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ABG shootout: Michael Kelly vs Takamine

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'm looking into a cost-effective acoustic bass guitar. So far, I've tried a surprisingly nice Martin. It was the all-solid mahogany model (top as well) with cutaway and Fishman. I didn't even plug in; the feel and acoustic tone was what I was going for and wow, I was impressed. It also went for around $1,300 though I probably could do better. I then tried an almost identical model for $450 made by Cort; can't say I was terribly impressed.

    Two ABGs online have caught my eye, but I have never tried either. I've seen Michael Kelly's before and found the excess of abalone on their Dragonfly models overwhelming. However their more modest looking Firefly model looks very snazzy in black. I've also seen online the Takamine EG-512C which looks nice but I prefer black. I checked their website and sonovagun they have it in black (EG-512CB). Via Harmonycentral the EG-512C fairs very well with tone plugged and unplugged. However the only review I could find for the MK Firefly was for the 5 string fretless model. The reviews were lukewarm; seems that the bass is stunningly beautiful and the neck is comfy but the acoustic tone is limited and the plugged-in tone is nothing to rave about. Then again, this was for a 5 string fretless, not a fretted 4 which is what I'm interested in.

    So, anyone try either of these bases out? Any suggestions about checking out something similar in the $400 to $650 range?

  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I recently picked up a Takamine EG-512C, which is same as the CB but not in black :) I did research in the price range, and was considering both that and the MK. I then found out music123 were doing a special where I could get the Takamine shipped to my door WITH hard case for $550. That swung it for me :)

    I like it a LOT. Great unplugged sound, and sounds great plugged in too. Preamp is very nice, and the onboard tuner is handy.
    From my recollections of the MK basses, the body is a good bit bigger on the Takamine. I don't find it uncomfortable, but that might be worth considering.
  3. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    +1. And the larger body should yield a fuller tone and more unpluged volume. Bought my EG off the bay a few years ago for something like $350 w/HSC Never played an MC.

    Good luck.

  4. That Takamine looks just like my Ibanez AEB10 seems to have the same features too. Could it be the same bass? Go for it. I love my Ibanez.
  5. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    $550, with case? Wow, that's great! How long ago did you get this off music123? Its it too late for me, ya think? Did you see anything in black?

  6. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Just last week, I was at a music store and played both.
    To me the Takamine, blew away the Kelly.
    Made better, played better, sounded better.
  7. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I've found the Takamine in black:

    This puppy is going for $525 with case! davidmwilson, I just might have to put you in my will, brother! Now I need to search western Massachusetts and Connecticut for a model that I can actually try out for myself; however I will buy from music123, no one can beat that price barring a used one. In this price range, I seriously doubt I can possibly do any better for an ABG. Most reviews have been pretty damn good; better than the snazzier looking MKs. I'd just assume take tone over looks, and hell the black model looks pretty handsome if you ask me. With case! And onboard tuner! Looks like a no-brainer here. However if anybody would like to and any comments about this ABG or anything else around this price range or a little more; please give me a holler!

    Thanks guys.


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