Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

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Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby katerlouis » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:12 pm

Heyho, fellow Kiesel-lovers!

I've been flirting with a Zeus (my first Kiesel) for quite some time now. It's gonna happen sooner or later anyways, so .. why keep waiting?

What did Uncle Ben say again? "With so much choice, comes great responsibility"? Yeah! That's it. I just can't bear this responsibility on my own! So I wanted to ask for some tips on ordering my first Kiesel (probably not gonna be the last, I fear :D) in general and your suggestions in certain departments.

If this forum is not the place for that, please excuse me Kiesel-virgin and just delete this post :)


I want headless.
I want single cut away.
I want bolt-on.
I want quality.
I want custom.
I want Radness.
Hello Zeus!

Let's begin with what I want to do with this beast of a guitar.
I'm playing guitar for more than 10 years now. Have been on and off couple of times, but am now trying for roughly a year to graduate from someone who can use a guitar to a musician! I am mostly influenced by Adam Jones from Tool. On the other hand I love John Frusciante and since quite recently started looking into John Mayer. Yep, you read correctly. I want to marry beafy Humbuckers in the bridge with sparkly single-coil-esc tones on the neck.
While the pickup combo isn't that uncommon, I'm really struggling to get a grasp on tonewood-characteristics and would therefore very much appreciate advice on what woods you would choose to make this marriage work.

But we all know: You eat with your eyes first. So after countless toilet-sessions on Instagram I am feeling more and more comfortable a translucent teal on burled maple could be the anchor point design-wise. (https://www.instagram.com/p/BlITBLVgD_m) - But how does "Burled Maple" sound? How does a "translucent satin finish" alter the tone? What body wood gives me the sound I need (and still looks raaaad)? What neck wood? Fretboard! Oh lord.. visually I definitely have favorites for all these components, but think the main parts should be picked by sound characteristics. "Form follows function (but still needs huge amount of radness!:D)" - So what do you guys have in mind wood-wise when you imagine lil John Jones? (You know... Adam Jones making babies with John Fru-.. never mind)

What's cocobolo? Black limba looks sexy-- How does buckeye-burl sound? What does flamed, baked, roasted, toasted, frosted, cradled, creamed, juiced and what the hell else there is on wood treatments change beside the look? Too many questions..

Speaking of questions: another one is: go real single coil on the neck or try the hotrail mini-humbucker? I have a Chapman ML3 bea and absolutely love the chapman henchman mini humbucker on the neck. What do you say?

Also, like on my Chapman ML3, I'd like to have different coil-split / "voice" combinations with a 5-way-blade pickup-switch (if there are no 7-way-blades?) - Push/Pull or Push/Push is great, but restrictive in a live situation, when you want to switch pickups AND pull the poty simultaneously. What do you think?

(I just deleted 3 chunky passages on the neck and figured.. this is sooo subjective, that I just have to make my mind and go with it.. the wood choice is way more in need of advice)

Phew- neck, I guess I like big curves (Yes, I also thought about the woman-comparison and am proud of myself for resisting- wait.. darn!) C shape with Jumbos.. well, stainless steel or gold evo?! Meeeeh..


Thank you guys very much for accompanying me on this very exciting journey and helping me get one huge step closer to "finding my own sound".

thank-you-bow-gif-12.gif



Greetings,

René
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Re: Some tips on my Zeus Z6 build?

Postby spudmunkey » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:35 pm

Your enthusiasm is infectious. :)

If you can, I would hold off until we get some demos on the new Thorium pickups, just because it'll be one more data point.

The standard pickup options are the Lithium (modern, super articulate...some say to a fault), Beryllium (more classic-voiced, but still seem to have good clarity and a little thicker on the bottom end, and less "modern" or "hi-fi" than the Lithium). While the Thorium are said to be "pissed off" and "super high output", it can't hurt to hear how they sound. Then there's the Fishman Fluence pickups available on the Zeus, as well, and they even have an additional tone that (I don't know why) kiesel doesn't incorporate into their installations. So in addition to the pickup selector switch, there's also a push/pull pot for one switch between modes, and then there's another mode you can you switch to (I might be wrong, but I *think* it's a coil tap (not a split) if you're able to get that wired up...

Plus, you can send in your own pickups.

Lastly, if you don't like push-pull, you could also have them use mini-switches. A little bit easier to use on the fly...but it sounds like you really want something like a "super switch" or a "megaswitch". Kiesel doesn't offer it standard, but their salespeople would be able to tell you if it was something you could send in. you don't necessarily get more settings, but you have more control over what each of the positions gives you.

As far as your questions on neck tone, it should be worth noting that Kiesel doesn't use "roasted" or "toasted" woods. They have a method of color-treating wood into many different colors, and they have one color called "baked" to give the look of roasted maple for the flamed and birdseye fretboards and necks. This shouldn't change the tone of wood any more than staining any other part of the body vs no stain.

I enjoy the skating-on-ice feel of stainless frets, and some have said they prefer the gold frets if for no other reason than that it just feels that slight-bit more like Nickel that they are more familiar with. By being ever-so-slightly rough, it's just that teensie-weensie bit easier to get a note to sustain with some vibrato like using a violin bow, in a way. Note that even when Kiesel offered Nickel frets, they were still basically the nicest nickel frets you could get, and dressed and polished really well...so well that they are even still standard on at least 1 artist signature model. The bummer, for me, is that the gold frets will always be gold because that's the color all the way through...but gold-plated hardware, for me, never stays gold. My body chemistry seems to wear through gold like it's not even there, and it'd be silver in a short amount of time...and I don't want gold frets and silver knobs from wear, with a half-gold-half-silver bridge from uneven wear. :laughhard:

Keep in mind on a model like the Zeus, the tops are definitely not veneer-thin...but they aren't thick billets of wood like you get on the carved top models. They are thin as far as wood caps go, so tonal differences will be minimal. The very act of adding any top at all, in my mind, will have more of an effect than the differences of woods chosen. Like...if you had an ash body with a separate ash top, my brain makes me think it would sound less like an all-ash one-piece guitar and more like one with a maple top, or some other top wood...but to be fair, I've never played them side-by-side to be able to tell you if that's the case.
Last edited by spudmunkey on Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:11 pm

katerlouis wrote:Heyho, fellow Kiesel-lovers!

I've been flirting with a Zeus (my first Kiesel) for quite some time now. It's gonna happen sooner or later anyways, so .. why keep waiting?

What did Uncle Ben say again? "With so much choice, comes great responsibility"? Yeah! That's it. I just can't bear this responsibility on my own! So I wanted to ask for some tips on ordering my first Kiesel (probably not gonna be the last, I fear :D) in general and your suggestions in certain departments.

If this forum is not the place for that, please excuse me Kiesel-virgin and just delete this post :)


I want headless.
I want single cut away.
I want bolt-on.
I want quality.
I want custom.
I want Radness.
Hello Zeus!

Let's begin with what I want to do with this beast of a guitar.
I'm playing guitar for more than 10 years now. Have been on and off couple of times, but am now trying for roughly a year to graduate from someone who can use a guitar to a musician! I am mostly influenced by Adam Jones from Tool. On the other hand I love John Frusciante and since quite recently started looking into John Mayer. Yep, you read correctly. I want to marry beafy Humbuckers in the bridge with sparkly single-coil-esc tones on the neck.
While the pickup combo isn't that uncommon, I'm really struggling to get a grasp on tonewood-characteristics and would therefore very much appreciate advice on what woods you would choose to make this marriage work.

