Bit The Bullet

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby ElfDude » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:07 pm

This story saddens me.
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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby arahobob » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:16 pm

What a rotten turn of events.

That's a wild flame top, but let's be honest.
Kiesel posts up burl all the goddamm time on fb.

I've never seen them share burl like this.
Never.

I'm sure they have their reasons but this just comes across poorly.
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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby Doctor Turn » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:50 pm

It really is pretty much hard to defend from any reasonable, objective standpoint free of bias.

A man has in his mind a picture of what he wants, which is a burled instrument. They send him a flamed instrument with some burl afterthought in small patches. Which is nobody's definition of a burled instrument. Kiesel typically doesn't traffic in weak examples of figuring with burled maple in particular. Their burled maple tops are friggin BURLED. The top used on this CS is an unusual hybrid specimen of the type you really don't see very much. There's clearly more flame than burl in that axe.

The learning experience for Kiesel oughta be that when you send in "mixed" figure tops like this, which are neither this nor that (or are at least more of what the customer didn't order) which blend in a kind of figure in high percentage that the customer did NOT request, regardless of its perceived subjective beauty, or the opinion of its maker who may or may not have picked the top out, you are operating in direct conflict with the clients specs. It doesn't matter of Apollo picked out the top--it's not Apollo's guitar, it's going to be the guy who worked and saved and psyched himself up on the picture that he had in his mind's guitar.. whose order was suddenly overridden and deflated by... the opinions of others who neither paid for the guitar or have to play the guitar.

But just curious: is option two here:

1. Take delivery of the original guitar
2. Order another model with different options
3. Request a refund and forfeit the option of buying from us again in the future”

The ability to get your CS rebuilt? Or are they saying "You have to keep this guitar or choose another model for your rebuild?"
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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:21 pm

Yeah, that 2nd option sounds like it COULD be reasonable, but I'm not sure what the limitations are. Perhaps they just won't build another burled top? I could kinda see that as still being reasonable because otherwise people would just get the same thing built over and over again until they get the top that's juuuuuust right for their particular taste. With that said, I do think this top is so far away from what 'burled maple' typically looks like, that I think it warrants an exception.

It appears Kiesel is approaching customer service from a bit of a backwards direction.

Here's an example: the Amazon Go store in seattle. If you're unfamiliar, it's a concept store where you scan your phone when you walk in, you shop, and just walk out. You don't have to "check out". They designed their whole customer experience with technology to cater to honest customers. The systems they have in place are designed to be as accurate as possible, but stopped short of implementing anything that would hinder 99% of the customers to "catch" the 1%. I mean, hell...if you buy something you didn't want, you just "return" it from the app and you get a refund. If you don't want it, they don't want you to pay for it. They don't even have a mechanism in place to even take your item back (yet).

Now, obviously that's a test case/concept and likely doesn't make them any money (yet)...but take a store like Nordstroms. They are known for their legendary customer service. My girlfriend will knowingly pay more for the same pair of shoes there compared to Macy's or Sears, knowing that if there's ANY issue, they will take care of her. There was an article I read once where a journalist wanted to test their commitment to the customer experience. They walked in 5 minutes before closing, and went to the shoe department. They looked around, asked to try on several pairs. The cashiers didn't "count down" their drawers, they didn't prep for closing, people in other departments manned their stations, and after about 45 minutes of never feeling rushed in their shoe shopping, the journalist decided to buy a single pair of shoes. Then, as they brought their purchase to the counter, the salesperson asked, "I think you need a new bag to go with those shoes. Would you like to take a look as some of the new arrivals?"

That's how you keep customers for life. There will always be people who try to find loopholes or game a system, but when your system is designed around them, it can leave a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby Doctor Turn » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:04 pm

Absolutely.

The more I read the choices, the more it's clear that the OP is being punished for not favoring the company's (or more likely, someone in particular within that company's) opinion about the guitar, which was built in place the kind of guitar that was ordered. "You don't like this one better?" (raises handkerchief to nose, and points) "Go, and do not befoul this fair commerce again."

There's an element of scolding in the reply to OP that baffles me.

Dude didn't want a flame top. They sent him a mega flame top.
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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby Abdababda » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:38 am

Doctor Turn wrote:A man has in his mind a picture of what he wants, which is a burled instrument. They send him a flamed instrument with some burl afterthought in small patches. Which is nobody's definition of a burled instrument. Kiesel typically doesn't traffic in weak examples of figuring with burled maple in particular. Their burled maple tops are friggin BURLED. The top used on this CS is an unusual hybrid specimen of the type you really don't see very much. There's clearly more flame than burl in that axe.


Exactly right. Big O wanted burled top and paid extra for it--that is what he should have.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby protovack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:33 pm

I'm a new Kiesel customer, and this is an absolutely horrific story.

That top is a disaster. It's not a burl top. If it's supposed to be a flame top, its the worst bookmatch I've ever seen. I cannot imagine they would even allow that guitar to be finished if after the staining, it looked like that.

The "options" presented to you are possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

1. Just take it and like it (umm, excuse me?)
2. Order something else with different options (What? That doesn't even make sense.)
3. Take a refund and be black-listed (almost unbelievable that they would even say this).

If this guitar they built you is so "popular" then they should have no trouble selling it as a GIS after you return it.

Frankly, I'm appalled. I mean how hard is it to say,

"Dear Customer, we understand you ordered a burl top and the guitar you received appears to be more of a flame top that is not well bookmatched. We would like to fix this situation immediately. We will be sending you a pre-paid shipping label. We will also be reaching out to you shortly to have a phone conversation about exactly what went wrong, and how we can get it exactly right on the re-build."

That's the way it should've gone down. This is not a well executed build that you just happen to not "like". It is a poorly executed build, period, in my mind. And it appears to me, that in this case they are using the fact that it is a highly custom guitar as a way to just avoid the hassle of having to rebuild.

That is an extremely disingenuous business practice and if they don't make this right I would go directly to the better business bureau. Threatening to black-list you over their own mistake is bordering on pathological behavior, and I would have no qualms about getting a consumer advocacy organization involved, if that is truly their position.

Playing devils advocate here, is it possible that they perceived you as demanding and difficult to work with, due to you wanting custom electronics using your own supplies? I don't see why it would be a big deal, and it has NOTHING to do with the botched top, but it may have played a role in the response you received.

Still, if I was CEO, I'd pull my quality control person aside and grill them for this. I mean who would give the green light on this guitar? It looks NOTHING like any other picture of a burl top I've ever seen. It's a 98% flame maple top for god's sake!! And a poorly matched one to boot!

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby protovack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:41 pm

The more I think about this, the less and less sense it makes.

From what I know of Kiesel guitars, the CEO and employees really seem to know wood. I mean, I've watched the company CEO on youtube personally hold up examples of burl instruments and show us directly how they are done. We've all seen him hold up a burled top to the camera and get excited about it. So I just cannot believe that any person could have, in their right mind, looked at an order sheet for a burled maple top, and instead put this top on the guitar. The fact that they mention in their email, someone "picked the wood from the reserve, and thought it was fine"---this person, whoever it was, needs to account for the wood selection. For them to completely screw that up seems way out of character. Are we to believe that the company policy is now, that you cannot expect to receive the top you order? If you order flame maple, you may instead receive a burled top and you cannot return it? No, something isn't right.

It just doesn't make sense. There is something fishy going on here. We don't have the whole story. Someone made an error on the line, something. There needs to be some sort of investigation into how this error occurred, not to blame an employee, but to find and fix the issue so it doesn't happen again.

Issue number 1--the guy who looked at the order sheet and picked the wood. Talk to him, find out if there was a reason he picked it, or if it was literally just a mistake. Those are two VERY different scenarios. Did they think he didn't want a heavily burled top? Was something mis-communicated in email at some point?

I work in healthcare, and when we make errors, it's serious business. Everybody gets in a room and communicates until the errors are found and fixed, no exceptions. And this situation bears the unmistakable scent of an error which was then brazenly mis-handled.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby deecameronbell » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:49 am

Anyone have the pics OP posted of the guitar? really curious here and seems like they were deleted.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:27 am

deecameronbell wrote:Anyone have the pics OP posted of the guitar? really curious here and seems like they were deleted.


Nothing appears to be deleted. They are all visible for me on two different devices. Here's one of them.
Kiesel Angle_zpshiyb6usc.jpg
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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby deecameronbell » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:07 am

spudmunkey wrote:
deecameronbell wrote:Anyone have the pics OP posted of the guitar? really curious here and seems like they were deleted.


Nothing appears to be deleted. They are all visible for me on two different devices. Here's one of them.
Kiesel Angle_zpshiyb6usc.jpg


Oh true sorry they just must all be blocked on my work computer.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby Big O » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:36 pm

I appreciate all of the replies and comments on this thread and build. I just thought I stop back in and see if there was any recent comments on the thread and there was.

