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Michael Kelly Dragonfly bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grey Sarcasm, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Grey Sarcasm

    Grey Sarcasm

    Apr 25, 2012
    Hey everyone! Just wondering if any of you have played, own or heard about the Michael Kelly Dragonfly. I have the option to buy one and would like to get some feedback before I seal the deal. It seems like a nice instrument and the fact that it's acoustic is nice considering I lack an acoustic or upright. Thanks!
  2. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
  3. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I have one (5 string) and like it....use it quite a bit.

    not loud truly acoustic though...but no acoustic bass really is.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nope, still not working.

    To the OP, I just got an MK dragonfly fretless ABG in trade about a week ago. I'm not a big expert to give a critical opinion, but suffice to say I'm loving it. Haven't found any significant problems with it except maybe a dead spot high on the neck.

    It does need amplification in a band setting, as all ABGs do: consider how big the body is on an upright bass, and THEY tend to be a little quiet unmic'd unless in small trios. Without an amp, it's OK for practice at home. I played some kids' music with it last Friday (w/o amp because I stupidly forgot to bring a cable along) with my wife on guitar, and we found that if she played with a felt pick and I used a heavy pick, the volume about balanced out. But it the Dragonfly does yield a nice, acoustic, "woody" tone through the amp.
  5. davewave

    davewave Old and in the way...

    Jun 23, 2012
    Lincoln, NE
    I own a 5-str fretless I bought new, been very happy with it.
    It's got great low action and good sound, the neck has held up well.

    The low B string plays a little "floppy," Kelly put that right up front on his web site when these were released.
    You just have to adapt your playing to it.

    I immediately put LaBella 760N black nylon tape wounds on, and have never had to replace them in 5+ years

    The only caveat I would mention is the plastic bridge pins.
    Pulling them is a challenge, no doubt there's a tool for it, I got away carefully using a small vise grips and prying.
    I had a couple that didn't want to reseat after I changed strings, so I wrapped a little printer paper around them and seated them gently but firmly with a small rubber mallet, they've been stable for years.

    A guy I know wasn't so lucky.
    He got inspired to re-string late one night after several drinks and ended up breaking a pin. :bawl:

    If you're not comfortable and confident doing the work, take it to a luthier.
  6. Grey Sarcasm

    Grey Sarcasm

    Apr 25, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the good information. You said that it was quiet like all acoustic basses are. Is it loud enough to play with an acoustic guitarist playing lightly?
  7. This is a HUUUGE matter of contention. Most w/first-hand experience(and some w/none ;))fall into one of two distinct camps: *They MUST be plugged in to blend w/a tired mosquito, let alone a guitar*and *My ________ brand ABG is so loud acoustically that I routinely get asked to turn down when I in fact do not even own an amplifier*
    I'm in the less-well-populated category of *It doesn't quite do it for me, although I like to plunk it all by myself- just gotta make sure my phone is muted* :)
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't know if it came across or not, but I found, playing with my wife on acoustic, we could get close enough in volume if I played with a heavy plastic pick (I was using a purple stubby if I remember right) and she used a felt pick. If the acoustic guitarist played fingerstyle, that would probably be OK too. But think about how big the body is on an upright bass: an ABG only has a fraction of that volume to move air with.
  9. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I tore the head off of one of the pins the first time I changed strings (using needle nose pliers)...but the company sent me a replacement one for free!~ gotta love it!

    I have not changed strings again....that was a couple of years ago and it is due....I am a little concerned but....gonna have to try again.
  10. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I would say no.....BUT they do sound great amplified!

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