NGD HH1X Koa

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colossal
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NGD HH1X Koa

Postby colossal » Thu May 21, 2015 7:18 pm

Here is my second Carvin HH1X! All koa this time around. Once again, I am extremely pleased with the results. My sincere thanks to Mike Jones, Jeff Kiesel, and everyone at Carvin/Kiesel for making it happen. Again, the attention to detail, finish quality, and craftsmanship is unrivaled. The tone is very similar to my alder/maple HH1X with the same resonant and blooming characteristic of these guitars, but the low mids are just slightly more pronounced with a little rolloff in the top end. Playability is incredible and it was set up exactly as requested. Just amazing right out of the box. It will get a Kiesel Holdsworth pickup when they become available.

Specifications

HH1X Holdsworth 1-P/U Headless XS Trem
NKOA Koa Neck & Body
FK 10mm Flamed Koa Top
/GD Highly Figured FK Master Grade
CG Body Clear Gloss Finish (Standard)
GNB Neck Clear Gloss Finish (Standard)
EFB Ebony Fretboard, Black / No Streaking
NIN No Top Inlays, Side Dots Only
50 Single Abalone Dot Inlay 12th Fret (hand routed by Jeff)
STJF Stainless Steel Jumbo Frets
R20 20" Fretboard Radius (Standard)
41 H22T Bridge Pickup (Standard)
400 Black Pickup (Standard)
BC Black Hardware (Standard)
UCS Use Customer's Strings (La Bella 8 gauge double-ball)
BL Black Carvin Logo
HC7 Deluxe Wooden Case w/Tolex
OPTDISC-100 -$100 Option Discount

Mods

Loxx guitar strap studs
Ebony rear plate cover
Ebony pickup ring (added 9/2/15)
Kiesel Holdsworth bridge pickup (added 9/2/15)

Image

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Last edited by colossal on Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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dejabluguitar
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby dejabluguitar » Thu May 21, 2015 8:58 pm

Spendid pair right there.
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way diffrent than my cover band
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby dbone » Thu May 21, 2015 9:25 pm

Gotta love that pair
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DesmoBob
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby DesmoBob » Fri May 22, 2015 1:36 am

YES! That is so outrageously beautiful! Looks like something that would be equally at home in the Smithsonian as it would the Bishop Museum in Hawaii.

:drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool:

Nice touch with your signature single dot at the 12th fret. Makes it unmistakable whose guitar it is. Simply marvelous in all aspects.

My next build was going to be a V6, but now I'm torn. The HH body style is so organic and is a perfect fit for koa.

Congrats!
:applause:

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Geddy
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby Geddy » Fri May 22, 2015 6:02 am

WOW!!! Great photos Bro and what an amazing pair!!! That is some of the most delicious Koa to ever show up on a guitar. I know you're digging the tones of the new guitar and I'm sure they compliment each other quite nicely. I'm freakin' jelly Bro.

Congrats and happy NGD.

Cheers,
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby GateZ » Fri May 22, 2015 10:27 am

I just posted on your WR thread without looking here, whoops!!
WOW they did it again :D
Beautiful guitar Colossal and the back on that thing!! Whoo hooo! What a nice flame on that!
Definitely a stunner, very elegant and it looks really at home next to your other HH!

Great specs on an even greater guitar. I agree on the single dot, it looks awesome and ties things together nicely… Kinda cool signature feature you have goin on 8)

Enjoy it bro, I know the wait was probably tough because I mentioned a few times I was getting anxious myself haha
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby GateZ » Fri May 22, 2015 10:30 am

I thought i'd add, throw us a post at some point after you've got nice and comfy with it and let us know how you like Koa as a tone wood… I myself would have a hard time going with ANYTHING other than Koa after my V6, and I STILL haven't plugged it into an amp. Just a fantastic tone! I'm sure you could give some good input on the topic and by looking at your other HH i'm sure it's quite a tone monster in it's own rite!

Enjoy bro!
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby Coda » Fri May 22, 2015 11:24 am

Both of your HH's are sumptuous and totally drool worthy!
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby LabyrinthShredder » Fri May 22, 2015 11:43 am

Whoa!!! That is simply breathtaking!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

The figuring on that Koa is incredible. Such great option choices, very classy! One of the coolest HH guitars I've ever seen!

Congratulations dude!!! :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
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Koshchei
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby Koshchei » Fri May 22, 2015 1:14 pm

Outstanding! The contrast between the pair is just incredible - I also really like the single dot motif.

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colossal
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby colossal » Fri May 22, 2015 2:04 pm

Hey guys, thanks for all the kind words. This is a great group and it's a lot of fun to get a new guitar as well as to share NGD with like minded players who appreciate such things. I am really, really happy with this guitar. It feels and plays the same as my other one, owing to Carvin's precision, so I was immediately comfortable with it. Tonally, it is quite close to my other one but I do notice a little bump in the low mids. Both guitars are very clear but the Koa seems a little more full with a little more presence (might be interpreted as clarity, although both guitars are incredibly clear and articulate). The highs are little more round perhaps and it works very well with my clean tone. I do plan to change the pickup to a Kiesel Holdsworth, so if I like it, then I may do it to the other HH1X. With the alder/maple HH1X, I changed the pickup to a custom SD wound to Holdsworth specs as well the pots to 250k. I find with the stock H22T and 500k pots in the Koa HH1X, there is very little range to the volume knob where it doesn't affect the tone I'm going for immediately. However, I do like what I'm getting...a lot. I am looking forward to trying the Kiesel AH pickup though.

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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby groscochon » Fri May 22, 2015 4:03 pm

Wow! That back is beautiful! I actually regret being a French speaker at first because I lack vocabulary to really express hoe I feel about your HH1X. I'll just let the little yellow guys applause...... :applause: :applause: :applause:

Actually everything is perfect... We both have very different figuring and finishes but the guitars are amazing! That is the magic of Koa!

I wait for your Kiesel/Holdsworth pickup review if you end up with it... I am already considering another HH2X build for the end of the year / beginning of 2016 (remember I sold all my guitars because of permanent back issues and that thing is SO confortable... No pain at all, even after 4-5 hours straight, seated or stand up). I would go with different woods and pickups for variety and I trust your judgement 'cause you definetely have taste Sir!

Congrats Colossal! Now go play your guitar! (I know what I am talking about... :wink: )
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby rzbk777 » Fri May 22, 2015 5:36 pm

Beautiful, HNGD!

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Re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby spacewalk » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:06 am

colossal wrote:Here is my second Carvin HH1X! All koa this time around. ... It will get a Kiesel Holdsworth pickup when they become available.


Awesome looking guitar. Congratulations. Glad to hear it also sounds good!

What's this about the pickup, though? I thought HH1/2 guitars shipped stock with Holdsworth pickups. Is a "Kiesel Holdsworth" different than a regular one? Or don't stock HHs ship with "Holdsworth" pickups at all? (If not, that would be strange.)

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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby ElfDude » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:19 am

Dunno how I missed this one. That's fantastic!
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colossal
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Re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby colossal » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:45 am

spacewalk wrote:What's this about the pickup, though? I thought HH1/2 guitars shipped stock with Holdsworth pickups. Is a "Kiesel Holdsworth" different than a regular one? Or don't stock HHs ship with "Holdsworth" pickups at all? (If not, that would be strange.)

Yes, the H22T has always been designated the "Holdsworth" pickup. This is what ships stock with all HH guitars. But Holdsworth doesn't and has never used it. I have seen him use an HH1X on demo videos that had the H22T, but I'm sure these were loaner guitars, not his personal instruments. Whenever I have seen him live, he has always used the custom wound Seymour Duncan humbucker. The HH guitar is signature Holdsworth, but the pickup and electronics are not. I believe (and this is speculative on my part) is that the new and forthcoming Kiesel Holdsworth pickup is Carvin/Kiesel's effort to have a pickup that is truly voiced to be what AH wants (as well as getting him to use it in his own HH guitars so the guitar is truly 100% signature). I had some humbuckers wound to the Holdsworth spec (and confusingly, this pickup is NOT what was marketed by Seymour Duncan as the Holdsworth pickup back in the 90s) and my alder/maple HH1X (pictured above) gets very much closer to the singing, open, and sonorous horn tone than the H22T. I absolutely love my new Koa HH1X and while I like the H22T in this guitar better than I liked it in the alder/maple HH1X, the alder/maple HH1X still sounds better. I am certain when I replace the pickup to the custom wound SD and 250k pots the koa will sound just as good.

I have been hounding Mike Jones about the Kiesel Holdsworth pickup availability and last I heard AH was very happy with it and it was to be signed off on. That was at least two months ago. I will probably put the SD pickup and electronics in this weekend as the H22T (while sounding quite good) is not doing it for me with the koa guitar.

ElfDude wrote:Dunno how I missed this one. That's fantastic!

Thanks Elf! :P

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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby Garnoch » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:36 pm

I love koa and that is some beautiful wood you go there, wow, congrats!!

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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby jfo3000 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:24 am

Colossal,

Your discussion above - regarding two different manufacturers' AH pickups not actually being used by AH himself - it makes me wonder if perhaps AH doesn't want his actual pickups available to the public?

Both of your guitars are stunning. I am envious.
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re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby jfo3000 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:30 am

I like the purple couch as well!

The guitars look amazing on it!
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colossal
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Re: re: NGD HH1X Koa

Postby colossal » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:39 pm

Garnoch wrote:I love koa and that is some beautiful wood you go there, wow, congrats!!

Thanks! Your new build is incredible as well!
jfo3000 wrote:Colossal,

Your discussion above - regarding two different manufacturers' AH pickups not actually being used by AH himself - it makes me wonder if perhaps AH doesn't want his actual pickups available to the public?

Both of your guitars are stunning. I am envious.

I wonder about that myself. The original Seymour Duncan that was marketed as an Allan Holdsworth pickup was 13.2k and way too hot. I don't know if AH was ever really associated with that. The Carvin H22T is around 8.6k and really more of a true bridge pickup. I don't know if this is or ever was called a signature pickup; I don't think so. Allan has been quoted as saying that everyone should find their own voice and own methods so I do respect that because one cannot find one's own voice if they only copy. I have carefully studied his approach and his tools because I want to understand how he thinks, but not so I can be a fanboy clone. But from studying his music and the HH guitars, it is my belief that nothing he does is by chance so his preferences for pickup and electronics is carefully chosen to help him achieve the sustain-without-distortion singing horn tone. While my Koa guitar, which still has the stock H22T, sounds great, my alder/maple does sound much better (IMO). I plan to swap out the pickup and pots this weekend.
jfo3000 wrote:I like the purple couch as well! The guitars look amazing on it!

Thanks!


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