Bring Back the Bolt +

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Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby CudBucket » Fri May 18, 2018 6:46 am

Am I alone on this?

I have had 7 or 8 Carvins/Kiesels in my life. Currently, I only own 2 Kiesels. By far, my favourite C/K is my Kiesel Bolt. I think the Bolt + would be another Kiesel I'd want to have just because of the lack of pickguard, no pickup rings and direct to body pickup mounts.

I know it's gone and lost forever but I loved that model.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby ElfDude » Fri May 18, 2018 7:15 am

It was cool.
It is still available in kit form, but the Aries has definitely replaced it.
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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby spudmunkey » Fri May 18, 2018 8:03 am

ElfDude wrote:It was cool.
It is still available in kit form, but the Aries has definitely replaced it.


And you may know this already, but even though it's not as advertised as much as the standard 24-fret beveled model, it's available with a carved forearm contour instead of the beveling, and in a 22-fret version.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby GuitFiddle » Sun May 20, 2018 5:51 am

I owned what by all accounts was the last factory Bolt + made. Standard alder, maple neck and board, Kiesel Holdsworth pickups. For whatever reason that guitar was just painfully bright. That's what the tone knob is for, but the top 50% of it was basically unuseable. Never could figure out why it was so bright, but never gelled with it. I loved the simplistic and purposeful design though.
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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby silvergoat2k6 » Sun May 20, 2018 8:01 pm

A 22-fret, non-beveled Aries is pretty much the same thing, except with much a much friendlier neck heel joint.
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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby metalgarth » Tue May 22, 2018 9:17 am

What I don't get is why the Bolt+ and C66 couldn't just be a standard Bolt option package for $XX.XX

Or why there isn't a production version of the "Numbers" guitar.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby spudmunkey » Tue May 22, 2018 9:33 am

metalgarth wrote:Or why there isn't a production version of the "Numbers" guitar.


I think this is one of the few times there isn't a bone-stock JB24 in the in-stock section that I've noticed. Any time I've check, there's been one available to order. I think that's as close to "production" as we'll get from Kiesel. :) I do think they should have at least one or two JB24 and JBPB models in stock at all times since there's not really any options available.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby ghostryder » Mon May 28, 2018 12:41 pm

silvergoat2k6 wrote:A 22-fret, non-beveled Aries is pretty much the same thing, except with much a much friendlier neck heel joint.


Uh....no. This old blues guy eyed the Contour 66 for a long time waiting for the cash to make the buy. when it was gone and everyone was selling the idea the aries was the replacement in my mind and what i want in a quitar---your crazy. Simply crazy.

I look at it this way. I look at the bolt and I see a strat copy. I look at the bolt plus and I see a super strat. I look at the contour 66 and I see a strat killer. It is in 'contour' this is achieved. Grace. character. and the body binding on the top.

Bevels?! the beveled aries looks like something David Bowie should have been playing during The Spider from Mars period. It's not a guitar I envision Stevie ray Vaughn playing or even a blind Jeff Healey. Even unbeveled this guitar is pointy and ungraceful looking.

So what does Kiesel have for a guy like me? The bolt? Built with my wood and options I'm not that far north money wise from a Suhr--and if I'm going strat copy then why not the later.

What else is there? Greg howe GH3 if you want it configured like Greg likes it. To me the Greg howe GH24 comes closest to the Contour 66 looks wise. but option wise being pretty much zero and right hand only (I'm a lefty) that cancels that.
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In short....I see nothing here for me. there's a giant gap not being filled. Kiesel is clearly leaning away from us old time blues guys with pretty much nothing but the bolt to offer.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby Omsong » Mon May 28, 2018 1:49 pm

GuitFiddle wrote:I owned what by all accounts was the last factory Bolt + made. Standard alder, maple neck and board, Kiesel Holdsworth pickups. For whatever reason that guitar was just painfully bright. That's what the tone knob is for, but the top 50% of it was basically unuseable. Never could figure out why it was so bright, but never gelled with it. I loved the simplistic and purposeful design though.


