The Jackson Kelly guitar is based on the legendary Gibson Explorer, but with a full-length 25-1/2" scale and slightly more pronounced curves. All of the major ranges of the Jackson catalog (from JS to Custom Shop) feature at least several Kelly models. X Series Kelly KEXT MAH is one of the latest Kelly models to enter the affordable X Series lineup. It is a modern Kelly, a thoroughbred hard rock/metal machine with big tone and big attitude. Jackson`s set the MSRP at pretty affordable $816.31 and assigned the Natural Mahogany (w/satin finish, gold hardware, white binding) as the only color option. Major features include a basswood body (w/mahogany top), a through-body maple neck, 24-fret rosewood fingerboard, a two-piece hardtail bridge, Jackson pickups, and die-cast Jackson tuners.
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Excellent guitar. I bought this instrument because it reminded me of the high quality Jackson Custom Shop Kelly guitars with their sleek neck-through body in gloss black with the beautiful mahogany top layer. You have to see this guitar to believe the beautiful warm wood finish and the classic yet still very ‘metal’ presence. The guitar weighs about 3,5 kgs which is very decent. The basswood used in this (my) instrument is very good and resonant, it sounds beautiful. I also choose this instrument for the TOM bridge because of the extra sustain I wanted and because I like to play without Floyd Rose tremolo. Unfortunately my guitar had a production error: the holes in the body where the bridge is connected were too wide, there was about 1,5mm space between the bridge connectors and the body of the guitar. Since I noticed this I found at least one other guitar online that had the same issue judging from the pictures so I suspect this is some kind of bad production run. I sent the guitar back but nevertheless it is a beautiful instrument in itself. The Jackson pickups sound a bit flat but are just fine, a good amplifier has more effect on the overall sound. I think a pair of JB /Jazz pickups from Seymour Duncan would be the icing on the cake for this beauty, so I will consider upgrading to those in the future. Concluding: if you grew up adoring Marty Friedman and you have a special place in your guitarist heart for Jackson Kelly, this is your instrument to choose. Happy shredding!
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