Gear Review: Michael Kelley Forte Port, a Bargain Acoustic Guitar at Under $300

At first glance, the Michael Kelly Forte Port might seem like nothing special. After all, it has laminated sapele back and sides, a two-piece mahogany neck, a nylon nut, black ply binding, and a sticker price of just $299.

Yet, it is special.

This plain-looking cutaway flattop has been hanging out in my office for about six weeks. Every time I pick it up, I’m pleasantly surprised by the warm tone emanating from the soundholes, one of which is placed on the top side, about a foot from my ear. The other is offset on the solid spruce top. That second soundhole is part of what Michael Kelly calls its Port Technology, a combination of soundhole placement and special bracing designed, in the company’s words, to make the guitar “dynamic” and “responsive” with a “big, bold sound.”

Comments

Roy Lay says:

Nice guitars! I never had a top with so much cross-grain ‘silking’.

Erick Almazan says:

Estas guitarras son de lo mejor!!

Adam Greenwell says:

The CNC machines are making the guitars outside the U.S. better and better.

Mark Snead says:

How does it sound unplugged ?

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