I bet the Kiesel Holdsworths had a lot to do with the excessive brightness. I briefly had an HH2 with those PUs and had to roll the tone down nearly all the way to get any warmth. Even then there was hardly any bottom end. Extremely articulate but unpleasant to my ears, NTL. It had another problem so I returned it, otherwise I would have swapped out the PUs.
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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby ElfDude » Mon May 28, 2018 5:58 pm

Unbeveled Aries
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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby ghostryder » Tue May 29, 2018 7:25 am

Great overhead comparision Elfdud. You can clearly see how much the top and bottom "S" are narrow and pointed on the aries compared to the contour 66. But that isn't even half of it really. Let's see some back shots and side shots. What does the back of the aries look like compared to the contour-especially the feel when played. Does losing the bevels lose the comfort because there are no contours?

Lastly...and more significant if I want the same binding on the aries as came stock on the contour that's a $400 ad on option. Depending on top wood picks the price is going to soar rapidly north of $2500. Your now beyond a suhr in price -- which if the aries with bindings looks good might be a sell...but I've yet seen one.

The bolt+ and the contour 66 both competed well with suhr because the build quality was close but both the bolt+ and contour were better looking because IMHO a strat isn't a pretty quitar with a front mount jack and plastic looking pickquard. But you take away the pickguard and move the Jack to the side and put bindings on it you now have a gorgeous looking Axe. And both the contour 66 and Bolt+ came in under the price to boot.

Now to get close --- and close is the operative word because of a total lack of information about the back, the weight and the feel-- I've got to pull the plug on $400 + options and end up spending nearly 3k.

That's not competative the way a bolt+ and a contour 66 was with a suhr in my mind but I'm open to opinions from others who play an unbeveled aries.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby spudmunkey » Tue May 29, 2018 9:16 am

Hmm...I guess I don't see such a drastic difference. I mean, I see it, but one doesn't seem any worse than the other, just different.

To be clear, the Aries with the "bevel delete" option does not make for a guitar with "no contours". If you select the bevel delete option, you trade the large bevel on the bass-side of the body and the upper-fret-access carve on the treble-side, for a carved or bent forearm contour (depending on if you get a top or not...something that was never a choice on the C66...there was no "topless" option, or discount for anything below flamed maple), similar to the current DC600. I believe the "belly cut" on the Aries (which is not affected by the bevel delete option) is wider and swoopier (smoother transition from the flat back into the belly cut) than even on the Contour. Comparing the two, the Aries's fret access cutaway is 1 fret deeper into the body, too, for a bit of "function over form". Same with the 1 fret further reach on the upper horn for, in theory anyway, better balance. Then there's the "shaved down" plateless heel, which again, is a mater of function over form in my opinion).

Kiesel doesn't have a DBBE or BBE option on the builder for the Aries (they have DBBEB, but that's a more expensive option because bevels are much harder to tape off cleanly and accurately which is why it's $220), but that BBE option is $80 on the DC600. Yes, you also have to select a top, and that does make the price higher than the "retired" price of a C66, but now also includes options which were considered upgrades (Hipshot fixed bridge, stainless frets, Luminlay side dots), and that C66 would have also gone through the same two price increases the other modela have gone though since it was retired.

