New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Expecting some new gear from Kiesel Guitars? Post here!

Moderators: Kevio, ElfDude, JesseM, RockCrue, soundchick, ChrisH, peb, Mike Jones, Bundy

protovack
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2018

New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby protovack » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:18 pm

Well, I'm new here. I've typically been a PRS guy, but I recently cleared out some old gear. Basically got rid of everything except the one PRS I won't sell--an older KL-33 korina Santana model with moons. I still love PRS and I think their new guitars are great. But it's annoying how little control you have over the build unless you spend a lot of money for a custom shop one-off. So, I set off to find something built to the same quality standards, but with the option to customize the build. I am not into vintage Fender copies or "distressed" guitars so that crosses a lot of custom shops off the list. I always knew about Carvin/Kiesel but never really looked into it too much until now.

I decided to try something pretty basic for my first build. It's going to be a Mahogany CS3 with a walnut top and headstock, tung oil finish, black hardware, dark ebony board. I'm having a hard time imagining what this guitar will look like, which I assume is always the case when doing a blind order. But from google image searching Kiesel walnut tops I really liked what I found. So, I'm hoping this will end up being a subtle, clean walnut top (not into the super figured stuff) that matches well with the rest of the guitar, and has an overall natural vibe to it. The only question mark in my mind is the stainless steel frets, I've never had them before. Other than that, the only fear I have is that it will look too dark with the black hardware, I wonder if I should have gone nickel.

CS3 - Kiesel California Single Cutaway Carved Top Electric Guitar
Right Handed
$ 0.00 - M - Tune-O-Matic Bridge and String Thru Body
$ 140.00 - WT - Walnut Top
$ 0.00 - TF - Tung-Oiled Satin Neck & Body
$ 0.00 - -NMAH - Mahogany Neck & Body (Standard)
$ 40.00 - WPH - Walnut Headstock Matches Body Finish
$ 0.00 - -CTH - Carved Top Headstock (Standard)
$ 40.00 - EFB - Ebony Fingerboard (Less Color Variation)
$ 0.00 - ID - Dot Inlays
$ 50.00 - IA - Abalone Inlay Material
$ 0.00 - -STF - Stainless Med-Jumbo Frets .048" H .103" W (Standard)
$ 0.00 - -R14 - 14in Fretboard Radius (Standard)
$ 30.00 - BC - Black Hardware
$ 0.00 - KBB - Kiesel Beryllium Passive Bridge Pickup
$ 0.00 - KBN - Kiesel Beryllium Passive Neck Pickup
$ 0.00 - -400 - Black Pickup Coils (Standard)
$ 0.00 - -PPC - Kiesel Lithium/Beryllium Silver Pickup Poles (Standard)
$ 0.00 - BL - Black Logo
$ 0.00 - -46 - Elixir 1046E Light Gauge .010 - .046 (Standard)
$ 60.00 - SC10 - Black Ultimate Soft Guitar Case

User avatar
JCG
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 2361
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: PA

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby JCG » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:56 pm

Nice!
I have a similar Walnut top/Mahogany body CS3 that I love.

User avatar
skully13a
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1442
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: Left side of The Rockies

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby skully13a » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:18 pm

Right on. For what it's worth, I've yet to see a walnut top from Kiesel that I haven't liked. Dunno about the black hardware, I'm not much for that, but personal preference plays in a lot. 8)
SH645
V440T
Purple Bolt!
DC127 Koa
SM212 Stage Master
MB10

User avatar
Doctor Doug
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1394
Joined: Oct 2013

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby Doctor Doug » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:13 pm

Sweet! I'm crazy about the CS! Excited to see this one.

protovack
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2018

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby protovack » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:08 pm

Thanks guys, I'm glad to hear that most walnut tops seem to come out nice. The black hardware was kind of a "let's try it" thing. Never had it before. On the gallery page for the SCB6 there are several with natural wood finishes with black hardware and they look really natural, kind of a subtle look, so I decided to try the black on wood thing. We'll see if it works as well on the more traditional CS :)

User avatar
Doctor Turn
Platinum Carvinite
Platinum Carvinite
Posts: 4546
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: NYC, sans rock clubs and 48th St.
Links/Contact:

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:55 am

JCGamrat has a nice CS with a walnut top, but with gold hardware (I can't remember the body wood, it almost looks like koa in the photo which wouldn't be bad choice since it's it's a sort of broader spectrum mahog)... let me go rustle it up..

