NGD: Kiesel Aries AM7 in Deep Aquaburst!

laxu

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So after slightly over 3 months (only a tiny bit over the estimate given) I received my Kiesel AM7. I went with a mahogany body, quilted maple top and headstock plus a flamed maple fretboard. I now wish I had gone for stainless steel or gold EVO frets but these are just regular ones.

The following pictures were mostly taken in direct sunlight. In normal light the guitar top can look much darker and muted depending on the lighting and angle.

This is the comparison between the final product and the Photoshop mockup I sent them:

fCxih5g.jpg


I think Kiesel did a great job matching my Photoshop mockup. I didn't ask for a photomatch or anything, just had them make a mark to use dark red mahogany (no extra charge for that) to get the right color for the back.

More pics:
U5Fp9Nq.jpg

l8YNigd.jpg

moL4Olp.jpg

OnGzauR.jpg


It was well setup, plays great and sounds very nice. The Kiesel Lithium pickups are fine IMO, they seem to require a bit more midrange than my other guitars but they are quite clear and balanced overall. The multiscale is really a joy to play as each string has just the right tension to it. I've sold the few 7-strings I've owned because I didn't like how floppy the low B-string was and often felt they were harder to play. Not this one, it feels very comfortable and the neck doesn't feel too wide to me. I have the regular neck profile which is not too chunky nor too thin.

Alas, all is not perfect with it. For one I'm getting the harmonics from the strings at the headstock others have reported with this model. It was easily fixed with a piece of foam right behind the nut but I don't experience this on any of my other guitars so it is a minor design flaw IMO.

The guitar is built well where it counts, everything seems to fit together with precision, fretwork is very good but there are a few small things that are off. First off, there's a little bit of dye in the wood under the nut. You can see it in the corner under the lowest strings. It's not something you see or spot right away but it's still one of those little details that could've been solved at the factory by either sanding it off or dying the rest of that area.

dR72xi4.jpg


Some tooling marks visible in the nut as well but otherwise it is cut correctly. Kudos to Kiesel for that as most guitars have poorly cut nuts from the factory.

The second flaw on the guitar is that the fretboard side dots are not in line. They are fine up till the 12th fret, where one of the dots is obviously lower than the other and then the dots that follow on the higher frets are also a bit lower compared to the lower fret markers.
eLAWDvU.jpg


Also as a minor thing I think the back would be better if the string inserts were flush with the body. They're fine as it is but would look better if sunk. I also kinda wish I had been informed that their gold hardware option would have black bottom plates. I think the combination of colors looks pretty cool on the guitar so I'm fine with it, but it was a bit unexpected.

I've sent Kiesel an email (same person who I dealt with when ordering the guitar over email) about the issues but so far haven't received an answer. I will be keeping the guitar as I like it otherwise and can live with these admittably small issues, but considering I paid quite a lot for the guitar after shipping and taxes (I live in Finland) it is a bit annoying to get less than perfection.

I chose Kiesel over other brands because they were one of the few with affordable multiscales available and didn't have a waiting time of 6-12+ months. Domestic luthiers would've probably cost me 1000-1500 euros more for similar quality woods as well as having the long wait times. I think a Skervesen might've come up to a similar price but again, I'm not a patient man. :) If I end up ordering another guitar some day I'll probably go for them as they have really fantastic finishes and models.
 

jc986

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I find it strange that their side dots lining up seems to be hit or miss with Kiesel given that they have stated that the side dots are done with CNC. In theory if it is CNC either every guitar should be straight or every guitar should be off.

Congrats on the NGD, it looks great.
 

Jonathan20022

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That looks gorgeous, HNGD! And yeah, SS is a must on these guitars since the upcharge is so minimal for them. Shame about the side dots. They must not be done by CNC because my K7's dots are fine, but Jeff works on those so who knows.

As far as the ringing behind the nut, I only have 2 guitars that don't do it. And that's because I swapped the strings to a thicker gauge and they bind slightly at the nut. I just keep a couple of fretwraps on me and move em around when I need to use a specific guitar or put foam under the strings.
 

Blood Tempest

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Looks great overall, but I agree with you, those issues need to be addressed. That shouldn't happen on an instrument with such a price tag. They did a great job matching your photoshop. It turned out almost identical. But those issues would certainly drive me mad, given the cost involved. Hopefully they come up with a solution for you soon. Good luck! And a mostly HNGD.
 

laxu

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That looks gorgeous, HNGD! And yeah, SS is a must on these guitars since the upcharge is so minimal for them. Shame about the side dots. They must not be done by CNC because my K7's dots are fine, but Jeff works on those so who knows.

I actually bought a Carvin C66 from a user here right after ordering the AM7 and the C66 has stainless steel frets. I like them and asked Kiesel if I could change to them but at that point it was too late as the fretboards are the first things they do. My 2010 C66 actually also has issues with the side dots so it might be something like a tool that has gone off its configuration or something.
 

Hollowway

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Very nice! I still can't get on with the bevel (mainly the shape of it, not the existence of it), but the colors and finish are incredible. And ya, I don't get why we're seeing side dots off center. Such an obvious, easy thing to handle, given all of the harder stuff they get 100% right.
 

downburst82

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I've mentioned this before in another thread but since you have two pictures side by side that illustrate it ...whats up with the string alignment/pole spacing on the bridge pickup? On the official Carvin/kiesel picture they line up more or less perfectly...but on yours... I'm sorry but the G B and high e is quite a bit off. Again probably not enough to make a huge tonal difference but it looks lazy. Also why do they always seem to line up in the official pictures but not the pictures I see people post?

Ps: It does appear the the pictures may be slightly different angles but even taking that into account it looks pretty off to me
 

Jonathan20022

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I've mentioned this before in another thread but since you have two pictures side by side that illustrate it ...whats up with the string alignment/pole spacing on the bridge pickup? On the official Carvin/kiesel picture they line up more or less perfectly...but on yours... I'm sorry but the G B and high e is quite a bit off. Again probably not enough to make a huge tonal difference but it looks lazy. Also why do they always seem to line up in the official pictures but not the pictures I see people post?

Because the photo on the right is a mockup OP made himself in Photoshop?
 

laxu

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I've mentioned this before in another thread but since you have two pictures side by side that illustrate it ...whats up with the string alignment/pole spacing on the bridge pickup? On the official Carvin/kiesel picture they line up more or less perfectly...but on yours... I'm sorry but the G B and high e is quite a bit off. Again probably not enough to make a huge tonal difference but it looks lazy. Also why do they always seem to line up in the official pictures but not the pictures I see people post?

Actually the strings have been drawn by myself in the mockup picture as it's a combination of several Kiesel product photos plus some of my own work.

On the real guitar the strings and polepieces don't line up so it seems they've used the same pickup size for both pickups. The strings on the bridge pickup are closer to the edge of the pole pieces as you go to the higher strings. It has no effect on sound as far as I can tell.
 

Splinterhead

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First off it looks beautiful! Congrats! For me the side dots would be an issue. I would get them addressed (especially the double dot). I'm a little ocd so I'm thinking that would bug me. :D Other than that its an amazing looking axe!
 

downburst82

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Actually the strings have been drawn by myself in the mockup picture as it's a combination of several Kiesel product photos plus some of my own work.

On the real guitar the strings and polepieces don't line up so it seems they've used the same pickup size for both pickups. The strings on the bridge pickup are closer to the edge of the pole pieces as you go to the higher strings. It has no effect on sound as far as I can tell.

Ahh ok I didn't realize how much you edited the mock-up (thought you just adjusted colour, My bad)

Yes I realize they use the same templates as the neck pickup and that's why they line up the way they do. I just swear it seems on some Am7 pictures ive seen it looks really obvious and on others (mostly official pictures) its hardly noticeable. I guess maybe just due to slight camera angle variations?

I'm sorry I didnt mention before but Happy NGD!!! other than my pole spacing ocd and the few little imperfections you mentioned it looks great!
 

Señor Voorhees

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The behind the nut ringing is normal. The guitar I noticed it most on was an Agile with a reverse headstock. Fretwraps were in part created to deal with it, just to show how common it really is.

The side dots are baffling and surprisingly common. We have two Kiesels and both have the wacky side dots. It's not a huge deal, but it does make you scratch your head.

The guitar looks nice though. A beautiful top, and that burst is always a nice one. The bevel doesn't look too bad as it does on lots of the topped Aries, namely because you didn't get the "binding." Smart move, and it looks damn nice. Congrats on getting a decent Kiesel. I know some folks around here have been a bit worried, but I do think they're largely a decent company that generally delivers quality work.
 

laxu

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Señor Voorhees;4571356 said:
The behind the nut ringing is normal. The guitar I noticed it most on was an Agile with a reverse headstock. Fretwraps were in part created to deal with it, just to show how common it really is.

The side dots are baffling and surprisingly common. We have two Kiesels and both have the wacky side dots. It's not a huge deal, but it does make you scratch your head.

The guitar looks nice though. A beautiful top, and that burst is always a nice one. The bevel doesn't look too bad as it does on lots of the topped Aries, namely because you didn't get the "binding." Smart move, and it looks damn nice. Congrats on getting a decent Kiesel. I know some folks around here have been a bit worried, but I do think they're largely a decent company that generally delivers quality work.

Yeah, I'm not fond of the look of the Fretwraps but they are a good solution to the issue. I just put a small piece of foam (about the size of the nut) there and call it a day.

I agree that the top looks better without the binding. I think it can work on some that have the same color in the bevel portion as well but generally it makes the top look very small. I spent quite a lot of time in Photoshop figuring out what I want when there were only few pics of the guitar around.
 

Warg Master

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I have the problem of the harmonics on pretty much all of my guitars.


Your guitar is beautiful. Love the top!
 


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