To compare pricing, the FT6 equipped C66 was already $979 back in 2007 (the most current catalog pages on the carvinmuseum website). In 11 years it would have likely gone up in price a few times, but we can ignore that for the sake of easy math and I'll just use the first google result for an "inflation" calculator. Yes, i realize this is flawed, but it's close enough for jazz. I don't know what the prices were back then for these options, but using the current pricing, add stainless frets ($40) and the hipshot bridge ($50 upgrade) and you're at $1069. Add inflation from March 2007 to March 2010, and you're at $1299.10. edit: ok, so after I typed out the rest and re-read it, I realized I' mistakenly applying inflation to the current prices of these two options...my bad...so take the other numbers with a grain of salt, but in the end the difference between the two models seem like they would basically even out. Take the current Aries ($999), remove the bevel (no charge), add a flamed top ($250), add BBE ($80) and you're at $1329, only a $30 difference...and that doesn't yet include the "deep" DTS finish (launched on the carved top models and made standard on all figured maple tops later) which is now standard that they used to charge $100 for, and the luminlay side dots...so on paper, all-in, it's actually a better value. (per the above edit, it's likely about equal) It's up to each individual buyer, though, if those are actually "upgrades" to you or not. Some don't like the "deep" finishes. Some prefer nickel frets. In those cases, the newer examples may not actually be a better value, but keep in mind that both of those would also have been added to the standard spec of the C66 by now (the "deep" DTS finish upgrade already was, actually, between that 2007 pricing and when it was retired).

Here's a great shot showing the forearm contour on a "bevel delete" Aries:
Image

I also think it's worth noting that even the Contour wasn't as contoured as the Contour (yes, I said that right). Years before it was retired, the model was updated with a less-pronounced forearm contour. It retired flatter than it was when it was launched. I have to imagine it had something to do with decreasing issues with bending tops, because if I remember right, it happened about the time (or at least within a couple of years) of when they got rid of being able to see your 5-piece neck through your top wood on a neck through which made for less surface area for glue to hold down the bent top. Even the original DC600 had a deeper forearm contour if you got it without a top, compared to getting it with a top. But this change also happened around the same time that almost every other model was GIVEN a bent wood forearm contour that didn't have it before: LB bases, DC127, Bolt, etc. In the base, the little forearm contour chamfer (hard to call it a "contour) was just carved into the (then, thicker) top woods, shallow enough that it didn't cut through the top.
Last edited by spudmunkey on Tue May 29, 2018 9:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby spudmunkey » Tue May 29, 2018 9:24 am

With aaaaaall of that said, I can easily see the Aries 22-fret with bevel delete as being a valid successor to the C66...a C66 v2.0, if you will...but until they offer a rounded body edges, I also don't see it as a Bolt+ replacement even though it can be had without a top.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue May 29, 2018 12:40 pm

I get what he's saying, though. An Aries is a modern, nontraditional looking double cut guitar no matter how much you slice it. There are Les Paul copies that also do very minor adjustments to the basic shape and *bloop* it loses that cool balanced vibe that Lester and Gibson nailed, and for better or for worse, depending entirely on your taste, they give out a different "look":

Image
Image

The Kiesel CS and the Hagstrom Swede are the few that went significantly away into their "own" shape while still being a copy, and I like the result..

It's more than just the shape of the horns on the Aries, the guitar looks nothing like the stately strat, it is an aggressive looking double cut no matter how you slice it up. And as a guy who wants my music to have the "horns" and the "eyebrows" and wants his guitar to look like it's not (I can't stress this enough) trying to say anything about the music that's going to come out of it, I wobble on not only the Aries but many of the new shapes. It's not that I'm a traditionalist, it's that I don't want my guitars to indicate a musical style, at all. They should look suitable for playing jazz as well as the most spaced out acid rock, punk, doom metal, etc.
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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby spudmunkey » Tue May 29, 2018 1:03 pm

Along the same lines, the Bolt, while even having interchangeable parts with a Strat, is quite a different shape from a Strat (primarily in the upper horn), which I genuinely do prefer over the "normal" shape. I think it looks more sleek, and has better proportions visually...to my eye. Have both makers make the identically-spec'd guitars, and I'll prefer the looks of the Bolt over the Strat.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue May 29, 2018 1:10 pm

spudmunkey wrote:Along the same lines, the Bolt, while even having interchangeable parts with a Strat, is quite a different shape from a Strat (primarily in the upper horn), which I genuinely do prefer over the "normal" shape. I think it looks more sleek, and has better proportions visually...to my eye. Have both makers make the identically-spec'd guitars, and I'll prefer the looks of the Bolt over the Strat.