But we all know: You eat with your eyes first. So after countless toilet-sessions on Instagram I am feeling more and more comfortable a translucent teal on burled maple could be the anchor point design-wise. (https://www.instagram.com/p/BlITBLVgD_m) - But how does "Burled Maple" sound? How does a "translucent satin finish" alter the tone? What body wood gives me the sound I need (and still looks raaaad)? What neck wood? Fretboard! Oh lord.. visually I definitely have favorites for all these components, but think the main parts should be picked by sound characteristics. "Form follows function (but still needs huge amount of radness!:D)" - So what do you guys have in mind wood-wise when you imagine lil John Jones? (You know... Adam Jones making babies with John Fru-.. never mind)

What's cocobolo? Black limba looks sexy-- How does buckeye-burl sound? What does flamed, baked, roasted, toasted, frosted, cradled, creamed, juiced and what the hell else there is on wood treatments change beside the look? Too many questions..

Speaking of questions: another one is: go real single coil on the neck or try the hotrail mini-humbucker? I have a Chapman ML3 bea and absolutely love the chapman henchman mini humbucker on the neck. What do you say?

Also, like on my Chapman ML3, I'd like to have different coil-split / "voice" combinations with a 5-way-blade pickup-switch (if there are no 7-way-blades?) - Push/Pull or Push/Push is great, but restrictive in a live situation, when you want to switch pickups AND pull the poty simultaneously. What do you think?

(I just deleted 3 chunky passages on the neck and figured.. this is sooo subjective, that I just have to make my mind and go with it.. the wood choice is way more in need of advice)

Phew- neck, I guess I like big curves (Yes, I also thought about the woman-comparison and am proud of myself for resisting- wait.. darn!) C shape with Jumbos.. well, stainless steel or gold evo?! Meeeeh..


Thank you guys very much for accompanying me on this very exciting journey and helping me get one huge step closer to "finding my own sound".

thank-you-bow-gif-12.gif


Greetings,

René

Hey again from the MIDI Zeus thread, OP!

For what you seem to be looking for, I'd say:
ZM6 - The fanned frets are killer for ergonomics. It's a small fan, but it feels really nice in the hand on my CL6
Mahogany body - if you want the Adam Jones and you want beefy, it's this or limba, but I think this looks good as a contrasting color to teal with a natural back
Burled maple - I'd do flamed myself but I can appreciate a good burl
Chambered - Weight relief, but also chambered guitars are really lively acoustically and feel really good in-hand. Optional, but like, sooooo worth it
3-piece body - Really good look with a bevel and a natural back imo
Teal - Nice paint bro, I dig it
Satin - Yes please
3-piece walnut & maple neck (the one with more walnut than maple) - More neck pieces = more stiff, more stable, and I really dig a walnut-maple combo. My CL6 would have had this if it fit the budget, but I'll get one when I pick up an Osiris
Standard neck - I like the thinner one myself, it's a lot like the ESP Thin U shape, but a little more rounded. They're both similar to the Chapman necks, though there's also a thicker neck option too if that's up your alley
Royal ebony fretboard - Frusciante's got rosewood, and Adam Jones' LP Customs are ebony iirc. I think royal looks better with your color scheme, as would Ziricote (which they don't have on the builder, but do offer - it looks soooooo gooooooood)
Luminlay inlays - These just look killer in the dark. They're super obnoxious and extra with all the glowing and stuff but they look super sci-fi and modern
Stainless jumbo frets - I like stainless more than evo, both in feel and looks
Fishman pickups - The Killswitch Engage set, not the Moderns that Kiesel normally stocks. These have a voicing that's like an EMG 85 (so stampeding rhinos), one that's a similar idea but much more passive, and a dedicated passive single-coil voice. I recommend the Tosin Abasi wiring they have over on their site, should give you all the options you're looking for

This setup (with one volume) should also theoretically work with that midi stuff I wrote in the other thread too.
Hope this helps

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:45 pm

Welcome aboard. That's a pretty big first post. I'll try to address things from my POV, as it diverts from some popular opinion, as well.

As far as the picture you linked, bring that up with Kiesel when ordering (especially do it over the phone, and not just a standard online order form). It may cost more, but you can ask to do a picture match for that type of quilting pattern.

Regarding your pickup options; Spud is on point about them. I am an M22V/SD fan personally, and have those in my V6, which sounds fabulous to my ear.But, the Lithiums are pretty popular among many players (modern metal to jazz alike). I thought the M series had more output and better harmonics. It might be a special option, but is also possible.The 5 way blade and dual humbucker setup also has a split coil option in positions 2 and 4, so you can get an actual single coil neck sound.

Regarding woods (here comes the less-than-popular opinion): Go with what you like to look at, and with what will hold up well over time.

Why I say this: a headless instrument has less wood in it, and I'm not a believeer in tone-wood in the sense of it influencing a potted electromagnetic pickup much. It can change how the string sustains (only in a negative fashion in my experience). With that in mind, a denser wood will usually absorb less energy, allowing for more sustain. It's also more likely to be mechanically sound for the future.

You asked about Cocobolo. It's a rosewood, and an expensive option. However, it's heavy, usually very beautiful, mechanically stable, and also a non-returnable option. I'm currently awaiting a build with it for neck and fretboard, and I chose it for the potential stability. Ash is another wood that's typically very stable. Mahogany, while softer, is also pretty good. Walnut doesn't change much, either. Alder, while stable, I'm more wary of for the oddball vibrato post crack (if choosing the Zeus X). The other woods are typically more durable. Swamp Ash varies probably the most out of them all, and I've had guitars that were very light, to the heaviest things I've owned. However, the heavier versions sustained a little better than the light ones. That's about as far into wood choice as I'll go. I always suggest that someone that will hold up 30 years from now, as well as something they want to look at as much as play.

I don't believe the finish type affects the sound. At all. Why? I've had gloss, satin, and tung oil finishes on Carvins before, and never noticed one iota of change in sound. The satin feels amazing, and will eventually polish up in the high traffic areas. The tung oil finish feels excellent and holds up well, though will eventually wear down, too. As far asI've heard, it's technically not pure tung oil, but more of a wiping varnish. Still, it feels great, and I've never had a problem with it. Gloss finishes hold up just fine, and the UV-cured poly that Kiesel uses has held up well for me. It's reasonably thick, but not insanely so. If oyu like a thin finish, they have their "raw tone," stuff as well.

Frets....sometimes deeply personal. If you like jumbos, go for it. I'm a *big* stainless fan, due to durability. It matters so much to me, and not having to worry about divots, recrowning, leveling, or eventually refretting, in a very long time (and I try to do my won work). I don't believe the fret material makes a difference on an electric guitar at all, and am doubtful of it on an acoustic (but whatever, not arguing). Evo frets are still a copper-based alloy, with similar wear resistance (IE: toughness or plasticity), but less hardness/smoothness than steel. With the standard now being stainless, I'm excited because that was my choice option every time. I love the jumbo size especially, since it's fairly close to a scalloped neck feel. If you're heavy handed, a smaller fret may be better. Stock is medium jumbo, and is preferred by many. I won't turn up my nose at them, either, though I still prefer jumbos.

