The Carvin / Kiesel thread

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by soliloquy, May 22, 2011.

  1. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    I think you're right, its just an assembly line where you pay USA prices for the priviledge of saying your guitar is "custom".

    There are/were so many versions of Agile(chinese) guitars, and most of the other major brands also did a great job in diversifying their offerings, it almost doesn't make sense to order "custom" unless you know its the absolute best quality.

    I think alot of people would be surprised to learn that many of the low end chinese intruments have reached the quality level that Kiesel is operating in. All you need to do is run it through a plek machine and you will think "this is the best guitar I've every played".

    Kiesel inherited the buisiness, he obviously doesn't have the temperament or talent to run it.
     
  2. xzacx

    xzacx SS.org Regular

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    Yeah man you're right, Carvin came up with that crappy upsidedown Rhoads shape with the knockoff Jackson headstock all on its own. And Kiesels are much better values than the piles of $500-$800 MIJ Ibby out there that don't look like they were created by someone with no sense of design either.
     
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  3. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    [QUOTE="xzacx, post: 5125831, member: 1419" the piles of [...] MIJ Ibby out there that don't look like they were created by someone with no sense of design either.[/QUOTE]

    FWiW, It's rare that I like the looks of most ibanez. Their primary design, the RG, always looked odd to me with the two very different horn points and try-hard pointy pickguard. I had an S, and it was OK but never fell in love with it, and in the end it wasn't for me. I also like the neck heel on my Aries more than I did on my S. It's almost like things like aesthetic design are subjective. *shrugs*
     
  4. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    You are really taking that stuff way personally against Jackson and I apologize if I struck a nerve. You seem to like strawman arguments, but I never said Carvin created the reverse V or anything of the sort. Majority of their designs have in fact been derivative (although ironically, a bit less since Jeff). But I just don't think it would be fair to say Jackson invented the superstrat or the V or the explorer either. Doesn't mean i don't believe the Kelly or Soloist are great models, but the industry itself is copies all the way down, and that's not specific to one brand vs another.

    As for value, this but unironically.
    Get a new ~1K Kiesel to your specs with a neck like a Suhr, or a random 500$ 15 year old Ibanez with the finish past its prime, the neck pocket cracked, the frets worn out, the crappy electronics, and the "you can get it in any color as long as it's black" look? Yeah, easy choice, even for twice the money. I mean that in all seriousness- a 500$ MIJ Ibanez today is going to be reaaaaally bottom of the barrel. Get one of the rare good condition 800$ recent Prestige or Kiesel in great/like-new condition? That's up to your needs and preferences, but for me lack of stainless steel frets would be a deal breaker (but it's not for some people).
    Now if you meant a new Ibanez Prestige, then sure great guitars- and hopefully they'll soon have stainless steel frets on more guitars throughout the range too. But now you're also talking way higher price.

    Again, happy to be proven wrong in terms of value, but that's just not it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I mean, from the sound of it, if you opt for a $1200 Kiesel, get the wrong guitar because Jeff messed up, and get excommunicated from the Kiesel group over asking for a rebuilt of what you asked for in the first place, then end up trading your $1200 guitar for $300 in store credit toward a $2000 guitar that still isn't what you wanted, but at least is a guitar that you can play without having flashbacks, you could still say that you would have been $900 ahead if you had just opted to not get a Kiesel in the first place.

    I haven't dealt directly with Kiesel since they were Carvin, but I've had custom guitar orders run the gamut from no guitar to dream guitar and from scam to super enjoyable business transaction, and all that really matters is whether the whole deal was worth the trouble or not. Even if Kiesel has a tiny fraction of a percent of guitars leave the shop that are not what the customer paid for, or if they do it a majority of the time, overall, it's not the biggest issue - it's how they deal with the problem. If so much as one customer in a million gets totally screwed over in the transaction by no fault of their own, it's unacceptable. And if Kiesel screwed up every first guitar, but then sent you what you wanted the second time at no cost to you, I'd imagine that'd be entirely forgivable.

    So where is the reality of it? Well, I don't care how many people get exactly what they wanted, because I know that there have been several cases where the customer asked for something and got something different, and, in those cases, the customer was consistently either ignored by Kiesel CS or told that it was all the customer's own fault. :shrug: If Jeff was shipping these guitars from China, I fully believe that the attitude toward his business here would be 100% negative, based on his tactics in public.
     
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  6. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    Another thought I just had about kiesel...

    When you order a guitar through a major reseller, whether it be Fender, Gibson, or Ibanez, there is a level of quality they need to guarantee that the guitars don't be sent back for a replacement. I'm sure some of the cheaper guitars slip through the cracks, but I'd be surprised if any of the 1K guitars are as bad as these Kiesels. Fender is large enough that if a dud rolls off the assembly line, they deconstruct it, use what they can from its parts, or just throw it in the trash.

