New Gear Review: Michael Kelly Guitars 1950 Series


The new 1950’s Series of single cut guitars are available in five distinct “Tele” style models with features, fit, finishes and the playability of much higher end instruments. At under $1,000 MSRP each, all feature exotic wood tops and contoured arm cut, master volume and tone controls, a three-way pickup selector and coil taps for sonic range and versatility.

I took a look at the 1953 model MK1953CB with Caramel Burst finish over a flame maple top, alder binding and body, rosewood fret board on a bolt-on maple neck, bone nut, and 25.5-inch scale. The action felt good for “right out of the box” and I especially liked the sound I got splitting the pickups and playing through my (stock) Fender Blues Junior amp.

Cleaning up the amp and switching to the bridge pickup only offered oodles of super-bright and spanky tone great for country pickin’ or traditional funk/R&B playing. A great line of 1950’s tribute guitars, they range in price from $549 to $875 and are available with chrome or black hardware.

Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs, and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix