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Is Kiesel worth the wait?

Henry

Inspired
I had one Carvin and two Kiesel guitars. All were outstanding quality, playability and sound. If you don't go crazy with upgrades they are also really affordable for being Made in USA. And I had no problems selling them (Craigslist local on the Carvin, Reverb for the 2 Kiesels) with acceptable resale value. I sold the last two because they were 7 strings and I'm getting out of 7 strings.
 

pharmd07

Experienced
Very happy with my ZM7 which was my first Kiesel and part of the Zeus run from last year. Woods I wanted, color was spot on and quality was at least on par with my PRSs. I don't think the 10-12 week wait was that bad. You ought to try ordering a PRS to the specs you want, I did that through Sweetwater and it was still >6 months

I’m trying to get a core PRS McCarty 594, not even custom, and it’s going to take a loooooong time. Far more than 12 weeks.

I have a 13 year old Carvin CT6. Great guitar. I did swap out the pickups for a set of Bareknuckle Holy Divers. It’s now my drop tune guitar.
 

bonewax21

Member
12 weeks is nothing in the realm of custom guitars. Even if delayed, it will still be a considerably shorter wait than the vast majority of other custom shops.

I've had 3 Carvins. All very good quality guitars. I found their pickups to be very middle of the road. Weren't bad, but weren't great. Resale is terrible on the brand, though.
Youd be surprised the prices people are asking for used kiesels on reverb
 

bchulse

Inspired
The 3 Kiesels I have (Holdsworth HH2x, Vader 6, Vader VB5 Bass) are all excellent instruments.
Try and get any other custom builder to deliver an instrument in 12 weeks? Good luck.
And killer tops as well, something you'd pay triple for if it was a PRS.
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
I have two, an HH2X and a Zeus 8X. Basically flawless construction on both of them. For a semi-custom guitar they are incredible value.
 

hbabels

Member
I’ve generally heard good things about Kiesels and 12 weeks doesn’t seem all that long for a custom build to me. I don’t know what other company wait times are though.
That said. I own 3 PRS guitars 2 electrics and an acoustic and I LOVE them. They are fantastic guitars with excellent build the quality. The SE’s are an especially good value as you get a great quality instrument for not crazy $. I have also had excellent customer service from them. Had an issue with one guitar and they quickly took care of and I’m very happy. So highly recommend PRS.
 

Henry

Inspired
Not surprised by what people ask. What they actually sell for is usually another matter entirely.
My two Kiesels had good resale value. In comparison, I'm trying to sell a Dean RC7 (USA made) and I'm expecting to take a huge hit on it.
 

tfodor

Inspired
Are stock kiesel pickups any good or am I going to have to upgrade to duncan/dimarzio etc

Good question. The Lithiums are really good for high gain stuff, and really good for cleans. I personally don't like the rolloff or "feel" of rolling the pots back. IMO they don't feel very dynamic. I usually just have them all the way up and hot to get the best sound. Worth mentioning that across the board it seems that people think the Lithiums are very bright.

I gotta be honest though, I disagree with a lot of the claims in this thread. I'm just one guy but here's some words:

Resale value: Yes, the resale value to non Kiesel players is very low. However, I've sold 3 Kiesels (to fund new ones!) and have sold them for less than a 20% depreciation across all 3, where one of them I even made a profit because it had an option that they no longer offered. Kiesel people love Kiesels, so I actually disagree and would say that resale value is better than other guitars, as long as your selling to other folks on the Kiesel page. With that being said, yes, your hot pink flame headless guitar would not hold well on this forum or craigslist :)

Quality. I also would have to disagree here. If anything, I think Kiesel's quality is the reason I would push for them the most. If you have any quality issue, they will absolutely fix it for you. I'd suggest joining the Kiesel owners page. There you can see a lot of stories of people not being happy only to have Kiesel really go and make it right. The customer service and quality is something you simply don't get anywhere else. Regarding cost, I really don't think you can get a $1000 guitar at higher quality. The dual carbon fiber truss rods that come with every guitar are a reason in buying alone. I have gibsons, PRS, fender, Mayones, etc and nothing holds tune like my Kiesels! The price trickles up with finishes and topwoods, but in terms of build quality, the $1000 base model is the same as the $3000 crazy lookin thing. You arent paying for build quality past the base model, but cosmetics.

