NBD: Kiesel Vanquish V59K

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 74hc, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    Build Options:

    SM - Flamed Spalted Maple Top
    SMPH - Spalted Maple Headstock Matches Body Finish ID - Dot Inlays
    IMP - White Pearl Inlay Material
    G - Gold Hardware
    KRJ - Kiesel Radium Radiused Single Coil Pickups
    BL - Black Logo
    HC8W - Black Tolex Bass

    Weight: 9.5 lbs.

    Before I get to the pictures, here's some thoughts:

    1- Great ergonomics and feel. That was one of the main selling points for me. For my 5-string purchase, I've been considering string spacing. Probably over thinking it. This bass is 19mm. It just felt normal with an extra string to me.

    2- The pickups seem to be KRJ and KRJ/R, rather than both being KRJ although not listed that way in the build options. KRJ/R is Kiesel's reverse wound PU. Both are single coil, soap bar pickups. The blend knob, when set for full bridge, or full neck, definitely has a single coil vibe (a good one) plus the expected hum. When set at the detent, it turns to a humbucker thump without any hum. What else is interesting is that volume stays the same through the blend knobs range. Setting the blend knob for the neck pickup just right cops a decent pbass split coil sound.

    3- Control knobs are volume, blend (with a detent in the middle), stacked mid and sweepable mid, and stacked treble and bass.

    4- Volume knob is push/pull... in for active, pull for passive. I cannot perceive a change in volume when switching between active and passive if the tone knobs are set in the middle at their detents.

    5- Neck is 14" radius and equipped with Dunlop 45-65-85-105-125 strings from the factory. The B string is a tad too floppy for my taste, and the tension difference between it and the E string is noticeable. These are probably the Dunlop B55 Super Brights listed on Kiesel's website in the accessories area. I don't care too much for these strings as it pronounces finger noise much more than the Boomers and Elixirs on my other basses. I'll give these strings a chance to break in, but in all likelihood will replace them.

    6- 18V preamp with separate battery compartments on the back.

    7- Realized on Friday night while noodling on it in the dark, the side markers are glow in the dark. Not useful to me, but might be for some? Since it's an ebony fretboard, I cannot tell these are glow in the dark, not normal white markers in daylight, stage light, or normal lighting.

    8- Finish on the body is poly urethane, neck is tung oil. Feels similar to my EBMM but without the wax.

    10- Fit and finish is better than my EBMM Sterling, and much better than my Fender. In terms of build quality I would put it Kiesel > EBMM > Fender. I would give the EBMM the edge on fret end dressing over the Kiesel, but only slightly. Both are better than my Fender MIA, even the elite I played last year. Kiesel finish in the body and neck are better than my EBMM and holds tuning day to day better so far (the EBMM is not good at holding tuning. Even my MIJ and MIM Fenders are better).

    Attached Files:

  2. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    The electronics cavity

    Attached Files:

    eastcoasteddie and Trouztrouz like this.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    That is a great looking bass. Those single coils doe fierce Jazz style tone.
  4. MarkM13


    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Quick question. Does this bass feel “big” when playing standing up. I’ve been intrigued by it for a long time but the size has me wondering.

  5. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    Neck-wise no, body-wise yes compared to the EBMM Sterling which is a small body bass. Not a fair comparison there.

    Somewhat of a bigger feel over my Precision. Certainly on looks because of the horns are less rounded, but are chamfered. Those horns look chunky, and they do feel chunky when grabbing it by the horns.

    In terms of comparing the body between the Precision and the Vanquish while playing, the Precision feels more comfortable. I've not weighted each, but I suspect the Vanquish is somewhat heavier than my Precision. That might be because my Precision maybe on the lighter side as Precisions go. Comfort while playing longer gigs, or for me which are two and three church services back to back, the Precision has an edge over the Vanquish for me. Though both, start to feel heavy sometime in the 2nd service. I definitely notice that I can go longer with the Sterling than either of those two.

    I'm in the back side of 50 years. When I was in bands in my late teens and early twenties, none of the three would have bothered me whatsoever.

    Neck-wise, the Vanquish is heads and shoulders above either the Sterling or the Precision. It's a slim profile neck, small headstock, and seemingly light weight. It has a far better playability feel over the other two. I suspect if I took the Sterling into a luthier to fix the fret lift in the high frets, it would be close to the Vanquish.

    The neck on the Vanquish is the most stable. It holds tuning well, and I don't need to make any adjustments for seasonal change.

    I hope that gives you some insight as to my experience along your question. BTW, I play standing up while performing and rehearsing. Never liked sitting down for bass, unlike acoustic guitar.
    MarkM13 likes this.
  6. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    Gorgeous. Spalted maple is the coolest.

    How do you like the mids control and sweep? I have mids sweep on a bass, and at times I love it while other times I find it all to be too much. Thinking about swapping it out for a 2-band.
  7. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    It's okay, but I think I've used it once with the sweep not in the center. Normally, if I'm adjusting the mid, I leave the sweep in the middle. It's probably because I don't think of the sweep when EQ'ing on the bass.

    I would prefer to have a low and high mid instead, and maybe jumpers to select frequency. I favor simplicity.
    Trouztrouz likes this.