Although the guitar is not exactly what I wanted and I am disappointed with regard to paying an extra $400 for the burl option (I would have chosen a quilt top instead knowing how the top came out), I now have trouble playing the guitar since it is such a pristine, fine work of art in its own right and I don't want to mess up the finish. I very gingerly handle the guitar and am very careful with it. The playability is just right on for me with the low action, flat fretboard but reasonable hefty neck (not quite as thick as my baseball neck Gibson LP). If a great playing guitar is what I would like to obtain again, I would order another CS6 with a thick neck if I could get it, but with a solid color so I won't worry so much about messing up the finish.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby protovack » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:34 pm

Glad its a good playing guitar. Wouldn't that be funny if it became a favorite after all :)

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby Big O » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:40 am

I just wanted to post a picture of my new custom guitar. Blue stained mahogany S-type guitar. It has HSH pickup configuration with the rail pickups tuned coil tapped through RC networks and separate treble and bass tone roll-off controls.

Image

I built this guitar myself. It shows how one can really customize a guitar. I had to bleach the mahagonany body to stain it blue. It has about 20 coats of lacquer on it. Finishing the body took me a few weeks. I used teak oil to finish the neck and it is just as good if not better than the oil finish neck on my Kiesel.

Hopefully my image will eventually show up because for some reason it is not as of yet, and the link should be valid.
Last edited by Big O on Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby amispy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:25 pm

Big O wrote:Hopefully my image will eventually show up because for some reason it is not as of yet, and the link should be valid.

Pic not showing.
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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby Big O » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:41 pm

Picture is displaying now after editing the post and placing the link again.

As I stated previously, the guitar has a HSH pickup configuration with rail humbuckers. Each humbucker is coil tapped (not split) using push pull pots. As stated previously, these are tuned, or filtered, coil taps which runs one of the humbucker coils to ground through an RC network to filter out certain frequencies (high pass filter) from that coil while adding some hum cancelling into the mix. The neck coil is primarily filtered and tapped to sound close to a standard single coil. The RC filter for the bridge pickup is tuned for a more P90-ish sound. Values are 3.9KOhm resistor and 0.1 uF cap for the neck pickup, which filters a lot of the mid to higher frequencies to ground leaving frequencies closer to 60 Hz intact for hum cancelling. The bridge pickup has a 3.9KOhm resistor and 0.01 uF cap, which filters out more higher frequencies to ground than the neck pickup, leaving more low end frequencies intact.

Also, as stated before, the tone controls are set up as Treble and Bass roll-off’s. The controls are set up sort of like what one would think a stereo receiver would have – turned all the way clockwise and all frequencies are intact (full treble and bass). Turn the knobs counter-clockwise and the the high end is rolled off the treble control like a typical guitar tone knob, and the amount of bass is cut or reduced on the bass knob.

I had to bleach the the mahogany body wood first prior to staining the body blue. Finished the body with about 20 coats of clear lacquer. I finished the neck with teak oil, progressively sanding with higher grit (starting out with 320 grit and ending with oiled 1200 grit sandpaper) so it is smooth as a baby’s behind with no stickiness whatsoever.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby kmd09 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:58 am

I may be late to the party on this but for some reason I felt the need to give my $.02 worth. You sir, wanted, and ordered, a BURL top and from what I can tell, you got a flamed top with a "sprinkling" of burl. This, to me, would obligate Kiesel to rebuild the guitar under their 10 Day return policy. The fact that that the salesperson neglected to inform you that the guitar was not returnable because of selected options, to me, is a moot point. Kiesel, I feel, dropped the ball on this. Over the years I have probably spent between $10,000 -$13,000 on Carvin guitars and amps and can honestly say there has not been one disappointment. Over the last couple of years I have seen the demise of Carvin and the proliferation of Kiesel and for me, the target consumer has shifted to a point to where I have gone a different direction. I'm still very active, buying-wise, but have shifted to the used market. I, personally, am old school and really don't have a need or want for all the bevels, multi-scale or headless options and have found I can fulfill my GAS with other brands on the used market. Guitar-wise, a used Martin D35 and a very nice Gibson Les Paul Traditonal have sated my guitar GAS, although a good Tele is still in the works. Amp-wise, my Marshall JVM, Orange Rockerverb MKII 100, Splawn QR, PRS Archon, Mesa Triple Rec and my recently-acquired Dr. Z Carmen Ghia have all my amp cravings, except possibly a Friedman PT-20, covered. I love my V3 and X100B but to be realistic, they are not Mesa, Orange, PRS, Splawn, Dr. Z or even Marshall. I'm 62, going on 63, and the only thing I'm shredding these days is cabbage for coleslaw, not my guitars. Give me a Les Paul, or my CS624, cranked thru a Marshall and, neighbors be damned, I'm a happy camper. These days, thanks to Carvin, etal, I'm a very happy camper!
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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby Big O » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:04 am

