NGD: Kiesel Vader V6X - Worth every cent

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,303
So after a few months I finally got my Vader last night and it was totally worth every dollar. Out of the box, its perfect. The specs and overall attention to detail is exactly what I hoped. The playability matches my Gibson LP but with a slightly lower action, which is perfectly adequate for me. I went with the Holdsworth pickups and they sound amazing, so much sustain yet tons of clarity even under heavier gain.

My camera didn't do the colour justice, its a candy apple red metallic.. it looks darker in-person:


Nice gig bag.


Fresh out of the case.


And ran it through my current setup. Awesome sounds!

Total build ran me around $1500.. which for a full custom shop I'm more than happy with. The EVO gold frets are amazing and the extra dark ebony board that I requested looks and feels great. No flaws in the finish or hardware and the pots feel very nice to use. Guitar weighs 6.7 pounds, its nice and light for long playing sessions.

In person, the red looks a lot more like this, all depending on the lighting. Beautiful colour:


Conclusion:
I'm very satisfied with the guitar. I am also happy I did not get jumbo frets. The medium jumbos are pretty big, but the perfect size. I wouldn't want anything different.

Everything else is perfect and was worth the wait (which honestly was short when you consider what it is).


My full specs/price is:

V6X
Right Handed
Hipshot/Kiesel Tremolo
System
1 x $1,349.00
-MA - Maple Neck/Alder Body (Standard) $0.00
CS - Satin Matte Finish $0.00
RM - Red Metallic $100.00
TN - Tung Oil Finish Back Of Neck (Natural Wood) $60.00
EFB - Ebony Fingerboard (Less Color Variation) $40.00
ID - Dot Inlays $0.00
IMP - White Pearl Inlay Material $0.00
EVO - Gold Med-Jumbo Frets .048" H .103" W $30.00
-R20 - 20in Fretboard Radius (Standard) $0.00
KHB - Kiesel Holdsworth Passive Bridge Pickup $0.00
KHN - Kiesel Holdsworth Passive Neck Pickup $0.00
-400 - Black Pickup Coils (Standard) $0.00
-PPC - Kiesel Lithium/Beryllium Silver Pickup Poles (Standard) $0.00
-BC - Black Hardware (Standard) $0.00
009 - Elixir 942E Super Light Gauge Strings $0.00
WL - White Logo $0.00
SC9 - Black Ultimate Soft Guitar Case $60.00
Custom Shop Total: $1,639.00
Options Discount: $-100.00
Optional Custom Shop Down Payment: $327.80
Your Cart:
Sub-Total $1,539.00
 

Drawde

Member
Messages
1,533
Nice. One day I'll get a Vader. I've really gotten into the headless thing lately. Is the back red as well or natural?
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,303
Nice. One day I'll get a Vader. I've really gotten into the headless thing lately. Is the back red as well or natural?
Its a cool addition to my collection for sure. String changes are very easy and tuning stability is 2nd to none. Also the guitar seem to have a really 'focused' sort of sound, it just sounds and feels really cool. Totally different from anything else I've played so far.

The back side is red as well, I didn't opt for any wood or variation in that sense.. just stuck to the solid colour. The paint is a satin metallic instead of the regular gloss.
 

John_M

Supporting Member
Messages
1,105
I had a Holdsworth and honestly miss it. Such a nice guitar. I still have “the other” Holdsworth - the one that has a headstock. Great guitar as well. The hollow really makes a difference. I like that new Zeus - on my radar. These Vader’s are as well. I think that Hipshot is a huge improvement on the trem but the old J custom wasn’t THAT bad.
 

Kdawg1966

Member
Messages
210
Very nice guitar, sir. Love everything about it. The tung-oiled necks are the best IMHO. I received my 4th Kiesel/Carvin Thursday (GH3). For the buck you get a heckuva lot of bang! Enjoy in good health.
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,303
Very nice guitar, sir. Love everything about it. The tung-oiled necks are the best IMHO. I received my 4th Kiesel/Carvin Thursday (GH3). For the buck you get a heckuva lot of bang! Enjoy in good health.
Thanks.. yes really enjoying it so far. Tung oil always feels good. I probably will get a 2nd Kiesel at some point after this one, great guitars for sure. Keeping it at a more basic build like this one really drove the costs down too.
 

Benz2112

Supporting Member
Messages
4,346
Awesome dude. Enjoy it. I have a satin metallic finish on mine, and it has a lovely frost to it, looks great in person. I am thinking of getting a baritone tele style from them, might go for one of those grain filled finishes they do.
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,819
So after a few months I finally got my Vader last night and it was totally worth every dollar. Out of the box, its perfect. The specs and overall attention to detail is exactly what I hoped. The playability matches my Gibson LP but with a slightly lower action, which is perfectly adequate for me. I went with the Holdsworth pickups and they sound amazing, so much sustain yet tons of clarity even under heavier gain.

My camera didn't do the colour justice, its a candy apple red metallic.. it looks darker in-person:


Nice gig bag.


Fresh out of the case.


And ran it through my current setup. Awesome sounds!

Total build ran me around $1500.. which for a full custom shop I'm more than happy with. The EVO gold frets are amazing and the extra dark ebony board that I requested looks and feels great. No flaws in the finish or hardware and the pots feel very nice to use. Guitar weighs 6.7 pounds, its nice and light for long playing sessions.

In person, the red looks a lot more like this, all depending on the lighting. Beautiful colour:


Conclusion:
I'm very satisfied with the guitar. I am also happy I did not get jumbo frets. The medium jumbos are pretty big, but the perfect size. I wouldn't want anything different.

Everything else is perfect and was worth the wait (which honestly was short when you consider what it is).


My full specs/price is:

V6X
Right Handed
Hipshot/Kiesel Tremolo
System
1 x $1,349.00
-MA - Maple Neck/Alder Body (Standard) $0.00
CS - Satin Matte Finish $0.00
RM - Red Metallic $100.00
TN - Tung Oil Finish Back Of Neck (Natural Wood) $60.00
EFB - Ebony Fingerboard (Less Color Variation) $40.00
ID - Dot Inlays $0.00
IMP - White Pearl Inlay Material $0.00
EVO - Gold Med-Jumbo Frets .048" H .103" W $30.00
-R20 - 20in Fretboard Radius (Standard) $0.00
KHB - Kiesel Holdsworth Passive Bridge Pickup $0.00
KHN - Kiesel Holdsworth Passive Neck Pickup $0.00
-400 - Black Pickup Coils (Standard) $0.00
-PPC - Kiesel Lithium/Beryllium Silver Pickup Poles (Standard) $0.00
-BC - Black Hardware (Standard) $0.00
009 - Elixir 942E Super Light Gauge Strings $0.00
WL - White Logo $0.00
SC9 - Black Ultimate Soft Guitar Case $60.00
Custom Shop Total: $1,639.00
Options Discount: $-100.00
Optional Custom Shop Down Payment: $327.80
Your Cart:
Sub-Total $1,539.00
That looks beautiful. It reminds me of my old Steinberger guitar. Im sure it plays great. Those are really well made instruments.
 
Messages
3,753
So after a few months I finally got my Vader last night and it was totally worth every dollar. Out of the box, its perfect. The specs and overall attention to detail is exactly what I hoped. The playability matches my Gibson LP but with a slightly lower action, which is perfectly adequate for me. I went with the Holdsworth pickups and they sound amazing, so much sustain yet tons of clarity even under heavier gain.

My camera didn't do the colour justice, its a candy apple red metallic.. it looks darker in-person:


Nice gig bag.


Fresh out of the case.


And ran it through my current setup. Awesome sounds!

Total build ran me around $1500.. which for a full custom shop I'm more than happy with. The EVO gold frets are amazing and the extra dark ebony board that I requested looks and feels great. No flaws in the finish or hardware and the pots feel very nice to use. Guitar weighs 6.7 pounds, its nice and light for long playing sessions.

In person, the red looks a lot more like this, all depending on the lighting. Beautiful colour:


Conclusion:
I'm very satisfied with the guitar. I am also happy I did not get jumbo frets. The medium jumbos are pretty big, but the perfect size. I wouldn't want anything different.

Everything else is perfect and was worth the wait (which honestly was short when you consider what it is).


My full specs/price is:

V6X
Right Handed
Hipshot/Kiesel Tremolo
System
1 x $1,349.00
-MA - Maple Neck/Alder Body (Standard) $0.00
CS - Satin Matte Finish $0.00
RM - Red Metallic $100.00
TN - Tung Oil Finish Back Of Neck (Natural Wood) $60.00
EFB - Ebony Fingerboard (Less Color Variation) $40.00
ID - Dot Inlays $0.00
IMP - White Pearl Inlay Material $0.00
EVO - Gold Med-Jumbo Frets .048" H .103" W $30.00
-R20 - 20in Fretboard Radius (Standard) $0.00
KHB - Kiesel Holdsworth Passive Bridge Pickup $0.00
KHN - Kiesel Holdsworth Passive Neck Pickup $0.00
-400 - Black Pickup Coils (Standard) $0.00
-PPC - Kiesel Lithium/Beryllium Silver Pickup Poles (Standard) $0.00
-BC - Black Hardware (Standard) $0.00
009 - Elixir 942E Super Light Gauge Strings $0.00
WL - White Logo $0.00
SC9 - Black Ultimate Soft Guitar Case $60.00
Custom Shop Total: $1,639.00
Options Discount: $-100.00
Optional Custom Shop Down Payment: $327.80
Your Cart:
Sub-Total $1,539.00
Nice, love that finish. I have a buckeye burl top V6 with a black limba neck and body and it's absolutely incredible. Looking forward to ordering a second Kiesel soon!
 

ellis dee

Member
Messages
2,344
i am too insecure to play a headless guitar, i am however looking at them more and more.
i could never listen to Johnny winter when he switched to the headless lazer guitar.
now i find myself wanting one.
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,303
First headless?
Yes, I played one in the past at least. I was never fully sold on the looks of most of them, but the Vader is just really sleek. The weight saving, tuning stability and fast string changes make up for any downsides in looks.. not to mention the overall balance. Also the combination of the pickups and everything else offers so much sustain, I've been really impressed with it so far.

