NBD: IC5 :-/

USA Custom Shop Acoustic and Electric Bass Guitars

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

Bliff Curton
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2018

NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bliff Curton » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:54 am

Got my new IC5 today.
I bought it from the Guitars-In-Stock selection.
SwampAsh, Walnut top, 5pc Walnut/Maple

I plugged her in at 5pm.
Its Midnight now. Which means I’ve been playing for just over 5 hrs....can’t find one good sound.
I’ve adjusted the pickups to all extremes and then back to factory spec.

I believe the problem comes down to 2 elements:
1: StainlessSteel Frets
2: Pickups

On paper, stainless steel seems better. Eventually, frets wear out. But if we make frets harder, that must be better.
If you like pinging fret noise that is omnipresent even with the Treble lowered all the way, sure.
In all the hours of EQ’ing and pickup adjustment, the pinging only goes from worse to worser. No-treble dub was still plagued by the SS fret ping.

These pickups have the white dot.
So, KRH or RadHV?
The neck pickup sounds like a over-nasally bridge pickup and the bridge pickup is not musical at all.
The pickups do a great job at amplifying the SS fret ping.
They also introduce some odd harmonic overtones to everything. When I mute the note, that makes a loud overtone that makes the muting sound like a harmonic note if the midrange were turned up all the way.

Another oddity, it almost seems like the preamp is digital, or at least the pickup knob is.
When the pickup knob is at center detent and then adjusted ever so slightly in either direction, there is a cut-out that enters into a weird phase when going further towards either pickup.
Maxing either pickup and then rolling a little bit of the other pickup in also does this.
And the pickup knob in general is odd in that between full-on and center detent, it sounds like that pickup with just a little difference. What I mean is that the pickups dont play together to make unique tones. Basically its neck pickup, 50/50, and bridge pickup. Blending anywhere between detent and neck is just neck tone with more nasal. Bridge pickup rolling in more neck pickup is still just the nasal bridge sound but a little woofier/darker.

Does anybody have a bass with the white-dot Radiums that produces great tones?

Anyone else extremely disappointed in the SS frets?

I really wanted to like this bass and I regret giving Kiesel a chance, especially when they dont do 10-day return on an RTF, even if its a Showcase /G-I-S purchase and i never asked tgem to build it with RTF. I just assumed they wouldn’t make something this unmusical.
To me, thats a defect and ought to be remedied.
Why should a returning customer be punished for Kiesel trying to exhibit their options in available finishes.

I deeply regret not going with the NS Design CR5 or the Stingray 5 Special.
My Ibanez SR505 with non-USA MK1 Barts has better tones, and several of them, than this IC5.
I cant believe how different this experience is from my LB70p from 2000/2001. That bass was a dream and always created beaitiful experiences.
I have pointed a bunch of musicians towards Kiesel since my experience with my ‘01 LB70.
This, though. Im honestly deflated.
I have to wonder how this passes QC. Maybe there is no bassplayer who checks the basses to make sure they are musical to the ear and not just pretty to look at. Maybe this is what Kiesel believes is musical.

Sincerely,
Bunming hard with a $2,200 paper-weight.

User avatar
gumbynotpokey
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 7446
Joined: May 2010
Location: Western NC

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby gumbynotpokey » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:59 am

Wow. Sorry, man.

The only thing I can think of is to gut the pu's and electronics - both - and have your favorites installed as replacements.
Wife: C350, Claro top SH550, Vintage 16
Oldest: DC400M greenburst, C980TMW
Youngest: C750, GK1, CT624M Deep Black Cherry on flame, V3MC Celestion,
SH550 white/white, black binding, gold hardware
Me: LB70P jet black, LB70PF Claro BEM HAN, MB 10

Bliff Curton
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2018

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bliff Curton » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:13 am

Thanks for the sympathy, Gumby.


I switched strings, using the ines from my Ibanez — DR HiBeams.
A lot less bright than the Dunlop. I needed to boost the treble a smudge to get good clarity.
But the ping is still there, as are the various noises fron any right-hand technique.

