Chambered Vader or No?

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Jack'O'Licious
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Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:26 am

So I am saving up to build my ultimate Vader and I have a question for you veterans:

Besides making the guitar lighter, what is the benefit to having a guitar chambered? Like, what exactly does it do to my sound? I will most likely have either a black Limba body and neck with Maple stripes or Walnut body & Neck with Maple stripes. I want a dark wood and I am trying to find the sound characteristics I will get with those woods. I play heavy music like Periphery or Monuments but just like Periphery, I love beautiful cleans. I of course like leads too and I really like Plini's lead sound but he plays a Stranberg in what I believe is Koa. Koa will be out of my price range unfortunately.

Another reason I ask is because I want this to be my jack of all trades/workhorse guitar so I want it to have everything. Therefore I was going to add the middle single coil and acoustic saddles/Piezo but the Vader is the only guitar that CANNOT have the piezo and a chambered body :( so I am weighing out the benefits of each option. Would I rather have chambered or Piezo?...

For the rest of you who are interested the specs I am thinking will be as follows:

V7X
Flame Maple top in aquaburst
Rear natural clear with some type of dark wood (Black Limba or Walnut for now, I think Mahogany is ugly lol)
Aqua treated birdseye maple fretboard
White pickups with single coil middle position
Abalone Knobs (and maybe inlays too, not sure. I think it looks awesome on the aquaburst finish)

Please let me know what you can. I know there is a ton of experience on these forums.
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2016 A7H

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:01 am

Chambering does some interesting things to the midrange. It's a lot bigger and broader than specs would suggest, and warmer in the extreme highs, as well as having a really interesting resonance to it. It works really well with a headless (which I've noticed does something similar on both my CL6 and my Strandy Classic 6) to make it sound a hell of a lot bigger than it feels like it should. I think it makes the most difference if you play chords or hold single notes, and especially if you play with an amp in the room (or a modeler through some kind of cab to get room sound) because of the way it resonates and interacts with it.
If you want the guitar with all the features, you probably want a piezo pickup instead of chambering, but if realistically you're not gonna spend a ton of time on the piezo and prefer to hone in your magnetic pickup sound, I would say get the chambering and pick up a cheaper Tele or something to mod with a piezo for recording. I'm kinda torn on recommending one over the other to you, so I'll say this: if you want the most versatile guitar, get piezo. If you want the most versatile electric guitar, get chambering.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:17 am

HarlowTheFish wrote:Chambering does some interesting things to the midrange. It's a lot bigger and broader than specs would suggest, and warmer in the extreme highs, as well as having a really interesting resonance to it. It works really well with a headless (which I've noticed does something similar on both my CL6 and my Strandy Classic 6) to make it sound a hell of a lot bigger than it feels like it should. I think it makes the most difference if you play chords or hold single notes, and especially if you play with an amp in the room (or a modeler through some kind of cab to get room sound) because of the way it resonates and interacts with it.
If you want the guitar with all the features, you probably want a piezo pickup instead of chambering, but if realistically you're not gonna spend a ton of time on the piezo and prefer to hone in your magnetic pickup sound, I would say get the chambering and pick up a cheaper Tele or something to mod with a piezo for recording. I'm kinda torn on recommending one over the other to you, so I'll say this: if you want the most versatile guitar, get piezo. If you want the most versatile electric guitar, get chambering.


Interesting. So do you think chambering will have a negative impact on the low B string being drop tuned to A? I definitely love messing around and experimenting with crazy chords and plan to be more on the progressive side. I still have an EBMM JP13 with the Piezo so it isn't absolutely mandatory to include the piezo but I never know what will happen down the road so if the JP13 was ever to go I would lose a piezo sound lol. I really enjoy the piezo sound in my Aries right now but I am selling it to help get this Vader. :wall:
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2016 A7H

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Doctor Turn » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:39 am

To simplify, think of Clapton's "woman tone" and the frequencies that are emphasized by that rolloff. Chambering takes the guitar an ever so slight millionth of a step in that direction.. your mids become a little more humped and pronounced and a little of the highs get minutely dwarfed because of the warm mid push. But it's super super slight, not even in the ballpark of a thinline/SH.
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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:50 am

Jack'O'Licious wrote:
HarlowTheFish wrote:Interesting. So do you think chambering will have a negative impact on the low B string being drop tuned to A? I definitely love messing around and experimenting with crazy chords and plan to be more on the progressive side. I still have an EBMM JP13 with the Piezo so it isn't absolutely mandatory to include the piezo but I never know what will happen down the road so if the JP13 was ever to go I would lose a piezo sound lol. I really enjoy the piezo sound in my Aries right now but I am selling it to help get this Vader. :wall:

Think more like Tosin Abasi vs. Meshuggah as far as the sound: both are tight and bright, but one has a bit more warmth and texture to the tone than the other. My CL does fine down to drop G, so I really don't think you'll have an issue at drop A, and if you're gonna go with Lithiums, I think the chambering complements them really well by filling in a bit of the low-mids that they otherwise don't have. IMO, a chambered Kiesel headless with Liths is a straight-to-the-amp metal guitar at basically any tuning.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:26 pm

Well this is starting to sound like Chambered>Piezo for me lol. I can't imagine ever selling my JP13 anyway HAHA>

Anyone know what the stock pickup selector switch configuration is on HSH? I cant seem to find a diagram anywhere. I would like to have the option to coil split the neck & bridge pickup for even more versatility so I am assuming the stock setup is as follows:

Neck Full
Neck Inner+Middle
Middle
Middle+Bridge Inner
Bridge Full

If that's the case I guess I will either have to add a coil split mini toggle or push pull on the tone or volume.
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2016 A7H

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:32 pm

Yeah that sounds like the right setup. They would probably do a push-pull for you to split the neck and bridge if you ask. Just my $0.02, though, add everything you need and are actually gonna use, but nothing that's just for options' sake or for versatility, because option paralysis is a real thing and it sucks.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:43 pm

How many outputs does your piezo Aries have? It's worth noting that now, at least on the headless, there is just the blended output (and it's mono).

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby wickid » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:46 pm

Jack'O'Licious wrote:Well this is starting to sound like Chambered>Piezo for me lol. I can't imagine ever selling my JP13 anyway HAHA>

Anyone know what the stock pickup selector switch configuration is on HSH? I cant seem to find a diagram anywhere. I would like to have the option to coil split the neck & bridge pickup for even more versatility so I am assuming the stock setup is as follows:

Neck Full
Neck Inner+Middle
Middle
Middle+Bridge Inner
Bridge Full

If that's the case I guess I will either have to add a coil split mini toggle or push pull on the tone or volume.


The splits are probably either top or bottom coil for both HBs, so both get a chance at cutting the hum with the middle, since that is wound in a particular direction and polarity.
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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:21 pm

spudmunkey wrote:How many outputs does your piezo Aries have? It's worth noting that now, at least on the headless, there is just the blended output (and it's mono).

My Aries has both outputs. Separate volume knobs for both the saddles and the pickups. I am aware how it works but I was not aware the Vader Piezo would be blended. That's not too big of a deal to me, I never played with separate amps anyway honestly.
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2016 A7H

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:55 pm

honestly I prefer a mono blended out for the piezo because I prefer it on basically all the time. I'm planning a modern tele-viibey build (diy not Kiesel) with an always-on blended piezo that I have pretty high hopes for.
:hijack:
sorry for the derail Jack, if you want I can put up some drop A and drop G reference clips with my CL when I get home at the end of the week. maple neck/ebony fb, chambered mahogany body, maple top with Lithiums.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Srini » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:01 pm

Jack, I should probably refrain from commenting on this thread only because I'm stylistically a polar opposite, but my own experience with chambering has been a warmer, slightly more full bodied tone. I would hesitate to call it an enhanced midrange, because it's so subtle, but there is definitely a discernible difference in feel. Chambering renders the guitar very slightly less snappy, but ironically, a little more dynamic with respect to picking. I'm not sure that makes sense, but that's the best way I know to describe it.

Given that you tend towards speed, I'm guessing that chambering may not be the best thing for you.

But, hey, I've been wrong before!

Srini

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:57 pm

Srini wrote:Jack, I should probably refrain from commenting on this thread only because I'm stylistically a polar opposite, but my own experience with chambering has been a warmer, slightly more full bodied tone. I would hesitate to call it an enhanced midrange, because it's so subtle, but there is definitely a discernible difference in feel. Chambering renders the guitar very slightly less snappy, but ironically, a little more dynamic with respect to picking. I'm not sure that makes sense, but that's the best way I know to describe it.

Given that you tend towards speed, I'm guessing that chambering may not be the best thing for you.

But, hey, I've been wrong before!