Image
Image

I think the primary difference is the depth of the waist on the Bolt is deeper. Strat is a little more squared. Same species and musical "temperature," though.
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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby spudmunkey » Tue May 29, 2018 2:27 pm

Ahh, I hadn't noticed that aspect. The Bolt's shape more closely follows the pickguard, where the Fender's is off-set. Looking at that aspect, I think I prefer the Bolt over the Fender even more now. For me, it was just all about the more streamlined upper horn, and something else on which I couldn't quite put my finger...but you found it!

Also, I'm sure there's a reason Fender does it the way they do, but once I saw that Carvin evenly-spaced out the perimeter screws on the pickguard, I've always been bothered by Fender's seemingly randomly-placed screws (it's just the one located closest to the middle pickup, but my OCD kicks in and I notice it's "off" every time I look at it).

I'm also reminded of how much I love the Blue Mist finish on the Bolt model, so thanks for using that specific example image. *sigh* Someday... :day-dreaming smiley gif:

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby skully13a » Tue May 29, 2018 3:42 pm

If they just keep the Bolt+ as a kit, I'm cool with that. Maybe it's just the way I'm wired or some such, but I think they are excellent.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby ghostryder » Tue May 29, 2018 6:19 pm

spudmunkey wrote:Hmm...I guess I don't see such a drastic difference. I mean, I see it, but one doesn't seem any worse than the other, just different.

To be clear, the Aries with the "bevel delete" option does not make for a guitar with "no contours". If you select the bevel delete option, you trade the large bevel on the bass-side of the body and the upper-fret-access carve on the treble-side, for a carved or bent forearm contour (depending on if you get a top or not...something that was never a choice on the C66...there was no "topless" option, or discount for anything below flamed maple), similar to the current DC600. I believe the "belly cut" on the Aries (which is not affected by the bevel delete option) is wider and swoopier (smoother transition from the flat back into the belly cut) than even on the Contour. Comparing the two, the Aries's fret access cutaway is 1 fret deeper into the body, too, for a bit of "function over form". Same with the 1 fret further reach on the upper horn for, in theory anyway, better balance. Then there's the "shaved down" plateless heel, which again, is a mater of function over form in my opinion).

Kiesel doesn't have a DBBE or BBE option on the builder for the Aries (they have DBBEB, but that's a more expensive option because bevels are much harder to tape off cleanly and accurately which is why it's $220), but that BBE option is $80 on the DC600. Yes, you also have to select a top, and that does make the price higher than the "retired" price of a C66, but now also includes options which were considered upgrades (Hipshot fixed bridge, stainless frets, Luminlay side dots), and that C66 would have also gone through the same two price increases the other modela have gone though since it was retired.

To compare pricing, the FT6 equipped C66 was already $979 back in 2007 (the most current catalog pages on the carvinmuseum website). In 11 years it would have likely gone up in price a few times, but we can ignore that for the sake of easy math and I'll just use the first google result for an "inflation" calculator. Yes, i realize this is flawed, but it's close enough for jazz. I don't know what the prices were back then for these options, but using the current pricing, add stainless frets ($40) and the hipshot bridge ($50 upgrade) and you're at $1069. Add inflation from March 2007 to March 2010, and you're at $1299.10. edit: ok, so after I typed out the rest and re-read it, I realized I' mistakenly applying inflation to the current prices of these two options...my bad...so take the other numbers with a grain of salt, but in the end the difference between the two models seem like they would basically even out. Take the current Aries ($999), remove the bevel (no charge), add a flamed top ($250), add BBE ($80) and you're at $1329, only a $30 difference...and that doesn't yet include the "deep" DTS finish (launched on the carved top models and made standard on all figured maple tops later) which is now standard that they used to charge $100 for, and the luminlay side dots...so on paper, all-in, it's actually a better value. (per the above edit, it's likely about equal) It's up to each individual buyer, though, if those are actually "upgrades" to you or not. Some don't like the "deep" finishes. Some prefer nickel frets. In those cases, the newer examples may not actually be a better value, but keep in mind that both of those would also have been added to the standard spec of the C66 by now (the "deep" DTS finish upgrade already was, actually, between that 2007 pricing and when it was retired).

