3D Grand Auditorium Acoustic by Michael Kelly

Music Gear Review: 3D Grand Auditorium Acoustic by Michael Kelly

The 3D Grand Auditorium by Michael Kelly has three features that set this acoustic-electric apart from others. First of all, the solid spruce top is subjected to intense heat—scorched to accelerate the wood’s natural aging. This is done to mature the wood so that it has the strength, density and sonic characteristics of a 50-year old instrument.

Secondly there is a slight arch in the back to help direct and project the instrument’s sound. And lastly, there is a sound port located on the guitar’s side.

The 3D is a grand auditorium cutaway with a slightly deeper design and arched back with scalloped, hand-finished bracing to enhance the internal sound wave move- ment and projection. Interesting to me is the side-positioned sound port that works like a personal monitor speaker by allowing players to hear themselves at all times on stage or in the studio.

The 3D comes equipped with the Fishman Sonitone Active EQ/Pre-Amp System and the Michael Kelly Zero-End Pin bridge making it easy to change strings. The sides and back are made from Java ebony, and the black ABS binding with triple-ply purfling goes great with the rosewood fingerboard fitted with 20 nickel frets.

The 3D is finished in natural gloss and sells for $745 MSRP.


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 Magazine. barryrudolph.com