Image

Image

Of course, the maple fretboard, like those seventies/Norlin LP Customs.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

User avatar
wickid
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 2331
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: NY
Links/Contact:

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby wickid » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:22 am

Doctor Turn wrote:JCGamrat has a nice CS with a walnut top, but with gold hardware (I can't remember the body wood, it almost looks like koa in the photo which wouldn't be bad choice since it's it's a sort of broader spectrum mahog)... let me go rustle it up..

Image

Image

Of course, the maple fretboard, like those seventies/Norlin LP Customs.


I bet that's a hog back.
here's a link to an old DC I had that was Claro over hog.
Proud Carvin owner since 1985! My Carvin gear time capsule...

Image

Dont miss the purple CT6!
(Any photobucket links are probably now broken. Grrrrrr!!!)

User avatar
Doctor Turn
Platinum Carvinite
Platinum Carvinite
Posts: 4546
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: NYC, sans rock clubs and 48th St.
Links/Contact:

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:25 am

Yeah mahog can look very red, almost koa-ish. Especially the old Honduran.. but yet it can also go to a very pale yellow.

Old 70's Aria LP copy:

Image
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

User avatar
silvergoat2k6
Carvinite
Carvinite
Posts: 711
Joined: Feb 2014
Location: Holland, MI

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby silvergoat2k6 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:30 am

I love my CS3, yours will be sweet.
*Dean* "The Kiesel BBS Ultra V Dude"
6 (yes, 6) Ultra V's, Aries A6H, NZ624M Neil Zaza Signature, CS3, GH3
Proud Member of #teamzaza

User avatar
Treadplatedual
Carvinite
Carvinite
Posts: 526
Joined: Mar 2016
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby Treadplatedual » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:10 am

Man, that sounds great! And as far as stainless - I have them on everything if i can help it. No fretwear + bending feels like cheating, it's so easy. If my non-Kiesel guitars ever need a re-fret, i'll likely have the wire replaced with stainless.
2018 CS3 - Berylliums *IN THE OVEN* - Ordered 5/30
2017 SH6 - Piezo/S22s

protovack
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2018

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby protovack » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:03 pm

question I just thought of.
I don't remember specifying "1 vol 1 tone knob" in the builder
Is that what comes standard?

User avatar
spudmunkey
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 15674
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby spudmunkey » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:56 pm

protovack wrote:question I just thought of.
I don't remember specifying "1 vol 1 tone knob" in the builder
Is that what comes standard?


Yes. 2V/2T is optional.

protovack
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2018

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby protovack » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:17 pm

Got my guitar. Review pending, just wanted to get some pictures up.

IMG_20180717_131826023.jpg
IMG_20180717_131839583.jpg
IMG_20180717_131850258.jpg
IMG_20180717_131853993.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
spudmunkey
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 15674
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby spudmunkey » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:39 pm

Looks great from here! :rockon:

User avatar
skully13a
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1442
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: Left side of The Rockies

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby skully13a » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:54 pm

That's sweet. 8) How do you like her sound?
SH645
V440T
Purple Bolt!
DC127 Koa
SM212 Stage Master
MB10

User avatar
Treadplatedual
Carvinite
Carvinite
Posts: 526
Joined: Mar 2016
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby Treadplatedual » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:06 pm

I love it :D

Understated generally trumps crazy whacked out bling imho. :D
2018 CS3 - Berylliums *IN THE OVEN* - Ordered 5/30
2017 SH6 - Piezo/S22s

User avatar
Doctor Turn
Platinum Carvinite
Platinum Carvinite
Posts: 4546
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: NYC, sans rock clubs and 48th St.
Links/Contact:

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:30 pm

I completely agree. Something about it reminds me of my old 150Koa, can't explain why. But it looks very "complete" and in need of nothing via its perfect simplicity. I think that guitar will be very collectible and look excellent decades from now. It's got a universal appeal that will make it a great vintage guitar on down the line.