Here's a great shot showing the forearm contour on a "bevel delete" Aries:
Image

I also think it's worth noting that even the Contour wasn't as contoured as the Contour (yes, I said that right). Years before it was retired, the model was updated with a less-pronounced forearm contour. It retired flatter than it was when it was launched. I have to imagine it had something to do with decreasing issues with bending tops, because if I remember right, it happened about the time (or at least within a couple of years) of when they got rid of being able to see your 5-piece neck through your top wood on a neck through which made for less surface area for glue to hold down the bent top. Even the original DC600 had a deeper forearm contour if you got it without a top, compared to getting it with a top. But this change also happened around the same time that almost every other model was GIVEN a bent wood forearm contour that didn't have it before: LB bases, DC127, Bolt, etc. In the base, the little forearm contour chamfer (hard to call it a "contour) was just carved into the (then, thicker) top woods, shallow enough that it didn't cut through the top.


Thanks for the excellent reply. I'll take some points about price. When the Contour was available it retailed for $979 but as Carvin did do what Kiesel now does---they put a $100 sale reduction--hense the actual stock price was $879. Because the top and binding was included that in itself made it a bargain.
https://www.kieselguitars.com/guitars-in-stock/65134

Now for actual comparison let me describe an Aries I would build----which actually wouldn't really mirror the contour. I probably would forgo the flamed or quilted top. I'd go for warm woods like an alder body and ash top perhaps--maybe go with clear gloss with an antique finish. A hipshot Bridge with a HSS on litium coils. Locking turners, SS frets, Black hardware and coil colors, Maybe an engraved trush rod cover for $30-- and the body binding $200 (which you ignored in your comparison) ---- anyway using the quitar builder my totals with softshell case is at $1559. now you can waggle about inflation but we're talking here a couple years, not a couple decades. the quitar is about $500 more expensive. assuming the bindings --- maybe they don't do that so knock off $200 (special when I used the builder from $400) The way i read it the only real requirement was a top--- which i got an ash for $150. Couldn't really do much with pickup options in the builder except a single coil center--but i know if I call I can get HSS, and I'd want that 22inch neck so that neck pickup isn't pushed away--- I didn't do a cambered body but weight is an issue at my age and my back-- so I'd probably opt for that as well.

If one can't get those bindings that's an issue. It's just not as pretty without-- but if they can bind a contour 66 and this is supposed to be the replacement--they should bind the aries. But again I've never seen one.

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Re: Bring Back the Bolt +

Postby spudmunkey » Tue May 29, 2018 7:18 pm

An amusing anecdote: the first time I ever saw a C66 was in the Sacramento Carvin store. It was my first time ever seeing a Carvin in person. It wasn't until I was playing the C66 for a little bit that I realized that it DIDN'T have the binding effect. The top was done in a trans black on...I wanna say quilted maple, with a blackburst edge. That blackburst edges fully wrapped all the way around the sides, and the back was just all opaque black paint. I asked about it, and they said that it was a mistake at the factory, but there wasn't a discount because it was a "unique custom one-off".
:lol: :wall: :lol:

I'm with you...I definitely love the look of that natural stripe, so I made sure to get it on my trans black flamed maple CS6.


