My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

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mordecai
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My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby mordecai » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:16 am

I currently own many guitars but anymore I go for my Carvin CT4(Tonerider Alnico II push/pull splitable) and my USA Standard Strat(fat 50s) and wanting to find a guitar that sits right in the middle with an HSS setup. Ideally would have switches to split humbucker and get bridge always on for B+N and B+M+N options.

I am looking at a TLB60(ash) and a ST300(mahogany body maple top) right now. I know both are discontinued. From what I have been told by customer service you can't order at pickguard that fits a TLB60 anymore. That part is a bit confusing because they still sell the kit that has all the TLB60 parts... Does a standard Bolt pickguard fit? Looks like the cutaway screw holes do not match up but otherwise it'd fit. Part of the draw to a Bolt is having that flexibility to mess with configurations and colors. I really like the look of the TLB60 and would be a nice little different look to an otherwise dual cutaway collection. Like the specs on this particular guitar but just would want to change the color of the pick guard honestly and bummed that they don't provide them anymore.

I love my CT4 the most out of any guitar I have and really like the 25" scale so that has me thinking the DC135/ST300 is the best option for me but because it's a 25" scale 24 fret guitar I am wondering if it'd stray to far from what I am looking for. I do spend a lot of time up on the fret board if its easily accessible. Not shredding but finding alternate chords and overtones.

I am also wondering if the neck on the ST300 is thinner than my CT4. The CT4 neck is the most comfortable neck I've played and am really hoping both guitars have similar necks.

The music I would be playing with this guitar is ambient, indie, and modern worship music. Examples of groups I am talking about are: Built to Spill, Pavement, Alvvays, My Bloody Valentine, Elevation Worship, Bethel, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, etc...

The stratocaster and the CT4 really do cover this sound very well but if I can have some compromises and have a good grab and go, go to guitar it seems an HSS with some added switches is the way to go.

I don't think I'll regret either one of them and from what I can tell they would be pretty similar to either guitar I have now. TLB60 more like my strat and the ST300 more like my CT4.

Can anyone tell me any differences I'd notice or just something I may not be thinking about? For me I am leaning towards the ST300 because I don't have a neck through in my collection and I like the 25" scale. But I think the neck feel is probably the most important thing to me.

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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby wickid » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:35 am


To me, the neck (profile) differences are negligible, if there are any. The ST300 does have a smoother heel transition, since its neck-thru of course. I got the thicker neck on my latest CT3, and while its supposedly only .03" (or .003"?) thicker,
I can feel it ... not so much between the CT and ST (unless its different at the shoulders, but even then, both feel comparable to me).
But the biggest difference to me is the extra 2 frets - as far as the neck p/up goes. But in that regard my ST300 is more like my CT324 (the 24 fret Koa one). Altho the neck-thru has something about it too, I think. But at any rate, I far prefer the neck p/up tone of my 22 fretters (Bolt/Strat included). Yes, even with those 2 frets. While my HSS DC135 gets some pretty nice neck tones, I don't pick it up thinking its replacing my Bolt/Strat, really.
I mostly have my CT(s) [for the H-H configuration] and Bolt(s) [for the HSS config] out of their cases to play.
YMMV.
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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby mordecai » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:49 am

That helps a lot. As far as the Bolt necks compared to the CT necks, are they pretty similar as far as shape and feel? I know it's going to be different as far as different scale and bolt vs set. But going between them do you feel like you are playing a similar neck profile? I think the biggest thing for me is I love my CT4 standard neck and really want to get something similar out of the guitar I will get. As in I can pick it up and just feel at home. Both guitars will have same frets, same radius, etc.

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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby wickid » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:02 am


Yup. Bolts, CTs, DCs, all feel similar to me - like you say, right at home. If there are differences, I cant feel them, really. And like I said, I can notice the thicker neck profile (standard works fine enough for me where I wouldn't pay the up-charge for it again - not bad, just doesn't do a whole lot for me).
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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby ElfDude » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:03 am

As the owner of a CT4 and a Bolt, I can honestly say that my H-S-S DC135 does sit right between the two. You're on the right track here. 8)
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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby mordecai » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:53 pm

Sweet thanks guys. There is a DC locally but it's the usual pawn shop missing/rusted strings horrible setup but I can at least see how the neck feels and the 24 frets advantage disadvantages. I pretty much know what I am getting into with the TLB60. Just wish they would still supply those pickguards.

Anyone speak on how the TLB60 upper access is? I am sure it's not quite as good as a standard Bolt but probably better than my Strat.

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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:59 pm

It at least had the rounded-off neck plate of the modern Bolt and GH24 and GH3 guitars, so it's better in that regard than most Strats.

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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby wickid » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:57 am

ElfDude wrote:As the owner of a CT4 and a Bolt, I can honestly say that my H-S-S DC135 does sit right between the two. You're on the right track here. 8)


That's a fair assessment.
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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby ElfDude » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:37 pm

wickid wrote:
ElfDude wrote:As the owner of a CT4 and a Bolt, I can honestly say that my H-S-S DC135 does sit right between the two. You're on the right track here. 8)


That's a fair assessment.


And by saying "between", I guess we're saying it's not really like either one. The neck-through design gives it different dynamics. I remember when I bought my DC135 I thought I was getting a Strat killer. Turned out that it was so different than a Strat that I still wanted to buy a Bolt. And then a CT for that set-neck 22-fret dynamic. :mrgreen:
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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby Doctor Turn » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:53 pm

Not to mention the fact that the 25.5" inch scale of a Bolt (or Fender Strat) is going to make a tremendous sonic difference on the attack vs the rounder (more Les Paulish) 25" scale of the DC. It's going to be the biggest differentiator in terms of tone between the two! The tight 25.5" long scale is the biggest part of what gives Teles and Strats that twang and "accent" like a southern drawl versus a slinkier, rude Les Paul sound.
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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby mordecai » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:30 am

After some head scratching I am going to hold off and bit longer and build an no-bevel Aries so I can put a piezo bridge in there and just have a very capable gig guitar. Curious about reading up on the new pickups Jeff spoke of at NAMM last week. Sounds like it's right up my alley with a more vintage output option. The Ibanez AZ series looks really great but just not sure it's able to keep up with Kiesels necks. But Suhr is sure to be a little upset over that series appearing.

Thanks for the help guys. I am in no hurry because I do have my bases covered with my current guitars, I just am ready to snag my dream guitar. Feel like waiting till I can just build one is the ticket.

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Re: My next Carvin/Kiesel own a CT4 want Bolt or DC135/ST300

Postby skully13a » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:19 pm

Good call. :)
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