My Kiesel HH2 build - Am I wrong to be a little bit disappointed?

Neon_Knight_

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First, sorry that happened, man. Totally shitty. Second, you couldn't pay me to enter the Kiesel torture chamber.
The inconsistent experiences that I've read about on forums, such as what @LexMentis went through, have completely put me off the idea of one day buying a custom guitar. Kiesel, Mayones and plenty of other manufacturers make really beautiful guitars, but you never know quite what you're getting until it's in your hands.

Fortunately for me, I'm content with the specs of production MIJ Ibanez models (other than pickups, which are cheap and easy to change), so a custom would be purely about choosing my own unique aesthetics. The right Sugi J. Custom would probably be a much better option for me than going custom, if I can ever bring myself to spend that much on a guitar (a "production" J. Custom RG8570 is my most expensive guitar atm).
 

Jeffrey Bain

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Stellar job on the refinish, looks awesome. That sanded back blue finish is so hard to get right and you knocked it out of the park.
 

LexMentis

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The inconsistent experiences that I've read about on forums, such as what @LexMentis went through, have completely put me off the idea of one day buying a custom guitar. Kiesel, Mayones and plenty of other manufacturers make really beautiful guitars, but you never know quite what you're getting until it's in your hands.

Fortunately for me, I'm content with the specs of production MIJ Ibanez models (other than pickups, which are cheap and easy to change), so a custom would be purely about choosing my own unique aesthetics. The right Sugi J. Custom would probably be a much better option for me than going custom, if I can ever bring myself to spend that much on a guitar (a "production" J. Custom RG8570 is my most expensive guitar atm).
Although I have no experience with any other company, I'd wager that you'd have far less to worry about with other builders like Mayones, Aristedis, etc.... Kiesel just has a mind bogglingly toxic attitude toward their customers.

 
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CanserDYI

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My experience with Chris Hong went smoothly and was treated with utmost respect and he even bent over backwards a couple times to figure stuff out for me. This was mid covid explosion too in late 2020-early 2021.

But, my experience with Albert was quite the same as @LexMentis, Albert is a great guitar player, not the greatest at customer service. I told him multiple times what the issue was (bad switch) and he demanded he send me one of their push pull pots to replace the one in mine. I just never emailed him back, cleaned the switch a bit and works great. A few weeks later I open my mail to a brand new Kiesel push pull pot, :shrug: oh well, I used it on my most recent build, thanks man.
 

zjb7777

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Absolutely stunning job on the refinish! It's a real shame Kiesel couldn't get it right the first 2 times, but sometimes you just have to take things into your own hands. Looks 1000x better now in my opinion.

I've considered getting a Kiesel at some point, but man every time I research issues, there's just SO many issues with customer service and then getting stuff wrong and passing the buck. And I feel like I'd have such high expectations for the money being spent to be let down severely.

Either way, great job with the project, I'm super glad it turned out the way you wanted!
 

Jeffrey Bain

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I think the only way I'd really get involved with a Kiesel now is a really simple, solid color, returnable build. Only way I'd feel mildly comfortable with it
 

Neon_Knight_

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Although I have no experience with any other company, I'd wager that you'd have far less to worry about with other builders like Mayones, Aristedis, etc.... Kiesel just has a mind bogglingly toxic attitude toward their customers.


So much for "the customer is always right". 🙃
 

Voodoo Marshall

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Kiesel just sucks all around. Great product. Trash people
You can't have a great product if the people suck. Marketing and customer experience 101. All of the touch points for the product are through people and everything I've read seems to say they do not give one fuck about the people buying their products. There's no way that same attitude doesn't filter into the quality of their products, as your experience shows.
 

CanserDYI

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Not to defend the shitty attitude from Jeff or the poor customer service I've heard stories of, but I still genuinely think there are WAY, WAY, WAY more happy Kiesel customers than sad ones. They put out tons and tons and tons of guitars, over 4000+ yearly. So yeah, you'll hear of some bad experiences. If you put out 4000 uniquely customized instruments, with each and every one having some little weird quirk that the owner just HAD to have (not hating on it, just pointing it out). Of COURSE there are going to be some fuck ups. I'm still willing to bet there are more Fender and Gibson horror stories per batch of the same size.

So many people hating on this brand have literally never put one in their hands. They're very nice guitars, well built, completely made here in the USA at very attractive price points. It seems as long as you keep the guitar outside the realm of "Jesus christ what the fuck were you on when you spec'd that out", I think you'll have an okay time. EDIT: I don't want it misconstrued that I believe OP @LexMentis experience was good, or that he spec'd this guitar out like crazy, It was definitely rushed and that's no bueno.

That all being said, I think Jeff comes off as extremely douchey, but I didnt buy the guitar for Jeff's personality. I bought it because I loved the way it looked and was willing to try out the playability, and its easily my favorite guitar I've owned.

