Jackson USA Custom Shop Kelly
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Jackson USA Custom Shop Kelly

USA Custom Shop Kelly, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Jackson in the USA Custom Shop series.

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MGR/George P 08/17/2001

Jackson USA Custom Shop Kelly : MGR/George P's user review

« Jackson Kelly »
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Paid $199 plus $12 shipping brand new from Musicians Friend in 7/01 - It was on backorder for several weeks , but finally came through--Metallic blue finish. This is the imported version, manufactured in India.

For the Price- it is a steal, stays in tune after heavy tremelo use great after installing the second tremelo spring (provided).
Nice looks, paint, sharktooth inlays, black hardware looks nice on blue body.
I eventually got the action set very low without buzzing after minor tremelo adjustment, Nice tremelo, locks well and does not feel inexpensive. Pickups are raw and powerful, but not much difference in sound between switch positions especially middle.

Somewhat heavy and definitely takes some getting used to if you are used to playing strat styles. Tuners are somewhat unpredictable, must lock the nut after a few weeks of playing when neck settles in.
Cheap plastic back cavity covers and output jack that keeps unscrewing after use. Rather thick spacing where the neck bolts on to body for playing frets 19-22, takes getting used to. The screw-in tremelo arm does not often stay in the adjusted position. The intonation was poorly set from the factory and will be adjusted for best harmonics.

For the price you are getting a decent quality guitar, but there was no surprises here. The type of wood used on body is unknown,made in India so not sure what they have there. The fretboard is a low grade dyed rosewood, and should have been a little darker to make the inlays stand out more. Frets are not jumbo, and I am may end up refretting for that purpose. Paint is good quality and nice metallic content.

This is an excellent choice if you can still find them for that price. May be difficult for beginners to get comfortable with due to body shape and balance, yet can be played sitting down. No need to replace pickups, but refretting to replace the cheap fret wire that it has is a viable option.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com