Kiesel Vader 7

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by eayottes, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    I'm a current and satisfied owner of a Strandberg Boden Metal 7. Since I'd like to have a 7 string guitar with a trem and I want to try something new, I'm considering buying a Kiesel Vader 7.

    Any comment on the subject would be valuable to me (thanks in advance). In particular, if you've owned or played both a Boden 7 and a Vader 7 I'd be interested in your opinion. Given that my Boden Metal 7 has slightly fanned frets, should I go with the Vader 7M (multiscale) or the Vader 7 ?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. stevexc

    stevexc Contributor

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  3. Dumple Stilzkin

    Dumple Stilzkin Special needs member

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    Why not just get one of the boden models with a tremolo. Kiesel is hit and miss, with not a good reputation for fixing the ones they miss on.
     
  4. DudeManBrother

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

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    I think the Kiesel multiscale layout is nicer than the Strandberg’s, but ymmv. I’d also probably go for a Zeus over the Vader, just to further differentiate the Strandberg from the Kiesel.
     
  5. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    I've owned multiple kiesels and strandbergs, and at the price point they sit in, the kiesels are better guitars ime. Strandbergs are hit or miss QC wise (at least when it comes to setup/finish issues) but they have excellent customer service and a good return policy. Kiesel on the other hand, can deliver a better guitar for the price point, but their customer service is severely lacking at times. Their return policy is nowhere near as good and lots of options are now making guitars non-returnable.


    Personally I found my vaders to be significantly more comfortable/ergonomic but ymmv.
    Both the multiscale and straight scale versions are comfy, it's just a matter of how bad you want the trem.
    The trem is only available on the straight scale.
    My biggest advice if you're going to get a kiesel is buy one used if possible. That or if you do buy a new one, keep the specs simple and read up on what options are non-returnable.
     
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  6. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    Thank you for the answers.

    I've read a couple threads of people complaining about Kiesel customer service or build quality. Same for Strandberg, minus the customer service, which I've never heard anything bad about. That being said, I've no idea if these Kiesel experiences are outliers or if they are widespread. I definitely don't want to roll the dice on such a purchase.
     
  7. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    why not...a simple kiesel build with no stupid options is the perfect place to roll the dice. you might just have to incur some costs shipping because you are in Canada.

    just keep in mind that you cannot get a multi scale trem from kiesel.
     
  8. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    I don't want many options, just a slimmer neck. I haven't checked yet if there are many neck thicknesses to choose from or if all production models for the V7 have the same neck thickness.

    Good point about multi scale trem; I was not aware of that. Thanks for the info :)
     
  9. makecamera

    makecamera SS.org Regular

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    I haven't played a Strandberg yet, but I have two Vaders, a V8 that I got in early 2016 and a VM7 that I got a few weeks ago. I wasn't aware of the customer service issues until after I put the order in for my VM7 in very early January. I started browsing ss.org to keep my GAS alleviated while I waited. I'll be honest, I was really worried that I'd either get a terrible guitar (esp. after seeing that Arnold Plays Guitar video on the K series screwups) and also worried that despite their return policy, they'd give me hell if I tried to return it.

    Turns out the VM7 (a stock build with the only options being Ash wings, black pickup pole peices, and and a plain while matte body finish, coming to $1600 shipped) was pretty much flawless, same as my V8.

    I'm not a fan of Jeff Kiesel at all, and don't agree with the way he conducts himself, especially in that video where he calls out customer names that haven't paid (childish and unprofessional). However, these guitars, IMO are fantastic (assuming yours turns out like mine, of course). I can justify ownership of these guitars by that alone - I love playing these guitars and I'm well past the honeymoon phase for my V8. They are on par with my USA custom shop Peavey HP Special, my Fender American Ash Strat, and my Dingwall NG-2, all fantastic guitars.

    I also consider the fact that Kiesel isn't just Jeff Kiesel himself, but comprised of other American workers who I'm glad to support.

    I think with Kiesel, IMO, is to keep the build rather simple. When you start adding in things like treated fretboards, custom paint / colors, weird wood combos, or option 50s, expect the worst. If you keep it simple, and have the time to wait and don't need periodic updates from them, you're good, and there's plenty of accounts of people who have successfully returned their instrument, flawed orn otherwise. Use them as a simple "configurable guitar" shop, not a custom shop.
     
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  10. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for your perspective.

    At this moment I'm leaning towards the interpretation that the horror stories are outliers (because I've also seen even more satisfied customer stories).

    If I choose to buy a V7, I'll try posting every detail of my experience/transaction in the hope to grow the sample data of Kiesel customer experience.
     
  11. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    Noob question, what does the "X" stand for in "V7X" ? What's the difference with "V7" ?
     
  12. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    it's means extended scale. ie 25.5" vs 27"
     
  13. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    no the x is the trem version.
     
  14. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    I confirm that X stands for the trem option. You can only have the info when you're in their builder app.

    First impression: their website could be improved (obviously).

    Also, some of them have an indentation in the body near the bridge, like this one:

    [​IMG]
    https://goo.gl/images/xdWy4T

    while some don't, like this one:

    [​IMG] https://goo.gl/images/hq49mn.

    I really prefer the look of the body with the indentation (first one), but I have absolutely no clue how to ask for this in their guitar builder app.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  15. makecamera

    makecamera SS.org Regular

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    The latter is a fixed bridge V7. So you'd be getting the one with the "indentation".
     
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  16. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    I found the specs I wanted, which is not super intuitive on their 1998 looking website.

    However, "cannot process credit card info" (tried it 3 times). I called my credit card company, no problem on their end. So yeah, their website sucks.

    So far, my experience is not great :)
     
  17. makecamera

    makecamera SS.org Regular

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    The website is terrible. Would suggest calling.
     
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  18. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    The DC7X threw everyone off. The scale length options on any other model were just that: an option on a model. For their first foray into this, the DC model line, they released the DC7X as a separate model as their 27" 7-string. This actually made some sense, because the DC7X's body was shaped a bit different, more like the current re-designed DC body shape, with the longer-reaching horn, and flatter bottom of the body, behind the bridge. They eventually just retired the DC7X moniker and just made it the 27" scale option on the DC700. It was simpler, but flawed because the bodies were different...but only temporarily, until a month ago, or so.


    The letter after the model designation is generally the bridge type. It's not used by most when talking about a model because it's just one of the selectable options, but if you see a model that has a letter, you know what type of bridge it has.

    F = FT6 or FT7
    B = Bigsby
    H = hipshot fixed
    T = Wilkinson Trem
    C = Floyd Rose
    V = Vintage style trem, like on the GH24
    X = Kiesel's modified Hipshot Contour for both headed and headless models
    S = Tune-o-Matic with Stop Tail (except oddly for the HF2S for a time, the synth access version of the Holdsworth Fatboy)
    M = Tune-o-Matic string-trough


    So a V7X is a Vader 7-string with their Kiesel/Hipshot trem.

    A DC600C is their DC600 with the FLoyd Rose.

    My CS6M is the CS6 with the string-through tune-o-matic.

    My A6H is an Aries 6-string with the hipshot fixed.


    Indeed. I ordered my CS6 10 years and 2 months ago, and it's basically identical.


    Sort of. You're right, but there's more to it. It also has to do with the scale length. On he 25.5" version, you still get a scoop there. The bodies for the 25.5 and 27" models are the same size. To make sure the 24th fret ends up in the same place on both scale length models, they have to move the bridge in on the shorter scale version, which creates a scoop. Then they make the scoop bigger on the version with a trem.


    These are both 25.5" scale models, and both have the scoop, but the one on the trem-equipped model is more pronounced to allow for pull-back.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    This.

    The builder was confusing when I bought my CS6 10 years ago in '08, and it hasn't gotten any better. In fact, it's gotten worse. There are actually at least 3 options where one could accidentally pick options that would cause someone to pay more than they needed. These are just the three off the top of my head:

    1: if you select a black body paint on a neck-through and no other finish options for the body and neck, the headstock will automatically be painted black...but the builder still offers an option for a black-painted headstock which you don't actually need, but for which there is a cost.

    2: if, on the first wood selection option, you select an option with a walnut neck, and then pick a 3, 5 or 7-piece neck, you've paid for that walnut twice.

    3: All stainless fret options should be free, but they still show $40 on the builder. They have confirmed that this is an error a couple times in their live videos, and if you ask any of the sales guys on Facebook, or if you call, they will all tell you that they are indeed free...the website is just wrong.


    I have to assume they are either going to want to just get rid of online ordering all together and that's why it's seemingly left sick, OR they are just not investing any time (time=money) because they are working on a whole new system.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  19. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    Finally, it was a problem with the merchant site they use to validate credit cards; their zip code data base wasn't up to date.

    I got excellent customer service from their web department. They kept me informed of all developments and found a solution quickly.

    So far, the customer service has been great.
     
  20. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Super Duper Moduraturr

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    In all fairness, you’re congratulating a business for successfully running your credit card. Let’s hope the next eight to ten weeks before delivery are uneventful.
     
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