Whilte Limba V6X

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Whilte Limba V6X

Postby /Y\ » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:49 am

Don't seem to be many solid white limba builds, so thought I'd post some pics. Specs: white limba neck/body tung oil/gloss, black ebony board with abalone blocks, jumbo ss frets, Lithiums. Rationale: I already have 3 dark wood guitars, so I was looking for something light color. And hoping to take advantage of the hog-like sound of the limba. Also wanted block inlays, just for a change from my other guitars (all have no fretboard inlays). I thought white MOP might clash with yellow limba, hence the abalone. Also, this is my first Kiesel, and didn't want to get into Option 50 territory.

Overall, I like the look. It's plainer than the more common quilted/flamed/burled tops, but still has an attractive grain. The abalone adds a splash of color. I didn't realize that without buying a top, the neck would show thru, but it is hardly noticeable since it's all the same wood. The limba quality is very nice, with no knots on the front and only two small ones on the back (I understand defect-free white limba is hard to find).

Build quality is very good. There was only one defect I could find, a spot on the side of the fretboard where a fret end was filed too aggressively and slightly gouged the ebony. I was mostly able to sand and buff it out. Also buffed the tung oiled neck, which was smooth but could have been smoother. The action came very high: 0.06" from the 12th fret tops. I have a Stewmac dial indicator gizmo so I can measure this accurately. Typically, I go from around 0.03" on the high E to 0.04" on the low E. Simply dropping the action caused lots of fret buzz, until I realized the truss rod was completely loose. Tightened that up (oddly, ccw tightens) to reduce relief and could get the action down to ~ 0.04". Kiesel doesn't seem to build in any "fall away" of the fretboard like USA Custom does on their necks, so I thought about lowering the last 5 or so frets. Ended up taking the file just to the 24th fret, lowering that a couple thousandths, then could drop the action to 0.035" witout buzz.. Good enough.

The only other minor thing to point out is that the black ebony I paid for is not very black (see pic). I would have thought that coloration would be present in the standard ebony, but not the upgraded black.

Absolutely love the neck and feel of the guitar. Really easy to play all the way to the 24th, spot on intonation. Very resonant, with a piano-like clean sound. Wasn't sure how I'd take to the jumbo frets and 20" radius, but they rock. I did have to bend the whammy arm (and it is a pretty stout piece of metal) because it stuck out too far to palm and pick at the same time. But now it works great. Others have complained about how the arm goes into the bridge, but I'm fine with it.

Sound - here I have to deduct a few points for the Lithiums. I can see why some say they're bright. But they're not really bright so much as scooped, especially the neck. They end up with a kind of clucky hid-mid emphasis like the 2 - 4 position on a strat. It's a nice sound, but it is prevalent on all the positions except the bridge alone, which has the more straight ahead midrange of a rock humbucker. The thing about the scoop vs a bright pickup is that you can't dial it back with the tone knob - it has less high end but still sounds scooped. So while the sound is good, there's not as much variety as I hoped for.

Control cavity is very clean and well shielded. I may eventually try a new neck pup - would be easy to install. The pots are no bigger than a dime but work smoothly, with no major tone change when reducing the volume.

Overall, very happy with the guitar, consider it a bargain for a custom build. The ergonomics of the Vader are a dream.
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ilyti
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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby ilyti » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:38 pm

Fistbumb for white limba! 8)

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Treadplatedual
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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby Treadplatedual » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:51 pm

That's a very pretty guitar, and a great explanation of Lithiums and their limitations.

Now you just need to call it a Korina Vader for extra goodness!
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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby arahobob » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:37 pm

Very nice Vader indeed - I'm glad people are liking the bridge (alas it was not for me)
Excellent write up and review - thanks for taking the time.

I'll be joining the White LImba club this week with an SCB6. :mrgreen:
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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby /Y\ » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:12 pm

Couple more details. Weight: 6.35 lb, perhaps a tad more than the standard alder body/maple neck, but pretty close. Played a gig today in an outside pavilion, and couldn't believe how iridescent the abalone is in the sunlight. Viewed at an angle, the inlays look 100% purple rather than the green you see head-on. Finally, the resonance of this guitar is phenomenal, especially considering it has a trem, which in my experience takes away a lot of that.

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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby Pall Mall » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:44 am

/Y\ wrote: Finally, the resonance of this guitar is phenomenal, especially considering it has a trem, which in my experience takes away a lot of that.


That's different. I always thought the springs from the trem acted as a slight reverb in a guitar.

