The Aries

USA Custom Shop Acoustic and Electric Bass Guitars

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MikeBass
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The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:01 am

:wall: :wall: :mrgreen: just when you think you're finally done . . .

Haven't technically pulled the trigger yet but I'm in talks with MJ. Either way, it's happening. Talk about a dream-come-true bass! What an April Fools day that was :applause:

If nothing else, it's hard to express how impressed I am with Kiesel, specifically on my two latest builds. The combination of finding that one tonally magical wood combination along with the outstanding (pickup) flexibility they're offering, just can't be beat.

I'm sure you can guess the ebony/walnut and J99A/SCP specs, but I will be doing a few things differently. At least one thing I've never tried before, depending on what gets approved. It will be an AB4 though.

We'll see what happens 8)
Sorry Amispy, make room for one more in the Aries club :rockon:
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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:49 pm

Everything was approved! This is going to be one special Aries :twisted:
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Re: The Aries

Postby Toptube » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:43 pm

Hey for clarity, is that a J99a or the newer JVA jazz pickup?

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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:04 pm

Toptube wrote:Hey for clarity, is that a J99a or the newer JVA jazz pickup?



J99A, brown dot. Nothing against the JVA or Radium, but if it ain't broke don't fix it :wink:
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Re: The Aries

Postby Toptube » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:42 am

MikeBass wrote:
Toptube wrote:Hey for clarity, is that a J99a or the newer JVA jazz pickup?



J99A, brown dot. Nothing against the JVA or Radium, but if it ain't broke don't fix it :wink:

ah ha! I haven't used the j99a. But I do have a set of the original RAD-J (now sitting in a box) which are very similar in tone. A very sweet neck pickup. I didn't care for the bridge. But the neck pickup was super round with a sweet reedy quality to the highs.

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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:30 am

One thing I forgot – going to be slapping some rounds on the V49K, now that the Aries is happening. So, anyone interested in a video sample of what the Radium singlecoil neck/SCP bridge combo sounds like on more 'standard' strings is in luck

I was thinking the standard Dunlops from Kiesel?


EDIT: It's just too much to keep the specs secret after a secret build. Here's the official plan

AB4
Walnut body and neck (first time trying the walnut neck on a bolt)
Ebony top
All Tung
J99A/SCP
Active electronics
Ebony board
No inlays
Low-wide frets
Inline headstock (not the standard Xccelerator one)
Chrome hardware
Black-on-white DS logo
Straplocks
. . . and one more thing that will stay a surprise. BIG thanks to Jeff and Mike for making it work :applause:

Stayed basic by most people's standards but given how frickin' good this new LB sounds, I'd say this Aries' wow-factor will be the tone. Function rather than form. Pretty excited.
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Re: The Aries

Postby Bob C » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:27 am

Have you used the low-wide frets before? I can never get an accurate answer about how they feel or differ from the medium-jumbos. Or perhaps I should say what are the pros and cons?

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Re: The Aries

Postby Toptube » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:42 am

Dunlop super brights are my favorite string. I think you might be pleasantly surprised.

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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:16 pm

Bob C wrote:Have you used the low-wide frets before? I can never get an accurate answer about how they feel or differ from the medium-jumbos. Or perhaps I should say what are the pros and cons?


I have. They were my go-to until the EVO frets became available. That and I went on a bit of a fretless kick.

Very different from med-jumbos, I like the low-wides because you don't have to worry about going sharp if you press too hard.
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Re: The Aries

Postby Bob C » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:29 am

Interesting. In the past, I've read posts that contradict each other. Some say low-wides are are good for high action and hard playing. Others say the opposite. It often ends with "I can't tell the difference".

What are EVO frets, anyway?

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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:06 pm

Bob C wrote:Interesting. In the past, I've read posts that contradict each other. Some say low-wides are are good for high action and hard playing. Others say the opposite. It often ends with "I can't tell the difference".

What are EVO frets, anyway?


The EVOs are the gold frets that you've seen on virtually all of the recent builds, apparently quite a popular new option. They're softer than SS but harder than nickel, and the gold color adds a bit of class.

In other news, the AB4 trigger is officially pulled. One change: Jeff just decided that they're not doing Tung finishes on ebony tops anymore (wonder why) so the body will have a clear satin finish. Not thrilled about this but it's not exactly a deal-breaker. Mike also said that this is the new, more durable matte finish, so that'll be fun to investigate.
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Re: The Aries

Postby Randy » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:51 am

Congrats Mike!!

