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WAnzik
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:18 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

If you watch the video on the main site of the interview where they talk about the split from the Amp Division, Mark Kiesel and Jeff Kiesel both claim not to worry because they will continue to build Carvin guitars right along wit the Kiesel guitars. So what happened? You can't get a Carvin logo on anything anymore.

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tbonesullivan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:28 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

They stopped caring about the "Legacy Customers". Also with Carvin Audio now defunct, I can see a reason why they would not want to keep using the Carvin name. I mean, the name also came from Carson and Gavin Kiesel, neither of whom are involved with the guitar division anymore.

Still, I feel that the new Kiesel guitars really doesn't care about history, and wants to pretty much get rid of everything Carvin eventually. I've heard they are going to jack up the price on the bolt, probably so they can discontinue it in favor of Jeff's ugly "modern" designs that are about as innovative as making a new bread slicer in 2018.

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WAnzik
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:08 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I think you're right. It's sad.

They've jacked the prices way up on everything. It's not custom guitars for the weekend warrior anymore.

If you watch that video, Jr. is saying everything made before he came along was junk. Those holes in the lobes aren't the only holes in his head.

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walter4music
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:23 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I honestly feel the best era for Carvin/Kiesel was 1984 to 1993. I own a lot of those guitar and they are my favorites. I like and feel the quality has gotten better since 2015. I love my kiesel builds but love my vintage guitars more
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:35 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I have my 1984 LB-40 bass, 1986 DC-125, and I just bought a 1981 DC-100. I am set. It is sad to see Carvin go away. They have been my guitar and amp company since 1978. I have no interest in the $$$ D'jent eye candy guitars Kiesel now makes. Such is life. I hope this site continues.

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Mike in Colorado
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:43 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I think they are trying to get away from the stigma some people had of Carvin in the past being a "Mail Order" guitar. I can understand that, Digitech tried it with their "Hardwire" brand of pedals, once "Digital" became a bad word.
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slayer
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:02 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

They definitely lied about still building Carvin guitars along side Kiesel guitars. I can feel the bitterness that Jeff has for that name. I have a 2017 JB200C with the Carvin name on it and it is flawless. I see the new in-stock JB`s have Kiesel on the headstock. They are wiping clean the Carvin name. Jeff is designing some seriously ugly guitars and the pricing has been rising extremely fast. He is trans forming the once great Carvin into his private Djent company. It kills me to watch this happening. I am probably done with new Kiesel guitars unless his attitude changes.

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spudmunkey
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:15 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Here's how I came to terms with it: The "Kiesel name" is finally honoring the man who created the company (Lowell), and the man (Mark) who headed up the revitalization of the guitars several decades ago, making it into the shop you knew for the last few decades.

The "Carvin" name shouldn't have to mean anything Mark or Jeff. It's named after members of the family that didn't have much of anything to do with the guitar line...in fact, they were once going to close the guitar division a few decades ago until Mark Kiesel stepped in/up.

Wouldn't keeping the name "Carvin" on their guitars, when CARson and gaVIN have nothing to do with the company, seem like nothing more than pandering, or banking on nostalgia?

And since no member of the family that stuck with Carvin Audio was wanting to continue (I can't remember if it was Carson or Gavin passed away years ago), and John (if I remember that name correctly), who was part of running the company, retired, and their kids didn't want to keep it running as it was...they folded. Can't hardly blame Kiesel to want to distance themselves from the name of a company that went out of business suddenly, cutting off all warranties, etc....and they probably had some inside information about that happening before any of us did.

Word is that there will always be at least some instrument with Carvin on the headstock to retain the Trademark. To keep someone else from using a company name, you have to show a bonafide effort to continue it's use...otherwise anyone could start up a new "Carvin Guitars" and make them overseas, no options, sold in Guitar Center, etc. So you can still get the Classic Bolt, the JB200C, and the PB basses with the Carvin logo (The PB, interestingly, was Jeff's first design to go into production). The reason you see so many JB200C with the Kiesel logo is because from the moment they launched Kiesel, they would let anyone put the Kiesel logo on anything that was branded as Carvin. They still do. It was never the other way, but some people request the Kiesel logo even on these models listed above.

If they let the "Carvin" name go and it was reused by someone unrelated, you'd still have lots of folks who would think that they are related to Kiesel, which has been running for I think 3 years now. Even though they don't use Carvin in much of their branding, people still ask them about amps all the time on social media. Imagine if there was a whole 'nother line of guitars out on the market that said "Carvin"!


Last edited by spudmunkey on Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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spudmunkey
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:26 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

tbonesullivan wrote:

I've heard they are going to jack up the price on the bolt, probably so they can discontinue it in favor of Jeff's ugly "modern" designs


For what it's worth, it ended up going up $50, $40 of which would have been the cost to upgrade to stainless frets if one wanted those anyway.

