One of the latest guitars to hit our showroom is the Michael Kelly Enlightened 55. Made to be up to 30% lighter then most standard designs, this instrument is an excellent choice for those who suffer neck and back issues.
Weight seems to be a concern to a segment of our customers. I've seen musicians stop short of testing particular guitars in my shop after picking them up. Beautiful quality guitars being passed by because of their ability to cause pain or discomfort. Being a former Gibson Les Paul owner with back pain flare-ups of my own from years of construction work, I know firsthand what those customers are trying to avoid. The Michael Kelly Guitar Company recognizes this too. They designed this instrument with these folks in mind.
The Enlightened Collection went into production 2017. LP and Tele shapes are available at affordable prices ranging between $600 and $700. Considerable effort went into the design of this new breed from the MK line. Like all Micheal Kelly guitars, the Enlightened 55 is a visual stunner and has the necessary qualities to satisfy demanding players. Custom pickups were designed and voiced explicitly for the thinner, lighter body. With coil-tapping controls, the Enlightened 55 has eight different tone choices, and a compound fretboard radius ensuring this guitar handles well and sounds as good as it looks.
Extensive testing was done to select the right species of wood (red cedar) for body weight reduction and tonal performance. In addition to making the body thinner, four ports are bored out of the bottom edge to lighten the load.
This design concept was an alternative to chambering the guitar body to retain the tonal characteristic of a solid body guitar. They then used aluminum for the bridge and tone control hardware further lowering its weight. Finally, the strap buttons are repositioned in a non-traditional way to achieve balance and comfort, and successfully avoiding neck dive issues.
Check out the informative video below for more on the Enlightened 55, and be sure to stop in at Guitars On Main, Mount Joy PA to hear and play Michael Kelly guitars for yourself.