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MICHAEL KELLY HYBRID GUITAR


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Like any guitar using at louder volumes....It\f you are specifically talking about the Hybrid, I play it live all the time with the "normal" Issues I get will my Les Paul...

Although its really a loaded question since style dictates this alot! I personally dont need or use a bunch of stage volume. Its moderate but not over bearing. I like to hear everyone else and so does the crowd.

Our soundguy does a great job making us sound good out front an even without a bunch of stage volume. For the gigs that we dont have our regular sound guy we still keep it pretty even.

The bottom line is no matter what you will have to dial it in

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Just to express my opinion, I recently purchased the Hybrid and I am very happy with it. I play guitar in a country band and it provides the perfect blend of acoustic and electric sound that I need as the rhythm guitar player in the band.

This was a very affordable guitar for me but no one seems to mention the great sustain you get from the way the bridge is set up. It is greatnot to have to change guitars during a set of country songs.

I love this guitar and it's great for a person like me who has small hands.

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I recently posted a comment about the Hybrid that I purchased and after reading ALL of the comments posted here about the Hybrid, I would like to post my additional comments.

First, I am very happy to see that someone put together a guitar that is affordable to people like myself that serves more than one purpose, which is what the Hybrid was designed to do. I play rhythm guitar in a country band in the Chicago area and our particular focus of songs are songs that are the more contemporary style, which means our country songs have a strong rock edge to their sound.

Due to that fact, I often have been switching between my full blown acoustic-electric guitar and either my Telecaster with the single coil pickups or my other Telecaster with the dual humbuckers and coil tap. I found myself switching guitars more than I wanted to, and we even tried to rearrange the songs just to fit my guitar changes, which worked but the "flow" of the songs just wasn't there.

So needless to say, I became frustrated but accepting that guitar changes were a way of life for us guitar players. But then a few weeks ago I happened to walk into a Guitar Center store in Naperville, IL and I happened to find my way back to the acoustic guitar section and as I walked in the door, on my right, was a smaller body guitar, with a maple top, sitting on a guitar stand. It kind of caught my eye because it was very compact looking, like the size of a Les Paul.

There was a chair next to it and it was connected to a small acoustic amp so I sat down and turned on the amp and started to strum a little. Immediately I liked the feel of it and it had an awfully nice sound to it. Very shortly after I sat down, a sales rep came into the "Acoustic Guitar" room and he was really nice about telling about the guitar. He explained that they just started carrying the Michael Kelly Hybrid and he showed me all of the features of it, including the ability to split into stereo for both acoustic and electric sounds.

Well, being of medium build with relatively small hands, I felt very comfortable with the guitar. And I found the sounds coming out of it to be just what I like. I tried the acoustic and the electric sounds and both together and I really "fell in love" with this guitar. I spent almost an hour jamming with the sales rep, and he even pulled down a Taylor T-5 (I think that's what is was called) and he explained the features of the Hybrid compared to the Taylor. He didn't have to do much convincing because just by price alone I was already convinced that I knew what my next guitar purchase would be.

I left the store with the sales rep's name and number and at the next band practice I mentioned about the guitar to the other band members. Our bass player went online and listened to the sound files and he was very enthusiastic about it's use for our band. So at our following band practice we got paid for a prior gig and our keyboard player, our bass player and our lead guitar player walked up to me and gave me their entire gig share and told me to go and get the Hybrid becuase they had heard the sound files and they new it would be ideal for my purpose. So, I went and purchased the guitar two weeks ago and now it's an integral part of our band.

To me, the guitar is great for a number of styles of music. For country players, especially the more modern country music, it's a great addition, because we often have to switch our sound from acoustic to a more rockish sound and then back again and it's so mush easier to do it with one guitar, especially when playing live gigs. I like the stereo option which lets it get the entire humbucker sound or acoustic sound, but I am finding that I like to use both pickups most of the time, with the acoustic at about 85% of it's travel and the humbucker at about 50%, to provide that extra "edge" and "push" to our country sound.

