Michael Kelly Patriot Custom Guitar

The Patriot Custom is one of those instruments that captures the imagination even before you pick it up and plug it in. Beautifully finished, with a 5 ply white/black binding, this highly individual guitar comes with a shallow ‘C’ set mahogany neck and a deep carved flame maple cap on a select mahogany body. The flame maple is spectacularly repeated on the crown headstock with a cut Michael Kelly insignia and Grover cased tuners, while a graptech 42mm nut heads a highly polished ebony fretboard with abalone block inlays and 22 medium jumbo frets. The adjustable ‘hardtail’ sits behind a fully adjustable TonePros locking bridge and there are two Rockfield SWC ‘coil tapped’ pickups mounted directly into the body, a recessed three way toggle switch and similarly sunken dual position tone and volume controls.

Slung over the shoulder, it’s immediately apparent that the Patriot is not a lightweight instrument and is in many ways very similar in overall weight and balance to a Les Paul. The 1 3/4 inch deep body with the 1/2 inch carve to the top makes for a full, rich tone, which together with the tightly set neck (like the Les Paul) offers the potential for massive sustain. The shallow C profile neck is superfast and the marble like ebony board plays like a dream – the D’Addario 10s on the 24 3/4 inch scale giving a near perfect string weight to string tension ratio.

Plugged into the house Peavey Studio 12 the specially designed Rockfield SWC coil tapped humbucker pickups were a revelation. Built using over-wound USA Alnico 5 magnets and USA wire, they not only provide a classic full humbucker tone, but by lifting the push-pull pots on the tone and volume controls, you get that edgy single coil vintage PAF sound that opens up a completely different sound palette.

With an RRP just shy of £500, we reckon that this American designed, Korean built guitar not only offers outstanding value for money, but also raises the bar in the sound and playability stakes in the sub-£500 market.

For more go to www.rosetti.co.uk