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This guitar has it all - except for the high price tag.
Are you ready for a single cutaway with no sacrifices? One with every feature needed to build the ultimate guitar? Then the Michael Kelly Patriot Custom is your new favorite guitar.
It starts with an extra deeply carved maple top on a hand-selected mahogany body. The set-in neck is tightly fit to assure maximum sustain and performance.
Installed in this best-in-class body is a set of pickups developed especially for this guitar, built using the same classic all USA Made components as many collectible humbuckers. To give the Custom a high output edge while retaining a deep rich tone requires exacting specifications, including a special overwound technique. Normally, humbuckers are mounted from plastic rings, suspending them apart from the full vibration and tone of the body. These are attached directly to the maple and mahogany body to draw every ounce of sound out. The coil splitting allow you to switch each pickup from a full humbucker tone to a single-coil tone with a simple push-pull pot.
An ebony fingerboard, recessed control knobs, Grover tuners, real abalone block inlays, TonePros locking bridge and an amazing flame maple top complete this amazing package.
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Reviewed by 41 customers
I purchased the Patriot Custom a few weeks back after reading reviews from many sources including guitar world magazine hailing it and the Michael Kelly guitar company as a lesser known gem of guitar manufacturers. Boasting quality construction with amazing tone, a show quality finish and sustain to spare, all for a fraction of the cost of instruments of similar quality... wait .. really? A few weeks and three gigs later I am pleased to say that all of those descriptions are completely correct and then some. I have played guitars that are four times the cost of this guitar that don't appeal to me nearly as much. You can pay for a name and a logo or you can pay for quality craftsmanship and an amazing sound. Michael Kelly has given musicians that option with this wonderful guitar.
I'm a Les Paul guy. My first being a 1975 Standard and later getting a 1986 Studio. Both were very expensive and of course amazing sounding. Just in the past few years I've really notice a huge market for the middle class guitarist. If you want a beautiful guitar that sounds and feels like that $2000 Les paul really take the time to check out Michael Kelly. I hate to admit it but there are times a actually prefer to play this over my 1975 LP. I bought this when it was $500 and I went to a local shop to play it several times before committng. After staring at it for months and trying to figure out how it was only $500 I gave up and just bought it. Best $500 I ever spent. :)
After having this about a year and a half now, I've finally decided to write a review. OK, I've owned them all: Strats, Gretch, Gibson, Rick, G&L, Epiphone... Let me tell you, this guitar is in the SAME class as any of these old-time brand names. My two main guitars are my G&L Legacy, and my Michael Kelley Patriot. This Patriot is designed nicely. I love the one volume-one tone configuration! Simple, clean, not complicated. The push-pull coil tap knobs give it a whole new dimension of sound. Why doesn't EVERYBODY do this? The neck is perfect, the finish flawless. The Grover tuners keep this in perfect tune throughout a gig. The pickups are really sweet and the bridge is perfectly designed. Everybody always talks about swapping the pickups out of a stock guitar. Why? These are GREAT pickups! I would actually take these Rockfield pickups and put them in a Les Paul! I've got the custom case (Get it!). It's pricey, but really nice, and fits the guitar like a glove. It will add value to this guitar down the road... and these guitars WILL increase in value, no doubt! I had a friend want to trade a '72 Gibson ES330 for this. His guitar was nice and all that, and I even took his ES330 out for a gig. But you know what? After sleeping on it... I said "SORRY, I'M KEEPING MY KELLY!" Seriously folks, you simply can't go wrong with this Michael Kelly guitar. It is simply as good as or better than any Les Paul custom shop guitar! I'd highly recommend this instrument. I use it on gigs (I'm now playing about 3-4 times a month). And I use it allot on my studio / CD projects. Don?t make the big mistake that I once made years ago?. ?I?ve got to buy a BRAND NAME guitar, or everyone with think I?m an amateur!? Humbug! If you?ve got a quality instrument and ?pro? talent? then you?re a ?pro? and can play anywhere, and with anyone! Remember that. These Kelly guitars are top-of-the-line pro instruments. My Michael Kelly is a life-time keeper!
I was looking for an electric guitar, and found a Michael Kelly Patriot Custom in the used market. I asked the owner why he wanted to sell it, and he stated that he wanted to get a Michael Kelly Patriot Vintage model. At first I thought it strange, but then I tried out the Kelly Patriot Vintage model in a store, where I could compare it to the Michael Kelly Decree and the Custom. The Decree seemed to have the most sustain and a "creamy, bluesy" sound, which was pleasant. The Custom was OK, but I felt that something was lacking. Then I tried the Vintage model... and I was in love. The salesman claimed it has P90 pickups (if so, I assume they are Asian...), but indeed the pickups performed as I read in a P90 review on the web. The notes are clear, beautiful, toneful, with beautiful harmonics. When I checked out the Custom again, it just couldn't compete... even though the vintage model is less expensive! A more experienced player came in, and checked out the Vintage I was playing. I could tell by the look on his face that he was impressed. He started making some comments about "I LIKE this guitar!" and he agreed that the Vintage sounded better than the Custom. Then for the "acid test," I asked the salesman to show me the best instrument in the house... at any price. He let me try out a new $2,400 Fender. That instrument sounded good, but I actually preferred the Michael Kelly Patriot Vintage a bit better, as it seemed to have a trace "cleaner" sound. The experienced player claimed the Fender was a bit superior to the Vintage, but the difference certainly wasn't worth the ~$2,000 difference. I bought the Vintage. If you play worship, blues, folk, or country music, the vintage may be the better model for you. If you are only playing rock, then the Custom may still be your choice. P.S.: The Vintage has a solid mahogany body, which contributes to the tone; the pickups are pretty hot (they are over-wound, which seems to complement to tonal quality of the wood). The Custom has a maple cap, which give a bit different sound...and has different pickups. The Custom is still a bargain at the price, and I only gave it less than stellar ratings because the Vintage was considered better by myself, another player, and by a Custom owner. Make your own comparison, if possible, before buying.
I own the walnut one after buying a used one here (minor blem or returned), but had to exchange it (neck coil tap would not work) with the very good quality customer service help! They sent the 'condition 1' exact same guitar for no charge and paod to ship mine back! This seller wants your business and proves it.I own a Tokai Les Paul 'Reborn Old' that is rare and an example of the best of the Japan 'lawsuit' era. The Patriot Custom is not it's equal, but it is available used at a good price and is well built. Good tone, twin coil taps, TonePros bridge assembly, Grover tuners and well finished and fat frets adn 1/16" action at fret 12. You would not be disappointed in this guitar. The walnut is the best color, in my view, but all are built the same way. It's a very good value, sounds great and with minor adjustment to the nuts slots and to clean up any rough fret ends, you have a great guitar for cheap money!
Oh but it is a God send. Best guitar I have ever played including some Gibson LP's and it was a fraction of the cost. Rockfield SWC pickups are amazing. They are direct mounted for tons of sustain. The clean settings are awesome as well. The action is so low and the ebony fretboard so smooth, you barely have to touch the strings to get sound.I bought a Schecter C-1 plus the month before and sent it back. It was terrible. Couldn't get a decent clean sound out of it and when you turned the volume controls up all the way, it distorted really badly. The overall sound was very brittle. And to boot, Schecter is now building them in China as opposed to Korea where they used to have them made.The Michael Kelly Patriot Custom is superbly crafted. It blows away anything in it's price range and even guitars 2 to 3 times as much. This guitar is the best kept secret in the guitar world.
While this guitar is not the god send a lot of people say it is, it is a fabulous guitar with lots of great hardware and features that you find on guitar costing hundreds more. Pay for quality, not a label. The sound is great and compared to my epi elists les paul it is lighter. Really good balance and quicker fretboard. Very well constructed. Would have liked pickup rings but you can't win them all. This guitar sounds as good as it looks. Good thing it comes in a lefty!