I believe two neck shapes exist; the standard, and the thin. If you have a guitar store near you, try to pick up a higher end Jackson neck-thru (X series of pretty much anything) and that is almost exactly the same dimensions as a typical Carvin/Kiesel neck. The thinner profile is just a bit thinner. Some like it, some dnn't. The standard profile feels perfect for me. I've yet to have a hand cramp from it. It has no flat back, like an Ibanez, and they're not assymetrical to my knowledge.

You have a great idea of what you want. It's always good to get extra opinions and ideas, but if you don't order any non-returnable options, you have a ten day trial, and can return the instrument if you don't bond. Personally, I never met a Carvin/Kiesel that I didn't immediately love. I also suggest calling and spending some time on the phone. The last person I spoke with, Chris Hong, was keen to listen, and knew what options were possible. Very knowledgable and helpful. Great guy. I've also worked with Flock in person, who was also great to work with, and offered up some excellent ideas for my first build. I've not really deal with others, though I think I met Mike once, while heading out from the store. Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Hope some of this helps, and again, welcome aboard!
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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby Cynical » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:50 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:I believe two neck shapes exist; the standard, and the thin. If you have a guitar store near you, try to pick up a higher end Jackson neck-thru (X series of pretty much anything) and that is almost exactly the same dimensions as a typical Carvin/Kiesel neck. The thinner profile is just a bit thinner. Some like it, some dnn't. The standard profile feels perfect for me. I've yet to have a hand cramp from it. It has no flat back, like an Ibanez, and they're not assymetrical to my knowledge.

The X series is one of Jackson's lowest-end series. The USA Select series Soloist and Rhoads V feel really close to the thin profile IME (no experience with the Kiesel standard profile).

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:17 pm

Cynical wrote:
UnexplodedCow wrote:I believe two neck shapes exist; the standard, and the thin. If you have a guitar store near you, try to pick up a higher end Jackson neck-thru (X series of pretty much anything) and that is almost exactly the same dimensions as a typical Carvin/Kiesel neck. The thinner profile is just a bit thinner. Some like it, some dnn't. The standard profile feels perfect for me. I've yet to have a hand cramp from it. It has no flat back, like an Ibanez, and they're not assymetrical to my knowledge.

The X series is one of Jackson's lowest-end series. The USA Select series Soloist and Rhoads V feel really close to the thin profile IME (no experience with the Kiesel standard profile).

They recently (dunno when exactly though) a ton of neck profiles and the X series Soloist profile at least is Ibby-Prestige thin.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby katerlouis » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:28 am

Holy crap am I pumped!
So many great suggestions, inspirations and thoughts, THANKS!

thorium:
Where can I see the demos of the Thorium pickups, once they're out?
And is there an ETA for them?

"super-switch":
but they do offer 5 way switches and could wire it like:
1 bridge full
2 bridge inner coil + neck inner coil
3 bridge full + neck full
4 bridge outer coil + neck outer coil
5 neck full

in my "limited experience" and from what I read online, standalone coil splits are nice to have, but never really satisfying and feel kinda thin. The wiring mentioned above is what the Chapman seems to be doing (https://www.chapmanguitars.co.uk/guitar ... /#FullSpec) which covers really great tones without a push/pull setup.

wood:
uff, mahagony? My lead guitarist has a mahagony Gibson and constantly complains about the bass-heavy tone :D – our bassist also whines about this. But let's try to come from the opposite direction: What wood would you say best fits the bulred maple top?

chambered:
wait, what? John Jones sound with a chambered body? I'm suprised by that suggestion. Don't know much about chambered guitars, but doesn't this mean drastic changes in tone? (not judging, just different) – How about sustain? Especially the weight reason seems odd to me – The zeus and my strandberg seem to be more or less the same in weight, and man is this guitar light! How would a chambered Zeus look? Are we talking about an f-hole? – This defenitely sounds interesting, though; Please tell me more on that :)

neck:
thick and not flat like an Ibanez is good enough for me :)
Three piece necks may be more stable, but I really don't like the looks of it :D – Uff, so hard to decide a neck wood...
And what finish would you suggest on the neck? Of course I want it to slide well, but.. I've had guitars that somehow told my body to sweat more? :D things got real slippery on stage with my good old Ibanez Art 120

fretboard:
I'm kinda scared to go for these fancy looking woods (ziricote, royal ebony, cocobolo). The colors differ sooo much from build to build, look at ziricote for instance:
Eeewh: http://kieselguitarsbbs.com/userpix/16011_Capture_1.jpg
Boring: https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/ ... npemkc.jpg
Interesting, but still too contrasty: http://anakoneke.com/plogger/plog-conte ... c09517.jpg
Sexy: http://kieselguitarsbbs.com/userpix/135 ... 3930_1.jpg

I guess Master-Grade fretboard is too expensive for me, plus, it's still a gamble– And even if I traveled to Los Angeles to meet up with Jeffs guys, they probably wouldn't let me go through the inventory and pick the woods myself (hm, maybe if I go there on my birthday and ask nicely? ;))

inlays:
I thought luminlay inlays were standard? What colors are available? I remember seeing the "normal" green ones, but also a bright blue. Is there a yellow / orange / golden tone?
and could the fret inlays also be of this glowing color?
(Just imagine the greenish teal with bright golden fret markers)

kiesel logo:
Is it possible to get rid of the logo entirely?
If not: I'm getting more and more excited about the idea: teal as the main color with golden highlights.
Is a colored kiesel logo possible?

fishman KSE:
I tried fishman pickups for a week now (on the lend strandberg) and .. they just don't click with me, I guess.. but they are the modern ones you talked about, so maybe the KSE set suits me more? It's hard to judge from youtube videos, but KSE didn't sound that much different from the KSE set – the glassy Voice 3 sounds promising, although I don't understand why they claim on their website, that this is the first time they've done a 3. voicing. The "normal" fluence set on the strandberg also has a coilsplit. One concern I have is that the fluence might sound to "metal" for me – I like the option to go ACDC / British / Rise Against / Punky stuff

battery:
what kind of battery is that? I'm from Germany and found a rather weird battery in the strandberg.
The KSE manual mentions of a charger? https://www.fishman.com/wp-content/uplo ... ce_WEB.pdf – Charging the battery inside the guitar would be nice.

hotrail mini-humbucker:
any experience with that? One huge benefit: since they are single-coil sized I could easily switch them out for real single coils in the future. Like I said, the chapman hotrail blew my mind!

multiscale:
I only played a 25,5''-27'' guitar with straight fret at 9 (I guess? It was somewhere in the middle, anyways)
and the strandberg with the strandy 25''-25,5'' with straight fret at 0, which I like way more in direct comparison.
If I'd go multiscale, the farthest I'd go is 1'' in differnece, but rather 0,5'', like on the strandberg. Does Kiesel offer variations in multiscale? strandberg style 25''-25,5'' with straight fret at 0, or maybe 24''-24,5'' with straight fret at 7? Why not get totally crazy, right!?

