Speaking of price increases...

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by PowerTube44, Jan 14, 2022 at 2:50 PM.

  1. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't want to clutter the other thread with this, but for all of you talking about price increases, I've got one for you.

    In 2015, I bought my first Carvin, a DC600. Neck-through, Quilted Maple top, Aquaburst finish, real Floyd, locking tuners (not that they matter with a Floyd nut), five-piece neck, Birdseye Maple fingerboard, diamond abalone inlays, Satin painted rear of neck, factory hardshell case.

    My final price was a little over $1800.00. This was about a year before the Carvin name was ditched in favor of Kiesel.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I just did a mockup of my exact same DC with the same specs today, and look what we get:

    DC600Mockup.jpg

    Don't get me wrong; I'm not picking on Kiesel because it's not their fault, but it does illustrate the mess we're in.
     
  2. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    Sweet axe!

    I agree on the last part. 'Nuff said.
     
  3. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom >>> Moderator <<< Staff Member

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    they'd do good to move out of CA...

    the problem w/ this, is that, if you were ever to try to sell a Keisel, people don't expect to stray away from the $1K mark. I've seen people trying to sell some recently, for around $1700-1800, but, they sit & sit...

    they're good guitars..

    One thing though, & while we won't discuss the politics of it, it is politics. CA has very restrictive laws on glue, paints, finishes, etc., plus high workman's comp rates. Overhead on an industrial mfgr'ing building in San Diego, plus building insurance, business insurance & add employee insurance & workman's comp, unemployment, it's a wonder that anyone can run a business in CA anymore...

    Their instruments were attractively priced, when you could get a total custom shop for around $2K +/-... this will hurt them...

    They've never gotten a good shake from the industry. I thought their sound gear was pretty good, bang-for-buck. I had procured a few of their PA systems for people. You used to be able to get something on par w/ Mackie/Behringer pricing, but twice the quality or better...

    Some people do not like the kids, & when they took over... :shrug:
     
  4. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    Their used asking prices have been steadily increasing over the last few years. I can't testify that they're actually bringing that much, though. For me personally, I would be more likely to buy a used Carvin or Kiesel than most other brands. Other people may not see it that way.

    Yeah. I have a reissue X100B half stack I bought new in 2014/15 or so. It's killer. It's a shame that their family infighting caused the split.

    As for your other points, I totally agree. California is not good for commerce in any way, shape, or form. But the problem is that they'd have to move their skilled workers with them, or else the quality of the product would suffer.

    I still say that they need a major endorser. I'm a big fan of Greg Howe, but they need to lock in someone who is more of a household name. Too many people still view Carvin/Kiesel as an "off brand."
     
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  5. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    This may have something to do with it...

    Jeff Kiesel Roasted Fretboard Rant - YouTube

    He did end up apologizing after much pressure.
     
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  6. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, he's a great guy who just had a moment. It happens to all of us.

    I loved my first Carvin so much that I ordered two more within the next year. On my last one, in 2016, I could have gotten the Kiesel logo upgrade for free, but opted to keep it as Carvin.

    They're now offering compound radius necks, same dimensions as Jackson, and I'm thrilled. But there's one thing they could offer that just might push me over the edge: extra-jumbo frets.
     
  7. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    About the Roasted Maple neck. Others may disagree, but that customer could have further darkened the neck with MinWax stain if he wanted to. I've done it on a couple of Strats and it works well.
     
  8. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom >>> Moderator <<< Staff Member

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    I think though, people didn't like them well before that, which is why they were having trouble & split. Then the audio division fell flat...

    The old man, was oldschool businessman.

    When kids take over (& I've seen this in many businesses), they don't believe in that oldschool mentality. What I mean, is, in that, they spend much time, at a loss to the company, to gain lifetime customers. They also stand behind their product above & beyond all required duties to the customer.

    Nowdays, people don't run business like that, & usually, when the baton gets handed to the new generation, all that goes out the window, overnight & long time customers balk, which then becomes a reputation, as word gets out...
     
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  9. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    I don't know him so can't judge him either way. That rant was probably tough to watch and not form an opinion for a lot of people I imagine.

    How do you get stain through the finish?
     
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  10. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the neck, I guess. I bought a Mighty Mite Strat neck a few years ago to replace one that had a busted truss rod. This neck was raw wood, so it took the stain quite well, giving it that aged, brownish yellowed look.

    I did it recently on another Mexican Strat. It worked, but for some reason it took a lot longer. I'm not sure why.

    Of course, it won't do a thing on a laminated neck.
     
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  11. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    OK, that's what I thought.

    I know it won't work on a neck with finish on it.

    The neck in question that JK went on a rant about never should have happened IMHO. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see how mismatched the color of the woods were. Maybe someone was hitting the bong on their lunch break?:shrug:

    I did read some posts of people who actually liked it, but the rather large majority was negative.

    Kind of a shame because they make a fine product and shouldn't be continually judged for that mistake.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022 at 4:24 PM
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  12. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    I think Jeff just sort of had a moment there. Technically, he's right. The Roasted Maple option is non-returnable, but this customer had a certain vision in his head that the guitar didn't match. It happens. Still, that video wasn't the best decision he's ever made...

    Jeff has actually been balls-to-the-wall in promoting the company. He's introduced several new innovations for them; new pickup models, getting away from the "oddball" 22-pole piece types, introducing fanned fret models, the headless models, the new finishes, the new online guitar builder, he's super active on social media, and so on.

    But I agree with your assessment that when a child is handed the reins of a company that their ancestors built with blood, sweat, and tears, the result is often shameful.

    On the amp side of the family, they now only offer preamps of the X100B and Legacy amps. Steve Vai is still an endorser.
     
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  13. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. When my first Carvin arrived, I felt a very small (and I do mean small) misgiving about one thing. Their jumbo frets aren't as "jumbo" as I was imagining. But technically, they're jumbo fret wire. It's just that when I think of "jumbo" frets these days, I think in terms of Ibanez and LTD, with frets so big a roller coaster could run on them. So, my mistake, not theirs.

    I had another revelation, as well. When I first plugged it in, it sounded somewhat dull and lifeless to my ears. So I was thinking, "Maybe what they say is true. Carvin pickups suck."
    I figured I would have to do a pickup swap to Duncan or DiMarzio.

    BUT... not the case. Just for the giggles, I did a string change and this guitar came to life! It was like removing a blanket from a speaker.

    The reason? Those stupid Elixir strings. I hate them with a passion. I had tried their acoustic strings a few years earlier after hearing all the hype, and they sounded dead to my ears. Once I switched the Carvin to a set of Super Slinky in 9-42, it was night and day.

    It also makes me wonder... do people buy a Carvin with those shitty strings, assume that the guitar or the pickups just don't sound good, then send it back or sell it? Since Elixirs are supposed to last for years, maybe they don't even think about changing them?

    Them: "Elixir strings last for years!"
    Me: "That's a long time to SUCK!"
     
  14. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more! If I were to use coated strings I would use D'addario EXP coated strings. They coat the winding prior to wrapping the string so they have a more natural "feel" about them. That's if, but I'm not. Coated strings make a sound like wearing a condom feels IMHO.
     
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  15. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    Great analogy!

    :applause:
     
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  16. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    not picking either but i rather mine say Carvin.
     
  17. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. To me, it just looks classier and it's also a much more established name.
     
  18. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, "Carvin" sounds more respectable than the Eastern European word for a starchy sweet blended boiled fruit soft drink

    Also, JK would have been a better fit for selling lifted trucks, vapes, or energy drinks.

    ...that said, he HAS done surprisingly well with the latest trends of modern metal crowd. Still probably would have been better to keep the old more traditional clientelle and pitch the new designs as Carvin Kiesel Series or something.
     
  19. PowerTube44

    PowerTube44 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The third and last one I ordered was an ST-300, with the Thicker Neck option. They discontinued that model, along with several others. The only way to still get one is to order the Jason Becker Numbers or Tribute models, with very limited options, or possibly go Option 50. I'm honestly surprised (and happy) that they haven't ditched the DC600 by now.

    So yeah, he could have the best of all worlds if he wanted to.
     
  20. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Kiesel's prices are going up along with everything else is because the tampon's in Washington can't stop printing and spending FIAT currency. In 2015 the federal debt was 18 trillion, in 2021 it is 28 trillion!!!!!!!
    Round and round and round it goes, when it will all collapse nobody knows......................
     
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