Michael Kelly Guitars Club Deluxe 5 string Acoustic Reviews 2

This is a 5-string acoustic bass with a flat/matte finish on the cedar top. I'm a self taught acoustic guitar and bass player, and have been involved in church praise music for 10-12 years.

I bought this new from Bass Northwest in Seattle, but it was a phone order since I live out of the area and wasn't able to go to the store. They didn't have this model in stock and had to order it, but they sell quite a few of the Michael Kelly's.

I was only able to play a few acoustic basses prior to purchasing, but this one does seem to play fairly well. It has decent acoustic tone and volume and sounds great plugged in.

This turned out to be a very frustrating purchase, both from the dealer and from the guitar company. It's my understanding that this is the top guitar in their line, but mine came with several cosmetic flaws and discrepancies. There are several places on the top where the light stain wasn't applied evenly, leaving an uneven color, and there was a deep nick in the headstock. Neither of these affect the playing or the tone, but they're disappointing. The case also had several gouges and rough sections. The allen wrench for adjusting the neck wasn't included and there was no paperwork/owners guide. Perhaps worst, it was mis-labeled as a Club Custom. I called both the dealer and the company who both insisted it was actually the Club Deluxe, and I do think this is the case based on the wood and the appearance. But really, a special order for the top end guitar and no one notices the label. There is some string buzz, particularly when plugged in, but the more I play the better I'm able to control it.

I'm not knowledgeable enough to speak to the contruction other than the nick and cosmetic finish claw noted above. It wasn't sanded very smooth around the soud hole leaving it somewhat jagged.

I wouldn't buy another Michael Kelly guitar. Perhaps I would if I could see it and play it in comparison to others, but I'd be reluctant. If their flagship model came out this rough it doesn't speak well for the lower end. Part of my frustration also came from the dealer who seemed more interested in maintaining his relationship with the guitar company than making sure the customer was taken care of. They did agree to a partial refund, but the whole experience was uncomfortable.

T M rated this unit 2 on 2010-05-03.

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