I play 10-52 heavy bottom, skinny top strings on my guitars and never have gone lower than Drop C. So I don't know if the advantages of multiscale really apply to my usecases.

speaking of scale lenghts:
the Zeus comes with 24 frets on a 25,5'' neck.
I'm wondering if a 24'' neck is possible on a Zeus. (don't mind that this would mean only 22 frets)
My tiny programmer/gamer-hands begin to cry when bending 10-52 strings extensively on 25,5''. I like thicker strings and would go thicker if more comfortable.

finishes:
could the top-finish be satin while the main body has a rawtone again? (please say no: I can't take any more options to choose from!)

gold:
could the bridge be gold? Hipshot seems to have gold ones 8) https://www.egilegorbasses.com/egilegor ... d6gold.jpg (although I don't like shiny :F)
could the head be gold? Something like this: http://www.stambaughdesigns.com/bom_pho ... ic5_39.jpg

picture-matching:
It's weird; I'd like to have as much control over the build as possible; but at the same time I want to be surprised and see what the "maker" creates. That's only possible with freedom. – Espeically in terms of looks the Kiesel crew knows much better which combinations look great and which don't.

They make so many guitars, .. and let's face it. Who am I? I can't imagine them sending me sketches of the build with different color combinations, showing me the woods beforehand and wait for my "Go!" etc. – And I can't pay 5000 bucks for this build. Please correct me if I'm wrong and they do work closer together with the client if wished :)


Thank you sooo much :)
Gimme more of this sweet sweet advice–

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:07 am

Many of these ideas would require calling Kiesel and discussing. They'll do special options, but it'll probably require some extra money.

Their normal 5 way dual humbucker wiring is such:

Neck HB
Neck inner coil
Neck and bridge inner coils
Bridge inner coil
Bridge HB

If you like the mini HB, Kiesel has one. I think it sounds best with coils in parallel. It's similar to a single coil, but louder and noiseless.

If I may be so bold, your guitarist probably has a muddy sound either due to his pickups, capacitance from the tone circuit, long pedal runs, lots of true bypass pedals, and needs to EQ more bass out, and more treble in. He may be EQing while playing alone, which often won't sound good in a band setting.

The Jackson X series may be a low end model, but the neck dimensions really are on with my V6 with jumbo frets. That was my point for mentioning, as it should be an easier model to find if you want to understand the feel. A single piece neck should be just fine, as Kiesel also reinforces with carbon fiber rods, plus the standard truss rod.

Lumilay side dots are standard, but not top inlays.

Not possible to remove the logo, though if you choose a darker color guitar, and a black logo (same with white and light color) it'll blend in. I don't mind the logo, as it's far less obtrusive than most other brands I've seen.

The battery for active pickups is a standard 9V, though a couple people have retrofitted their own batteries in place. It's not difficult since the control cover uses machine screws.

As forbyour finish questions, it would be best to call, but I have seen that type ofbthing done for an extra cost.

By the way, as an example of a cocobolo board, here is my just completed Z6X. The neck and fretboard were a $500 option, and make it nonreturnable. The hot pink also makes it nonreturnable, but I am happy with seeing how it otherwise turned out.

Image
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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby dbone » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:25 am

24.75” scale 24 fret is avaialable for the Zeus (phone in orders) in right hand otherwise standard Z6 is 25.5” or the multi scale.
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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:53 am

dbone wrote:24.75” scale 24 fret is avaialable for the Zeus (phone in orders) in right hand otherwise standard Z6 is 25.5” or the multi scale.


Had I known this, I would've requested it, but I think I came in just under the wire, prior to it being mentioned as an option for single-necks (I know it's OK for double-necks).

Eh, whatever. 25.5" with a vibrato and lacking the extra length/tension a headstock provides should make it feel plenty slinky. I ain't complainin'.
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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:49 am

katerlouis wrote:thorium:
Where can I see the demos of the Thorium pickups, once they're out?
And is there an ETA for them?


So far, the bridge pickups are done for at least 2 string counts...I don't remember which one is still being finalized. They said they are shooting the video very soon for the ones that are done, and now that Jeff's back from racing, I suspect that'll happen pretty soon (plus then time for editing, etc). There isn't going to be a neck Thorium pickup....at least not for a long long while.

katerlouis wrote:"super-switch":
but they do offer 5 way switches and could wire it like:
1 bridge full
2 bridge inner coil + neck inner coil
3 bridge full + neck full
4 bridge outer coil + neck outer coil
5 neck full


I don't think that's possible without a special switch you'd likely need to source, like a SuperSwitch or similar.

katerlouis wrote:in my "limited experience" and from what I read online, standalone coil splits are nice to have, but never really satisfying and feel kinda thin. The wiring mentioned above is what the Chapman seems to be doing (https://www.chapmanguitars.co.uk/guitar ... /#FullSpec) which covers really great tones without a push/pull setup.


You are right, that quite often split humbuckers sound weak. Not all. I have to say out of every split pickup I've heard, the Lithium seem to split the most convincingly, and also don't get too weak. It WILL be weaker than a humbucker...but it's to a much lesser degree than many other pickups I've heard.

Also, the Chapman may be able to do what you requested...but if you look at the specs, they list a Super Switch. That isn't Kiesel's standard switch, and they don't currently offer alternate switches as standard options.

katerlouis wrote:wood:
What wood would you say best fits the bulred maple top?


I think you're over-thinking the "pairing with a burled maple top" thing. The cap on a Zeus is only 3mm thick, and one entire side of it is glued down. How fast can Usain Bolt ruin a 100m with his shoes glued to the ground?

katerlouis wrote:chambered:
wait, what? John Jones sound with a chambered body? I'm suprised by that suggestion. Don't know much about chambered guitars, but doesn't this mean drastic changes in tone? (not judging, just different) – How about sustain? Especially the weight reason seems odd to me – The zeus and my strandberg seem to be more or less the same in weight, and man is this guitar light! How would a chambered Zeus look? Are we talking about an f-hole? – This defenitely sounds interesting, though; Please tell me more on that :)


Unless you're talking about one of Kiesel's semi-hollow models, the chambering they offer is for weight-relief first, and any tonal changes come as a side-effect. They are not fully hollow or anything, and there's no sound holes. They will look identical from the outside. If you look at a Zeus, there's only very little space left that they CAN chamber, so any tonal changes will be minimal. They can only chamber under the top. They can't chamber right to the edge because they have to glue down the top. Then, they can't chamber where the neck pocket is. They can't chamber where the pickup routes already are. They can't chamber where the bridge needs to be anchored, and also they can't additionally chamber where there's a trem cavity (if you're considering the trem). They also can't chamber where the control cavity is. So with all that said, chambering on a Zeus is minimal, at best.

katerlouis wrote:neck:
And what finish would you suggest on the neck? Of course I want it to slide well, but.. I've had guitars that somehow told my body to sweat more? :D things got real slippery on stage with my good old Ibanez Art 120


For *most* people, tung oil will be the smoothest/least sticky, with the satin finish close behind. Tung oil needs a little more maintenance to keep clean, and satin will buff to a shine over time. Tung oil is softer so it's more easily dented, but if it takes a hard hit, the satin finish is harder to repair. Sort of. The clear finish is so hard that it can chip of it's hit just right...but then on a tung oil neck, if you break the wood grain, it's also no bueno. Umm...don't hurt the guitars, I guess.

