Carvin Vader headless basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lackey, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    So apparently these just dropped, didn't see a thread yet. Kiesel Vader Series USA Custom Shop Headless Basses |

    Dig the vibe in general, body shape is a bit 80s but still cool. The 34/30 option is great and all, but I would really prefer a 32 or even 33 instead of the 30. Glad to see the string spacing is 19mm and not the insanely tight 16.5 it used to be. Overall, I'd be curious to play one!
  2. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Acch, could a mod change the title to Carvin? Sorry my phone seems to be a little over eager..
  3. P A U L

    P A U L

    Oct 18, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Yep, '80s shredder guitar!

    I'd like to try one out. I haven't been down to Carvin in decades...
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Looks great. Especially the Burl 5er.

    Unfortunately, the BASE price is $1249, the BASS price as shown is about $2500. Pretty pricy with a few options.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Combine that with the UPS import charges and you run up a fairly heft bill in CDN dollars.

    I think it is a great addition to the Carvin lineup. I honestly wondered why these weren't an option years ago. They were making headless guitars so I expected a headless bass.

    I look forward to buying a cheap headless Carvin one day on the used market, ha ha.
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Yeah. I have walked away from more than a few TB and other deals due to seller's reluctance to ship thru anyone other than UPS. Never again for me. Brokerage and handling fees are a complete joke across the border.
  7. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm wondering about neck dive, the upper horn doesn't even approach the 12th fret. Of course, less neck weight due to lack of headstock, but still. Seems it would hinder reaching the end of the neck a bit just because of the relative position??
    Brad_Pearson and emjazz like this.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Strap at the 14th or 15th isn't uncommon for headless with that type of body.
    There's a big weight transfer from the end of the neck to the body by moving the tuners to the bridge.

    Interesting that they're doing 30" as a no-charge option.
    scourgeofgod and mbelue like this.
  9. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Ahh i see. Still curious about any reach issues due to the shifted neck position. Obviously no problem with the 30" scale, hehe
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Hmmm......not bad!
  11. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    You should probably get one before they get a cease and desist from George Lucas. Then you'll have a pre lawsuit one
  12. The strap pin makes a difference to the "muscle memory" of sorts I have with basses, the strap pin right around 12th fret is "standard"
    Large deviations from that feel odd but I guess you can get used to them
    I got my headless bass made in a way that it feels "normal" but most other headless basses I played felt really odd because the strap pin was at strange places even while sitting some how..

    I think th 30" model should be OK, 1250 $ seems fine with the reinforced neck etc but I'd buy it under 1k so maybe wait for a used one..
  13. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
    Dayton, Ohio
    Wow, I like it. Would love to get one in yellow, orange, green, or just for something different, a seafoam or surf green.
  14. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Endorser Anna Sentina

    the 6 string is 16.25.

    there was a question about whether or not the 5 would offere 17mm and the 6 would offer 19mm------but it turns out they made some typos in the online builders, which have been removed. So that means no 17mm option, for the 5er.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
    scourgeofgod, son_of_mogh and gzarruk like this.
  15. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    Looks interesting. Carvin & Jeff Kiesel have been putting out some great looking stuff lately! Unfortinately, their customer service department has put me off buying from them. I emailed, then called upon their reply, cash in hand, ready for an Icon with a few "99" (or whatever they call them) options. Nothing major, just non-standard neck and body woods and a P neck pickup. "Absolutely not," they said. "We've NEVER used those woods and never will, nor will we ever consider pickups that aren't already on offer for that model." I showed this c.s. rep similar builds they had done and featured on their own Community page. "No and don't ask again."
    3 months later, there are Kiesel Icons with optional P neck pickups and the purpleheart tops they told me they would never even consider. :| Oh well, I'll take my money somewhere else.

    I still think their instruments look nice, though.
  16. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    These coincide with the launch of new radiused bass pickups in soapbar/P2 shape. They do not yet have a naming scheme. These pickups are standard spec (confirmed), for the Vader bass and are available as an option for any bass model which offers the P2/soapbar routes.

    I asked for a brief description of the tone goals, as compared to the recent stuff, such as the RAD-JVA (single coil) and RAD-HVA (dual coil humbucker).

    A rep said that they are meant to be fuller, but still with good clarity and better dynamics. There had been some complaints about the older pickups being brittle sounding or maybe issues with output (I have seen some people say that while the RAD-HVA is a good tone match for the SCP split coil pickup, the output isn't a great match. So you have to raise the height pretty far, for the RAD-HVA). Some of the endorsers have been saying that they don't need active tone shaping, to get "their" sound.

    Personally, I think the RAD-JVA is a great sounding pickup. Very full and with good character. Responds very well to varied finger techniques. So it will be interesting to hear the new single coil.

    For the RAD-HVA, I think the bridge pickup sounds awesome. The output is only medium, but the tone has good punch, is very even, and mixes well for tone, as a bridge pickup.

    I did think that the neck RAD-HVA was a little anemic. But I used it in an Icon, which had a neck route which is a little further back, toward the bridge (the Icon 2.0 has different pickup locations). I've thought about ordering another bridge pickup and putting it in the neck position. I'm pretty optimistic, to hear the new humbucking neck pickup.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Neat design. It looks like they borrowed some shape from the Holdsworth guitar they have had for years (which I believe comes as a headless option as well).
    bholder likes this.
  18. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    That's not burl, it's swamp ash! With a finish known as "Antique Ash Treatment"!

    I got that finish on my Icon and I LOVE it.
  19. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009

    Jeff Kiesel talking about the Vader bass
    Burwabit likes this.
  20. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Option 50.

    Carvin is more flexible during slow times. If you really want an odd option it may happen in the future, just not when the wait time is at 12 weeks.

    I will completely agree their CS leaves a lot to be desired... did you get ole Steve Schisler? He's a real charmer...