Kiesel Owners, DCM7 Wood Options?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by BLD, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. BLD

    BLD Fast Is Fun!

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    I have wanted a custom built multiscale 7 for a while and may have a chance to order a Kiesel DCM7 soon. I am not sure which body wood or finish to order to go with the standard neck and pups they offer. Because I am cheap, and already have some sexy looking natural wood guitars, this one will be a simple but efficient, blacked out metal machine! This will be my first neck-thru, and I have no clue how the 1-piece maple neck (tung oil finish) and ebony fretboard may work with alder or mahogany.

    I’m leaning towards a solid wood body without a top wood option (no sense paying for attractive wood if it’s painted). I will either order a clear gloss finish, or the ultra thin raw tone (not sure).

    I’m looking for lots of clarity, punch and sustain, and love a versatile guitar. For metal, I crave punch and clarity for fast rythym riffs, and a great big wall of sludge that sustains for minutes on slow parts. For reference, if my Les Paul (2013 Trad Pro II) could handle C-standard down to drop-A (with the EB cobalts or elixer 10s I run) I wouldn’t be considering a Kiesel (she’s too perfect as is to run heavier strings and widen the nut slots). It is by far the brightest (and heaviest) sounding LP I have ever played, but rolling off the tone and volume knobs gives it such a great, old woody tone you might think it could catch fire! So versatile, it does everything from Cream to old Metallica (stays in E standard). If I could detune, it could growl and scoop like classic Corpse too...

    I hear the Kiesel lithiums are a bit scooped sounding so swamp ash may not be the best bet (I like some mids to accompany my low end growl amd screaming highs).

    What do you think? Alder or mahogany, gloss or raw tone? Aside from these two options I have made up my mind based on cost, and what my collection is missing as far as guitar types (no neck thru or multiscale in my collection) and most of the options will be standard (aside from in-line reverse headstock, beveled edges, and tung oil neck). FWIW, it will be a studio guitar. I’m an ogre and don’t mind the weight of my LP.
     
  2. Taikatatti

    Taikatatti SS.org Regular

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    I would’t let the pickups decide what woods i’d go with. In my experience lithiums are not great and i would change them regardless. Instrumental makes replacement pickups for kiesels multiscale and they are like from another planet compared to anything kiesel offers.

    For multiscale 7 i would go swamp ash and 3pc walnut/maple neck. But if you wanna go cheap then alder and maple will do fine.
     
  3. Frey

    Frey SS.org Regular

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    Firstly, DO NOT go with the "Raw Tone" finish option. It's never worth the risk to go with a non-returnable option with all of the Kiesel horror stories out there. Gloss has no maintenance also which is a win.

    Next, I would cast my vote for Alder. In a neck-thru guitar I feel that the body wood isn't as important as a bolt or set. That said you may as well save yourself some cash and Alder is a great wood anyways.

    As the gentleman above mentioned, your almost definitely going to want to swap those pickups in any case.
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    the body wings don't add much flavor to the overall sound of the guitar in a neck through. neck and top woods matter more in that case. From personal experience I'd say the lithiums work best with woods that typically sound "darker" or warmer ie mahogany/koa. I had a maple neckthrough vader with a maple top and it was very bright (but I actually liked that quality in that guitar so ymmv). The lithiums are quite bright, but that can be mitigated through tone controls/higher value tone capacitor/the amp eq.
    I'd say at least try the lithiums and see if you gel with them.
    If you don't dig them, then instrumental and elysian both make excellent replacement pickups. guitarmory can do rewinds on the same baseplate as well. Barring that, if you're willing to get crafty you could do a baseplate swap with a pickup of your choice.
     
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  5. BLD

    BLD Fast Is Fun!

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    You guys are fast and have given me some good food for thought. I was originally wanting to go with swamp ash (don’t have an ash guitar), but heard that it can be pretty scooped sounding when coupled with the lithiums. I havent heard of Instrumental or Elysian before so thank you. I’m not sure I know enough about pickups to be able to tell someone how I want them wound at this point. I guess it makes sense to not let the factory pups dictate the rest of the build though.

    What are the advantages to going with a 3 piece neck (maple / walnut) as suggested above? All my guitars have 1-piece necks. I never got much into the tonewood debates and always thought the bridge, nut and amp have more to do with tone (I could be talking out of my backside for all I know), but since I have options to select it’s worth asking about. If the body wings may not affect tone that much, what about sustain? Except for my LP, most of my other guitars start to break up and fade quicker than I like. Weird enough, before I stained and wiped on a satin poly finish on my RG7420’s poplar replacement body, it had crazy sustain and great tone. I also upgraded the trem at the same time, and don’t remember what strings I used for it’s initial raw body test (just grabbed a set to test ergos and setup) so not very scientific by my standards...
     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    With Kiesel, keep it cheap, simple and returnable. That way you'll get great value and be able to use the warranty if any issues arise. :2c:
     
  7. makecamera

    makecamera SS.org Regular

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    Absolutely agree with this. I have a Vader VM-7 that is a super simple build just like you're looking to do. One peice maple neck through, swamp ash wings. Super bright guitar. This is directly compared to my Vader V8 with 5 piece maple/black limba neck through with black limba wings, black limba top, chambered.