I will say that if you are OK with gloss finishes, the gloss that Kiesel uses (UV-cured polyester polyurethane) is about as slick as you can possibly get. You can keep it feeling slick by keeping it clean, and with an occasional waxing just like a car. Have you ever run your fingers across a freshly-waxed car? *shivers* :oops: :lol: Their gloss is like like a nitro-cellulose finish which in my experience can get quite sticky when warm.

katerlouis wrote:fretboard:
I'm kinda scared to go for these fancy looking woods (ziricote, royal ebony, cocobolo). The colors differ sooo much from build to build, look at ziricote for instance:
Eeewh: userpix/16011_Capture_1.jpg
Boring: https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/ ... npemkc.jpg
Interesting, but still too contrasty: http://anakoneke.com/plogger/plog-conte ... c09517.jpg
Sexy: userpix/13571__MG_3930_1.jpg

I guess Master-Grade fretboard is too expensive for me, plus, it's still a gamble– And even if I traveled to Los Angeles to meet up with Jeffs guys, they probably wouldn't let me go through the inventory and pick the woods myself (hm, maybe if I go there on my birthday and ask nicely? ;))


If there are examples of the woods that are possible that you'd really not like, then you have some options:
1: Suck it up and realize it's a natural material and each piece is unique and you might fall in love with the rest of the guitar in spite of an undesirable grain pattern on the fretboard, and you might grow to love it like a beauty mark or someone's cute lisp.
2: Wait for a "pick your top" video on Facebook so you can see the actual wood. They often include fretboards. They usually do these during the Q&A live videos
3: Pay for "hand select" option. You can send them a photo of what you like and what you don't, and then you can pay them to sort through what they have and find the best option they have. That said, you're still beholden to the wood they currently have on hand at the moment. If the most recent batch had a specific characteristic you don't like, it's possible that might be all they have. Like...for a long time the black limba had no orangey-ness to it. Then all of a sudden a whole bunch of black limba builds, one after another, had the cool orange streaks. If you asked for orange streaks when the wood they had on hand didn't have any, you'd possibly be out of luck and the hand-select fee wouldn't be something they'd refund.
4: Kiesel experience. You go to the factory, and you can pick out some of the woods with Jeff. There's a minimum cost for this...I wanna say $4k. I'm not sure what it all includes, either.



katerlouis wrote:inlays:
I thought luminlay inlays were standard? What colors are available? I remember seeing the "normal" green ones, but also a bright blue. Is there a yellow / orange / golden tone?
and could the fret inlays also be of this glowing color?
(Just imagine the greenish teal with bright golden fret markers)


Luminlay *side* dots are standard. Kiesel only uses the blue because they are brighter.

Luminlay doesn't make anything other than the green and the blue.

They do offer Luminlay fretboard inlays, but only in a couple of shapes...I think dots, diamonds, and the "K" 12-th fret.

katerlouis wrote:kiesel logo:
Is it possible to get rid of the logo entirely?


Only if you get the Bolt or Bolt+ kits. They don't ship finished guitars from the factory without a logo.

katerlouis wrote:Is a colored kiesel logo possible?


Only white, black, silver metallic, gold metallic, Kiesel Racing Green, "drop shadow" versions of those where they put one color on top of another, and then mother of pearl, and abalone (which I don't think they can layer). Then there's also the chrome...which I also don't think they can layer. They might still have some of the old "gold" Carvin logos, which were different than the current gold Kiesel, but those can only be put on one or two of the two or three remaining "Carvin" branded models (Bolt and PB, I think. The JB200C is the other Carvin-branded model, but I don't know if they'd do a gold logo on that).

katerlouis wrote:fishman KSE:
the glassy Voice 3 sounds promising, although I don't understand why they claim on their website, that this is the first time they've done a 3. voicing. The "normal" fluence set on the strandberg also has a coilsplit.


Fishman doesn't include the coil tap as one of the "voices". The Fluence pickups have two "voices", and then also a coil tap. The KSE have 3 voices. Imagine an amp with two channels. That would be like one voice and the coil tap. Now imagine an amp that you could switch between two tube types, and then also had two channels. That's like the Moderns with the 2 voices and coil tap. Then you get to an amp than has 3 different types of tubes and two channels. That would be like the KSE pickup system, if I understand their marketing correctly.

katerlouis wrote:battery:
what kind of battery is that? I'm from Germany and found a rather weird battery in the strandberg.
The KSE manual mentions of a charger? https://www.fishman.com/wp-content/uplo ... ce_WEB.pdf – Charging the battery inside the guitar would be nice.


As a way to future-proof the guitars, Kiesel has decided not to include the built-in battery with their Fluence Modern installations. They believe their customers would be more satisfied with being able to hot-swap a 9v for instant 100% charge, and not have to worry about a battery pack aging and not being available in 10 years when the battery cells could potentially have gone bad and who knows...they might be be available as replacement parts later. Batteries are still a consumable, even rechargeable ones.


katerlouis wrote:multiscale:
I only played a 25,5''-27'' guitar with straight fret at 9 (I guess? It was somewhere in the middle, anyways)
and the strandberg with the strandy 25''-25,5'' with straight fret at 0, which I like way more in direct comparison.
If I'd go multiscale, the farthest I'd go is 1'' in differnece, but rather 0,5'', like on the strandberg. Does Kiesel offer variations in multiscale? strandberg style 25''-25,5'' with straight fret at 0, or maybe 24''-24,5'' with straight fret at 7? Why not get totally crazy, right!?


Kiesel only offers the multiscale scales they offer. On basses the JB multiscale is different than the Vanquish, but on guitars, every 6 string has the same scale range, and same with every 7 and 8 string.


katerlouis wrote:speaking of scale lenghts:
the Zeus comes with 24 frets on a 25,5'' neck.
I'm wondering if a 24'' neck is possible on a Zeus. (don't mind that this would mean only 22 frets)


They don't offer a 22-fret version of this model. Unlike a model like the Aries where they can move the bridge around all willy-nilly to keep the scale length the same while keeping the upper most fret in the same place, they can't move the bridge like that on the Zeus because of the scoop without re-designing the entire body (this is why it took years to get a 24-fret CS6...the shape of the guitar needed re-working due to the contoured top). You're right that they would have to remove frets...and I think that's a niche market that aren't able to target, while still keeping streamlined enough to put out 4,000-5,000 guitars a year.

katerlouis wrote:finishes:
could the top-finish be satin while the main body has a rawtone again? (please say no: I can't take any more options to choose from!)


No. Well...perhaps, but it would be expensive, especially if they are also two different colors. It's lots more taking, more trips back-and-forth to the spray booths, and the taping itself is also a little mor difficult.

katerlouis wrote:gold:
could the bridge be gold? Hipshot seems to have gold ones 8) https://www.egilegorbasses.com/egilegor ... d6gold.jpg (although I don't like shiny :F)
could the head be gold? Something like this: http://www.stambaughdesigns.com/bom_pho ... ic5_39.jpg


The only gold that Keisel offers is a gold metallic powdercoat, and they'd have to send it out. I know Hipshot makes gold versions of the bridges, but Kiesel doesn't stock them. It's possible you might be able to sent it in. The headpiece, though, is a Keisel-exclusive design, and I don't believe they have it in anything but black.
Last edited by spudmunkey on Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:53 am

katerlouis wrote:Holy crap am I pumped!
So many great suggestions, inspirations and thoughts, THANKS!

thorium:
Where can I see the demos of the Thorium pickups, once they're out?
And is there an ETA for them?


