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Thread: Michael Kelly Dragon Fly Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Michael Kelly Dragon Fly Mandolin

    Anyone played the Dragon Fly mandolin? Comments; quality, tone, etc., thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Michael Kelly Dragon Fly Mandolin

    Michael Kelly instruments, in general, are solidly built, flashy looking, acceptable sounding instruments at a very attractive price. They will never be the best bang for the buck, if your priority is tone. If your priority is "makes me happy", it may well fill the bill. They're not expensive, but budget as well for a decent setup ($80-120 depending on what it needs), which will make it play just as well as any other mandolin in this price range.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Michael Kelly Dragon Fly Mandolin

    For the prices I saw in a very quick google search (699-850), you can get a much better sounding mandolin if you look into the Kentucky and Eastman lines, or used Howard “Sonny” Morris mandolins...

    The MKs I’ve played have been pretty to look at, but lacked in the tone department. As with all large manufacturers, sure, they’ll occasionally get one just right, but their odds of doing so are much lower than in a shop with skilled craftspersons doing most of the work, as is the case with Eastman and the higher grade Kentuckys. I’ve owned an Eastman 315 that was a very good mandolin, and I’ve stated that it had 75-80% of the tone of a Collings MT I had at the same time, with the same strings, picks, etc. The Collings was definitely better, as it should be (costing 3 + times as much at the time I bought them both), but the Eastman held its own. If I were at a stage in life where it had to be my only mandolin, I would have been very happy with it. I bought it to use as a “beater,” but it sounded good enough that I was just as careful with it as I was my more expensive mandolins. No MK I’ve played has left me with this impression. (I downsized about 2 years ago and kept my Silverangel Econo and my Skip Kelley A5, and sold the Eastman).

    But, if you have a lead on one that has the tone you’re looking for and can get it set up well, it could be just what you need to start you on this journey. If you’re just big box internet shopping, I think there are better options...

  4. #4
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Yellow Springs, Ohio

    Default Re: Michael Kelly Dragon Fly Mandolin

    With one notable exception (the big G), mandolins made by companies known for electric guitars are a lot like knives stamped with gun brands. They're cheap, they're OK, but there are myriad better options, and probably for not much more money.

    Just looked up the Dragonfly... I'd be curious to check one out, but I'd be pretty surprised if the above mentioned Eastman or Kentucky offerings weren't better.
    2016 Gibson Doyle Lawson F-5
    GHS PF270 11-40
    Dunlop 500 .96mm

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    S.W. Wisconsin

    Default Re: Michael Kelly Dragon Fly Mandolin

    My neighbor has one, it's been several years since I played it, but I was very surprised by how good it sounded. I doubt all their line sounds this good. This is their top of the line. Since I have only played the one it is not a very rounded opinion, and one instrument from anyone can sound good.

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