I think this guitar will sell well for country players. And if you like to play music by John Mellencamp, it might be really useful, Keith Urban style is another, there are so many uses for this guitar, but most of the complaints seem to have come from those players who are used to using a Les Paul with two humbuckers for some of the heavier rock sounds.

Well guys, it's not necessarily made to play heavy metal music, or thrash or maybe not heavy gain situations, and perhaps some lead players won't find it to their liking if they are hard-charging lead players who use a heavy hand in their lead playing. Would Eddie Van Halen use it? Maybe not? Is it a Metallica guitar? Of course not!

But again, there are a lot of uses for it, like mine, and it's got a great acoustic sound, and the humbucker is fine to add more grit or drive into your sound, so maybe this guitar is a little more acoustic then electric, but only by about 10% to my mind. I think a lot of you guys are not looking at this guitar correctly, I think you need to get away from the Les Paul, Gibson SG syndrome and open up to another style and use for a guitar like this. Believe me, I am extremely happy with it's use and Todd Rockfield, take heart, there is a market for this guitar. I bet Nashville will find it really useful.

One thing I would love to see someday would be a second version with a Tele style pickup in place of the humbucker. Us country players would go crazy being able to have that Tele twand and then jump back to our acoustic sound again.

Michael Kelly and Company, us country players appreciate you for this Hybrid. It's about time we get a reasonabley priced guitar like this on the market. I love it, and I bought it and would buy it again (how about with a Tele pickup in the middle......please?).

I am not affiliated with or receive anything for my support of this guitar, I am simply a guitar player who appreciates what it can do for my sound. It's about time and thanks for the Hybrid. Now, the rest of you go out and try it, it won't kill you all to experiment a little. Geez guys, quit overanalyzing it and go out and use it! Then if you don't like it, bring it back.

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I tested this guitar at Guitar Center using a Roland AC 60 Chorus amp, and wow! That amp makes this guitar sound awesome on the acoustical side. You HAVE to try it with that amp! That amp is my next purchase too!

Also I put on 11- guage strings, 11-49's and it sounds great! I always use 11's, on my acoustics and electrics, but then again, I play rhythm and need that fuller sound.

One more thing, the neck on this guitar is a little on the heavy side so if you have a smooth guitar strap and take your hands off the guitar, it will have a tendency to drop down towards the floor, but that's minor, the guitar is so lightweight in its overall feel that who minds a heavy neck? The whole guitar is easy to hold for hours.

The frets are well-placed too since I tried chords way up the neck and it's very much in tune, so no intonation problems either, even though its not an adjustable bridge. It sounds great!

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TO drm128...(Great Job!)

I can say with confidence that you actually get it. Whats going on here @ these Pro Reviews! Good Job man...
There are so many good posts including yours,
but Yours was very detailed and awesome to read through on a "personal" level.

As one of the designers....I applaud your post and comments and kind words. It makes what we do a pleasure!

I will say though, country or not.. it still can rock with a high gain amp dialed in! Thats what I use...

to clarify you said:
"Well guys, it's not necessarily made to play heavy metal music, or thrash or maybe not heavy gain situations, and perhaps some lead players won't find it to their liking if they are hard-charging lead players who use a heavy hand in their lead playing. Would Eddie Van Halen use it? Maybe not? Is it a Metallica guitar? Of course not!"

Your right, its not made for Metallica (Although it would nail thier clean or acoustic tones....:>)

Its close for sure...and It will handle some of those styles mentioned...
Thrash, NO WAY (obviously...) but I personally do Van Halen tunes 2 days a week in clubs and it rocks hard! Works great and for leads its smooth and articulate. (Someone else commented earlier at how surprised they were that the Lead tone Jumped out of the body the way it did.)

Either way its nice to know that you are enjoying it and it is working for "YOUR" application...Thats the most important thing....you got her dialed in for you.

BTW....
There might be a new design for you in the future! (down the road) Thanks again and Another great Job!