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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby /Y\ » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:37 pm

The bridge on a trem guitar contacts the body only thru two posts, and the bridge-post contact is basically a knife edge. So it's difficult for the vibrations of the strings to transfer to the body. I have two guitars built with identical bodies and necks, one with a tele bridge and the other with a wilkie. The tele is way more resonant and acoustically loud. BTW, I removed the trem cover on the Vader because it was humming/buzzing under hard chording. That's how resonant this thing is.

In other news, I've switched out the Lithiums for some pups I had around for another project: Dimarzio tonezone (B) and air norton (N). I like these better, but if you can believe it, the guitar still sounds kind of bright. The notes have a real sharp initial attack. I'm wondering if this is just a result of a neck thru construction with carbon fiber reinforcement + a stiff truss rod. I don't think it's the ebony board and SS frets, because the above-mentioned guitars both have this combination with bolt-on necks/vintage style truss rods, and they're not so bright. Got some other pups on order.

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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby arahobob » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:46 pm

/Y\ wrote:In other news, I've switched out the Lithiums for some pups I had around for another project: Dimarzio tonezone (B) and air norton (N). I like these better, but if you can believe it, the guitar still sounds kind of bright. The notes have a real sharp initial attack. I'm wondering if this is just a result of a neck thru construction with carbon fiber reinforcement + a stiff truss rod. I don't think it's the ebony board and SS frets, because the above-mentioned guitars both have this combination with bolt-on necks/vintage style truss rods, and they're not so bright. Got some other pups on order.


I have a V7 - neck through, carbon fiber, ebony, SS, etc with d26 pups.
Not bright. Just awesome
I didn't care for the lithium pups at all. Loved the old 7 stringer pups so it was an easy call.

Had a V6X, ash body, and the new holdsworth bridge pup.
Awesome tones.
Not bright at all.

Im guessing new pups fix things for you.
Current Carvins:
2010 Bolt (Candy Red Metallic)
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2016 Black n Blue VSEVEN
2017 TT SCB6

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Some sort of multiscale 6 HSS with RAD ASH
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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby skully13a » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:04 pm

It's a sweet looking guitar. That ebony ain't black, I agree. Maybe that option has to go away. There's only so many trees.
Excellent assessment of the Lithiums, also. I don't have any of those anyway, but everybody likes another voice when picking & choosing.
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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby Doctor Turn » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:37 am

That's a REALLY pretty Vader, bro. I'll eventually (I have to stop saying "soon" since I have to by a pricey amp before I grab the Kiesel axe, which I don't really "need") be buying an all korina CS6 in vintage yellow. But yes the sound of white limba in my opinion is easily on a par with the best mahogany, sometimes reaches level of primo old growth koa because of the pinch of extra midrange response. I love hearing simple slab flattops outdoing the finest LP Standards with the ideal hog/maple recipe. And koa and korina guitars do it all the time.. they're lighter, they have a beauteous simplicity, and they can sound incredible... when you have a great example.

The ebony on your board reminds me a little bit of my 150's board, but your's is actually a bit streakier (and my streaks, which is actually a single streak that tapers off and then resumes again, are red, rhyming with the koa on that axe, and almost anticipating the royal ebony we see today). If you paid for solid dark black ebony you're absolutely in legitimate beef territory. But that's your call obviously. Meantime, great axe.
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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby /Y\ » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:38 pm

Thanks, really enjoying this guitar - looks great and plays great. I'm OK with the ebony streaks, really not that noticeable.
Anyways, I'm way past being able to return this, both on time and mods! I've switched out the pups again for Dimarzio gravity storm (bridge) and liquifire. While these are listed as among the most mid-rangey pickups Dimarzio makes, they don't sound that way here. Still plenty of bite, but the initial attack is softened. The liquifire has a nice stratty sound when split, the inner coils in series are great for rhythm, and the GS rocks in HB mode. Split, it's meh. I think there are some other nice options here that the Kiesel wiring doesn't allow. So I ordered a super switch and two push-pull pots. I think I'll wire it like this:

1 Bridge
2 Bridge-Neck outside coils
3 Bridge - neck
4 Bridge - Neck inside coils
5 Neck

Vol pot: splits neck
Tone pot: phase

Yes, I can never leave well enough alone. BTW, I have to say it was very thoughtful of Kiesel to drill a middle hole on the pup side where they use two screws. Makes it easy to mount a standard pup with only one screw on that side.

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Re: Whilte Limba V6X

Postby rzbk777 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:50 am

Looks great! :applause:


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