And its over... Kiesel - an in-depth look at build quality (* pics added * ) - MFG response

handyman

Member
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1,549
Yeah, I'm not sure how G&L does it. Their stuff is super nice for the money. I had an ash bodied Legacy a few years ago that sounded great and was made perfectly. I couldn't identify a single flaw in the build, and the ash was gorgeous.
G&L makes great suff, but no company gets everything right. Over the years I had a new Legacy with a split fretboard and a bass with a seriously defective case.

The real question is what a company does when something goes wrong. I simply had to call the G&L service phone number and they just took care of things. There's nothing better I can say about a builder than that, in my opinion.
 

PatriotBadger

Member
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1,808
You are applying an old set-up trick with Fenders to modern guitars with different construction. There is no need to do this with a Suhr (even the Classics) as the almost two dozen I have owned were perfectly set-up at the factory and built to tight tolerances.

Perhaps @Husky/John can comment.

Indeed, and I mentioned that earlier in the thread. This is Suhr we're talking about, a top-shelf instrument in every sense that is set up like the dickens before it ever leaves the factory. They need nothing. Other guitars (Kiesel) have essentially the same design but the setup is boiler plate, and in fact you might need to do this to achieve the best setup. I think at issue is just whether doing so is okay, or can damage the joint.

Man, jonesing for a Suhr now though. Might just have to do this and put this Kiesel mess behind me.
 

NunoVanbamsteen

Tone Seeker
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
681
Comparing with your Suhr photo, where do you see enough of a gap to accommodate you loosening the bolts to let anything slide?
Why would you?
It makes no sense. if you did ANYTHING to mess with the neck, why wouldn't you take the strings off, you were going to change them anyway, right? then inspect the pocket to see what you were getting in to? Just because one guitar style allows this sort of behavior, doesn't mean that it's suitable for every guitar?!

If a 1968 Camaro RS has a timing of 5 degrees before TDC, and then I go to an '89 Plymouth and set the timing the same way, do you think I'm going to have good results, or should I seek out the specs on timing adjustment before doing what I know works on the Camaro?

the tolerances here look pretty snug, to my eye, if you loosen those bolts under tension, nothing good is going to happen!
i8OtW9s.jpeg
 

colinesquire

Member
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1,121
Understandable that the order would be non-returnable but surely you have a warranty issue with the truss rod & tuner issues. What did Kiesel say when you contacted them about correcting?
 

PatriotBadger

Member
Messages
1,808
the tolerances here look pretty snug, to my eye, if you loosen those bolts under tension, nothing good is going to happen!
i8OtW9s.jpeg

You've just said the tolerances look pretty snug here. I agree they look snug, but apparently there was enough movement here to seat the neck in it's natural position by loosening 1/4 turn. The neck screws were barely tightened when I got it, and I have little doubt that it shifted en route, so it likely wasn't exactly as it left the factory anyway. Let's face it, the tighter the tolerances actually are, the lesser the chance of 'nothing good' happening, not more.

Look, if Suhr pops in and tells me I'm a dummy, I wouldn't so much as question the man - I'm a dummy.

The confusing part to me is people seem to think a guitar is a Faberge Egg or something. They aren't. They are made of wood and metal and plastic, all strong and forgiving materials that let you move things about get things right, especially when they are bolt-ons. The notion that a factory setup, especially in a volume shop like Kiesel, is perfect and should not be touched or messed with or questioned or setup to personal preferences is just bizarre to me.
 

PatriotBadger

Member
Messages
1,808
Understandable that the order would be non-returnable but surely you have a warranty issue with the truss rod & tuner issues. What did Kiesel say when you contacted them about correcting?

Haven't contacted them yet. I've reached a point where the head guitar tech there knows who I am, and trusts and allows me to address the things that leave the factory wrong (that's normally a no-no for warranty reasons). Obviously these are manufacturing tolerance issues which I can't or won't fix. But often the company 'fixes' returns by not fixing them at all, or they come back with cosmetic stuff or whatever. Jeff avoids rebuilds (and now returns for that matter) like the plague, and frankly I don't want a replacement anyway.

I'll update with their response.
 

m@2

Member
Messages
5,083
Just wanted to say I appreciate the effort the OP has put into making what I thing is a fair evaluation of "initial quality" of an instrument. This is helpful to people (like me) that are looking into brands like Kiesel.

So thank you, OP for this info and the pics/details of your experience.

I can also understand, to a degree, people that want to defend the brand.

It's always a balance of weighing these things as a consumer and I hope TGP can continue to provide and allow these discussions.
 

tktk

Member
Messages
1,010
Yeah, I remember Dave Friedman and John Suhr were talking about the loosening the bolts and setting a neck properly thing. They both say it improves the tone.
And also, they say the holes on a body have to be completely free from grabbing the bolts. Aaron at the Warmoth was saying the same thing.
I had to drill and enlarge the holes on my MIM Baja teles.
 

agquake

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,341
Oh so people can go around hating on a brand (with tons of happy owners like myself) but no one can defend them? If someone comes in this thread, they should know that not every guitar Kiesel builds is like OP. As much as OP can rip Kiesel apart I can defend them as I've had the complete opposite experience as him. Thats why I defend them, just like every owner of another guitar defends them. This isn't a safe space last I checked, unless you want it to be one.
What you’re doing is not defending. You are basically calling bullsh#t on this guy’s story because your experience was positive (fortunately). Just because it didn’t happen to you, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. There are countless examples of others with less than positive experiences, also. Get off your horse.
 