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Has anyone here tried the piezo out with the Korg AX3A acoustic guitar modeler? I saw it demoed and it got some pretty amazing sounds, very cool stuff, but it's optimized for piezo. Someone might want to check this out and see what you think...seems like it might be a cost-effective way to get a bunch of acoustic sounds out of the acoustic end of things.

Also to Trockfield...you definitely "get" what the manufacturer participation aspect of a pro review is about! Even though it's obvious you're proud of your baby you don't come across like a "marketing guy."

I also find the personal stories from people who've tried the guitar very interesting.

When this reviewstarted, I really had no intention of getting an acoustic electric hybrid but next time I'm the "Big City," I'm going to try this guy out at a GC...now everyone's gotten me really curious.

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Thank you mr. Anderton!

YOu started this whole thing and got me and all of us here very excited about it. I feel I learned so much with this review and all the posts.

To you, Thanks for the kind words and also.. What? You mean you didnt get one already? :>)

Take care and everyone have a great weekend!

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I sometimes wonder if companies do pro reviews mostly so they can collect feedback and use it in a future product...sometimes these reviews cross over the line into more of a focus group, which I actually think is pretty cool. As I've always said, the fun thing about a pro review is that no one knows how it's going to turn out.

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I have a MK Patriot Phoenix, which I love. One of the best parts of that guitar is the ability to split the humbucker. Is it possible to replace the electric volume pot with a push/pull to split the humbucker or does it only have a single lead?

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The pickup in the MKH has a single lead, but if you desire a split-humbucker, you have two options:

1. Take the guitar to a tech and have him convert the pickup (and attendant wiring and switching, including the push/pull pot you mentioned) to a coil-tapped mod.

2. Replace the existing pickup with an after-market coil-tapped PAF-style or humbucker pickup.

Converting a double-coil pickup to a splittable pickup involves soldering a center tap lead between the two coils. The Rockfield SWC is a PAF-style pickup, using 42-gauge plain enamel wire with Alnico 5 magnets. There are instructions for doing this yourself online (including wiring and switching options), but I don't recommend it. The winding wires are thin here, and unless you're an expert solderer and have good tools, you risk frying the pickups very quickly and easily.

Since you say you like the MK choice of pickups, you might consider option #1.

For me, I always like to stay with the pickups that come with the guitar. By analogy, when you buy a Paul Reed Smith, your impulse isn't gut the guitar and put Les Paul pickups in there, because you know great care was taken to match the electronics to the tonal properties of the instrument that hosts them. Same with the MKH. Todd Rockfield has devoted considerable time to designing a pickup for this guitar (read this Pro Review from the beginning to hear him say it), and I think he's done a super job. I've lived with this guitar for a while now, and am really appreciating the onboard circuitry.

So before considering changing anything with the instrument itself, I'd focus on tweaking my tone from a post-pickup angle -- with EQ, for example.

Still, the split-pickup solution does provide more options (without perceptible difference to the original setup), and I like the single-coil sound, too, especially in the middle and neck positions.

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Trockfield mentioned in one post about a possbile new addition to the Hybrid in the future. Since I asked about putting a Tele style pickup in it (I meant the Tele bridge pickup) instead of a humbucker, can I assume that maybe he was referring to my suggstion? If so, I may start smiling right now.

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drm128 originally posted:

Since I asked about putting a Tele style pickup in it (I meant the Tele bridge pickup) instead of a humbucker, can I assume that maybe he was referring to my suggstion?


There's a really good argument for putting a Tele-style (or other single-coil) pickup in this type of guitar. I love the sound of single-coils, and you have to imagine that a lot of twang-pickers will be drawn to this guitar.

Three posts earlier in this thread, theraygun pondered tapping the existing humbucker, which would yield similar results. And you could do it without modifying the aesthetics of the guitar. Or you could put in a replacement single-coil under the pickup cover, and no one would be the wiser.

But in this approach, of course, you wouldn't be changing the position of the pickup relative to its distance to the bridge.

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Any chance the hybrid will come out in other colors? It would look great in black or some sort of dark sunburst. Never have been fond of neutral finishes like this.

