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"Official" Carvin and Kiesel Club - Part 3

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smperry, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Maybe someday when I own one! ;)

    I still need to do a demo of the Alnico III Big Rigs I put in my Icon. But, need some new strings....
  2. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    The only problem I have with buying used is your looking at someone else's custom built bass. So unless you like the exact same features as the person who had the bass built then you lucked out. I've been looking for a used LB70 or SB4000 but can't find one with the features I like.
  3. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Yeah, as a fan of small frets, I pretty much always have to buy new :(
  4. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    The standard frets aren’t small enough for you? I’m not much of an afficionado on fret size, but I definitely noticed my kiesels have smaller frets than the G&L I had.
  5. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I agree, but I'm willing to settle for a bass that is not exactly what I want in order to pay $700 vs $1800. I've picked up a mint SB5000 and JB5 through ebay and I'm very happy with both. Still mulling an Osiris build though.
  6. Stellvia


    Jul 18, 2015
    Perth, Aus
    Got my first Kiesel this week! Brand new Vader VB4 Short Scale in Grape Jelly Metallic!


    NBD post here:
    NBD! Kiesel Vader Short Scale Headless

    Really happy with my first Kiesel and first custom bass!


    Attached Files:

    rtav, DrDAV14, Charlzm and 7 others like this.
  7. @Stellvia ... that Grape Jelly is sharp! :cool:

    Something to think about: Of one can snag a Carvin/Kiesel for a great price like that, one could probably have it refinished if the other features are "close enough" and still be paying less than an equivalent bass from another builder.

    That said, the gear whore in me prefers ordering new so I can order exactly what I want. ;);) And I've got three Carvin/Kiesels now that I really really like. (I definitely need to find more use for my fretless SB5k. It just doesn't fit my main projects though!)

    Anyway... I've been looking at other basses lately, and it's difficult to not keep coming back to the idea of another Kiesel.


    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  8. Keeshman556


    Aug 16, 2016
    I was lucky enough to find my pb4 online used with the exact specs I wanted (pj with pup blend, active, natural finish with black pick guard, and a drop tuner on the low E). And for a very low price. It’s very rare to find exactly what you want but you just have to keep looking
  9. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    I could deal with it. But, I really prefer small frets. Ibanez does "medium" frets and those are pretty nice. But Kiesel's small frets are even a bit smaller.

    P.S. I had a custom Vader last year. That may be why people thought I had an Osiris? I sent the Vader back on the 10 day trial, because it had multiple problems.
  10. jefff100


    Jan 23, 2010
    Central NJ
    Congrats. That SB is sweet. I really wanted to buy an SB4 bass when they came out, never did and was really surprised when the pulled the line. IMHO they were the nicest looking basses Carvin was building at the time.
    fivestringgecko likes this.
  11. jefff100


    Jan 23, 2010
    Central NJ
    Edit: I know this post is long. It didn't seem right in the luthier's section, I'm onlly finishing a neck, not building a bass. and its loosely Carvin oriented, so it seemed like a good place for it.

    OK so we are having a sloppy rainy weekend here on the east coast, so my outdoor projects kinda got scrapped.
    Instead I figured it was about time I did something with this bass neck I bought 5 years ago.

    In August 2012 I picked up this B4 from Craigslist:


    I was actually shopping for an inexpensive fretless jazz, and was getting tired of everybody that wanted to try a fretless jazz trying to unload their fretless squire for nearly the same price as I could
    have bought them new. In the midst of all that an ad popped up for this bass. Not a fretless, but what a sweet bass. Solid one piece Koa body, matching headstock overlay, ebony board. Plus a G & G tweed case, all for $500. I snatched it up.

    Still wanting to scratch that fretless itch, I bought this neck direct from Carvin.

    Life got in the way however and the neck has been sitting in the box for nearly 5 years now. Unfinished.


    The raw neck from Carvin is really nice. 5 piece maple / Koa build with Koa headstock overlay.


    I did a finish sanding with 600 grit followed up with 1000 grit, and then wiped it down with a citrus solvent to lift trace dust out of the pores.


    Here's the first coat of Tung Oil finish. Will post again after she's done.

    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  12. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    Looking for a used SB4000 if anybody is selling one.
  13. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004
    interested in building a VB5 30" with a split p pickup and humbucker combo but i literally cannot find a single video of how this pickup combination sounds.

    how are these radium pickups?
  14. Charlzm

    Charlzm Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have an Icon 5 with single coils and a preamp. Hot signal. Growly. Don't know about the split coils or humbuckers.
    symbolic_acts likes this.
  15. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004
    ah. well im really not interested in single coils at this time, or active electronics.

    I want passive + Split coil pickup + humbucker. anyone have this?
    jefff100 likes this.
  16. jefff100


    Jan 23, 2010
    Central NJ
    I have not seen this as a standard offering from Kiesel at this time. My Vader is a 4 string, 30" scale, with the Split P and the Radium bridge pup on a passive bass.
    I can get nice tones out of the Split P, and that pickup alone can be warm and blooming, fat bedroom tone or it can be loud and punchy, depending on how you drive it and what you do with the tone knob.
    I like the Radium pickup less than the Split P. Keep in mind the Radium Soapbar is a humbucking pickup. For me I blend in varying amounts of the Radium pickup, but I never solo the Radium the way I might solo the bridge pickup on my StingRay 5HH.

    I eventually might do some mods to the bass and drop in some barts, but keep in mind that the short scale bass doesn't leave you much room for carving in the full size hum-bucker such as what is used on the Amos Williams 5 string.
  17. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004
    it's not standard. Standard is passive + 2 humbuckers. 40 dollar upcharge to replace the neck humbucker with a split coil pickup.

    thanks for the info. So soloing the bridge pickup is what...too thin for you?
  18. jefff100


    Jan 23, 2010
    Central NJ
    Nasaly & raw. I wouldn't call it a thin tone, the way you would envision single coil tones being thin; but its not a nice tone, IMHO. I have a G&L L1505 and a StingRay 5HH, and they both allow for full humbucking or single coil mode; with tones that I like in either mode. The radium just isnt a nice sounding tone on its own. This is all very subjective of course. It would probably be a great pickup for punk or SKA sounds.

    The Split P / Bridge humbucker just isn't a very common combination. Yamaha makes one I think, and I've often thought of building one myself. Right now I've got too many things going on, need to finish the neck work on my Carvin B4 before I think about anything else.
  19. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004
    hmm maybe i'll throw down another 10 dollars and switch the humbucker for a single coil and just have it be a PJ style bass. i absolutely detest single coil hum though so im not sure
  20. If I might chime in about the radium humbucker in the bridge. I really enjoyed it on my multiscale Vanquish. I thought they were fine pickups and soloing the bridge humbucker was one of my favorite tones on it. Very good Jaco style burps in my opinion. Great for staccato finger funk.

    I've since swapped out the stock guts with a complete EMG overhaul since I wanted coil splitting options which Kiesel doesn't offer for us bass players. I still get my bridge humbucker burps, but I prefer single coil brightness and EMG's EQ points.
    jefff100 likes this.

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