ETA's been SoonTM for like a year+ now, I think? Demos would be on the Kiesel Youtube channel.

"super-switch":
but they do offer 5 way switches and could wire it like:
1 bridge full
2 bridge inner coil + neck inner coil
3 bridge full + neck full
4 bridge outer coil + neck outer coil
5 neck full


You'd have to send your own switch in, I think, and maybe a wiring diagram.

in my "limited experience" and from what I read online, standalone coil splits are nice to have, but never really satisfying and feel kinda thin. The wiring mentioned above is what the Chapman seems to be doing (https://www.chapmanguitars.co.uk/guitar ... /#FullSpec) which covers really great tones without a push/pull setup.


The Lithiums (which I have on my CL6) actually sound pretty good split. I'm more of a parallel guy myself, tough (if you want to try this, find a 2-humbucker Ibanez with a 5 way switch, the position between the middle and neck is the neck in parallel. I definitely dig the Chapman wiring though, reminds me of the old PRS rotary switches.

wood:
uff, mahagony? My lead guitarist has a mahagony Gibson and constantly complains about the bass-heavy tone :D – our bassist also whines about this. But let's try to come from the opposite direction: What wood would you say best fits the bulred maple top?


It's only muddy if you make it muddy. My CL6 is mahogany body, maple top, it sounds thick and full but not muddy at all, and I play in Drop C with 11-58 strings.

chambered:
wait, what? John Jones sound with a chambered body? I'm suprised by that suggestion. Don't know much about chambered guitars, but doesn't this mean drastic changes in tone? (not judging, just different) – How about sustain? Especially the weight reason seems odd to me – The zeus and my strandberg seem to be more or less the same in weight, and man is this guitar light! How would a chambered Zeus look? Are we talking about an f-hole? – This defenitely sounds interesting, though; Please tell me more on that :)


Kiesel's chambering is honestly not a big deal. It's pretty small, so it'll lighten the load maybe a pound and a half tops. There's not really a ton of difference plugged in, but the acoustic resonance is killer, and there's a cool not-quite-but-close-to-feedback sustain interaction when you've got your amp really loud. If you pick mahogany, it's mostly so your Zeus weighs as much as a non-hog Zeus instead of as much as a normal guitar.

neck:
thick and not flat like an Ibanez is good enough for me :)
Three piece necks may be more stable, but I really don't like the looks of it :D – Uff, so hard to decide a neck wood...
And what finish would you suggest on the neck? Of course I want it to slide well, but.. I've had guitars that somehow told my body to sweat more? :D things got real slippery on stage with my good old Ibanez Art 120


None of the Kiesel necks are flat, to be honest. I have the thin on mine (coming from an Ibby Prestige which I love) and it feels like the Chapman necks but skinny, or some of the midrange (X & Pro Series) Jacksons. As far as neck finish, if you get a Kiesel and don't get a tung oil neck, shame on you :naughty: . It's magical. As far as multi-piece looking weird, they also do a 5-piece all-maple neck if you don't want a different wood. As Unexploded Cow said, you don't need this, but a stiffer neck is never a bad thing.

fretboard:
I'm kinda scared to go for these fancy looking woods (ziricote, royal ebony, cocobolo). The colors differ sooo much from build to build, look at ziricote for instance:
Eeewh: http://kieselguitarsbbs.com/userpix/16011_Capture_1.jpg
Boring: https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/ ... npemkc.jpg
Interesting, but still too contrasty: http://anakoneke.com/plogger/plog-conte ... c09517.jpg
Sexy: http://kieselguitarsbbs.com/userpix/135 ... 3930_1.jpg

I guess Master-Grade fretboard is too expensive for me, plus, it's still a gamble– And even if I traveled to Los Angeles to meet up with Jeffs guys, they probably wouldn't let me go through the inventory and pick the woods myself (hm, maybe if I go there on my birthday and ask nicely? ;))


Honestly, even just their plain ebony looks pretty sweet. I got a normal board and it's got some really pretty subtle grain lines. If you have a general idea of what you want color-wise, you could probably request (without going master-grade) a browner or streakier ebony board. That's definitely been done before for body woods.

inlays:
I thought luminlay inlays were standard? What colors are available? I remember seeing the "normal" green ones, but also a bright blue. Is there a yellow / orange / golden tone?
and could the fret inlays also be of this glowing color?
(Just imagine the greenish teal with bright golden fret markers)


Luminlay side dots are standard, Luminlay front inlays are not. Kiesel only works with Super Blue (which is more of a cyan color anyway), because that's the most visible one.

kiesel logo:
Is it possible to get rid of the logo entirely?
If not: I'm getting more and more excited about the idea: teal as the main color with golden highlights.
Is a colored kiesel logo possible?


The only colored logo they do standard is in Kiesel Racing Green, but you might be able to get something if you call in. There's a a gold logo, if you're into that.

fishman KSE:
I tried fishman pickups for a week now (on the lend strandberg) and .. they just don't click with me, I guess.. but they are the modern ones you talked about, so maybe the KSE set suits me more? It's hard to judge from youtube videos, but KSE didn't sound that much different from the KSE set – the glassy Voice 3 sounds promising, although I don't understand why they claim on their website, that this is the first time they've done a 3. voicing. The "normal" fluence set on the strandberg also has a coilsplit. One concern I have is that the fluence might sound to "metal" for me – I like the option to go ACDC / British / Rise Against / Punky stuff


I spent a little bit of time with the Joel Stroetzel Caparison sig a few months ago, and I really enjoyed the KSE pickups. They're less harsh on the top end than the Modern (more EMG 85 than EMG 81) in voice 1, which is nice (I'm also not big on the moderns myself), and voice 2 to my ears seemed to sort of split the difference between a Duncan Distortion and a Custom 5. Full and organic, but still tight and aggressive, and muuuuch more passive feeling. Would kinda fit your more rock vibe, I think. Voice 3 isn't just a coil split, it's a third voicing as well, like in the Tosin Abasi set. Basically, you can have whatever coil arrangement you want with any voicing, but each voicing is a different palette of tones aimed at a certain application. If you wanted variety, I gotta say (as a passive guy too) nothing really beats this.

battery:
what kind of battery is that? I'm from Germany and found a rather weird battery in the strandberg.
The KSE manual mentions of a charger? https://www.fishman.com/wp-content/uplo ... ce_WEB.pdf – Charging the battery inside the guitar would be nice.


If I have my info right, Kiesel uses a regular 9 volt battery instead of the rechargeable one Fishman sells. The only difference, really, is you have to swap it out instead of charging it.

hotrail mini-humbucker:
any experience with that? One huge benefit: since they are single-coil sized I could easily switch them out for real single coils in the future. Like I said, the chapman hotrail blew my mind!


I had some in a Strat, if you're talking about the Duncan ones. It's a shotgun to the face of midrange, good for leads and classic rock, but I didn't really like it for much else. Kiesel (as mentioned above) has one of their own, but I'll defer to others regarding that. You can definitely get a Zeus in a Hum-Single configuration, though.

multiscale:
I only played a 25,5''-27'' guitar with straight fret at 9 (I guess? It was somewhere in the middle, anyways)
and the strandberg with the strandy 25''-25,5'' with straight fret at 0, which I like way more in direct comparison.
If I'd go multiscale, the farthest I'd go is 1'' in differnece, but rather 0,5'', like on the strandberg. Does Kiesel offer variations in multiscale? strandberg style 25''-25,5'' with straight fret at 0, or maybe 24''-24,5'' with straight fret at 7? Why not get totally crazy, right!?