At any rate, really appreciate this thread. Very informative, very enticing. Gotta make a pilgrimage to GC to check one of these out.

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You'd think coming out with different finishes would be the easiest mod to make on the MKH. It doesn't change any physical aspect of the guitar -- the pickup and control routing, the electronics themselves, etc.

So maybe we can get a campaign going and get the good folks at Michael Kelly Guitars to listen! Black, red-orange sunburst and tobacco sunburst would be my choices.

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I haven't read all five pages of discussion, but this may be the guitar I've been looking for.

My stage setup often involves changing back and forth from acoustic to electric. A few years back, I was looking at that Kramer doubleneck electric six/acoustic-electric six. It was a great idea, but they quit making 'em (and now they're rather sought after from that weird niche market that includes me). Guild made one...it was quite high-dollar. Plus, doublenecks seem rather impractical from an actual gigging stance for the most part.

I tried one of the Taylor hybrids. Has one glaring flaw...no way to split the output...so if you want to put the piezo thru the PA and the lipstick through your amp...I don't believe you can. Plus, it costs an arm and a leg.

So, this seems quite interesting.

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I've been really eager to check out this guitar in person. Finally made it down to the Des Moines GC last Wednesday. Friendly people--they say it's a great guitar--but not only none in stock, but no idea whether they would be getting one in anytime soon. Nobody who worked there seemed to know (or really, to care) whether they would ever get another one. There was no sense of urgency; no sense that they were actively trying to get them in stock.

When I pushed a bit, they checked other stores--apparently there are some in Davenport (over 200 miles from me), and if I would pay for one they would ship it over--and then I could return it if I didn't like it.

I'm very disappointed, especially considering all the promotion and hype and the "GC Exclusive". Kind of soured me on GC.

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Hello Everyone!
I am not sure about the distribution of the instrument but supposedly all GC stores got 2 of them. That means if they dont have any in De Moines then they sold them. Which means they should have Re-plenished! Its a very advanced and Great system they use!
They can order from another location or distribution center for you to try one out but I am not sure about thier rules with this.... I am sure if you speak with the store manager he can hook you up. Its never been an issue so I think its just this store at this time...an isolated incident..For that we are sorry.

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There is one group of people who this guitar appeals to that hasn't been mentioned. I am playing primarily acoustic in a praise and worship band and I'm getting older. My hands get really tired playing acoustic but I can play an electric for hours. The idea of an acoustic with an electric's ease of play appeals to me.

For that reason alone, I was very interested in a T5. Unfortunately, the price just was a killer. So I am very interested in this guitar, but the band leader is a tone hound and I need to know how the acoustic part matches up to say my Breedlove AD25? The breedlove is played through the piezo and not mic'ed, so unplugged sound isn't really important.

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Chiro972, if the sound your leader is hearing (and thus comparing all comers to) is piezo-only, then you have a good chance for getting the nod with the MK Hybrid.

You can try using just EQ from your own house and monitor system, or to really seal the deal, employ an outboard preamp/processor, which will give you total control over the sound.

If you decide to go with the second option, you can couple the MKH with a SansAmp Para Driver DI (http://www.tech21nyc.com/paradriver.html) or the new D-Tar Mama Bear acoustic modeling preamp, which will either "correct" or completely transform your sound. Go to the D-Tar website http://www.d-tar.com/preamps.shtml and check out the videos of John Jorgenson demo'ing the unit.

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The LR-15 is a traditional acoustic guitar. The MKH is not that type of guitar; it's completely different, the same way the Chet Atkins CE is (if you're familiar with that classic "mold breaker").

You can't use the MKH without amplification -- unless it's just you sitting on the couch playing for only yourself!

The MKH a thin-line chambered-body (meaning it's mostly filled in) guitar.

It's meant to be plugged in, not played acoustically or miked. Get an amp specifically designed for acoustic guitars (SWR, Fender, Fishman, Berhinger, Benz Genz, Crate, Traynor, Ibanez, etc.), and plug in!

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