Michael Kelly Studio QCE-12 Custom Reviews 5

I originally was looking for a solid body to replace the laminate body on my Squire Affinity Strat. I found this site www.mailboxmusic.com and noticed that they are local for me. I called them and, at their prices, decided to build myself a custom strat copy and keep my Squier as a beater. While there I noticed 2 of the most beautiful 12 strings I have ever seen. They were so pretty that I was certain that they were out of my price range, but I thought "what the hell... it doesn't hurt to play them". The dreadnought just didn't do anything for me as I already own another 12 string dreadnought and 3 other 6 string dreadnoughts. I picked up this one! Strummed it... asked how much and proceeded to pick my jaw up off the floor when I was told the price! Only $225.00... so I asked about a case... A custom fitted hard case was only $75.00 extra. Okay... (comedy relief time) my palms were sweating about this time, thinking about how could I explain 2 new guitars to the wife without her bitching about some other crap she could have spent my money on, but how could I pass up a bargain like this?

The factory setup is the sweetest I have ever seen. It needed no adjustment whatsoever and the action is nice and low for a 12 string acoustic. Solid spuce top, quilted maple back and sides, set mahogany neck with a quilted maple laminate over the headstock. REAL grover tuners, I think there the new mini locking ones, because they hold tune forever... I've only tuned it on my strobe once and it hasn't lost anything in over 4 days. Beautiful abalone inlay around the soundhole and a mother of pearl vine running through 2 abalone roses and an abalone dragonfly. The vine runs the length of the rosewood fretboard. I am also impressed with the choice of active preamp on this unit. Its an Antec AGE 7-Plus and repoduces that melt in your ears acoustic tone very well.

The body size is really different to me. Its like a miniturized jumbo??? If you can picture it. Unplugged the sound can be a bit weak and very bright, but if you know how to play a good acoustic then you can make it sound really nice. I think that with age, the tone should warm up quite a bit. It does have a maple body, so I think it will stay quite jangly over time. Other than the strange (to me) body size and my perception of a slightly weak sound, I can't think of anything else that I don't like about it.

First off its a Korean made guitar, but the care and quality of the construction is tantamonut to Taylor, Martin or Larivee. Absolutely no flaws to be found anywhere, inside or out. The medium jumbo frets are dressed nicely and crowned to perfection. The look of this guitar, coupled with the sounds that I can lure out of it make this an outstanding purchase.

I've been playing for 31 years now and know a great deal about guitars, but I am still learning new tricks every day. I can't begin to count the number of guitars that I've bought and sold over the years, but I currently have 12 in my stable. This one is my favorite! Its a strikingly beautiful guitar and everyone who sees it and hears it just flip out. I have been offered $1,200.00 for it already, but I don't think that person was serious.

Bill C. rated this unit 5 on 2003-03-06.

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