How great to have you around to live vicariously through :mrgreen:

Never was aware that low-wide frets were available... though I never really looked for it either. My G&L L2000 has low-wide frets; what I like most about them is being able to feel more of the wood under my fingers. I'd like to try vintage size frets someday, but now we are getting off track & I'm rambling :lol:

REALLY looking forward to your upcoming comparison between the Vanquish and the Aries 8) :D

Let the wait begin! :applause:

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Re: The Aries

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:56 pm

MikeBass wrote:
In other news, the AB4 trigger is officially pulled. One change: Jeff just decided that they're not doing Tung finishes on ebony tops anymore (wonder why) so the body will have a clear satin finish. Not thrilled about this but it's not exactly a deal-breaker. Mike also said that this is the new, more durable matte finish, so that'll be fun to investigate.


If the tung oil is very important to you, I would say try contacting them again, maybe directly to Jeff. Explain that you already have two instruments, and want to complete your 3 piece set with matching specs. Knowing that you are trying to match existing, and have already purchased two and know what you are getting into, it may be worth trying one more time to see if you can get what you want and see if they will be flexible! Play up the fact that you are completing your Trifecta that you've been planning for a long time! :wink:

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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:17 pm

spudmunkey wrote:
MikeBass wrote:
In other news, the AB4 trigger is officially pulled. One change: Jeff just decided that they're not doing Tung finishes on ebony tops anymore (wonder why) so the body will have a clear satin finish. Not thrilled about this but it's not exactly a deal-breaker. Mike also said that this is the new, more durable matte finish, so that'll be fun to investigate.


If the tung oil is very important to you, I would say try contacting them again, maybe directly to Jeff. Explain that you already have two instruments, and want to complete your 3 piece set with matching specs. Knowing that you are trying to match existing, and have already purchased two and know what you are getting into, it may be worth trying one more time to see if you can get what you want and see if they will be flexible! Play up the fact that you are completing your Trifecta that you've been planning for a long time! :wink:



Thought about that. Jeff made the call after Mike/Kieth had already been processing my order and Mike specifically said that he asked Jeff about letting this one slide since it was already spec'd and written up.

Might be for the best, I'm sure Jeff had a good reason for making the call.
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Re: The Aries

Postby Toptube » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:42 pm

I wonder if Jeff realizes your order is already very non-returnable.

Otherwise, I sorta understand it, for a returnable.

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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:06 pm

Randy wrote:Congrats Mike!!

How great to have you around to live vicariously through :mrgreen:

Never was aware that low-wide frets were available... though I never really looked for it either. My G&L L2000 has low-wide frets; what I like most about them is being able to feel more of the wood under my fingers. I'd like to try vintage size frets someday, but now we are getting off track & I'm rambling :lol:

REALLY looking forward to your upcoming comparison between the Vanquish and the Aries 8) :D

Let the wait begin! :applause:


The low-wides are a treat to play on, hope you get a chance to try them.
What I'm most curious about it how different the Aries and Vanquish are in terms of feel/comfort. Guess I'll have to wait to find out :mrgreen:
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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:09 pm

Toptube wrote:I wonder if Jeff realizes your order is already very non-returnable.

Otherwise, I sorta understand it, for a returnable.


I'm sure, he had to OK the custom pickup routing, and like I said that was before he changed the finish policy for ebony tops.
Specifically, he's no longer allowing Tung or Raw Tone finishes on ebony. I would like to find out the reasoning evantually, but really has anyone ever gotten Raw Tone over ebony?
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Re: The Aries

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:28 pm

MikeBass wrote:has anyone ever gotten Raw Tone over ebony?


[Removed snarky GIF]

:edit: nevermind...I forgot they can do clear raw tone without doing the opaque paint coat. :)
Last edited by spudmunkey on Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Aries

Postby SEANZILLA » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:14 am

Just out of curiosity, how much is the ebony top $etting you back? I was thinking ebony top the moment I saw this bass. I'd probably be asking for raw-tone though.
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Re: The Aries

Postby MikeBass » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:18 pm

SEANZILLA wrote:Just out of curiosity, how much is the ebony top $etting you back? I was thinking ebony top the moment I saw this bass. I'd probably be asking for raw-tone though.


$500. Pricey, but only half the cost of a pale moon ebony top :wink:
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