Aries bass post-honeymoon report

USA Custom Shop Acoustic and Electric Bass Guitars

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

Bob C
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 471
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Duluth, Minnesota

Aries bass post-honeymoon report

Postby Bob C » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:20 am

I received this bass on November 7 and gigged with it a few days later. At that time, I reported that I liked it a lot and had no complaints. That still holds true, but I'll try to elaborate.

My band currently doesn't gig every week, so I haven't between able to give it the road test I'd like. I'm finding it harder to quickly get a usable sound than with my old LB70. But I attribute that to just knowing the older bass better. It is broken in and has served me for many years.

The SCP pickup on my Aries is powerful, but the volume and overall sound of my two basses are surprisingly very similar. The Aries does have a bit more low end and also more snap and growl. I guess they both sound like "me". One thing I will say is that the tone control on the Aries really works! I can change my sound immensely by tweaking that thing. And this is a passive bass!

I'm also noticing more occasional noise from the bridge single coil RAD. But it isn't a problem at all.

Here's another thing I didn't notice at first, but is now obvious: The volume pots "kick in" about 3/4 up. There have been threads on this bbs about different types of pots, and about whether the ones in Kiesel/Carvin lefty guitars are backwards or insufficient. I have to say I don't notice that issue on my LB70. It's 18 years old and has active electronics with master volume and blend. The Aries is passive with volume/volume/tone. As I stated above, the tone control does NOT operate this way at all.

A while back, I switched to my regular strings - Ken Smith Burner NPS. The Dunlop Super Brights don't really do it for me. I've done a few trussrod bumps since then.

Today I tweaked the rest of my setup. The E was not coming through quite as well as the other strings and was fretting out a little. So, I raised its height a tiny bit, then messed with the pickup heights ever so slightly and intonated the bridge. Smith .040-.100 have served me well, but I'm wondering if I might want to find something with just slightly bigger E string - say a .102.

Which brings me to a question, which I've also posted it Tech Talk: There are three allen screws on each bridge saddle. Is the rear one to lock and unlock the saddle? And do I need to work that before adjusting string height or intonation? I didn't. Did I screw anything up? EDIT: Spudmunkey said that might be a side to side adjustment, and I think he's right.

Summary: I'm still liking this bass, although there is still much "newness". So, a few quirks, but no complaints. I'm looking forward to giving it a good workout at next weekend's gig.

User avatar
gumbynotpokey
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 7444
Joined: May 2010
Location: Western NC

Re: Aries bass post-honeymoon report

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:28 am

Bob C wrote:I received this bass on November 7 and gigged with it a few days later. At that time, I reported that I liked it a lot and had no complaints. That still holds true, but I'll try to elaborate.

My band currently doesn't gig every week, so I haven't between able to give it the road test I'd like. I'm finding it harder to quickly get a usable sound than with my old LB70. But I attribute that to just knowing the older bass better. It is broken in and has served me for many years.

The SCP pickup on my Aries is powerful, but the volume and overall sound of my two basses are surprisingly very similar. The Aries does have a bit more low end and also more snap and growl. I guess they both sound like "me". One thing I will say is that the tone control on the Aries really works! I can change my sound immensely by tweaking that thing. And this is a passive bass!

I'm also noticing more occasional noise from the bridge single coil RAD. But it isn't a problem at all.

Here's another thing I didn't notice at first, but is now obvious: The volume pots "kick in" about 3/4 up. There have been threads on this bbs about different types of pots, and about whether the ones in Kiesel/Carvin lefty guitars are backwards or insufficient. I have to say I don't notice that issue on my LB70. It's 18 years old and has active electronics with master volume and blend. The Aries is passive with volume/volume/tone. As I stated above, the tone control does NOT operate this way at all.

A while back, I switched to my regular strings - Ken Smith Burner NPS. The Dunlop Super Brights don't really do it for me. I've done a few trussrod bumps since then.

Today I tweaked the rest of my setup. The E was not coming through quite as well as the other strings and was fretting out a little. So, I raised its height a tiny bit, then messed with the pickup heights ever so slightly and intonated the bridge. Smith .040-.100 have served me well, but I'm wondering if I might want to find something with just slightly bigger E string - say a .102.

Which brings me to a question, which I've also posted it Tech Talk: There are three allen screws on each bridge saddle. Is the rear one to lock and unlock the saddle? And do I need to work that before adjusting string height or intonation? I didn't. Did I screw anything up? EDIT: Spudmunkey said that might be a side to side adjustment, and I think he's right.

Summary: I'm still liking this bass, although there is still much "newness". So, a few quirks, but no complaints. I'm looking forward to giving it a good workout at next weekend's gig.


what pu's are on your old LB?
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

Bob C
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 471
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Duluth, Minnesota

Re: Aries bass post-honeymoon report

Postby Bob C » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:41 pm

H50A's. Don't get me wrong - the SCP is as you've said, a tone monster. But it's interesting to me that for all of the things my LB and Aries DON"T have in common, they both sound like "me" and like Kiesel/Carvins.

User avatar
gumbynotpokey
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 7444
Joined: May 2010
Location: Western NC

Re: Aries bass post-honeymoon report

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:34 pm

Bob C wrote:H50A's. Don't get me wrong - the SCP is as you've said, a tone monster. But it's interesting to me that for all of the things my LB and Aries DON"T have in common, they both sound like "me" and like Kiesel/Carvins.


Totally get it. And it's interesting. There are lessons inside these kinds of realizations, IME.

I'll try....

My LB is a J99/HB with piezos in the bridge saddles. BTW I have played her passive for years, soloing the HB. Then I get my beloved walnut/maple HAN fretless with J99A's and piezos. FINALLY I get the split. The split compared to my two basses is a tone monster of a whole other breed. So I wonder how much our playing impacts our hearing -- we hear compared to what we have heard, rather than just hear what we are hearing.

(I think this kind of stuff fairly frequently).....trying to learn all the time
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


Return to Kiesel Basses / Carvin Basses

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests