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Michael Kelly Patriot Custom Electric Guitar

Sound Quality

I play this guitar through two different set-ups depending where I'm playing. I play through a Line6 POD XT Live direct to a P.A. I also play through a Peavey Classic 50 2X12 combo with JJ Tesla power tubes and Jan Phillips/Electroharmonix preamp tubes. I play direct in our church band and through an amp when we're playing bigger places. This guitar sounds amazing no matter what I'm playing through but especially with a real amp. The humbuckers are a little hotter than your standard PAF so they drive a tube amp very well. The neck pickup is smooth and warm, not dark and the bridge pickup is perfect for leads and palm-mutes. The middle position where you are using both pickups is a combo of both and other than lead playing this is where I do most of my chording and rhythm stuff because is is full and punchy. You can split each humbucker independently. So there is a wide variety of sounds available to fit whatever style you are looking for. The output on single coils is less than that of humbucking so a volume pedal or rolling the volume back when the humbuckers are on is a good idea. I was pleasantly surprised at just how good this guitar sounds and how well plays. The ebony fret board plays like a maple board but tonally is more like rosewood. It is very well balanced when strapped on and hangs very comfortably and the neck is about not too thin and not too wide. It feels kind of like a PRS Wide fat to me as opposed to a Les Paul neck. I have owned a 78 Les Paul, a PRS Custom 22, 3 American Strats, and several other Strats, Tele's, Schecters and on and on. This guitar, no joke, can hang with the upper end guitars. Don't form an oppinion until you play one. You can spend $1800 more and get a very nice PRS but no one listening will be able to tell the difference. Try one of these and you will believe.


I have not had this guitar long, but it seem built to last. All of the joints and binding are tight. This guitar is not light. It probably weighs 8.5-9 pounds. But when you play it, it does not feel heavy because of the way it's balanced. The strap buttons are big enough to hold pretty much any strap without worry.

General Comments

I have been playing guitar for about 15 years. Right now I have a Strat as my other guitar I gig with and bought this one purely as a backup. But I have noticed that I am mixing it in more and more as my main guitar because of it's tone and playability. After doing a lot of research and contemplating buying a PRS again (I sold my first one) I decided to give it a shot. It was inexpensive and the reviews I read were all positive. Boy, am I glad I did. This guitar plays better than most Gibsons I've played and for the price, there is nothing that compares, dollar for value. If something ever happened to it, I would definitely replace it. This is not coming from a guy who has only played inexpensive guitars either. I have played and owned some very pricey and highly sought after guitars. Bottom line, the only guitar I have ever owned that played and sounded better was my old 1994 PRS Custom 22. But the difference in tone, versitility and playability is not far enough apart to ever make me go back to a PRS. I'll stick with my Kelly.

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