I really wanted to hop back on here to say it was simply bad string choice.
But I still couldnt find a passable tone and all tye same problems are still there, just with a different tone.

The other week, when I was trying different basses to see what I want, I played a Carvin Icon at GuitarCenter.
It was a standard Icon - had a beautiful piece of maple for the neck.
The pickups had the brown dot Radius.
I wanted to like it but didnt.
I assumed the different woods and newer pickup of this new IC5 would be better.
...nope.

I really dint want to have to dump several hundred dollars on a pair of pickups and preamp. Especially if these steel frets are going to plague me with pinging with new pickups.
That was money I set aside to buy a new amp with.

I will call Kiesel and see what they can do.
Its 10x more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current customer.
Wouldnt it be awesome if this thread turns into a Cinderella story?
One can hope.

Be well,
Bliff

Bass Viking
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2008

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bass Viking » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:01 am

Sorry to hear about this. That sucks! Does the bass at least play well and feel comfortable? Maybe there is something that can be done to alter the tone to your liking.

I'm surprised by the number of non-returnable instruments on the In Stock page. I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole unless I could go to the store and actually play them.

Bliff Curton
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2018

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bliff Curton » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:02 pm

INdeed, construction and playability are great.
Excellent fret-dressing. Awesomely smooth neck.

A caveat, though, the SS fret ping gets in the way of my right-hand technique, effectively killing the groove. If you have to concentrate on your technique then you cant be in the moment and in the pocket.

Also playing high register (past 10th fret) is not very musical.

The NS Design CR5 was musical and even-response from 1st to 21st fret. That bass’ upper-register is like none other that I’ve played.

User avatar
ElfDude
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10710
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: In and around the lake

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby ElfDude » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:57 pm

:(

I look forward to hearing how your conversation with them goes.
Aries A6H, CS6M, SH445, Contour 66, AE185, DC135, CT4M, Bolt, SH225, LB76F, Nomad, VT16 Head, V410, Pro Bass 100
Midlife Crisis on Facebook
The Tri-Chevys on Facebook

Bass Viking
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2008

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bass Viking » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:28 pm

Bliff Curton wrote:The NS Design CR5 was musical and even-response from 1st to 21st fret. That bass’ upper-register is like none other that I’ve played.


I have a CR4. Definitely a unique tone with the piezo engaged!

User avatar
Toptube
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1535
Joined: Feb 2013

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Toptube » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:32 pm

Before I complain about stainless frets, lemme say a couple of opinion things because I can't help it ;)

Neckthrough basses generally have more highs and I think this translates to more fret noise. I have experienced it on some other brand necktherughs ( I still own an Ibanez SRT 800DX which is mahogany for back half of body wings and flamed maple for front half and it's pingy) and also heard it clearly, in comparisons of the neckthrough Ernie Ball Stingrays.

Swamp ash bodies also seem to highlight fret noise. I often hear people talk about the warmth of swamp ash and I do not agree. Every swamp ash bass I have owned has been at least a little pingy, if not a lot. And every YouTube comparison I have seen of swamp ash vs alder or mahogany, has been less warm for the swamp ash.

I have small stainless frets on my IC5. You can see it in the thread linked in my sig. Recent pics on newest post. It's swampash body wings, 5 piece walnut/whitelimba neck, and rosewood fretboard. No top. Gloss.

Indeed, it does have that ping. On mine, it's not Terrible, but it is distinct and doesn't blend in as well as ping from other fret materials. It's higher pitch and has a hollow quality.
Indeed, the radiused pickups, all of them (I tried 4 different versions), seem to exacerbate the ping. However, once a note is fretted, it sounds real good. The frets are plenty capable for tone. Really clear, even. And a nice sweetness in the high notes. Especially with the second gen RAD JVA single coils. And I at least enjoyed the tone from those pickups. Two of them I liked a lot. I haven't tried the latest dual coils. I think the singles are the same as the second gen RAD JVA, with a name change. Could be wrong, though. The RAD JVA were my fave.