I've been playing this baby for 2 years now, and I have had only a few problems; very minor ones, at that. I feel that I should mention them before I start raving about how wonderful this axe is.1: The volume and tone knobs pop out for single coil tab, which is awesome. In the middle of a musical (little shop of horrors!), I popped the volume knob out and it actually came fully off. My only problem with this is that it was really hard to get back on for some reason. 2: It's really heavy. Possibly one of the heaviest guitars I've ever lifted. If you are a small and or young musician, I would highly recommend throwing on a strap and trying it out standing up. Now those are out of the way, lets talk about the positive traits of this guitar. It has a beautiful finish, very solid and well done. Scratches are not very visible, and they come right off with a proper cleaner. The neck has beautiful ebony inlets, and the frets are close to perfect. I have had no problems with the nut, headstock, or tuners. In fact, the tuners are excellent and I found myself "spoiled" by them, causing me to have trouble tuning worse guitars. Soundwise, this axe has it all. Plugged through my cheap Fender 15G Amp, with everything on 5, I can create tones ranging from a thick, full jazz tone to a crunchy treble-ish Ska tone, just by utilizing the single coil tap. I plugged it into my friends marshall amp set, and his jaw dropped when he heard the sound. He has a les paul, at least twice as expensive as this axe.It stays in tune very well, even with my extremely thin strings (9's, I believe). I would highly recommend getting a profesional set up, because it plays like butter once you do.If you're a hobbyist, with a budget, this guitar is a superb choice
Well, you can tell many of the reviewers here are old pros like me, because they always mention the Stratocaster, the benchmark, the guitar that you just can't put down, the perfect axe. Well, I didn't put my Strat up, but I did put it behind my MK Patriot Custom for now. This MKPC kicks so much butt I just can't put it down. C'mon, ebony fretboard, abalone inlays, push-pull coil taps, mahogany, some kind of graphite nut, and insane fit and finish. I have the cherry burst, and man is it beautiful. I have longer slimmer fingers, and I am liking the neck on the MK better than the Strat, plus the scale length on the Gibson-style guitars is a tad shorter, making the neck ridiculously fast. For me, the neck is the whole deal, the determining factor, and this neck is fine, the fretwork is railroad flat, a thing of beauty. I love the ballsy pickups, I notice some folks have swapped them out, but I am stone happy with them. I plugged this thing in and it played itself and wrote a new crunch-rock song all by itself in the first half hour. A Les Paul would be the obvious comparison, and I would never take anything away from the Les Paul, but if you want something different, but similar, and less expensive, this thing is one heck of an axe. It's not light, it's not heavy, it just has a good feel to it, the wood is dense enough to allow the strings to resonate and sustain for a long time, you can actually feel it. If someone from MK asked me what I would do to make it better, I wouldn't mind if they routed out the back like the Strat so it doesn't dig into my ribs so much, and maybe toss some covers over the pickups for a small cosmetic touch, but otherwise, this is a serious machine, and has become my number one, and I am proud to put it up against my buddys Hamer and my other buddys Les Paul.Don't look any farther, this is the real deal, it has so much guts I can't help smiling when I play it. Enjoy, and thanks to whoever made this thing.
I bought this guitar after playing a similiar model Michael Kelly. I instantly fell in love with it I played several other guitars around its price range including a PRS and a Gibson LP... I was blown away mostly by its pickups the clean sound on this guitar is amazing. I wanted to get a guitar with versatlity one that wouldnt break the bank and one that still looked good. This guitar is perfect for me. I completely love the Coil tap pickup system. I can get anything from a Tele sound to a more distorted Strat sound... My only complaint is the volume and tone Knobs seem pretty cheap but thats an easy fix.... Everything else as far as craftsmanship and sound I totally give an A+. My buddy who plays Strictly Gibsons was shocked when I told him how much I spent he likes my guitar better than his Gibby....If you want a guitar thats good for multiple genres and not just metal get this guitar.