Hybrid guitar blends electric twang with acoustic pop

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The Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars

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Musicians needing to pick away at the strings of an electric and acoustic during the same set will usually find precious van space being given over to separate instruments. The Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars is capable of producing either electric or acoustic tones, or a blend of both.

"We introduced our first Hybrid 10 years ago and our Hybrid Special model remains one of our most popular models globally," said company founder Tracy Hoeft. "Where the Hybrid Special had the heart of an acoustic guitar with electric capabilities added, the new Hybrid 55 is an electric guitar first with a stealthier approach to the two-instruments-in-one promise that our Hybrid instruments have always kept."

The vintage electric tone part of the Telecaster-shaped guitar's hybrid equation comes courtesy of a Rockfield mini-humbucker at the neck position and a Rockfield SWC humbucker at the bridge. A dedicated three-way blade switch is used to chop between pickup settings, and both humbuckers can be split for a single coil sound thanks to a Great 8 wiring modification and push/push taps on the master volume and tone knobs.

There's another switch to the top of the guitar that determines the Hybrid 55's electric, mix or acoustic modes. Finger-picking acoustic sounds are provided by a hardtail Fishman VT Powerbridge and Fishman Powerchip, with volume controlled by a wooden knob positioned behind the bridge. The company says that players can opt for a Y output cable to send the signal from the magnetic pickups to one amp and the acoustic signal to another.

Elsewhere, the guitar sports a swamp ash body with quilted maple top in tiger eye burst finish, and a bolt-on 25.5 inch scale maple neck with rosewood fretboard.

The Hybrid 55 is available now for a suggested retail price of US$1,100. You can see the guitar in action in the promo video below.

Product page: Hybrid 55

View gallery - 4 images

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