To reiterate my point about re: pickups, I don't think they are for everyone. I left them in my shreddy guitars, but elsewhere I replaced them.
 

Morphine

Inspired
My two Kiesels had good resale value. In comparison, I'm trying to sell a Dean RC7 (USA made) and I'm expecting to take a huge hit on it.

Yeah. It's a generalized statement. I'm not looking to argue about it. One of the 3 of mine had a unique finish (transparent white. this was before they brought it back again.) so it sold for nearly what I paid for it since it was unique at the time. The other two I took a bath on.

It's not to say you won't get lucky and find the right buyer. But it's not uncommon to see them selling for a 3rd of what they cost new. If you're buying your dream custom and have no plans to part with it then it's all moot anyway.
 

Sleestak

Power User
Honestly, 12 weeks is not a long wait for a custom guitar build.
When I ordered my Suhr custom strat, they told me up front that it would be five months before they even started the build. They delivered my guitar about seven months after I placed the order, and it is incredible. A fully spec'd custom build from Kiesel, at 12 weeks, is pretty reasonable. The KIesels I've seen lately have been very high quality, and on par with PRS or other "boutique" luthiers. I have also read stories on FB about quality control, but it seems that Kiesel takes care of people who express those concerns. I'd feel comfortable placing an order with them if I were in the market for a high-end custom build. The 10 day no-regret policy is pretty generous, and speaks to their level of confidence in their product.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
The 10 day no-regret policy is pretty generous, and speaks to their level of confidence in their product.
I'm pretty sure that applies only to "stock" instruments, not customs...

Still good, and it's primarily there because they are direct sales only. Not like you can try one in the store unless you go to their HQ.

Although we did have a Carvin Store in Sacramento for a few years.
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
I'm pretty sure that applies only to "stock" instruments, not customs...

Still good, and it's primarily there because they are direct sales only. Not like you can try one in the store unless you go to their HQ.

Although we did have a Carvin Store in Sacramento for a few years.
That applies to all instruments, so long as you don't add any non-returnable features to them (super fancy tops, custom modifications, etc). You can still pick (almost) anything from the custom instrument builder.
 

rickster71

Experienced
I have a Kiesel aries 7 and a PRS DGT love them both but love the Kiesel more. Listen to Steph Goyer play one . they feel and sound amazing.
Hey guys I've been keeping my eye on kiesel for a long time but I haven't ordered from them because the build time is crazy something like 12 weeks and with Corona virus now I fear it's even longer am I better off going with a name brand likePRS or strandberg or just waiting for their customs
 

Jeries

Power User
12 weeks is NOT a long wait for a custom guitar.

The thing I'd worry about is... it will not hold its value.

Dean/Kiesel never have, and it being custom- it's worth the most to you- but finding someone else that wants it, and to pay even half of what it's worth it's tough.

I see Carvin customs on the secondary market so much more than any other boutique or custom instrument.

I love seeking pawn shops for gear- it's my hobby I do it everywhere- in 6 years and 1000's of shops- I've never seen 1 Suhr, Tom Anderson, Knaggs - (I did see one Collings) and dozens and dozens of Carvins over the years. They have no resale value.

The point is- there's a reason these hit the market and the other custom boutique companies never do
 

Dave Merrill

Power User
So what you "doesn't hold its value" guys are really saying is that you should be able to find an excellent deal on a used one, right?
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
Seems like a bit of an anecdotal conclusion to me. I saw a couple of used Suhr’s at my local shop just las month for example. And you can see all those brands going up for sale used on Reverb all the time.
 
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