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Hybrid guitar blends electric twang with acoustic pop

Hybrid guitar blends electric ...
The Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars
The Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars
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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
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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 magnetic humbucker pickup settings
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A dedicated three-way blade switch is used to chop between magnetic humbucker pickup settings
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
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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 Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars
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The Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars
View gallery - 4 images

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.

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
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

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

MK - Hybrid 55

View gallery - 4 images
3 comments
CaseyScott
Uhhh, Parker guitars was doing this twenty years ago. Not exactly bleeding edge stuff here guys.
Iván Imhof
Parker is way more expensive and their shape is not for everyone. There are other hybrids on the market, some of them also decades ago. Ibanez Montage, Taylor T5, Crafter, Wechter etc. I have a Michael Kelly Hybrid and also used Crafter SAT and a Wechter. Michael Kelly is the closest one to an electric yet can deliver okay acoustic tone for an affordable price.
JohnCasalinuovo
Nothing new here. The Carvin AE185 has been around for years and carries a Piezo along with two Humbuckers, full switching capability including blending. I'ts also a thin line semi-hollowbody with neck-through. Great instrument!