« Great rocking guitar ! ! »Published on 04/28/13 at 08:38
IMO the Performer series Kelly's are better than the Professional series Kelly's. These guitars had great quality control in manufacturing. Much better than the new JS series. The finish is beautiful, the Jackson tremolo is one of the better licenced FR out there only second to a gotoh.
One volume knob and a 3 position switch is all I need, no tone knob. The switch gets tempermental now and again but flicking the switch again in a frenzy is a quick fix.
The neck stays straight and feels great, the action can be set very low and harmonics, hammer ons, tapping, etc. is easily achieved.
The Kelly explore body is not too heavy but weighted enough for good sustain. Balance is a bit off but still comfortable.
There is no problem accessing all frets. The strap mount is at the back of the guitar, so the neck leans away from your body a bit, I prefer this over a strat style where the guitar is parallel with your chest.
It hangs like a flying V in comparison making it easier on your hand so you do not have to bend your wrist as much. In my coventional body style guitars where the strap mount is on the tip of the top horn, I remove it and screw it into the back of the body like the Kelly and Flying V. This is a good tip for anyone that may have tendonitis or carpal tunnel to make playing more comfortable.
The Jackson pickups are the worst pickups I have ever played through. Jackson excells in build quality, finish, necks, and tremolos but fail miserably with their pickups (total junk).
An easy fix is a quality replacement. I prefer an X2N, JB, EMG 81, or Invader in the bridge position. Any of these pups will bring this guitar to a perfect rocking machine. Neck pups can be any DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan as an upgrade. I play through Hughes & Kettner amps and cabs. Mostly hard rock and metal.
My Kelly is my go to axe for most band practices and most live gigs.
I like everything about this guitar, no flaws at all once the pickups are changed.
Great value and quality for the price.
I have played many body styles and the Kelly has been my shape for a few years now, replacing the Flying V.
The Jackson Performer Series Kelly is a comfortable, easy to play, great looking rocking guitar that I recommend to everyone.
It was originally replaced by the Professional Series, then the KE3, and now the JS Series.
Since Fender bought out Jackson and started building the JS Series in India, I feel the quality has dropped significantly and to me is a disappointment to the Jackson name which always meant quality. Seek out the Performer series Kelly. The KE3 is a good alternative and may be easier to find used.