order. Crazy excited. Few understand, had to tell someone…
Curious if anyone here has tried a Trinity Bell Tower neck?
Even if it performs like any other of Rick’s necks, the thought of old wood air drying for 200 years with daily church bell vibrations makes me giggle. :)
 

paulbearer

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5,633
My ‘51 Kelly PBass is McSorley’s body and Trinity Neck.
It sounds and feels fantastic. Records well, sounds great live, and has a ‘cool story bro’.

When he’s cutting the trinity, the shop smells like a Christmas tree farm, even 200+ years later.
75D4B4B0-065F-471E-8849-4E72B0C8347F.jpeg
 

Qstick333

Silver Supporting Member
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1,246
Stopped by the shop today while I was in town. Rick was a gentleman.


I fell in love with this one, but it was an early one that Rick just bought back for himself. I’ll have to wait for him to make some more like it! What a piece of perfection, though.

Are those guitars for sale on the walls? Are they all his builds? I thought he was super back-logged.
 

Matt Griffin

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1,361
He only had two that were for sale, I think. One is barely visible laying on the counter. The other is way off on the right and not visible. I think they’re on his Instagram.
 

Longer

Silver Supporting Member
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1,888
Custom builds can be 3.5k
(Quote from last year)
Never paid that much for any piece of gear, but compared to a top shelf LP or PRS, the awesomeness per dollar ratio works. For me anyway. YMMV.
 

Basement_Builder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
879
My ‘51 Kelly PBass is McSorley’s body and Trinity Neck.
It sounds and feels fantastic. Records well, sounds great live, and has a ‘cool story bro’.

When he’s cutting the trinity, the shop smells like a Christmas tree farm, even 200+ years later. View attachment 487169

I swear i saw that picture and was puzzling whether or not that wood was something rick put out as kind of a ruse about what would be made into the next guitar.

And then I saw the fireplace tools.

Not that I'm too proud to pull good wood from a wood pile and use it for something, just have never done it for guitars.
 

paulbearer

Member
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5,633
I swear i saw that picture and was puzzling whether or not that wood was something rick put out as kind of a ruse about what would be made into the next guitar.

And then I saw the fireplace tools.

Not that I'm too proud to pull good wood from a wood pile and use it for something, just have never done it for guitars.
Haha, that's my fireplace.

CSG's Scraps are an occasional "gift with purchase". The Bass was cut from monstrous 12x4 joists...
 

brianh

Member
Messages
569
Wow, pricing has gone up. Mine was $1800 but I guess that was 5+ years ago, and ordered way before that. Still love mine, only change has been a Jim Weider Big-T in the neck pickup since this photo. The dark lines on the left sort of remind me of competition stripes.

kelly1.jpg
 

paulbearer

Member
Messages
5,633
Wow, pricing has gone up. Mine was $1800 but I guess that was 5+ years ago, and ordered way before that. Still love mine, only change has been a Jim Weider Big-T in the neck pickup since this photo. The dark lines on the left sort of remind me of competition stripes.

View attachment 593466

The market raised his pricing when the flippers showed that they’ll sell them at 3,4k+regularly. Even long time customers started cashing in, thinking they would just replace it with another 2014 priced guitar, lol…
Like replacing an Air-cooled Porsche you profited handsomely on, easier said than done.

There are a bunch of guitars coming out of a collection which are really more of sculptures commissioned by a really interesting, mind-expanding client. Not bowery pines, but wild designs and concepts that took scores of hours to create. Those should have been offered to a gallery, but I suspect the family just wants to dispose of the estate so they can move into the apartment… There’s no documentation or story, just like ebay listings “Rick Kelly Guitar” $2k. Worth much more to an enthusiast of the idea as an “icon” and while playable, more like collectible…. but not what you want if you’re coveting one of his or Cindy’s T or S styles…

Anyway, his current pricing on Ts, S’s, offsets, & basses is still below any US Fender or Gibson “limited edition” SKUs they run 1000 of through the big box guys.

Forget “actual” Custom Shop or more appropriately “Masterbuilt” piece pricing…

but he’s not working for KKR,Servco or Bain, they are.
 
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brianh

Member
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569
His guitars are easily worth $3k+ for all the hand craftsmanship that goes into them, the wood, and the story. I’ve no plan to sell mine and it’s the closest thing I have to a family heirloom, especially with my last name penciled into the neck pickup route. Hopefully one of my kids picks up the guitar someday. GE Smith was in the shop and very nice to my son (just a baby at the time) when I put down my deposit. It’s a special guitar for many reasons. Rick is a national treasure.
 

Longer

Silver Supporting Member
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1,888
Yeah, I’m with this. I can’t think of another guitar I’d lay 3.5k on, but Rick’s work speaks to me in a big way. Plus, they are some of the most dynamic solid bodies you can find. Win/win.
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
4,001
Someone's actually complaining the Fender is copying Kelly? FWIW, my opinion is that he's made his own distinctive space to a sufficient degree, but if anyone got there first, it was Leo. I love Kelly's acquisition, again, and use of wood, but I don't think I'd ever dare buy an electric w/o a truss rod since I relocate fairly often into different regional climates.
 




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