Manson Guitar Works‘ new KR-1 Matt Bellamy Signature guitar is a lovely piece of limited edition KITT

Manson Guitar Works KR-1 Matt Bellamy
(Image credit: Manson Guitar Works)

Manson Guitar Works has unveiled the latest signature guitar for its owner and Muse frontman and guitarist Matt Bellamy. The KR-1 is a typically modernised T-style that takes the 20th century of the electric guitar and gives it a modernistic spec.

That said, the styling and the inspiration behind the stealth Dry Satin Black finish and red Manson headstock decal is a little more retro, recalling 80s TV favourite Knight Rider and the aesthetic of Michael Knight's talking car KITT. 

How to play guitar like... Matt Bellamy

The KR-1 assumes the now familiar form of the MA series, with a solid alder body, a bolt-on maple neck and an ebony fingerboard, and it is stacked with cool specs. No, it won't come and save you if from ne'er-do-wells but it does come with an onboard Sustainiac Sustainer at the neck position that will offer you unlimited sustain, or however much you need.

There's also a coil-tap switch, volume and tone controls, and a generously muscular Manson PF-1. Otherwise referred to as Manson's PyschoPAF, it has an Alnico V magnet and a DCR reading of 15.1K ohm as a bridge pickup.

Elsewhere, the KR-1 comes equipped with matching black Gotoh tuners and a tune-o-matic style bridge. Those wondering how they will cope without any fretboard inlays can take some comfort in knowing that Luminlay glow-in-the-dark side-markers are positioned up the neck. 

A vibrato-equipped K1-T1 model is also available as an option. These new Bellamy signature models are strictly limited, with only 80 of the hard-tail KR-1s available worldwide, and 20 of the K1-T1s. These ship with a certificate of authenticity, Sustainiac sticker sheets and a Hiscox hardcase. The KR-1 is priced £2,499 with the K1-T1 is priced £2,999. 

See Manson Guitar Works for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.