While Michael Kelly’s design team takes great pride in all of their instruments, they’ve never stepped back and declared a model their “best acoustic guitar ever”—but that’s exactly what they said once the 3D Grand Auditorium (MK3DG) was completed. The name “3D” highlights Michael Kelly’s focus on creating an instrument that delivers a new level of sonic dimension, and it’s also a nod to the three features that set this acoustic-electric apart from competitors: the torrefaction on the solid spruce top, the addition of a slight arch in the back to help direct and project the instrument’s tone, and the side-positioned sound port. This top-of-the-line model has impressed the team that knows acoustic guitars inside and out, and it’s bound to make an impression on everyday players who desire high-end quality at a reasonable price.
Leading the pack for Michael Kelly’s 2017 acoustic guitar line, the 3D is a grand auditorium cutaway with a slightly deeper design than usual, and features an attractive solid spruce top that has been torrefied. This treatment technique accelerates the wood’s natural aging process through a combination of heat and special environmental controls. The result is mature wood that has the strength, density, and sonic characteristics of a 50-year-old vintage instrument. As guitarists who have had the opportunity to play a vintage acoustic know, playing an instrument of this age is a special experience because the wood has changed over time and improved in sound. With the 3D’s torrefied top, players can hear that history from day one.
The 3D’s arched back and aggressively scalloped, hand-finished bracing enhance the internal sound wave movement and projection, leading to an even bigger, bolder tone that maximizes acoustic performance. At the same time, the side-positioned sound port works like a personal monitor, allowing the player to hear the 3D’s full tone. The 3D comes equipped with a state-of-the-art preamp/EQ—the Discrete Fishman Sonitone Active System. Mounted within the soundhole, this system tucks away volume and tone control to avoid the need for a plastic box mounted to the side of the instrument, impacting the wood’s ability to resonate. The Michael Kelly Zero-End Pin bridge also enhances sound thanks to its design, while making it easier to change the strings.
While the focus of the 3D Grand Auditorium is certainly on sonic qualities, the fine physical details complete this model. The sides and back are made from java ebony, which was selected for its bold beauty and sonic performance. A black ABS binding with triple-ply purfling adds a touch of sophistication. Moving up the neck, the rosewood fingerboard has 20 nickel frets with mini-dotted abalone. The 3D is finished in natural gloss, further complementing the sharp aesthetic.
Overall, these design elements not only make the 3D Grand Auditorium the best acoustic guitar Michael Kelly has ever offered, but also are typically found only on high-end boutique models. By pricing the 3D at an MSRP of $745.00, Michael Kelly makes it possible for players to enjoy this groundbreaking design without breaking the bank.
To learn more, visit Michael Kelly Guitars.