Srini

You'd think so, but as you mentioned, it enhances picking dynamics, and the trick to playing fast and sounding good is being on top of your picking dynamics. Sure you'll fart out with half a notch less gain than a solid body, but you'll get a fuller and ultimately more controlled (to tight, loose, stacatto, or feedbacky) than you would with a solid body also, in my experience. Like, I play more in the vein of some of the proggier indie punk bands, but even when I'm doing something heavy and downtuned (down to drop G for actual music or down to drop E for messing around) I'd go for a chambered body or a more modern semi-hollow design.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Srini » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:40 am

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Srini wrote:Jack, I should probably refrain from commenting on this thread only because I'm stylistically a polar opposite, but my own experience with chambering has been a warmer, slightly more full bodied tone. I would hesitate to call it an enhanced midrange, because it's so subtle, but there is definitely a discernible difference in feel. Chambering renders the guitar very slightly less snappy, but ironically, a little more dynamic with respect to picking. I'm not sure that makes sense, but that's the best way I know to describe it.

Given that you tend towards speed, I'm guessing that chambering may not be the best thing for you.

But, hey, I've been wrong before!

Srini

You'd think so, but as you mentioned, it enhances picking dynamics, and the trick to playing fast and sounding good is being on top of your picking dynamics. Sure you'll fart out with half a notch less gain than a solid body, but you'll get a fuller and ultimately more controlled (to tight, loose, stacatto, or feedbacky) than you would with a solid body also, in my experience. Like, I play more in the vein of some of the proggier indie punk bands, but even when I'm doing something heavy and downtuned (down to drop G for actual music or down to drop E for messing around) I'd go for a chambered body or a more modern semi-hollow design.


I guess that shows my lack of familiarity with those genres. I do know, however, that for R&B/blues/jazz - and even some classic rock - I'd take picking dynamics any day. I just assumed that metal would call for a different approach to picking.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:45 am

Yeah, I am totally unsure which way to go at this point. It would be one thing if I was buying used and could resale if I'm not too fond of the way it turns out but I am building brand new. We all know how harsh the resale value is nowadays.
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2016 A7H

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Srini » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:48 am

Jack'O'Licious wrote:Yeah, I am totally unsure which way to go at this point. It would be one thing if I was buying used and could resale if I'm not too fond of the way it turns out but I am building brand new. We all know how harsh the resale value is nowadays.


Maybe one suggestion would be to emulate your favorite guitar. If it is solid, don't take a chance on chambering. Just a thought.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Srini » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:56 pm

Not sure how useful you'll find this, but it's worth checking out.

Solid vs chambered

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:44 am

Srini wrote:Not sure how useful you'll find this, but it's worth checking out.

Solid vs chambered


Thanks for showing me that. The difference in sound is almost unnoticeable to my ears. So with that being said (or heard) I don't really think the difference is worth stressing over as far as sound quality goes. I guess the only options to weigh out for my decision now is the actual weight of the guitar (chambering is free on the Vader builder) versus the Piezo ($250 for the Piezo). As far as I have heard the Vader is already quite light as it is but adding $250 to the build for the Piezo when I have a guitar with one already is starting to seem less & less likely. Especially now that I got an answer on the KTB fretboard. I swear a year ago I asked what that costs and Mike told me $100 but yesterday they responded via email that a treated fretboard is $250 and they recommended going roasted maple if that's too expensive for my plans. But man I really want the birdseye treated Aqua to match the Aquaburst flamed maple top. That just looks so awesome to me.

I believe these are the specs I am looking at now:

Vader 7 with trem
White Limba or Swamp Ash body
Black Limba or Walnut neck with maple stripes
Aquaburst Flame Maple top
RNC ($50 upcharge but I could have sworn it was in the builder before, now it is MIA)
Chambered (since its free)
HSH with 5 way and push pull coil tap/split whatever its called
Staggered dots (luminlay)
Abalone tone knobs
White Lithiums (no covers)
White Logo

in the OP I stated I wanted dark woods but really I like the light wood body contrast with the Aqua Flame top and a dark Neck wood. Now I am going to see what I can find for sound qualities in these few woods to make that final decision.
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2016 A7H

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:10 am

As far as I remember, even the most basic KTB finishes have always started at $200, and o believe went up to 250 a year or so ago. I think.

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Re: Chambered Vader or No?

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:19 am

You're probably right. Maybe he said $200 back then when I asked over the phone. It has been awhile. Either way I want that more than the acoustic saddles given I still have the JP13 anyway.
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2016 A7H

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string


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