Kiesel's fan is 25.5-26.5, so 1", with a neutral 8. No options on that, sadly.

I play 10-52 heavy bottom, skinny top strings on my guitars and never have gone lower than Drop C. So I don't know if the advantages of multiscale really apply to my usecases.


It's not so much the tension advantage for me (25.5 flat works fine), but the ergonomic: I find fanned frets a lot more comfortable to play, especially when it comes to weird stretchy chord inversions. It's a lot nicer on my wrist and fingers, and I stopped getting hand cramps when I picked up my Ormsby a while ago. The fan also makes the low strings sound really nice, which is cool.

speaking of scale lenghts:
the Zeus comes with 24 frets on a 25,5'' neck.
I'm wondering if a 24'' neck is possible on a Zeus. (don't mind that this would mean only 22 frets)
My tiny programmer/gamer-hands begin to cry when bending 10-52 strings extensively on 25,5''. I like thicker strings and would go thicker if more comfortable.


24.75" or 25.5" flat, only 24 frets, until further notice.

finishes:
could the top-finish be satin while the main body has a rawtone again? (please say no: I can't take any more options to choose from!)


There's an (I think) $300 option to do a gloss top and satin back, but no returns. You could probably do that.

gold:
could the bridge be gold? Hipshot seems to have gold ones 8) https://www.egilegorbasses.com/egilegor ... d6gold.jpg (although I don't like shiny :F)
could the head be gold? Something like this: http://www.stambaughdesigns.com/bom_pho ... ic5_39.jpg


If you go to the Osiris Multiscale 6 gallery there's an HSH with gold hardware. Kiesel doesn't carry it standard, so it's a pricier option.

picture-matching:
It's weird; I'd like to have as much control over the build as possible; but at the same time I want to be surprised and see what the "maker" creates. That's only possible with freedom. – Espeically in terms of looks the Kiesel crew knows much better which combinations look great and which don't.

They make so many guitars, .. and let's face it. Who am I? I can't imagine them sending me sketches of the build with different color combinations, showing me the woods beforehand and wait for my "Go!" etc. – And I can't pay 5000 bucks for this build. Please correct me if I'm wrong and they do work closer together with the client if wished :)


They'll work as closely with you as you pay them to. The extra cost for picking your own wood, custom hardware/control layouts, the Kiesel Edition builds, etc. is all because not only are you using more expensive woods, but you're also taking man-hours to work with you on that and messing with the production line, because they can't just get the next piece of the wood type you picked, and they need to keep track of all the bits.

Welcome to the BBS, by the way! I think you're on the right track, and I highly recommend calling and talking to someone if you can. Chris was super helpful in getting my build ordered.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby dbone » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:01 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:
dbone wrote:24.75” scale 24 fret is avaialable for the Zeus (phone in orders) in right hand otherwise standard Z6 is 25.5” or the multi scale.


Had I known this, I would've requested it, but I think I came in just under the wire, prior to it being mentioned as an option for single-necks (I know it's OK for double-necks).

Eh, whatever. 25.5" with a vibrato and lacking the extra length/tension a headstock provides should make it feel plenty slinky. I ain't complainin'.


Yeah I need to do some more research on string tension.
Wouldn’t a 25.5 headless feel exactly the same as a 25.5 with a locking nut trem and headstock.
Would a reverse inline headstock have more tension on the Low E string than a standard inline headstock?
If so wouldn’t that be a little better for drop tuning or just more articulate lows, where I may enjoy a little slinkier feel on the higher strings?
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DC400A, K12B/K12N, DC600 M22SD/M22V, DC800 A80B/A80N
AE185 C22T/C22N/Piezo, AE185-12 H22T/H22N/Piezo
CT7M KL14B/KL14N, Bolt C22T/AP11/AP11, AC375, CL450, AC275K, SB5000 J99A pups

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:12 am

dbone wrote:Yeah I need to do some more research on string tension.
Wouldn’t a 25.5 headless feel exactly the same as a 25.5 with a locking nut trem and headstock.
Would a reverse inline headstock have more tension on the Low E string than a standard inline headstock?
If so wouldn’t that be a little better for drop tuning or just more articulate lows, where I may enjoy a little slinkier feel on the higher strings?


Headless and locking nut guitars should feel about the same because there's no give from the headstock, so yeah. As far as reverse in line, it's complicated:
They're the same tension, because tension is a function of scale length and string gauge
Standard inline has a less flexible 6th string, but because there is less total length of string, it takes less flex to make it go sharp
Reverse inline has a more flexible 6th string, but because there's more string to be stretched when you bend, you need to bend more for the same effect
It's really a feel and personal preference thing. I like reverse because I hit the low strings really hard and this keeps them from going as sharp, and because reverse headstock = more metal. If you have a pointy reverse headstock your music is two times heavier.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:00 am

HarlowTheFish wrote:
dbone wrote:Yeah I need to do some more research on string tension.
Wouldn’t a 25.5 headless feel exactly the same as a 25.5 with a locking nut trem and headstock.
Would a reverse inline headstock have more tension on the Low E string than a standard inline headstock?
If so wouldn’t that be a little better for drop tuning or just more articulate lows, where I may enjoy a little slinkier feel on the higher strings?


Headless and locking nut guitars should feel about the same because there's no give from the headstock, so yeah. As far as reverse in line, it's complicated:
They're the same tension, because tension is a function of scale length and string gauge
Standard inline has a less flexible 6th string, but because there is less total length of string, it takes less flex to make it go sharp
Reverse inline has a more flexible 6th string, but because there's more string to be stretched when you bend, you need to bend more for the same effect
It's really a feel and personal preference thing. I like reverse because I hit the low strings really hard and this keeps them from going as sharp, and because reverse headstock = more metal. If you have a pointy reverse headstock your music is two times heavier.


Less length = less tension. That's why shorter scale guitars feel lighter with the same gauge of strings as longer scale. The longer the scale, the more the tension in the actual string. With a standard inline, the 6th string would have less tension in it than with a reverse inline.

Here's a page that helps describe it: http://www.daddario.com/DAstringtension ... 1e8ca2454d

While a lock nut mitigates tension changes (after strings are at tension, and locked down), there is still the overall tension required to get the string to pitch (prior to locking down) that a headless wouldn't have. It would be similar to fretting a string. The tension didn't change, but the pitch did. That's basically how a nut would work, even if it locks, though the locking prevents the string from moving in the nut, and the balancing act between headstock string tension and the rest of the instrument (with the nut being the fulcrum of sorts).
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:12 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:
HarlowTheFish wrote:
dbone wrote:Yeah I need to do some more research on string tension.
Wouldn’t a 25.5 headless feel exactly the same as a 25.5 with a locking nut trem and headstock.
Would a reverse inline headstock have more tension on the Low E string than a standard inline headstock?
If so wouldn’t that be a little better for drop tuning or just more articulate lows, where I may enjoy a little slinkier feel on the higher strings?


