Michael Kelly Guitars unveils sub-$500 small-scale acoustic/electric model, the Forte Port Jr. Ziricote

Michael Kelly Guitars Forte Port Jr. Ziricote
(Image credit: Michael Kelly Guitars)

Michael Kelly Guitars has lifted the lid on its latest six-string offering, which will join its catalog of affordable acoustic-electric guitars – the Forte Port Jr. Ziricote.

Promising an array of “impressive full sounds and tones from its compact size”, the sub-$500 model is described as a convenient travel companion designed for guitarists seeking a portable instrument that doesn’t compromise on tone.

Sporting a smaller three-quarter-size 24.75” scale length, the smart model features an exotic ziricote top with mahogany back and sides, as well as a Comfort-C-profile mahogany neck with ovangkol fretboard adorned by 19 frets.

Also included in the design is Michael Kelly’s favored side soundhole, which is said to increase air movement and thus improve the guitar’s natural resonance and tone due to an uninterrupted soundboard between the neck and bridge.

Another Michael Kelly mainstay making an appearance is the built-in side port, which serves as an onboard monitor for users.

A single cutaway design, promoting easy access to the upper echelons of the fretboard, is utilized alongside a series of other impressive appointments, including chrome hardware, MK Diecast tuners and a Zero-End Pin ovangkol bridge – a feature which vows to allow quick and effortless string changes.

Michael Kelly Forte Port Jr. Ziricote

(Image credit: Michael Kelly Guitars)

Under the hood, the compact guitar flashes a Fishman Sonicore pickup with a Presys II preamp, which provides bass and treble controls, as well as a built-in tuner. The onboard electronics work together in a bid to achieve boutique clean tones.

The Michael Kelly Guitars Forte Port Jr. Ziricote is available now for $449.

For more information, head over to Michael Kelly Guitars (opens in new tab).

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.