    Also, a normal assembly line produces a smaller variation in models, so they can focus on production. The mismatched "roasted" fretboard wouldn't have even slipped through production of a $300 guitar. (You can get a Harley Benton roasted neck guitar for that, with a matching fretboard) What they are doing is like Lego guitars; there are more chances for mishaps.

    The problem is that because you are buying direct from Kiesel, you end up assuming the risk, where a bad guitar bought from MF, you just send it back. A custom builder needs to have a 110% satisfaction guaranteed return policy.

    Kiesel:
    - Lego guitars with higher than normal chance of defects
    - Small company that cant afford to trash defective guitars, instead tries to foist them onto customers.
    - Chinese level of quality (Agile) that are plekked to play well, but paying 3x as much as an Agile.
    - Buyer assumes the risk that a normal reseller normally protects the buyer from.
    - Difficult (predatory?) return policies.
    - Horrible customer service.

    Maybe CV will wipe them out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
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  7. Seabeast2000

    Seabeast2000 spec queen simp Contributor

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    Say, I don't know if I've ever seen a build-in-progress update from Kiesel. Do they not do that?
     
  8. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    I won't even get into the rest of the argument that derives from this, because this just doesn't happen. Unless you specifically decide to order a guitar that's not returnable, despite all the warnings, then you can return it no questions asked after 10 days, and Carvin/Kiesel has never given anyone any issue with that policy. Still beats any custom or bespoke builder anywhere.

    The only issues that get brought up are with people who bought something specifically on the "no guarantee/no return" basis and are not happy with the implications.
     
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  9. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    No, they don't. They do frequent walk-through videos where they pull and show random guitars, and they usually post a few "pics of the day" on Facebook from the shop which is usually 4-8 pics (less recently, of course).

    The only way to get in-progress pics is if you get a Kiesel Edition, which is an upgrade package that can be applied to any model which has a number of included upgrades, jeff pics all of the woods, there's usually some sort of upgraded hand-applied finish, and you get at least a couple in-progress pics.
     
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  10. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    I won't comment on the most heinous or ignorant part of your posts (let's just pretend we didn't read that), but:
    • You take no risk if you order a Kiesel and don't specifically go out of your way to order a no-return option. Zero. They will honor all returns no questions asked within 10 days, and have been doing so for decades. I literally challenge you to find a single case where they did not honor that. The only issues that get brought up are with people who bought something specifically on the "no guarantee/no return" basis and are not happy with the implications later down the road.
    • If you don't think a large number of Gibson/Fender/Ibanez duds make their way into customer hands, you must not have looked very far. The examples are way too many to even list, and probably outweigh the Kiesel stories by orders of magnitude.
    • If you think a 300$ agile is the same as a Kiesel, you must not have played a lot of guitars...and if you think a PLEK is magic, then go talk to Tom Anderson or Paul Reed Smith
     
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  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    This is demonstrably false and given the degree in which you follow Kiesel, it's hard to believe this statement is anything but a bald face lie.

    https://www.sevenstring.org/threads/kiesel-never-again.320132/

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...u-buy-kiesel-carvin-guitar-read-this.1745092/

    https://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-70731.html

    Funny little tidbit: the guitar in the last link, which was originally posted here (Joe goes by "yellowv" on here) was the what lead to Jeff demanding we remove all negative press about Kiesel from this forum, regardless of substance. Needless to say, we didn't, because that's not our job, and why no official Kiesel account posts here anymore and they were removed as a site sponsor.
     
  12. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    I mean I checked your links again, but I know those stories. They are typically the worst "horror" stories that bubble to the surface in terms of customer service. Those few cases over years where they were absolutely treated wrong by the company, resulting in frustration for the buyer.
    But except one where apparently there was a communication mishap with a guitar first going to the "repair" side of things instead of a direct return, none of those stories goes against the "try the guitar and just send it back for a refund if you don't like it" angle.

    The first link actually starts with "I returned it for a refund" so.....exactly my point?
    And the last one is a story of "they said they don't accept returns on guitars with non-returnable options", which is exactly how Kiesel operates and also something I recommend against for people who are risk averse.

    If the point was again to say that sometimes customer service can be shitty on bad days and that it can be frustrating for the customer...I guess OK? But nobody denied that.
     
  13. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    But they do exist.

    You make decent points throughout the last couple pages in here, I don't see how at most generous, using hyperbole, and at least dishonesty is winning any arguments.

    Those were just the first three I chose off of Google. There are more, you know there are more, anyone can see there are more. We'd know about even more if social media wasn't well scrubbed.

    Ah well. Now back to your regularly scheduled argument.
     
  14. Seabeast2000

    Seabeast2000 spec queen simp Contributor

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    Option 50, bottom mount, even-fret dots-BMEFD
     
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  15. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    Really depends what you mean by "they do exist" and "there are more". Shitty customer service? Yes for sure, I've had a few myself similar to your links (having to send a guitar back a couple of times, and still not quite fixed). Jeff being Jeff? For sure, and I think even he realizes that.

    Are there stories and stories of "I ordered a basic build and could not get a refund" though? That I very much doubt so. And that's the only point I'm making when I say that contrary to the idea around here, there is zero risk in trying out a basic returnable build, vs the very frequent reward of a great guitar at a great price. "Risk" comes in when you order something non-returnable, but how is that a surprise? And even that "risk" is pretty low compared to many options out there. Take a small custom builder, it's a gamble you'll get any guitar at all, and if you don't like it, forget about any return policy or resale value. Don't even dream about the long Kiesel warranty if something structural is very wrong with your guitar. Take a large custom shop and be ready to risk twice to 5 times the $$ and wait years. Are those less "risk"?

    Never said Kiesel is perfect for everyone or that they don't have client horror stories. If you can point me to places where I'm dishonest- I'd be happy to correct. Somehow you don't seem to notice or care, but I'd say the dishonest hyperbole is way more in the anti-Kiesel camp (cheap toys no better than a base Agile lmao :lol:) TBH.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
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  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Reread what I said and then what the first link Max posted said. Also reread your statements about Kiesel never once shipping someone a guitar that was unplayable.

    Beg pardon?
     
  17. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    not to nitpick, as i do agree with you 100%, and what i'm going to highlight changes nothing what so ever, but wanted to point out that most, if not, then ALL Agiles are built in Korea.


    and for what its worth, I've had several guitars in my 15ish-20ish years of playing, including 2 carvins. I sold them immediately when Jeff was up to his antics as the branch was no longer inspiring me. I do miss my several agiles i used to have at one point, but have no fond memories of Carvin, regardless of how decently built they were.

    anyways, back to the argument. all other brands for the win. Kiesel for the options.
     
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  18. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    The problem is most people aren't just ordering a maple/alder DC600 in white with no custom options. Yeah I guess I could just order everything within the realm of "returnable", but at that point axe Custom from the name because it puts them even moreso into the realm of lego guitars :lol:

    Their marketing and adverts pushes features and upgrades that are fully custom, when's the last time Jeff went live and held up a gloss black guitar with no upgrades and went "How great is this?"

    I don't have statistics to back it up, and I don't think anyone does either. But I will wager quite a bit that these basic build probably don't eat up a majority of Kiesel's sales. Given everything you see on social media posted from their recent builds. Your assessment of all these problems lying in the op50 camp is a pretty useless point to make, Option 50 doesn't hold up in a court of law when they mess up or do not deliver what was agreed with on paper via Invoice. Defects and build issues included.

    So yeah @mbardu, I guess I agree if you want to stay in the safe realm and buy these guitars that seem to showcase an immense value be my guest. They do not market to folks like that who come in to get the cheapest possible American CS. And what I have observed since being interested and following their Brand is that typically, they hook people with these base guitars and the client returns with more money for their next guitars now that they've established trust.

    Jeff has no respect for that trust, and in the situations outlined and many more you can find. He will attempt to cage you in his little mind games, and then strong arm you once you persist.

    Know your laws, Option 50 falls right apart and if you receive a guitar that is not what was agreed on, or damaged, do your research on the ability to Chargeback with your bank or payment service. If there's any benefit to Kiesel that I can commend them on at this point is their short wait times, and thankfully that works in the favor of customers moreso since Chargebacks are limited pretty hard from time of purchase.
     
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  19. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    If you can point me to where I was talking about "Kiesel never once shipping someone a guitar that was unplayable" ever, I'd happily correct.
    I don't quite get how I would say "if and when you get a lemon, just return it" and also say "Kiesel has never shipped a lemon in the history of the world ever" as the two don't go well together, but if you say so..

    It's OK man, if you don't understand at first, you can try re-reading- the explanation is right there above. But I'll help you out. If "they" in "they do exist" refers to numerous customer services issues, then yes. If "they" in "they do exist" refers to numerous customer not getting a refund on a basic build, then no. So it depends.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  20. StevenC

    StevenC Javier Strat 8 2022

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    This dude's for real arguing that Kiesel should be extended a license to not deliver the guitar one orders if it includes an option 50?
     
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