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"Official" Carvin and Kiesel Club - Part 3

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

  1. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Can you generally swap out Kiesel soap bars for P2 size pickups like you did in yours? Did the pickup routes need to be modified? I think this would open up a lot of tonal options that would make these more desirable for many players.
  2. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Northern CA
    Can’t say I blame you after this year... Brain farts are to be expected! :roflmao::roflmao:
    timplog and songwriter21 like this.
  3. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
  4. I'm another one that did some swapping. Dropped a pair of Aguilar Super Doubles and a Pope preamp in my Icon. The pickups didn't take any routing, but the holes for the control pots DID, and I also had to swap the input jacks. More info on the preamp swap here.


    5StringPocket and gzarruk like this.
  5. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    This is a little complicated, so read closely:

    1. Kiesel has made some silent and not so silent revisions to the Icon. The short answer is "yes", nowadays, you should generally be able to drop in most P2 size pickups, without needing to modify the routes. If you choose Nordstrand or another brand which uses 3 mounting screws, you will need to drill extra screw holes. Kiesel's P2 pickups use two mounting screws.

    You can of course always send-in pickups for a new build. And I would generally recommend that, if you know what you like, don't want to mess with modding, and don't mind forfeiting your 10 day return window.

    2. My Icon was made about 1 year before they bought new CNC machines and then re-launched the Icon with some updates such as a new pre-amp, new pickup offerings, free wood options, and new routing locations for pickups and battery boxes. The routes on my Icon were too tight to drop in Nordstrand pickups. I was able to fit them, by just barely sanding off the clear coat from the routes and then also sanding down the excess plastic on the edges of the pickups. Leftover from when they were molded.
    However, you shouldn't need to do that, with a recent Icon from the past year or two. Based on pics which are now buried in this thread, it looks like they went through a couple of revisions on officially enlarging the routes on the Icon, to accomodate sizes of other brands.

    3. If you want to swap the pre-amp/electronics, you will need to enlarge the post holes. Or carefully source some pots with skinny posts. Or if you are doing a new build, yet again, you could send-in what you want for pre-amp/electronics and Kiesel will build it like that from the factory. Albeit forfeiting your return window.
  6. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Here are some recent basses from Kiesel's FB page
    gzarruk and flojob like this.
  7. Thats the same preamp I have in my carvin...I think mine is a bK5A or something like that...not sure but it doesn't matter it rocks..greatest thing is the coil split for the hb that really opens up a lot of tonal variety but that bass looks sweet...and that purple Zeus is almost the perfect bass for my tastes..if it were a 5ver it would be perfect...
  8. Not quite so buried... I bookmarked my post with the photo comparison (along with my posts about pickup swaps and enlarging the preamp post holes) because this discussion seems to come up somewhat regularly. :thumbsup:

    Check post #3311 for a photo comparison. The older Icons had pretty tight pickup routes, but it appears that they (gradually?) resized a bit. My 2015 Icon had pickup cavities that were pretty tight to the pickups, but my 2017 had a little more space and my 2019 seems to breathe comfortably around the pickups. :)

    Toptube likes this.
  9. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Managed to get some NASTY tone last night for my B5. I bypass my bass' on-board eq (a previous Yamaha BBP35 got me liking passive mode), and so I use an EWS BMC pedal with a Zoom MS60B's SVT modeler and Polytone MiniBrute III cab sim...ROARING tone. The B5's singles don't have the fatness of my Icon's ceramic soapbars, but it's still a wonderfully grinding, cleaner? tone.

    Toptube and 74hc like this.
  10. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    This is the way.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  11. shade_1313


    May 31, 2005
    I have two.

    An XB75WP that I had made back in 03 or 04:


    And a used 95 (pretty sure 95) LB75 fretless, mahogany neck and body.


    I think it’s tung oiled, and has just a few minor dings. Worst thing was a makeshift thumb rest that had been hot glued in place, but I got rid of that, and did a good setup and it plays beautifully.
  12. More likely to be Koa body and neck from that era iirc, very nice bass.
    IronSpatula likes this.
  13. shade_1313


    May 31, 2005
    Hmm. You may be right. When I was looking at the bass ID matrix, I somehow didn’t see the Koa neck through row, just the mahogany with two piece neck, and walnut with one piece. If it’s Koa, that opens up several years prior to 92-94 as possible years. Also, looking at the matrix again, the Sperzels also put it into that time frame.
  14. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Northern CA
    Yep. I was about to say it looks more like Koa than Mahogany.
  15. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    From a recent in-stock rainbow sparkle run, of guitars and basses

    147298b (1).jpg
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
    nuage420b, gzarruk, BassmanM and 2 others like this.
  16. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I miss when the harlequin prismatique finish only cost $150.
    IronSpatula likes this.
  17. I'm still just not sure what I think about headless basses. Maybe if they offered a headless Icon? :D

  18. gstaats


    Mar 22, 2019
    Not a fan of headless either. I've seen too many people have odd problems with headless hardware. Just isn't my cup-o-tea either.
  19. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I've been gigging regularly with 2 Vaders for the past 3 years and could not be happier. They have been rock solid and the smaller form factor is great for small stages. No more banging into cymbals. Plus the smaller case is easier is move around.
    biguglyman and Toptube like this.
  20. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Kiesel seemed to have some issues with the headpiece. But they have since revised it a couple of times. I haven't seen anything in the past year, which seemed to be a fault of the headpiece, itself. But I could very well have missed some issues...

    If its looks.....well I think the Osiris and Thanos are excellent looking basses, in their own right. At this point, I can't imagine another model suddently converting people based on looks, when those two did not.

    However, I think you should try to play one if you can. They are very interesting. I experienced less tension in my fretting hand/arm. Its generally lighter weight. And the string action and feel was exceptional. I asked about that in another talkbass thread, and that seems to be a "thing" of headless basses. great string action.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 17, 2021

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