Nordstrand started offering Alnico 3 versions of their pickups. And by their impressions, as well as comparison videos on their channel: The Alnico 3 seemed to avoid the pingy aspects, while still being expressive and whatnot. So I ordered A3 BigRigs and yep, they help A LOT to subdue the stainless ping. Good tones, too. Nordstrand was fantastic to communicate with and they built my pickups in like a week.

If/when I build another Icon, I will get EVO Gold frets. The Vader I had for a few days, had a more natural quality to the fretting, with the gold frets.

User avatar
gumbynotpokey
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 7446
Joined: May 2010
Location: Western NC

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby gumbynotpokey » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:02 pm

On a quasi-related note (pun intended), I've been exclusively playing my swamp body custom bass made by someone else, that I had their (at the time) new split pu into. The board is rock-hard Ipe, on a maple neck. My point is that it's passive and I've been playing flats on it (a fretless) with a K/C fretwrap behind the nut. The tone is old school sick. Strings, passive, lots of variables....

OP: any amp settings doing it for this bass?
Wife: C350, Claro top SH550, Vintage 16
Oldest: DC400M greenburst, C980TMW
Youngest: C750, GK1, CT624M Deep Black Cherry on flame, V3MC Celestion,
SH550 white/white, black binding, gold hardware
Me: LB70P jet black, LB70PF Claro BEM HAN, MB 10

User avatar
Toptube
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1535
Joined: Feb 2013

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Toptube » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:16 pm

And yeah, the blend knob issue. The old blend knob, which my Icon has, has infinite blend between pickups. But, it's like a 25% volume drop when centered.

The new knob is more like a switch. I experienced it on a Vader. It basically has no blend. But also, no volume drop.

And that bass had a tone issue, where it always sound out of phase even though it didn't lack low end, lime a usual out of phase situation. I dunno if this is the same as the "digital" quality you describe.

User avatar
Toptube
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1535
Joined: Feb 2013

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Toptube » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:24 pm

P.S. Sometimes relieving the trussrod a quarter turn, can warm up a stubborn bass.

Bliff Curton
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2018

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bliff Curton » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:32 pm

Thank you Toptube.

I had been following your journey with your IC5. The Alnico 3 was a great idea.
And I agree, Kiesel’s descritpion of Swamp Ash is unfair at best.

You have/had a Stingray NT? How’d you like it?

Toptube wrote:Before I complain about stainless frets, lemme say a couple of opinion things because I can't help it ;)

Neckthrough basses generally have more highs and I think this translates to more fret noise. I have experienced it on some other brand necktherughs ( I still own an Ibanez SRT 800DX which is mahogany for back half of body wings and flamed maple for front half and it's pingy) and also heard it clearly, in comparisons of the neckthrough Ernie Ball Stingrays.

Swamp ash bodies also seem to highlight fret noise. I often hear people talk about the warmth of swamp ash and I do not agree. Every swamp ash bass I have owned has been at least a little pingy, if not a lot. And every YouTube comparison I have seen of swamp ash vs alder or mahogany, has been less warm for the swamp ash.

I have small stainless frets on my IC5. You can see it in the thread linked in my sig. Recent pics on newest post. It's swampash body wings, 5 piece walnut/whitelimba neck, and rosewood fretboard. No top. Gloss.

Indeed, it does have that ping. On mine, it's not Terrible, but it is distinct and doesn't blend in as well as ping from other fret materials. It's higher pitch and has a hollow quality.
Indeed, the radiused pickups, all of them (I tried 4 different versions), seem to exacerbate the ping. However, once a note is fretted, it sounds real good. The frets are plenty capable for tone. Really clear, even. And a nice sweetness in the high notes. Especially with the second gen RAD JVA single coils. And I at least enjoyed the tone from those pickups. Two of them I liked a lot. I haven't tried the latest dual coils. I think the singles are the same as the second gen RAD JVA, with a name change. Could be wrong, though. The RAD JVA were my fave.