NunoVanbamsteen

Tone Seeker
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
681
What you’re doing is not defending. You are basically calling bullsh#t on this guy’s story because your experience was positive (fortunately). Just because it didn’t happen to you, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. There are countless examples of others with less than positive experiences, also. Get off your horse.
I think if there is a legit issue, it should be handled initially in private so the mfr has a chance to make it right. If that doesn't happen, by all means, here we are, put them on blast and sound it out loud! I don't think the company was given a chance to address anything that is alleged. I also don't know this person's level of expertise, and some of this seems like he created some problems for himself.
 

oneblackened

Member
Messages
1,290
The neck being built with a massive backbow is the kind of thing I don't see on $100 Squiers, never mind similarly priced guitars from Ibanez/ESP/Fender/Jackson etc etc. That is absolutely unacceptable. Same with the tuners. They have the datasheets for the tuners with their dimensions, there is no way that level of design flaw ever should've been a thing. It is baffling to me that Kiesel let this out the door.

Also - anyone notice the pickup routs being absolutely massive compared to the pickups? I figure they do it to leave space for covers, but still - wow.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
10,972
Seeing the pics there is certainly something very wrong with the tuners and trussrod.

The neck pocket thing is a bit of stretch to me but I agree that the pocket should be stepped for perfect seating of the neck. My Skervesen Shoggie 8 neck pocket goes all the way to the neck pickup pocket but it is stepped so it sits very precisely. I haven't taken the neck off my Kiesel AM7 to check how it is on that.
 

ucnick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,600
Wow, huge suck factor, dude! I have 5 Carvins (I had 7, but broke the neck on 1 and gave it away to be fixed to a woodworking buddy, and sold another), last one was made in 2012, and they are all excellent instruments, the CT6 and CS6 in particular are topnotch. I'm sorry to hear that they have such quality issues nowadays. Seems they have come down in the world. Sad...:oops:
 

Husky

Member
Messages
13,170
Seeing the pics there is certainly something very wrong with the tuners and trussrod.

The neck pocket thing is a bit of stretch to me but I agree that the pocket should be stepped for perfect seating of the neck. My Skervesen Shoggie 8 neck pocket goes all the way to the neck pickup pocket but it is stepped so it sits very precisely. I haven't taken the neck off my Kiesel AM7 to check how it is on that.
Yes IMO there would need to be a step to prevent the neck from moving forward. I thought Jeff did a public apology? I thought that was nice and these are stressful times
 

PatriotBadger

Member
Messages
1,808
Pic of the Osiris neck/front pickup route, for those who are curious. Same method used here - 1/4 turn screw loosen to let the neck seat under tension. Would up nice and flush.

v5zeHBf.jpg
 

cheezit

Member
Messages
976
Yeah, I remember Dave Friedman and John Suhr were talking about the loosening the bolts and setting a neck properly thing. They both say it improves the tone.
And also, they say the holes on a body have to be completely free from grabbing the bolts. Aaron at the Warmoth was saying the same thing.
I had to drill and enlarge the holes on my MIM Baja teles.

Doing that trick on this guitar makes about as much sense as doing it to a Les Paul, or to an Ikea bookcase, or to any other random things around the house.

I've done it to Fenders, it makes sense once you understand the construction. But here, it's just asking for trouble. I think it's a stupid design, and a 1/4 lip at the bottom of the neck pocket would make a lot more sense.

That said, the tuner and truss rod issues sound totally legit and egregious. The tuner part is just an essential design decision. I wonder if whoever put the tuners on toked up at lunch and forget to put the extra washers in that are normally there. The truss rod could possibly be fixed with spacer washers, but I'd let the factory figure it out.
 

musicman1

Member
Messages
5,170
I've never done an under tension neck pocket re-seating as I've never had a gtr come to me with an appreciable neck pocket issue but I don't see why the OP would be so wrong if this is what he feels a new gtr needs out of the box. At best it will snug the neck up a bit more; center the neck better, and at worst it wont do anything. Whether it will or wont affect tone IDK. My Musicman gtrs have some of the best neck pocket construction of any gtrs Ive ever owned and with 5 bolts I dont see the need to mess with them. Only gtr I took the neck off of was my strat because it needed shimming. I dont think it helped the sound of the gtr but it did allow me the get the action spot on.
 

cheezit

Member
Messages
976
Pic of the Osiris neck/front pickup route, for those who are curious. Same method used here - 1/4 turn screw loosen to let the neck seat under tension. Would up nice and flush.

v5zeHBf.jpg

It's not "seating" if there is no "seat" for it to "seat" into. It's just putting the full force of string tension laterally on the neck bolts, and then asking them to apply (possibly canted) pressure to the heel now that the screw threads are jammed against the side of the screw hole.

Not saying it won't work, it clearly can work, but it's entirely dependent on the tolerances of the screw holes, and whoever did that was probably not trying to set the scale length.
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,700
The other problems are a problem but this one isn't. There is no end to the neck pocket on a lot of quality guitars. My Japanese JEM7V-WH and my Suhr Modern are both constructed this way. There is no "end" to the neck pocket. This isn't a bug - it's a feature that lets the neck pickup be closer to the position that it would be on a 22 fret guitar.

You can't "seat" the neck on many guitars - they aren't all built exactly like Fenders.

Count the PRS Silver Sky in that number.
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,700
It's all good, we all have our own expectations and unique first-world problems to deal with. The truss rod doesn't work and the tuners won't tighten. Wanna buy it?

Sorry if I missed in in an earlier post but...

What did they say when you approached them about these problems. There are issues they should find unacceptable and wish to remedy. Returnable or not.

Never mind, had time and read more carefully. Contact and response is pending. Good luck.
 
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