Note that the "binding" option on the Aries builder is not the binding you want. If the look you want is like what the C66 had, then it's not on the builder for the Aries. The $220 option you see is called "DBBEB" (Deeped Body Binding Effect Bevel) which is only available on certain models like the Aries, SCB, Vanquish, etc. For the BBE like what was on the Contour 66, then you want the "BBE", which is a different option code and isn't on the Aries builder. The DC600 has the same "BBE" (Body Binding Effect) option and it's $80. I don't know if Kiesel's online builder is flexible enough to show you one kind of BBE option if you pick the bevel delete, and then only show you DBBEB if you don't.

:think:

And to make sure we're both on the same page that these are paint line effects...they don't do actual plastic binding on any model with any sort of forearm contour.

That build sounds cool though. I've got an HSS Aries with fixed hipshot bridge and ash body with the antique finish (with trans red over it). Chrome hardware, though.
:rockon:

Yeah, that price was a good one for $879. And while it was only "a few years ago", 2007 was still 11 years ago, and inflation still adds almost $200, for a current equivalent of $1068.

Take that $1068, add stainless frets (I don't know how much they were back in 2007, but we'll say $30 (they were $40 for the last few years until they were made standard)) and the hipshot bridge (which is a $50 upgrade over the old FT6 on the DC127), and you're at $1,148.

$1329 for the current equivalent Aries (22 fret version and bevel delete (both no-charge options)) with flamed maple top ($250) and Body Binding Effect ($80), makes for $181 difference between the Aries and the C66. The Aries also has Luminlay side dots (if they are an upgrade to you or not, that'll depend on the player. They were an optional upgrade on the C66 and currently included with the Aries). They will also have a higher likelihood of actually being installed straight, unlike my side dots, since they switched recently to having the dots located with the CNC, rather than by hand which they were doing for years. Ha! ;) So that I'm sure adds some cost to have to get them set up in the CNC otherwise I feel like they would have done it years ago. :lol: Then add the "DTS" (Deep Triple Step) finish upgrade I mentioned in the previous post for which they charged $100, and is now standard, and the difference between the two builds is around $50 (assuming they charged $30-ish for Luminlay side dots).

And they are rare, but proof the Aries with bevel delete can have the same BBE (Body Binding Effect) that the Contour 66 had (see below). I think a lot of the people who get the bevel delete option do it to maximize an optional top wood. "I'm paying X-amount for a top, so by-gum I'm going to keep as much of it as I can!" The vast majority of the bevel delete Aries models seem to just be clear finished wood without paint/stain. I do remember when they did the Aries run a couple of years ago, there were quite a few examples they posted to the closed Facebook group, but I don't have access to that page anymore.

2.jpg

1.jpg




But with all that said about the pricing of the C66 vs the Aries...

The Bolt+ was always only $50 more than the Bolt (aka Classic Bolt), so back in 2007 the Bolt+ would have been $200 cheaper than the C66 (adjusted for inflation it's a $240+ difference in "today" money)!

In 2003 (it's the latest catalog the Bolt+ is seen in over at carvinmuseum.com) it was $599. There wasn't a $100 off promo going on at the time, at least not on the pages on the museum site, unlike in 2007. Adjust that $599 for inflation, and it's $811 in "now bucks". Add $40 stainless frets, and you're up to $851, add luminlay and you're at $881 (assuming that $30 again from above), and add the $50 for the Hipshot fixed bridge upgrade (from the DC127 builder) and you're at $931 for a "2018 Bolt+". The Classic Bolt is currently $949 with the FT6 and the Aries is $999 with the hipshot...so within spitting distance of the Bolt+, actually. :think: On paper, at least.

I can't deny though, that once you start optioning-up any of these builds, the difference starts to widen. Options (for the most part) have gotten more expensive. There are a few exceptions, though. The Floyd is $120 now and was $100 in 2003, so that's actually BEATING inflation by $15. Carvin, for a while, charged for the "No Inlay" option. MOP block inlays were something like $200 for a period. Granted, during that same period (or close to it) you could get a solid koa body upgrade for something like $40. :laughhard:
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