Michael Kelly Mod Shop 55

Michael Kelly Guitars introduces the new Mod Shop 55, a modern recreation of Tele style guitar from the mid ’50s.

Michael Kelly Mod Shop 55

This guitar is a custom version of the company’s top selling 1955 model, featuring Lindy Fralin pickups and other electronic modifications. It is now available on a built-to-order basis.

While the original Michael Kelly 1955 model is already tricked out as it is, that didn’t stop the company from finding more ways to hot rod the guitar even further. And so they came up with the Mod Shop 55, the first model to come from their new Mod Shop line.

The most notable difference that this custom order guitar has over the original version is the use of Lindy Fralin PAF style pickups. These pickups take the Tele style design beyond the expected single-coil twangy sound, covering vintage style rock and even modern metal friendly tones.

On the neck position is a hand wound Mini humbucker, although it looks smaller, it features true dual coil hum-canceling design, giving it a warm tone that’s not expected from guitars of the same shape. The bridge pickup is a full size handwound humbucker, featuring PAF style tones courtesy of the Alnico II magnets. According to the company, the resulting tone of this pickup has a softer treble and smoother overall tone, emphasizing articulation over the usual trebly tone of Teles.

Here’s an interesting bit regarding the electronics, instead of them using Michael Kelly’s traditional “coil-split” feature, they opted for “partial-tap”. It is described as wiring mod that cuts the output of one coil by 50% instead of totally cutting it off, when activating the push-pull switch on either of the control knobs (volume and tone). The result is more consistent volume while switching, and less overall volume drop when splitting each pickup for a single coil tone.

The classic single cutaway body of the Mod Shop 55 follows after the 1955 model. Only this one features a quilt maple top and a swamp ash body, available in either Amber Trans, Black Wash, Caramel Burst and Rich Brown finishes. Adding to the guitar’s overall premium appeal is the genuine flame maple bindings that further accentuate the guitar’s vintage look.

The bolt-on neck is crafted from maple, and topped with either a maple fretboard or rosewood fretboard, depending on the finish you select. The scale length of the neck follows after traditional builds at 25.5″, having a total of 22 frets, and a 1.693″ nut width. The headstock follows classic 1950’s shape, while die cast tuning keys and a chrome finish T-style bridge completes the guitar’s hardware.

Check out the official video demo of the Mod Shop 55 guitar:

For its impressive list of features, this guitar has a surprisingly reasonable MSRP of $699, a testament to Michael Kelly Guitars’ “Boutique Within Reach” approach to building instruments. It is the first in what they plan to be a long list of future versions based off of stock models. The company is currently developing more Mod Shop models, working with partners that include “Bare Knuckles, Rockfield, Fishman, Mojo Tone, and TV Jones with even more to come”.

For more information on the Michael Kelly Mod Shop 55, visit Michael Kelly Guitars.

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1 thought on “Michael Kelly Mod Shop 55”

  1. Custom shop/mod shop

    They now have combined the Custom shop Ebony Stripe Capped top/ Swamp Ash body with Mod shop Lindy Fralin PU’s same as the 55 Mod which will come out in Jan or Fed 2016. I have one by special request customized this way. It is stunning to look at and the sound is incredible. Price is $699. Reserve yours now, they are sure to sell out.

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