Headless and locking nut guitars should feel about the same because there's no give from the headstock, so yeah. As far as reverse in line, it's complicated:
They're the same tension, because tension is a function of scale length and string gauge
Standard inline has a less flexible 6th string, but because there is less total length of string, it takes less flex to make it go sharp
Reverse inline has a more flexible 6th string, but because there's more string to be stretched when you bend, you need to bend more for the same effect
It's really a feel and personal preference thing. I like reverse because I hit the low strings really hard and this keeps them from going as sharp, and because reverse headstock = more metal. If you have a pointy reverse headstock your music is two times heavier.


Less length = less tension. That's why shorter scale guitars feel lighter with the same gauge of strings as longer scale. The longer the scale, the more the tension in the actual string. With a standard inline, the 6th string would have less tension in it than with a reverse inline.

Here's a page that helps describe it: http://www.daddario.com/DAstringtension ... 1e8ca2454d

While a lock nut mitigates tension changes (after strings are at tension, and locked down), there is still the overall tension required to get the string to pitch (prior to locking down) that a headless wouldn't have. It would be similar to fretting a string. The tension didn't change, but the pitch did. That's basically how a nut would work, even if it locks, though the locking prevents the string from moving in the nut, and the balancing act between headstock string tension and the rest of the instrument (with the nut being the fulcrum of sorts).


Well yes and no. The only bit of the string that affects the objective tension (as measured in pounds by a scale, not as felt by hand) is the scale length. The added length stretches when you bend, changing how the string feels and responds to playing and bending, but maintaining the same tension (in pounds). Tension =/= flex or feel, which does change.

At least as far as I understand/have experienced it, I'm no engineer.

EDIT: And also break angle at the nut and saddles. It's why top-wrapping a stoptail-tuneomatic combo makes it slinkier. Same tension, more flex, less stiff.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:21 am

I think it helps to think of string tension and how it feels on different guitars like temperature compared to wind chill or heat index. String tension-to-pitch being like temperature, and how a string feels is more like wind chill or heat index.

Temperature is temperature...it is what it is. Water freezes at 32F (OC) and boils at 212F (100C) no matter what the wind or humidity is, for example (leaving atmospheric pressure out of the equation). But temperature can *feel* different, based on humidity and wind. But the air can feel colder when there's wind, or hotter when there's humidity, because both of those affect your body's ways of either retaining or expelling heat.

String tension has to be a certain measurement to hit a specific pitch. That's like temperature in that it's absolute and not in dispute. But the amount of "slack" string behind the nut is like wind or humidity, where a longer string on the headstock means that there's more material to pull from when you bend a string, or even slightly I suppose when the string is vibrating. This means two things: first, they will feel "looser" and bend more easily...but secondly, you'll need to bend further to get the tension needed to hit a specific note because you're pulling from a longer total length of string.

Of course, this only really matters with straight string pulls, strings that aren't kinked over a nut, a well-lubed non-locking nut, etc etc.

And even then...

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:58 am

This explains my reasoning for stating the higher tension of having a headstock. Technically a fourth law of Newton, though not really called that, and the 3rd law applies very easily to a guitar and its strings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superposition_principle
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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby Alcathous » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:58 am

I think the multiscale really has minor advantages, with the major one being that you can have more consistent string tension, especially if you use a gauge and tuning combination which gives you really loose or really tense strings.
The ergonomics are questionable, I think. Some barre chords should really be more difficult. Especially at the lower frets, where the fanning is more extreme.
I wish I had ordered multiscale on my guitar I prefer for lead playing, but it was my first Kiesel.
Also, the look on multiscale fits well on a guitar with modern flashy aesthetics, and less with a guitar with a more classic elegant look.

Body wood. So this is mostly looks and weight. Some people swear about 'tone wood', but I think this is a marketing scam. Especially because there is no agreed upon theory on how the wood of a guitar affects the tone. Some say every piece needs to have the same resonance frequency. Others say the wood needs to dampen out certain frequencies. Others again say the wood should remove as little frequencies as possible. Others say wood needs to have a strong 'tap tone'. So I find this all completely unscientific, which makes it impossible to consider the effect of wood choice on tone. If the guitar is painted, I would always pick alder or ash.

The neck is really important for how the guitar feels. But this is mainly about what you are used to. If you are used to thin necks, you like thin necks. Same for the finish of the back of the wood and the feel of the fretboard wood. I prefer a bigger neck with ebony and tung oil finish. Maybe if I had smaller hands, I'd prefer thinner necks. But things like rosewood, cocobolo, ziricote, etc it is all about how it feels vs how it looks. I personally think that a guitar that already has a flashy eye catching body benefits from a plain fretboard look.
There are theoretical arguments to be made why a multipiece neck is better. It will definitely change a bit how the different pieces of woods & glue expand and contract during temperature changes. But for mots people I cannot believe it is definitely worth the cost.

I think stainless steel frets are the way to go. But you might consider the evo if your build needs the matching gold hardware everywhere, including frets. The effect of the fret material will definitely have a bigger effect on the sound of the guitar than the body wood, but I am not sure if stainless really sounds brittle and/or bright by definition. How tall you want your frets to be is also mainly preference.

Pickups are a major consideration. If you want your neck pickup to do Frusciante and your bridge to do Tool, that is possible. But still consider if you want a jack of all trades guitar or a specialized guitar. I am not quite sure how the 5 way switch really gives a single coil sound. Some people say it doesn't and that an actual single coil pickup is superior.

There are many ways to do buckeye burl. There is always the decision of copying someone you have already seen how it looks, or try to envision how something that has never been tried will look. You can send in an example of an actual top and they will pick something that looks similar. And that will cost you additional money. There is always some risk of being disappointed, as all individual pieces of wood look slightly different. But that is part of the fun of Kiesel, imo. But also the risk. Some people here just pick the most flashy extreme things and combine it. Yes, it makes for an extremely eye catching picture. But the guitar is a musical instrument and I think how it looks should reflect on how you see yourself as a musician.

And all these option 50 things that might or might not be possible. I think you need to be really sure about that if you decide to go with something off the menu. It may also not be worth the money. For example getting a combination of ray tone finish and satin. Is it really worth it to pay 300 (?) dollar more for a tinner version of the same coating on the back+sides+bevel of your guitar?
Last edited by Alcathous on Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kiesel virgin asking for some tips on a Zeus Z6 build?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:15 am

Alcathous wrote:I think the multiscale really has minor advantages, with the major one being that you can have more consistent string tension, especially if you use a gauge and tuning combination which gives you really loose or really tense strings.
The ergonomics are questionable, I think. Some barre chords should really be more difficult. Especially at the lower frets, where the fanning is more extreme.
I wish I had ordered multiscale on my guitar I prefer for lead playing, but it was my first Kiesel.
Also, the look on multiscale fits well on a guitar with modern flashy aesthetics, and less with a guitar with a more classic elegant look.


Lower fret barre chords would be harder if you play with the neck perfectly horizontal. If you line it up so the nut is vertical, the fan follows the angle of your wrist really well as you arc your elbow to move up and down the neck. Especially with the Kiesel fan being so small (1" on a 6), the tension benefits are minimal. The tone is a little more focused, but nothing you couldn't get with an overdrive.
To be fair, the Zeus also isn't the best looker IMO as a straight-scale 6. With more strings, sure, but as a 6 I'd only get one with a fan.


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