Nordstrand started offering Alnico 3 versions of their pickups. And by their impressions, as well as comparison videos on their channel: The Alnico 3 seemed to avoid the pingy aspects, while still being expressive and whatnot. So I ordered A3 BigRigs and yep, they help A LOT to subdue the stainless ping. Good tones, too. Nordstrand was fantastic to communicate with and they built my pickups in like a week.

If/when I build another Icon, I will get EVO Gold frets. The Vader I had for a few days, had a more natural quality to the fretting, with the gold frets.

Bliff Curton
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2018

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bliff Curton » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:37 pm

Toptube wrote:P.S. Sometimes relieving the trussrod a quarter turn, can warm up a stubborn bass.


I did that last night, added more relief and raised the action.
Not enough improvement, even to the point where the action hurt my wrists.


For this money, I shouldnt have to adjust it out of speck and be relegated to a limited range of string choices just to chase one passable tone.
A Squier, sure. But not this.


Over at TalkBass, others also thing its a wiring/electronics issue.
But even accoustically, its not very musical.

User avatar
Toptube
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1535
Joined: Feb 2013

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Toptube » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:07 pm

I think the KR humbuckers have a pretty midrangey, sort of nasal tone. The Vader demo video with Anna Sentina playing a yellow Vader, has that sort if tone. The Aries demo (5 string, blue), has a bit more of an "open" quality. But still pretty mid focused. Both videos feature the KRH pickups.
Last edited by Toptube on Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Toptube
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1535
Joined: Feb 2013

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Toptube » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:27 pm

I do not/did not own a stingray of any kind. But I seriously considered it and played the neckthrough back to back with a bolt-on, at a store. I also watched some YouTube comparisons. I like their back of neck profile and everything felt quality. But a bit too heavy for me. And I like flatter fretboards. Still think about a Bongo, sometimes ;p

Bliff Curton
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2018

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bliff Curton » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:50 pm

Wow...


Just got off the phone with Kiesel.
Sales manager made it clear they will not accept refund or replacement or return, only a repair that would be covered under the 5-yr warranty.
So I said well what if the guitar is a lemon, he said “it is not, we set it up and tested it, so it works.”
I was left with no option other than sending it in to have them see if there is a set-up issue (I explained its not a problem with the setup because I adjusted it every which way).
I said, “well, I’ll send it back in to get looked at”
The manager reaffirmed that their acceptance if the instrument by delivery does not constitute Kiesel accepting it as a return or refund. Then he hung up on me.

I got the impression that they were very upset at me for not being ecstatic about this bass after they read my email.

Im beside myself right now.

What do y’all think?

User avatar
Koshchei
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 2438
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Peterborough, Ontario

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Koshchei » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:59 am

I don’t want to be that guy, but this is an issue that needs to be dealt with between you and Kiesel. I know nothing about your technique, ability to adjust a bass, sound preferences, etc. As such, I’m sad to hear that the bass isn’t working out for you, but that’s as far as I can take it. I have never had an issue with a Carvin or Kiesel, personally.

Also, my Rickenbacker is pingy as well, but only when my technique is sloppy and my plucking hand is slightly behind my fretting hand (usually when I go from guitar and back, as the string heights are quite different — 0.9mm to 1.75mm at the top fret) or when I put too much finger velocity into hammer ons. Slowing the hell down with a metronome to reacclimatize myself fixes things in about 10 minutes.

I hope you’re able to resolve things amicably.

Bliff Curton
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2018

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Bliff Curton » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:21 am

I posted that i changed my right-hand tek to no avail.

Also, if you do a simple search, you will see a good number of upset customers who received a lemon and Jeff refused to fix it.
Theres also a bunch of people who had issues that were fixed by Jeff.
So there sure are guitars that leave Kiesel QC that shouldnt.

Im glad you have a sub-2mm action on your Rick.
This Icon buzzes bad at 2mm.

User avatar
Koshchei
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 2438
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Peterborough, Ontario

Re: NBD: IC5 :-/

Postby Koshchei » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:01 am

Sorry man, but if you have a warrany issue, you need to take it up with Kiesel.


Return to Kiesel Basses / Carvin Basses

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests