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michael kelly acoustic basses ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by howie, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    anyone own one of these? i'm in the market for picking up a 5 string acoustic and have been seeing these on the internet. anyone know of any other ones i should look into? preferably one that has a good volume when it is not amplified. thanks
  2. I don't own one,but a store near me carries them...acoustically not the loudest bass out there,and I found the B-string to be too floppy,pretty much useless, but the tone was pretty good considreing the price..I've been GASing for a 4string ABG too,and I found the Tacoma Thunderchief to be the loudest of all I tried(unplugged)...more money,but it comes with a hard case and the construction and tone is top notch(way better than the M.Kelly)...not sure if it comes in a 5-string...hope this helps
  3. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    rekesbass - thanks for the reply. i'm sorry to hear that about that bass because it sounded like it had the potential to be pretty nice and got a pretty good review in bass player magazine a few months ago. the tacoma sounds nice but a little out of my price range at the moment and i'm looking to pick one up really soon. have you played any others that are in the $6-700 price range that you liked? thanks.
  4. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    I started a thread on why i dont like most of the abg's out there... and Im pretty sure there were a lot of people commenting, esp on MK's. Personally I own a MK ripoff, and it sounds wonderful. Ive found that shopping for price with abg's just doesnt work anymore. My $379 bass sounds better than any Martin (Ive played only two, so maybe I should take that back), Ovation or Fender Ive played. Ibanez's abg is good, and I know Tacomas are great. Perhaps you might have a harder time finding a nice 5 string, because the idea of the abg is pretty weak as it stands.

    Do some searching, because I know there were at least 3 threads started this summer on abg's... i think even one about MKs
  5. Starbucker

    Starbucker Guest

    Jun 29, 2005
    Billings, MT
    I have a Michael Kelly AEB that I got about 3 1/2 years ago for a birthday present. They were much cheaper back then pricewise, but I think that it's a very good bass overall. My parents bought it for about $250, and I think it sounds like it could be worth 3 or 4 times as much. So if I were you, I'd buy one. Quality and a half.
  6. I did'nt mean to sound like I was slammin M.Kelly basses..I really liked the fretless 4 I played,and I'm sure they sound great plugged in but,UNPLUGGED the volume was'nt as loud as the Tacoma or the Epiphone El Capitan..it was more competitive volume wise with Fender and Ovation and the B-string IMO was not good.it was loose and floppy and did not project as well as the other strings..I do like the 4 strings,the build quality is real good and they are a good looking axe,especially for the money. the 5 string did'nt do it for me....Howie,as far as your price range goes(6-700 dollars)for a little more you can have a Tacoma complete with a hard case.I know it sounds like a lot now but,buy a $600-$700 bass and $150-$200 for a case and your in Tacoma range anyway...as far as Martin goes,well I would'nt pay for that name,it's way overpriced(not a slam on Martin ;) )...wonderful guitars but,I think I would get a M.Kelly before a Martin..in fact I would choose a Kelly over just about anything except Tacoma or if you can find a Epiphone El Capitan(no longer made)..I just really liked the Tacoma.the playabilty,constuuction and sound just did it for me.
  7. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005

    Well if your going to get a micheal kelly, get a dragonfly rose, or jsut the plain rose. They are solid pieces of wood instead of laminate and project more volume.

    but if you can save up, id suggest a tacoma thunderchief.
  8. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    thanks for the replies everyone! reskesbass, do you know if the one you tried was a dragonfly 5, or if it was an STAB5? i may just go with your advice, dig up some extra cash and go with the tacoma. i'll have to see what i can do.
  9. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003

    What are you planning on doing with you ABG? I've owned a MK Dragonfly for about 4 months. I love the thing. I play it every day. But I am curious what you're planning.

  10. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I was at the House of Guitars in Rochester a week ago and tried a couple of MK. I didn't get a change to spend a lot of time with them or plug them in. Plus there was some guitar player trying every vintage amp on offer so that was a little annoying. All I can say it I'd like the action to be lower. I'm sure that can be done to some degree. I'd like to try them again.

    I played a Cort NTLB in my home town the other day. Sounded suprisingly good. Seemed to have a big warm acoustic sound to it. No guitar players arund me cranking on vintage amps this time. Didn't plug it in to hear the Fishman pre. It would be fun to have but already too many basses for tones with an EUB and fretless and fretted already.
  11. I'm not totally sure but,it had the vine inlay and the trans black finish..it did sound good but,like I said before the b-string just did'nt do it for me,other than that it was a good bass for the money...go try a Tacoma if possible,I really liked it....I'm not sure if they make a 5'er..also consider how much use your going to get out of it.Will it be used for regular gigs,or is it a "campfire" jammer..because if its just a campfire bass,I don't think I would lay down that kinda cash for one.OTOH,if I were to play it out on a regular basis(say with an acoustic duo or a bluegrass band etc.)I would go for the Tacoma and take the approach that I do with my eletrics...a quality tool for the trade...hope this helps :)
  12. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    It does. Here's mine. :D Construction is outstanding, it plays wonderfully, with a deep, rich tone, and even the low B has some volume to it -- I haven't played another ABG with a real low B like the 5-string Thunderchief.

    Thanks once again to the wife for my Father's Day present:

    Attached Files:

  13. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    I have a MK Quilted Maple Dragonfly 5 string and I love it. Nice pointed tone and sounds nice when amplified. As with most acoustic basses, you will probably need to amplify it if you are playing with more than a few other instruments.

    I re strung mine with D'Addario XL Nickel Lights and the B string came to life, hardly any flop.

    Plugged in, it has a serious low end, if you like.

    Get it set up by a good tech and you will be very satisfied.
  14. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    honestly, the only time i will really be playing th ABG is when i get together with our guitar player when we are writing and don't feel like lugging our gear around. i'm sure there is the possibility of it being played in a live setting in the future, but as of now i just want something to play that is quick and easy. because of this i also want to make sure that it will have enough volume to compete with an acoustic guitar when it is unplugged since that will be its main function. thanks again everyone.!
  15. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    marwady, fo'shizzle and starbucker:

    do you think i will have enough volume playing the michael kelly unamplified with an acoustic guitar? that is what i am worried about most since that will be the instruments sole purpose.
  16. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    If that is what you want the bass for, skip the MK and get a used Tacoma. There's a few of them now on the 'bay. Used, they sell for only slightly more than a new MK -- $500-600. Unplugged, an MK isn't in the same league, in terms of tone and projection/volume.

    The MK Solid AB model or "Dragonfly ROSE " model are the only MKs I'd even think of trying to play unplugged alongside an Acoustic g*itar. And for as much as they cost ($600), you could get a sweet used Tacoma.
  17. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    I agree with Bartman, it is not the loudest ABG out there.

    However, the maple constuction does give it a point that the spruce instruments do not have IMO.

    FYI, my small amp (SWR WM10 combo) is more than enough to do gigs with a small combo and still gets heard, won't break your back, either.
  18. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    hey everyone, just wanted to thank all of you again for all of your help. i ended up just going with a 4 string tacoma thunderchief. i ordered it on saturday. can't wait for this thing to arrive!
  19. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    You are going to LOVE it. Post a review and pics when it arrives! :bassist:
  20. howie


    Aug 29, 2005
    will do Bartman!