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Michael Kelly Basses, good or crap?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gengland, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. gengland


    Sep 24, 2004
    Hey everyone,
    This is my first thread on here and one of my main reasons for even joining this forum is because I wanted to get some feedback on Michael Kelly acoustics. I'm look to get a Dragonfly5 5-string fretless acoustic-electric. If anyone has one of these of has played one, let me know what you think. This is my third bass but my first acoustic and I don't wanna go blow $500+ on a piece of crap.... if that's what it is.

    Gabe :bassist:
  2. Hi Gabe....
    I do have a Michael Kelly 4-string acoustic with quilted maple top, sides, and back laminates stained an awesome deep blue. It also has the vine inley up the length of the neck in MOP, and abalone circling the sound hole. Mine doesn't, but the newer ones use Fishman electronics.
    When I got it, the first thing I realized was how great and deep the quilting is. Granted, it's just a laminate, but it looks great. The action was ridiculously high initially. My tech was able to get it much better. There are some fit and finish problems, but nothing serious. Mainly in the finishing. The fretwork was nice and pretty level, with no dead spots or buzzing. It doesn't sound tremendous, and lacks some low end when amplified. When played unplugged, it is oddly quite. Not alot of volume. That bothered me. Overall, it sounds good, but not great.
    I definitely recommend one. The compliments I've gotten on it alone were nice. Again, it should not be though of as a primary bass, but does make a nice addition. It's definitely not "crap" though :)
    If you have any other questions, I'll help out however I can.

    Good luck!
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I was very close to buying a Michael Kelly ABG, but instead found a Brownsville ABG in Sam Ash for $99.99. The construction seemed identical except to a ST-AB by MK. And frankly, for $100 it couldn't be beaten with a stick. It may have only had three strings, and been a discontinued floor model, but it sounds great. Setup is crap, but it can be fixed for $30 something.
  4. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Look on ebay for "Sanatoga" acoustic basses. They are identical to MK basses and are usually cheaper.
  5. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    As nice as they look, I would never get a fretless model. They use fancy inlays on the fretless finger boards which is a big no no for your sound. Here is why (taken from the Alembic web site):

    "On a fretless bass, we recommend no inlays, since as you slide over different materials, the tone changes."

    Basiclly put, half the time the tone of the bass will be produced from the string contacting the wood on the fret board (as it should be), and the other half the string contacting the inlay, thus a different tone. Not what you want from a fretless bass. If you want the dragon inlay, go for the fretted instead. If you look around you will notice most fretless bass have no inlay work on the neck.
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    The side dots on most fretless basses appear where the fret should be, not in the middle of the fret as on a fretted bass. I understand that the Michael Kelly basses have the side dots as on a fretted bass.
  7. gengland


    Sep 24, 2004
    thanks a lot for all your help guys. but now I have another question, has anyone ever played an Ibanez AEB305LG ? it's a new one thrown in the mix of things. let me know. thanks