Also, they just released the GH3 last year, which is as identical to the Bolt as you could possibly imagine, but with 24 frets. There's also the SH6, a semi-hollow version of the CT, and their bolt-on Solo. All three are more "classic" designs people have been requesting for years. I mean...their "tele" for decades was a 25" scale, 24-fret neck-through, and now it's finally a 25.5" bolt-on with a 22-fret option.

I've only been following them since '08, and I know they have a rich and storied history in the decades before...but from my own perspective, it seems like they are still giving new products that some of the "classic" players want, and also catering to a market they were never chased before with new products and designs.
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tbonesullivan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:10 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

What I find funny is that Jeff apparently hates the Gibson SG shape, but half his designs are obsessed with extreme bevels.

Either way, Carvin audio going away is still something I can't wrap my head around. Couldn't they have hired someone outside the family to run it? Or maybe was it actually losing a lot of money, so they just decided to close it.

It just seems odd that they put out this brand new fangled Vai pedal and then POOF.. company closing.

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WAnzik
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:42 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Sure, everyone knows how the Carvin name originated but it took on and became an entity on it's own. Leo Fender sold the company and the name lives on. He passed away and the name lives on. Gibson still makes Les Paul.

The reason the name changed was pure ego.

When they re-introduced the X-220, which I'd been campaigning for, I wanted the Carvin logo and they told me "no." No new models could have the Carvin logo. "But it's a re-issue of an old model!" "No." So I didn't buy one.

Regardless of the name it's still a mail order guitar. I never realized that was a bad thing. It's always been great that the average player could order their own "custom" guitar.

I don't ever see me owning a new one. At the prices they've reached there's a lot more competition in that range. I'm just a weekend warrior (not even that these days).

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tbonesullivan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:50 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

That's exactly what I don't get. The direct to dealer savings is almost gone. There are other options that honestly are better values for what they are. And of course don't have some ego-maniacs running it.

I like to look at Ernie Ball Music man as the way a guitar family business SHOULD be run.

While Jeff K was out racing his "kiesel racing green" go cart thingy, Sterling Ball & Family was out raising money for Kidney Research.

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spudmunkey
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:21 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

I've noticed two things in relation to Carvin/Kiesel's place in the market with their pricing.

1st: Base model pricing, once you factor in inflation, is basically seeming flat, sometimes lower than it used to be. Often times they seem flat but then now builds come with $100 with free options, making it *technically* a better deal than, say, 10 years ago.

2nd: Here's really where I think they have a bit of trouble: import guitars that were traditionally garbage have gotten good. Years ago, a (what would now cost $500 with inflation) used to come out of the boxes with pre-corroded frets, garbage strings, mile-high action, tuners that couldn't hold tune through the end of a single song, poorly-shielded and low-quality electronics, and suspect body woods made from a collage of 9 pieces.

Nowadays, you can pick up most $300-$500 guitars and you could letimately gig with many (OK, so maybe you still need to upgrade the pickups and hope for at least a Original 1000 series Floyd). For seemingly 2 years, the best playing guitar in my local Guitar Center was a Korean Schecter. I would have put it against any multi-thousand-dollar PRS or Gibson in the store. Best fretwork, best finish, best feeling knobs, etc.

Since seemingly every tom, dick and harry have all started manufacturing in the same handfull of korean and indonesian super-factories, you can get some really decent quality guitars, with off-the-shelf hardware like Grover or Schaller or Planet Waves tuners and Hipshot bridges, and because there's so many models/companies out there, the variation available is almost like getting a customized instrument... Man, it's really stiff competition in the price range Kiesel plays in with their base model prices.

So if you just compare two guitars on paper with similar woods, off-the-shelf hardware, and similar specs, and you can now come to expect that a guitar around $500-800 will play at least pretty decently...it's harder to see the benefit of Kiesel.

So in other words, it's seemingly not so much that they have increased their prices, but it's that the cheaper guitars have gotten better. I'm not saying that they've caught up, but they've narrowed the gap close enough that many don't care about another bump in performance/quality for a bump in cost. You used to pay more to avoid crap...but now you can pay less and still get OK-to-decent.

Like...I'm all about 4K and 4K BluRay...but my girlfriend doesn't see a reason to do anything beyond 1080p up-scaled DVDs because it's already so much better than what it used to be, and it had gotten "good enough" for her. Anything beyond that is diminishing returns with the increased cost.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:30 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

WAnzik wrote:
Leo Fender sold the company and the name lives on.


Because he sold the name along with the company, because he thought he was dying. They still use the name even after he got better and founded MusicMan and G&L.

So in a way, wasn't Fender just riding the heritage of the name that the next generation to run the company didn't earn? To me, that's more disingenuous than CHANGING a name to more accurately reflect those at the helm.


WAnzik wrote:
Gibson still makes Les Paul.


Because Les played them until he died, basically. This is more akin to Kiesel still selling their Holdsworth models...even ones it seemed like he no longer performed with.

For me, I don't buy into the "it stopped being a 'family' name and became a 'brand' name" mentality. To me, the name change is more honest.
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wickid
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:40 am   Reply with quoteBack to top

spudmunkey wrote:
... To me, the name change is more honest.

