Keeping with a 2021 promise to myself to give a dual humbucker guitar one more shot and after doing some pretty thorough research I decided to step outside of my usual box and go with an off brand I've never played before. When you look at my "fleet" of guitars and basses you'd know this was a bit out of character for me but I'd set a lower than usual price limit both to allow for any potential upgrades and also to reduce my risk if it turned out again that I just couldn't bond with it. Two I'd also considered were a Xaviere Pro500 and a Harley Benton SC Custom II. With shipping both would have been about the same price but the Xaviere in the finish I chose was out of stock with no indication when or even if it would ever be available again. The HB was also on back order for 4-5 weeks but after indicating more would be available in one week they magically went right back to a 4-5 week wait. With my patience worn thin last Monday the Michael Kelly popped up. I routinely receive emails from them but being a Tele fanatic those were the models I looked at most often and they do produce many in some very unique finishes. But that morning it was their Patriot Series that caught my eye so I dug a little deeper and found that they are house exclusive for Sam Ash. Since I'd already had one very good experience with their Sarasota, FL store with a bass I bought last August I called them. They had only one of the models I wanted in stock and after assuring me it was spotless would discount it by $50 as an open box sale and no sales tax. So I bought it. It's reviews have been universally positive both from media reviewers and owners and the few video demos I could call up told me the pickups were clean and transparent enough that they may be just fine as is. Grover tuners and a Tone Pro bridge tells me those should also be good as is. I expect the electronics will be typical of many imports in this price range but I can easily enough deal with that myself should they need to be replaced. So it should need little if any upgrades. The FedEx people tell me to expect delivery on Tuesday so I'll have a more accurate personal assessment sometime after that. This will be my only dual humbucker guitar so I hope it works out as expected but if not there are at least a half dozen Epi models I can always fall back on.