    I'd also go gloss and chambered on the solid colored VM-7 if I had to do it again. Also a 5 piece neck with different (darker) primary or seconday wood . Unfortunately that gets you up to 2k. But as knightbrolaire mentioned, I think the key is the neck wood(s) and top.

    Regardless, it's still a great guitar (the VM-7) and the one I primarily play these days, but it will need new pickups to tone down the brightness.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  8. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    Honestly, wood choices will only slightly change the sound, the pickups and your rig will play a bigger part in the overall sound. The maple/walnut neck will give a slightly different vibe from a full maple neck (it should be a tiny bit warmer sounding than a 3pc maple neck, but there's no guarantees with wood). Body wings really don't matter for sustain, other than if they're made of a dense heavy wood that imparts more energy back to the neck laminates, and even then, it's slightly dampened by the gluing process. Don't get too tied up in the minutiae of stuff like that, pick woods you like the look of and that work well visually with your other choices.
    Neck through guitars usually have excellent sustain ime. all of my vaders and my dc600 could sustain for a loooooong time (the only other guitars I have that are close are some customs and my prs mushok).
     
  9. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Just like Max said. I always try to go by the rule with Kiesel builds, never exceed $2000. Once you go past that mark, nothing is worth the added cost. The biggest problem with Kiesel is that a $1000 one plays the exact same as a $4000 one. Keep this in mind.

    Also keep in mind, if you go with a light body and heavy neck, it will cause neck dive. So be cautious of a swamp ash body and walnut neck. Personally it's one of my favorite looks, but the weight distribution is way off.
     
  10. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    With the carbon fiber reinforced neck, the laminated necks aren’t as critical. I’d just go with the stock alder body and maple neck (and did with my Aries). It’s been a tried and true combo for 50+ years and sounds great.
     
  11. crankyrayhanky

    crankyrayhanky SS.org Regular

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    FWIW, I have an AM7 mahogany neck and body, plain maple top. I LOVE it, including the lithium pickups. The pickups give brootz and crystal clean, some mid gain stuff works but it's not the kind of low gain that makes you want to strum big barre chords.
    I do think the maple top adds to the tone in a great way, puts a smooth sparkle on the top end of the note. I think? I've had plenty of guitars with and without maple tops and I imagine this to be true lol
     
  12. BLD

    BLD Fast Is Fun!

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    This is my take exactly. I’m painting it so the look of the wood is a mute point. The sound and playability are why i’m considering spending $1500+.

    This was my thought on a 1-piece maple neck. I’ve never had a neck with carbon fiber rods, but have been very pleased with the 1-piece maple necks on other guitars.

    If only I could get my hands on a few to try. Feel over looks for me!
     
  13. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    If you're going painted, my personal choice would be mahogany. If you want to save some money though, just go with the default alder. Alder sounds great, it's cheap, and it's a perfect wood to be painted.
     
  14. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Is that much of an issue, though, with a neck-through? Bolt-on, I could see. It seems like there would actually be more maple in the "body" section of the guitar than the "neck", since the "neck" wood gets so much thicker in the body area. One you factor in the forearm carve and control cavity, it seems like the body is 1/2 neck wood. :lol:

    Combine that with their long-ish upper horn that reaches all the way to the 12th fret, it seems like balance shouldn't be much of an issue. I could see it being more of an issue with a single-cut, like say their SCB model...but again, it's still neck-through. I would have said a bolt-on single cut would be the worst for neck dive...but their only one is a headless, so...ha!
     
  15. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Totally true, for some reason I was still thinking bolt on. I just have my Aries 7 build on my mind haha
     
  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    there's no neck dive for me with my vaders or dc600. the only guitars i've had a lot of trouble with in terms of neck dive are SGs and explorers
     
  17. BLD

    BLD Fast Is Fun!

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    This is my experience with my DeArmond S67 (7 string SG style) and every other SG I have played. All of my other guitars are vastly different from each other in weight, balance and feel, yet I adapt easily enough. Since I’m only in the studio and not on stage I put up with it for those tracks. Long gigs though, that would drive me crazy.
     
  18. BLD

    BLD Fast Is Fun!

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    Well I did it, I ordered a Kiesel! I went with mahogany and the standard 1-piece maple neck-through and ebony fretboard. It’s a fairly standard DCM7, and I did spring for the beveled body edges, tung oil back of neck, reverse headstock, and jumbo frets.

    NGD in 10 - 12 weeks!
     
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  19. bracky

    bracky Contributor

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    BLD are my initials. Lol
     
  20. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Congrats! It's going to look awesome!
     

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