State of Kiesel Quality?

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EL_SUPER_BEASTO
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State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby EL_SUPER_BEASTO » Thu Nov 11, 2021 11:26 am

A couple years ago I got a high dollar custom w/ option 50 Kiesel built, and it had major problems with the fretboard finish and neck alignment. The guitar was unplayable past the 15th frets and it had circular sander gouges in the zebrawood board. I sold it at an 80% loss though I could have been dishonest and gotten a great deal more. Has Kiesel improved in QA at all, and I do mean honestly, at all? I'd like to order another because I can't find any factory guitars with the right specs, but I am very apprehensive to consider Kiesel again unless they have gotten their house in order.

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby Sunset » Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:15 pm

I have 2 purchased used(both 2017’s)and 3 built to my specs(2019’s and a 2020). They are all virtually flawless as was the buying experience with Kiesel staff.

On the other hand, I’ve also seen some monumental blunders that got past qc as well as horrific(and very public)customer service incidents.

No idea what the ratio is, so ymmv.

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EL_SUPER_BEASTO
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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby EL_SUPER_BEASTO » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:23 pm

Thanks Sunset, that is in suit with other guitars from Kiesel circa 2020 I have played. I know Kiesel can hit home runs, I'm just apprehensive with such a high build order a second time. A fool and their money, so on and so forth.

I should say that the Kiesel with issues I got was the most wonderful sounding instrument I have ever heard. I would hate to have that go unsaid, it was downright magical to the ear. I'm also not trying to come off as a Kiesel hater, just want to air my dirty laundry to see if the quarter machine is fixed yet. If I thought Kiesel had nothing in comparison to other brands I would keep walking, but I really fell in love with the sound of that guitar they made me despite the upper register shortcomings.

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby CanserDYI » Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:42 am

Mine is literally flawless. I have pored over every inch of it, and not a bad fret, not a blemish, no compromise while playing.

Only "issue" was a few days of a crackly switch which just needed a spray of deox-it, and was fine.

It really surprises me when people have serious issues with their Kiesel seeing as the few I've played and owned have been absolutely spectacular, but I do believe the complaints and definitely feel bad for them.

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby ElfDude » Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:10 am

The Aries I ordered in 2017 came out perfect as well.

Truth is I have no statistics available to me. None of us do. It would be interesting to be able to see how many customer service issues they had in a year vs how many guitars were shipped, but they'll never share that with us. Very few companies would.

So we're stuck with anecdotes.
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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby Sunset » Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:42 am

Out of 4000+ instruments/yr...40=1%. That would be almost one gaff/week, which I have a hard time believing. So, my WAG is <1%.

I think sometimes it seems like a larger % due to the highly vocal nature(and rightfully so) of the folks who pay a large amount of hard earned $ and receive a bum instrument. That’s where customer service comes in. We all make mistakes, but it’s how we handle the mistakes moving forward that shows our true integrity imo. And it would appear that truth is being addressed via Kiesel looking for a bespoke cust service rep.

For all the angry folks out there, please don’t make the mistake thinking I’m some fb fanboy. I’m actually quite the opposite.

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby EL_SUPER_BEASTO » Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:37 pm

That's true, you do always hear more about the negative experiences. I didn't make a stink about my only Kiesel guitar at the time, I knew going in option 50 wasn't returnable and it's not like they cut corners. I wasn't mad about it, but really bummed out I guess. It was an unbelievably quality instrument in every single other regard, and like I said the only one (including Carvins) that I had ever personally owned at all. It gave me the impression that they had worse QA than perhaps was true in reality, but I don't want to be saying fool me twice shame on me if I do the same thing again.

Maybe I'll hold off until they get other things fleshed out like that customer service rep, seems like they are improving many aspects of the company and ordering experience since I have been away.

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby Sunset » Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:17 am

Can’t blame you a bit. Once burned, twice shy. Full disclosure: I’d like put in a build for a bolt-on Aries myself, but I’m holding off until things settle down WRT to the apparently large influx of new business. Don’t want to get caught in a “growing pains” period. :wink:

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby helldorado » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:20 pm

Unfortunately the bum orders do happen, but I've had 5 new builds over the past several years and the worst I've had was some very minor markings on the string ferrules on the back of the guitar on my last build.

I mean if you have legit issues, even with non-returnable options, they have fixed or rebuilt guitars for customers in the past. It really just comes down to what the "issue" is. So I would always encourage to reach out to them if you're unhappy for help. The only time I've seen things not get amicably resolved for the customer (massive social media shitstorm episodes aside) is when it's one of those "perspective" issues. Like I've seen people unhappy with the way a color looked on a top, or the figuring of a top, etc... but that's a whole different story.

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby Sunset » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:04 am

helldorado wrote:Unfortunately the bum orders do happen, but I've had 5 new builds over the past several years and the worst I've had was some very minor markings on the string ferrules on the back of the guitar on my last build.

I mean if you have legit issues, even with non-returnable options, they have fixed or rebuilt guitars for customers in the past. It really just comes down to what the "issue" is. So I would always encourage to reach out to them if you're unhappy for help. The only time I've seen things not get amicably resolved for the customer (massive social media shitstorm episodes aside) is when it's one of those "perspective" issues. Like I've seen people unhappy with the way a color looked on a top, or the figuring of a top, etc... but that's a whole different story.

Yep, but even in those instances I’ve seen Kiesel go above and beyond. Like that young gentleman who felt his purple bass was too black. They built the instrument exactly to his spec, and then took it back when he wasn’t happy with it. I almost always side with the end user, but dang...even I would balk at that one.

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Re: State of Kiesel Quality?

Postby clayyton » Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:02 pm

Unfortunately it sounds like you ordered right at the height of their questionable customer service period. It seems like they had too much success too fast and didn't have time to catch up with their backend processes.

I know they have since assigned Flock to QC every guitar and things have dramatically improved. Jeff has also talked a lot about wanting to improve the customer service experience since that time, and has even removed people who weren't on board with the improved CC experience.

I think it's a fair statement to say that things have improved since then quite a bit both with the QC and the build quality in general. I've ordered 4 since 2018 then and they've all been completely flawless instruments.

I'd say give it a shot. On the off chance that something is wrong, just be polite and persistent and I'm sure they'll make it right for you. I highly recommend ordering with Flock. He's very attentive to the details and having him as your point of contact through the process will be a big plus.

I also highly recommend checking your truss rod when the guitar first arrives, since you never know what kind of weather conditions it was exposed to along the way. My HK got stuck in a FedEx facility during the peak of summer for 6 days and there was a lot of awful string buzz until I straightened the neck back out a little. Beyond that the setup was absolutely perfect.


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