The curvy lines of the single cutaway Michael Kelly Patriot Black remind me of a Seventies Aria Pro II PE model, but several hot-rodded features, including a satin black finish, direct-mounted humbuckers and strings that anchor through the body, make it more of a modern beast for today’s players.
This model take the basic-black motif to the hilt, with black chrome hardware and an ebony fingerboard. Five-ply white-and-black binding and gray dot fingerboard inlays keep this Patriot from becoming a tonal blackout and provide tasteful contrasts that keep the guitar visually interesting. Name-brand parts and hardware–Rockfield Fat Ass humbuckers, a TonePros bridge and Grover tuners–deliver higher performance than the generic no-name parts you usually find on a low-cost ax. Controls are stripped down to master volume and tone controls, though pulling up on the tone knob split’s the humbucker coils.
Structurally, the Patriot Black features the time-tested combo of mahogany body with maple cap and mahogany set neck with 22 frets and 23 ¾-inch scale. Yet, with strings that anchor through the body and pickups that are directly mounted to the wood, this guitar produces tone that is more lively and dynamic than the typical Les Paul design.
Whereas some single-cutaway dual-humbucker guitars can sound somewhat compressed, the Patriot Black has an open and resonant tone that’s similar to a good Strat or Tele guitar. However, the Rockfield pickups deliver fat, raunchy tone that really fills out the midrange and bass. Thinner tones with enhanced treble are within reach of your fingertips just by splitting the coils. This makes the Patriot Black a tonally versatile guitar–you could easily get through an entire gig with just this ax.
The satin black finish may put off players accustomed to published glossy instruments, but the slight roughness of its feel should make the Patriot Black a joy to gig with, since you can keep a grip on it even with sweaty hands. Check for price.
With its affordable price and quality features, this Patriot will give cash deprived guitarists sweet freedom.