And apparently I'm a Kiesel fan boy now, never thought I'd be like defending them on a forum, but I genuinely think people blow this stuff out of proportion, and think we all should take a step back and reevaluate.
 
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JimF

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I wouldn't say I'm a hater, if I saw one locally that I knew played fine I wouldn't hesitate, and I don't think there's some special production line where they make the guitars for Dean Lamb, Marc Okubo and Simon Sludge and other folks who have had good results etc.
Like you've said, it's a very vocal minority of very unlucky people.
My hesitation with ordering them, and being on the side of "I wouldn't risk it" would be around the whole "Aries bridges being maxed out and still fretting out" situation. I remember a few of those happening, and because they were antique ash finish or some other Opt. 50, Kiesel just refused to rectify. The customer would say "The bridge isn't right and the guitar doesn't function" and Kiesel replied "It's non-returnable sorry", repeat ad infinitum.
Especially with me being in the UK, if this was to happen it would be very easy for them to just decide, "screw this guy", and not deal with it. What am I going to do?
 

CanserDYI

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All I'm saying here is it seems 99% of their customers seem to have an enjoyable or at minimum transparent experience with the company, and doing a little math, even if they have 20 experiences like this a year, which I've been following the Kiesel forums and facebooks for a few years now and I'm thinking 20 is high, 20 experiences is 0.4% of their entire yearly output. I'd say thats actually realllllllllllly good.

I just think you have this exact same risk buying from literally any other guitar company ever. Just my opinion.
 

JimF

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I think the issue is the fact that if you have a bad experience you've literally nowhere to turn, and you're stuck. Whereas if you end up with a 23 fret Jackson you'll at least have a dealer to fight your corner. Or a more willing customer service department.
 

CanserDYI

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I think the issue is the fact that if you have a bad experience you've literally nowhere to turn, and you're stuck. Whereas if you end up with a 23 fret Jackson you'll at least have a dealer to fight your corner. Or a more willing customer service department.
Well I dunno about that, they're pretty upfront with you about what is and what isn't returnable and most of the non returnable stuff (most) makes a lot of sense to me personally. And I've seen on many of occasion Kiesel still takes them back (unfortunately at the agreement of banning future sales from that customer but I'm not gonna open that can of worms). I dunno, I'm feeling kinda icky fighting for a large guitar company, frankly as I'm vehemently anti capitalist, but I just feel they get a lot of flack that other companies don't seem to get. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm not sure.
 

JimF

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No, I totally see where you're coming from. I'm also playing devil's advocate - I don't have a dog in this fight. It was mainly the example of a guitar having been made without taking the non-recessed Hipshot bridge into account and Kiesel refusing to admit there was anything wrong with it (even though it was borderline unplayable with a sensible action) because it was specced with an Opt.50 finish. It would be like ordering a tailored suit to one's own particular measurements and then wanting to return it because one trouser leg ended mid-calf. Yes, its made to measure and non-returnable, no its not fit for purpose. Those two things should not affect each other.
If you asked for an 8 string with a 23" scale and wondered why the sub standard pitch strings sounded off, then that's on you. But this isn't that.
 

Neon_Knight_

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I wouldn't say I'm a hater, if I saw one locally that I knew played fine I wouldn't hesitate, and I don't think there's some special production line where they make the guitars for Dean Lamb, Marc Okubo and Simon Sludge and other folks who have had good results etc.
Like you've said, it's a very vocal minority of very unlucky people.
My hesitation with ordering them, and being on the side of "I wouldn't risk it" would be around the whole "Aries bridges being maxed out and still fretting out" situation. I remember a few of those happening, and because they were antique ash finish or some other Opt. 50, Kiesel just refused to rectify. The customer would say "The bridge isn't right and the guitar doesn't function" and Kiesel replied "It's non-returnable sorry", repeat ad infinitum.
Especially with me being in the UK, if this was to happen it would be very easy for them to just decide, "screw this guy", and not deal with it. What am I going to do?
Assuming you pay by credit card (not bank transfer), you should have reasonable protection if it's easy to prove the fault with your purchase.
 

Slide187

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Although I have no experience with any other company, I'd wager that you'd have far less to worry about with other builders like Mayones, Aristedis, etc.... Kiesel just has a mind bogglingly toxic attitude toward their customers.


hahahaha omg... how tf does this dude even sell ONE guitar with that 'tude for these prices? I'll admit i had never heard of him before this thread even tho i HAD heard of Keisel guitars... but wow. I was half considering ordering one before this thread and your experience coupled with that vid... i've never had a Keisel and now i know i've never needed one.

Never had a bad experience with Ibanez, ESP, PRS or Schecter, and i've needed customer service with each at least once.

Glad you made the best of it tho, sorry you had to go thru it all.
 

CanserDYI

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Wait until you guys hear what the guys in the board room at Fender and Gibson and Ibanez think of you....
 


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