Michael Kelly Guitars Acquired By Founder

Michael Kelly
PRESS RELEASE: The original founder of Michael Kelly Guitars has acquired the brand from Hanser Music Group. The Florida-based group that is taking over Michael Kelly Guitars is led by the company’s original founder, Tracy Hoeft. Hanser Music Group purchased Michael Kelly in 2004 and has grown the brand as one of its many exclusive brands.

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Michael Kelly 1950s Series 7 & 8-Strings!

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This is hands down one of the coolest things I saw at NAMM: a pair of new 1950s Series models by Michael Kelly Guitars. A 7-string and an 8-string! I’ve always felt that the Telecaster-style design is perfect for extended range instruments because it really encourages attack and note separation, and prompts the player to explore all sorts of interesting chordal stuff. Plus they look badass. They’re rocking Flame Maple tops of Alder bodies with Maple necks, Rosewood fretboards, Rockfield Fat Ass pickups, and 25.5″ scale length for the 7-string and 27″ for the 8-string. Check out the 7-string here and the 8-string here.
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NAMM 2009: Michael Kelly upgrades Hex, Vex

The Michael Kelly Guitar Company has upgraded the Hex Deluxe and Vex Deluxe for 2009, adding new active Rockfield pickups. I kinda dig the Hex, with its dark smoky colour and that reverse headstock, but the Vex looks a lot like a Schecter to me, and there are an awful lot of twin-humbucker, string-thru, flamed-maple, abalone-bound guitars out there. For a long time EMG had the whole active pickup thing stitched up, but Seymour Duncan’s Livewires are giving them a serious run for their money at the moment. Even Ibanez introduced their own active pickup last year on the ART300 and ART400 models. Perhaps these new Rockfield pickups are further evidence of the active market opening up.

Here’s the press release about the new Michael Kelly guitars:

Michael Kelly Guitar Company has announced new versions of its popular Hex Deluxe and Vex Deluxe double cutaway models. The featured upgrade for 2009 is the addition of a scorching new set of active pickups. The Deluxe twins are the first guitars on the market to come equipped with Rockfield Pickups new Black Betty active humbuckers. “Consumers were asking us for a specific tone and performance level for the modern music environment. When Todd Rockfield shared these new pickups with us, we instantly knew that these exactly matched what our users had been asking for,” explained Tracy Hoeft, the company’s founder.


Another key feature on the Hex Deluxe and Vex Deluxe is their set-thru-body construction. This construction provides the great tone of a set-neck instrument with the added access provided by a neck-through-body construction. Both of the Deluxe models have 24 frets, a custom inlay design, Grover tuners and exotic wood options. The Hex Deluxe boasts an original Floyd Rose tremolo while the Vex Deluxe has a string-through body design and a fully carved top.

CLICK HERE to buy the Ibanez ART300 from Music123.

CLICK HERE to buy the Ibanez ART400H from Musician’s Friend.

CLICK HERE to see eBay pickups on eBay.