And I see very few guitars that reach that level of clarity, coming out of custom shops. Guys go overboard. This guit, on the other hand, is great.

Congrats! :applause: :applause:
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

protovack
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2018

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby protovack » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:20 pm

Here is my detailed review of the guitar. Thanks for the comments, I was going for a minimalist build, a no frills versatile players guitar. What was I expecting? I really love 70's era Santana ala Moonflower, when he played Les Pauls and then the Yamaha SG. I was aiming for a guitar that could do that, something with vintage voiced pickups and smooth lead tone.
My main guitar that I play right now is a korina PRS Santana III with vintage bass and HFS pickups run through a Mesa Mark 1 re-issue head to a Stagecraft Elite cabinet with Tone Tubby alnico red speakers, and that's the rig I am testing through.

Did the guitar meet my expectations? Absolutely. But not quite in the way I thought it would. The first thing I'll say is that this guitar has a VERY full, punchy tone. It caught me off guard at first. The beryllium pickups, in combination with the tung oiled mahogany and walnut with the ebony fretboard, its really quite amazing. It has an almost acoustic guitar like vibe to it--I think the ebony board is partly responsible for that, and then the string through body design, it resonates well. But it is tight and punchy. The pickups are hot, and have very strong attack with crystal clear string definition and a thick, meaty tone. I had to turn down my gain settings significantly and be very careful with the tone controls. But once in the sweet spot, it excels at basically everything. Hard hitting power chords, lead work, controlling gain with the volume knob, it delivers on every point. However I will say that you need to be very fine with your pick attack. These pickups reward LIGHT picking and you can get some nasty overtones if you pick too hard, especially on higher gain settings. I needed to turn down my gain a LOT to get a good sound. But when you do, its incredible how much definition remains. These pickups could be described in a myriad of ways, but they will never be called muddy.

The neck was an adjustment for me. Coming from the PRS santana, which has a very meaty, round neck profile with the gloss finish that is a bit tacky from wear, it is a very easy neck to play on and hold notes, bends, etc. The Kiesel's neck feels like a thin board at first (I got the standard 14" radius). It is tung oiled and very slick at first, so my first impression was that it was tough to hold chord formations and individual lead notes due to sliding around everywhere, and the neck has quite a thin profile so I felt like I had nothing to grab on to. I'm getting used to it though. Its probably a better neck for all around playing anyway. It enables very easy transitions, slides, and the intonation is dead on. It's definitely stiffer than my PRS. The fretwork is flawless. The inlay work, flawless. I won't say I like it better, it's just different and definitely a great neck. I think my next Kiesel I will go for a 12" or even a 10" radius.

I kind of wish the edge of the body where I hold my forearm had a bevel. Other than that, there's not a thing I would change about the guitar. It has a gorgeous tone characterized by a thick, full body and responsive pick attack with exceptional definition and clarity. There is nothing mechanical about it, however it rewards good technique, and punishes sloppy playing. It doesn't tolerate high gain very well. The berylliums don't like it. At least with my setup.

So can I nail 70's Santana tones on this thing? Yep, absolutely, and a lot more. I'm glad I bought it. I was skeptical, this being my first Kiesel build, but I'm pleasantly surprised. This is a high quality instrument that in my mind is worth much more than the $1500 I paid for it.

User avatar
Treadplatedual
Carvinite
Carvinite
Posts: 526
Joined: Mar 2016
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: New to Kiesel, just ordered a CS3

Postby Treadplatedual » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:07 am

protovack wrote:I kind of wish the edge of the body where I hold my forearm had a bevel.


Heh, sounds like an SCB might scratch that itch.
2018 CS3 - Berylliums *IN THE OVEN* - Ordered 5/30
2017 SH6 - Piezo/S22s


Return to The Waiting Room

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests