NGD: Kiesel Vader comprehensive review

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Quitty, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Quitty

    Quitty Hates 'mojo'

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    -Chambered swamp ash
    -5-piece maple/black limba neck, ebony board
    -P/P volume and tone, 3-way switch
    -SS med-jumbo frets
    -Raw-tone finish, tung-oiled neck.

    It actually looks way different than the pics. Much more grey-ish and rough.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    First, the bad:
    - The tuners have a little leeway on the Z-axis (between the back of the guitar and the top), meaning you could accidentally lean your hand on the tuners to push them back, and the pushed tuners would make the string go sharp. I need to get in the habit of pushing them forward after i tune each time.
    - There's what i believe is some filler between the neck and body. Not loving this, but i guess that's just cosmetic.
    - Haven't run into the pinging zero-fret issue, will update after ~20 hours, as this seems the case.

    Playability:
    The guitar plays amazing right out of the box - and i'm coming from a well-loved DC-727 so this had some standards to live up to.
    It resonates and sustains like crazy. So much so, in fact, i have to seriously adjust my playing. This thing is just so friggin' small and the size is messing with my head...
    The 10-62 set is right on the money (coming from 10-68) and is much more stable than the 727.
    Fret access is absolutely insane. Haven't had it this easy since i had my SG.
    I thought i'd miss the Strandberg's rear leg-countour, but it sits beautifully in both classical and horizontal positions.

    Construction:
    Almost perfect. Everything looks very well made. Frets are even and well rounded. Only complaint is the filler between the neck and body near the upper horn.
    The raw-tone finish seems like a thinner layer of the standard matte finish. Swamp ash is extremely un-smooth and you can run your finger on the guitar and feel the burrs and dips in it. It's not tung-oil, though, so there's still the infamous 'step' in the transition from the (tung-oiled) neck to the body.
    Tuners are easy to use, everything feels solid. The volume knob is a bit scratchy, but nothing some contact cleaner won't fix.

    Frets:
    [​IMG]

    Filler:
    [​IMG]

    Body-neck 'step':
    [​IMG]


    Sound:
    Coming over from a DC-727 (one piece maple neck, ebony board on alder, gloss finish) with a BKP Rebel Yell in the bridge and a PAF-pro in the neck -
    it's definitely not as bright, but somehow much clearer. I can play jazz with the gain on 11 and hear every note.
    It's much snappier, there's much more of that metallic new-string sound despite some rust on the month-old strings.
    It's almost as if a compressor is on at all times. Acoustically, it's craaazy loud and much more mid-heavy.

    Lithiums:
    I'm a pickup aficionado. Tried about 40 or 50 different pickups to this day, on the same 4 or 5 guitars.
    On my 727, i used the bridge in series (Rebel Yell) and the neck split (Paf pro) pretty much permanently.

    The Lithium neck is a little boring when split, but amazing in series. It has this full, sizzling sustain similar to BKP's sound samples of the Mule neck, which i thought of getting for this guitar. Another 120$ saved :metal:
    With the gain piled on, it's extremely accurate and has a Liquifire-like attack.

    The bridge sustains a little like the lundgren M, which i'm not sure i like. Too gritty. It was definitely not my favorite in any of the pickup-comparisons i've found.

    In effect, however, it's so articulate and has such a perfect acoustic-like attack that i'm going to keep it for now, possibly sell my Rebel Yell which i've been using for around 5 years now.
    It's that good.
    Surprisingly, it's also very Tele-ish when split :yesway::yesway::yesway:

    Middle position loses the sizzling sustain but earns lots of extra clarity. Need to run it through some more hoops.

    [SC]https://soundcloud.com/quittymr/sets/vader-tests[/SC]
    Clips were recorded via Kemper.
    Everything was completely dry into DAW (no compression, EQ or master bus - so careful with the volume bump of the mixed tracks).
    Cleans are M.Britt's ODS (Apologies to BKP for ripping off their work, but it's a good benchmark). No split tones, sorry. Forgot them.
    All heavy clips recorded using Sinmix's Bugera Trirec, which was tuned around my DC-727, so this isn't a very fair comparison - but the differences are relevant.

    Heavy clips are mainly to demonstrate articulation and dynamics, so don't expect much.
     
  2. DarkNe0

    DarkNe0 SS.org Regular

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    This is the only Vader that I've liked to this day. The top on this thing is a beauty! HNGD! Sounds tight as hell too!
     
  3. morbidus

    morbidus SS.org Regular

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    The overall look on this guitar is awesome. I always thought I wanted a solid color when I finally get one but this has me thinking very different now.

    Thanks for all the finer overall points. I am a nit-picker so I always like to see even the smallest of details.
     
  4. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    Thanks for the post! Definitely wanting to see those images though too!
    Curious about what you said on the Vader thread about the size of the guitar and things being shifted. Does it throw your picking hand off?
     
  5. Quitty

    Quitty Hates 'mojo'

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    'those images'?.. You mean, before the edit?
    Same pics, but picasa resized them so i moved them to another server.

    In horizontal position it sits further towards your right hand side than you might expect from a 'normal' guitar. It took a little while to get used to, but it makes more sense now than it ever did.
    But it took me an hour to get my right hand to where it should be, yeah.
     
  6. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    I'm only getting one image loading and I'm on my computer. FYI.
    That's one thing I was worried about. That stuff throws me off. Are you having trouble when you go back and forth between the Vader and other guitars? Does using the lower strap button push the body forward enough to compensate a "normal" picking hand location?
     
  7. CaptainD00M

    CaptainD00M Lungsman

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    EDIT:
    Opps I just realised this was a different thread haha, anyway Happy New Guitar day OP and thanks for the detailed review.


    ORIGINAL POST:
    :ugh:
    I would really love it if someone could let me know how they do that Antique Black Ash finish on the only nice looking Aries and the Vader at the top of this page…

    Is it a black stain sanded back and a brown stain sanded back or something?

    Ive been waiting on a response to that question for like two weeks :lol:
     
  8. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Scoop the Mids and Chug

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    Congrats and HNGD!
     
  9. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    When I first played mine, I cramped up a bit because my picking arm was in a weird position. Using the lower strap button pushed the guitar into a perfectly comfortable position. I was actually very surprised with how much of a difference it made.
     
  10. Quitty

    Quitty Hates 'mojo'

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    I don't switch guitars too often, so i can't really say.
    It is a different position - the guitar is further right than you'd expect - but after playing like that for a couple of hours, it's makes so much more sense.
     
  11. Stuck_in_a_dream

    Stuck_in_a_dream SS.org Regular

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    +1
     
  12. shadowlife

    shadowlife Contributor

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    That was one of the best NGD reviews i've read- thanks for going into detail.
    The guitar looks beautiful.
     
  13. Hendog

    Hendog SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the review!
     
  14. Jaxcharvel

    Jaxcharvel SS.org Regular

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    Is it just me or does the E and A string tuner threads look VERY warped in the pic?

    Love this natural ash finish btw. I'm ordering an Aries just like it with a birdseye board.
     
  15. olejason

    olejason SS.org Regular

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    Can you post a picture of the back? Did you have to get an ash top to hide the 5 piece neck sandwich on the front?
     

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