kmd09 wrote:I may be late to the party on this but for some reason I felt the need to give my $.02 worth. You sir, wanted, and ordered, a BURL top and from what I can tell, you got a flamed top with a "sprinkling" of burl. This, to me, would obligate Kiesel to rebuild the guitar under their 10 Day return policy. The fact that that the salesperson neglected to inform you that the guitar was not returnable because of selected options, to me, is a moot point. Kiesel, I feel, dropped the ball on this. Over the years I have probably spent between $10,000 -$13,000 on Carvin guitars and amps and can honestly say there has not been one disappointment. Over the last couple of years I have seen the demise of Carvin and the proliferation of Kiesel and for me, the target consumer has shifted to a point to where I have gone a different direction. I'm still very active, buying-wise, but have shifted to the used market. I, personally, am old school and really don't have a need or want for all the bevels, multi-scale or headless options and have found I can fulfill my GAS with other brands on the used market. Guitar-wise, a used Martin D35 and a very nice Gibson Les Paul Traditonal have sated my guitar GAS, although a good Tele is still in the works. Amp-wise, my Marshall JVM, Orange Rockerverb MKII 100, Splawn QR, PRS Archon, Mesa Triple Rec and my recently-acquired Dr. Z Carmen Ghia have all my amp cravings, except possibly a Friedman PT-20, covered. I love my V3 and X100B but to be realistic, they are not Mesa, Orange, PRS, Splawn, Dr. Z or even Marshall. I'm 62, going on 63, and the only thing I'm shredding these days is cabbage for coleslaw, not my guitars. Give me a Les Paul, or my CS624, cranked thru a Marshall and, neighbors be damned, I'm a happy camper. These days, thanks to Carvin, etal, I'm a very happy camper!


I really don't want to beat a dead horse, but I was taken aback by the refusal to correct the issue. The reason cited for the non-returnability was that it had the thick neck option, which was NOT an option 50 at the time I placed the order, and I have the receipt to prove it. By the time I received the guitar about 4 months after ordering it, it was no longer a standard option. I don't know why, because many LP type guitar players prefer a thicker neck. However, I decided not to get into a pissing contest with Kiesel and let bygones be bygones. But I am very reluctant to every purchase another guitar from Kiesel again unless it is pretty much a standard, no option guitar because the build quality is absolutely excellent.

By the way, the guitar you posted appears very nice. And I think I agree with you, Kiesel is building guitars for different type players now, appearing to concentrate more on shredders and detuned guitar players rather than the old school, traditional players like myself. I am about a year younger than you and that probably explains our agreement on the issues.

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Re: Bit The Bullet

Postby X1Glider » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:02 am

This thread is disappointing to me. I've been a loyal customer to Carvin/Kiesel since 1986 and have probably spent near $20k on the 12 I have. Every single instrument has been stunning and everyone could have been returned if not satisfied. 6 of them were stunning flame and quilt tops, perfectly bookmatched. But there were also less finish options available at the time, a blackburst edge was about as crazy as they got.

Still, that top is NOT what was ordered. A predominantly large flamed top with a burl flaw that was impossible to bookmatch well. It should have never been considered for any build. Instead, it should have been saved for a chambered build that had a solid colored top, like a gold top.

And the attitude, regardless of how a customer relays their dissatisfaction, is disturbing from a company I've trusted for 33 years. The mistake with the top should have negated something as ridiculously trivial as a THK neck profile and they should have been apologetic and made every effort to really make you happy, not suggest option #3 to get a refund and piss off forever. #1 was arrogant and offers no resolution whatsoever. Only #2 was reasonable, but to require a "different" build was not reasonable. Overall, the 3 choices show a lack of respect for a customer who paid $3000 for their product.

I have to say, regardless of my past positive experiences, hearing this and a fair number of other dissatisfied customer experiences, I'm wary of ever buying another. And that's a shame because the vast majority of their finished pieces are absolute masterpieces worthy of being protected by a million dollar laser security system.


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