Nice, love that finish. I have a buckeye burl top V6 with a black limba neck and body and it's absolutely incredible. Looking forward to ordering a second Kiesel soon!
Thats sweet, I was really considering getting a fancier top but I wanted to keep the costs down on my 1st one. I think I'll be adding a 2nd in the future though, really enjoying it so far.

i am too insecure to play a headless guitar, i am however looking at them more and more.
i could never listen to Johnny winter when he switched to the headless lazer guitar.
now i find myself wanting one.
Once you get used to it, you almost don't even think about it. I got over it really quick once I started playing with it - its a really cool guitar.
 

Drawde

Member
Messages
1,533
i am too insecure to play a headless guitar, i am however looking at them more and more.
i could never listen to Johnny winter when he switched to the headless lazer guitar.
now i find myself wanting one.
I never wanted a headless until I saw the Vaders and Strandbergs. Actually I was satisfied with all my guitars and didn't really want any more at all.

I ended up with a Strandberg as my first headless. I rarely pick up my other guitars since I've gotten it.
I would still really like to get a Kiesel one day, and an 8 string Strandberg. I would have a hard time not picking some of those fancy options on the Kiesels though.
 

John_M

Supporting Member
Messages
1,105
i am too insecure to play a headless guitar, i am however looking at them more and more.
i could never listen to Johnny winter when he switched to the headless lazer guitar.
now i find myself wanting one.
I do subscribe to the “have the balls to tell em you’re gonna like what you wanna like” so I would bring my HH2x on gigs and band members would give me a look. You do send a message with a guitar like this. Similar to an Explorer or Flying V.
 

atquinn

Supporting Member
Messages
9,693
Yes, I played one in the past at least. I was never fully sold on the looks of most of them, but the Vader is just really sleek. The weight saving, tuning stability and fast string changes make up for any downsides in looks.. not to mention the overall balance. Also the combination of the pickups and everything else offers so much sustain, I've been really impressed with it so far.



Thats sweet, I was really considering getting a fancier top but I wanted to keep the costs down on my 1st one. I think I'll be adding a 2nd in the future though, really enjoying it so far.



Once you get used to it, you almost don't even think about it. I got over it really quick once I started playing with it - its a really cool guitar.
What's the trem like? I remember reading about some sort of design issue with them (something regarding the arm attachment method) on the Kiesel forum. And is it floating or can you only decrease pitch with it?
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,303
What's the trem like? I remember reading about some sort of design issue with them (something regarding the arm attachment method) on the Kiesel forum. And is it floating or can you only decrease pitch with it?

I believe that was on the old version. I believe it was up upgraded/replaced in 2015 to fix those underlying issues. You can raise and lower the pitch. Its way better now. From the factory, mine came dive-only but I'm probably going to set it up for floating. It works very well and I much prefer it over a Floyd Rose so far, the block has a ton of sustain it seems. Very comfortable to mute on as well, probably the most comfortable bridge I've played on next to the tune-o-matic on my Gibson which I've been a fan of for years.

This is a good demo, its very stable IMO:

Edit: I see the complaints you're talking about. It has an adjustment screw to tighten it in how you want.
 
Last edited:

atquinn

Supporting Member
Messages
9,693
I believe that was on the old version. I believe it was up upgraded/replaced in 2015 to fix those underlying issues. You can raise and lower the pitch. Its way better now. From the factory, mine came dive-only but I'm probably going to set it up for floating. It works very well and I much prefer it over a Floyd Rose so far, the block has a ton of sustain it seems. Very comfortable to mute on as well, probably the most comfortable bridge I've played on next to the tune-o-matic on my Gibson which I've been a fan of for years.

This is a good demo, its very stable IMO:

Edit: I see the complaints you're talking about. It has an adjustment screw to tighten it in how you want.
Nice to hear. I'd probably already have an Osiris by now if it was easy to get one with a thicker neck.
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,303
Nice to hear. I'd probably already have an Osiris by now if it was easy to get one with a thicker neck.
I just did a quick setup. Tuned it like a floating Strat or Floyd Rose and its holding tune perfectly. If I bend really high it will put a string out of tune but I just need to tap the bar to put it back tune (like a Strat). Very stable overall, I don't do huge bends anyway and it could be setup to not float as much as this.

You can request a thicker neck I believe. The Vader neck turned out a bit thicker surprisingly, pretty similar to a slim taper Gibson. I do like a bigger neck but no complaints here on the Vader, glad I didn't get the thin option.
 


Trending Topics

Top