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Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:46 am
by islandbass
I've been contemplating a new build for a while, and my primary concern is reducing weight while also reducing neck dive, and it seems like headless is the way to go for that. I'd initially felt the Vader was too pointy for my tastes, but I think it's growing on me, and I've noticed it tends to look a little tamer with natural or translucent finishes.

I'll probably go orangeburst this time (or just orange since I hear they can do it) with a birdseye maple board. Every bass I've ever owned has been rosewood or ebony, and I want something different. 6 strings. Short scale. Flats again. Though actually, if anyone has experience with the super brights, how are they? I think rounds tend to be a little better for the solo playing I want to do, but I'm yet to find a set I really like. There's always too much finger noise for my tastes, and many feel kind of rough and uncomfortable to me. I always end up going back to flats after a few days.

I just need to wait on my paycheck next weekend to feel more comfortable pulling the trigger. (...and get the idea past my significant other!)

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:28 pm
by Toptube
I think two of the classiest Vaders are these

http://www.kieselguitars.com/images/gui ... 33519b.jpg

https://www.kieselguitars.com/images/gu ... 39261b.jpg

It also works well in surfy colors like light blue, surf green, or orange.

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:41 pm
by Catman10
If you are seriously contemplating going with a headless bass, you might want to consider something other than a Kiesel Vader or even Zeus. Why do I say this, you may ask? Because of the problems I’ve been having with my VB6. Let me say that my Vader is a great feeling and sounding bass, but unfortunately I’ve been having a problem with the anchor screw in the headpiece for the low-B. They originally equipped the bass with 3/32” allen screws to anchor the strings with, which is fine for guitar strings but way too small and delicate for a massive low-B on a bass. The problem Is when you try to try and tighten the set screw for the low-B, because the slot on the headpiece is so shallow and the thickness of the string is so thick, force has to be applied for the set screw to even begin to start grabbing the threads of the headpiece. When you have to apply such pressure on the set screw without anything to stabilize it (as in threading of the headpiece) it will shake or wobble, thus stripping out the upper threads of the headpiece. On my second string change for my VB6 I encountered this. I called for a replacement headpiece. Received the replacement headpiece and installed the strings, but noticed the threads for the low-B was stressed a bit. On my next string change the low-B stripped out again! So I ended up calling again for another headpiece. They took their time getting that headpiece to me, but when it arrived it was for a left-handed instrument...but I noticed it had larger set screws (1/8” to be exact). So somewhere someone has seen the need for the change, but what they did not change is the depth of the slot for the strings. Hopefully when the second headpiece arrives the installation of strings will go smoothly and won’t stress the threading too much. If this new headpiece doesn’t seem to change much of anything as far as anchoring of the low-B is concerned, I’ll be getting rid of my VB6.

Some people might say use a smaller B, but I’m using the same size of B it was originally setup with (.130). Some others might say that I don’t have any experience with a headless bass, but I’ve owned a bass from an independent luthier for 18 yrs. that is equipped with a very similar headpiece, and I haven’t even remotely had this problem with the low-B on this bass.

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:53 pm
by arahobob
I'm still waiting to hear how the issue with catmans low B is handled.
A dozen or so instrument purchases should qualify him to be taken care of asap.

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:34 am
by pbass6811
I’m definitely not discounting your experience, but I have 3 VB5s and I’ve never had this happen(knocking on wood right now). I change my strings about once a month. I did notice that my newer basses have the 1/8” set screw, which I like better than the 3/32”, but my two older Vaders have the 3/32” and I’ve not had any issues with stripped screws. I use the same Dunlop Super Brights in the same gauges they came with.

It just irritates me that I have to use two different Allen wrenches when I change the 19 strings(3xVB5, 1xVB4) on my basses, lol!

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:03 am
by Heavyduty
I’ve changed strings twice on my AW5 which has the 1/8” grubs. I use a 0.135 low B and haven’t had any problems, but I’ll keep an eye on things.

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:30 am
by Catman10
pbass6811 wrote:I’m definitely not discounting your experience, but I have 3 VB5s and I’ve never had this happen(knocking on wood right now). I change my strings about once a month. I did notice that my newer basses have the 1/8” set screw, which I like better than the 3/32”, but my two older Vaders have the 3/32” and I’ve not had any issues with stripped screws. I use the same Dunlop Super Brights in the same gauges they came with.

It just irritates me that I have to use two different Allen wrenches when I change the 19 strings(3xVB5, 1xVB4) on my basses, lol!


“pbass6811” and “Heavyduty” I’d like to ask you both, do you lay the instrument horizontally as on a work bench when you change your strings? Just curious, because I usually don’t, and that may be the cause of my problems.

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:29 pm
by pbass6811
Catman10 wrote:
pbass6811 wrote:I’m definitely not discounting your experience, but I have 3 VB5s and I’ve never had this happen(knocking on wood right now). I change my strings about once a month. I did notice that my newer basses have the 1/8” set screw, which I like better than the 3/32”, but my two older Vaders have the 3/32” and I’ve not had any issues with stripped screws. I use the same Dunlop Super Brights in the same gauges they came with.

It just irritates me that I have to use two different Allen wrenches when I change the 19 strings(3xVB5, 1xVB4) on my basses, lol!


“pbass6811” and “Heavyduty” I’d like to ask you both, do you lay the instrument horizontally as on a work bench when you change your strings? Just curious, because I usually don’t, and that may be the cause of my problems.


Hey Catman10,

Yeah, I lay mine down on a workbench when I change my strings.

Re: Warming up to the Vader

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:02 am
by Catman10
pbass6811 wrote:Hey Catman10,

Yeah, I lay mine down on a workbench when I change my strings.


Thank you, “pbass6811”.