Same here.
But at the end of the day, isn't it just a name change anyway? Wasn't there a discussion at some point about how much the name on the headstock (or other areas, these days) mattered? Think

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tbonesullivan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:40 am   Reply with quoteBack to top

Just got an email from Carvin indicating that Carvin Audio was relaunching?

Not really sure what is going on at this point.

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UnexplodedCow
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:51 am   Reply with quoteBack to top

Different company since the two (amps/audio and guitars) split apart in 2015. The guitar side disassociated itself with the audio side quite fiercely, and the audio side seemed to limp along until its closure late last year.

Now they're retooling, and look to be producing much of what they had prior to the closure, except the large items (speakers, amps, etc.).

My only real complaint with the guitar side is the 22 pole pickups going away, and I will leave it quietly at that remark. I don't fancy all of their new models, and am not a bolt-on fan. With that said, I bought a Vader once I tried it out in the showroom, and still feel giddy when I pick it up, nearly 3 years after having my own. Fantastic instrument, and at the time, it was still a solid buy; not necessarily cheaper than say, a US made Strat, but options were far more comprehensive for the price. My only regret is not waiting until they had the X trem come out, though I probably wouldn't have bought one without trying it.

Things change, I don't mind the name change, as it's the same group of people making them, and I think the logo looks a little cooler. I'm not all about the whiz-bang marketing and social media stuff, but some of it is cool to see, and I don't see other companies doing it.

They are still very much their own entity, and even if I can't afford a new guitar from them now, the used market has plenty of excellent options, should I start looking again. For better or for worse, it's nice to see their resale values coming up, though as a buyer I miss the days of $300 neck-thru something-burst models.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:28 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

spudmunkey wrote:
WAnzik wrote:
Leo Fender sold the company and the name lives on.


Because he sold the name along with the company, because he thought he was dying. They still use the name even after he got better and founded MusicMan and G&L.

So in a way, wasn't Fender just riding the heritage of the name that the next generation to run the company didn't earn? To me, that's more disingenuous than CHANGING a name to more accurately reflect those at the helm.


WAnzik wrote:
Gibson still makes Les Paul.


Because Les played them until he died, basically. This is more akin to Kiesel still selling their Holdsworth models...even ones it seemed like he no longer performed with.

For me, I don't buy into the "it stopped being a 'family' name and became a 'brand' name" mentality. To me, the name change is more honest.


I can agree with your other post. But I don't agree with any of this. I respect your opinion but they DID ride the Carvin name into this name change so they could very well have kept the "Carvin" name going. Most other companies have multiple brand names under the umbrella. Initially they were going to have just their "boutique" models bear the new name and manufacture Carvins right along with them. But when I couldn't get an X-220 with the Carvin logo ... that p'd me off.

"Carson and Gavin are gone so we have to change the name of the company. " That makes no sense to me. My opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:19 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

WAnzik wrote:
spudmunkey wrote:
WAnzik wrote:
Leo Fender sold the company and the name lives on.


Because he sold the name along with the company, because he thought he was dying. They still use the name even after he got better and founded MusicMan and G&L.

So in a way, wasn't Fender just riding the heritage of the name that the next generation to run the company didn't earn? To me, that's more disingenuous than CHANGING a name to more accurately reflect those at the helm.


WAnzik wrote:
Gibson still makes Les Paul.


Because Les played them until he died, basically. This is more akin to Kiesel still selling their Holdsworth models...even ones it seemed like he no longer performed with.

For me, I don't buy into the "it stopped being a 'family' name and became a 'brand' name" mentality. To me, the name change is more honest.


I can agree with your other post. But I don't agree with any of this. I respect your opinion but they DID ride the Carvin name into this name change so they could very well have kept the "Carvin" name going. Most other companies have multiple brand names under the umbrella. Initially they were going to have just their "boutique" models bear the new name and manufacture Carvins right along with them. But when I couldn't get an X-220 with the Carvin logo ... that p'd me off.

"Carson and Gavin are gone so we have to change the name of the company. " That makes no sense to me. My opinion.


Maybe some internal litigation was happening that caused things to change so drastically. I like the Carvin name, also Kiesel, and am not bound to anything, but it is strange that they publicly declared that they would be making the Kiesel line right alongside the Carvin models. However, the suspicious side of me realizes that they never gave a time table on when they would do this, or stop, so...for a short time, they did, and then they stopped, technically making good on their statement. As a customer/loyalist, we don't have to like it, but it is the reality.

Did it hamper their sales? I honestly don't know, but judging by what I perceive as increased popularity, especially online, I doubt they've had a net loss in sales.
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WAnzik
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:08 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, I guess I just want to whine. I feel part of my "childhood" is gone. I still believe the change is more ego than anything. I like the Carvin name but I'll never own a Keisel.

No disrespect to anyone here or your opinions.

I'd still be a customer if they'd let me buy a Carvin. Oh well, just like women: there's more fish in the sea.

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