Kiesel Stay or Go?


Dec 3, 2012
Birmingham Alabama
That Kiesel is light years better in material and build quality compared to a Gibson. Not on the same planet. Being the Kiesel is a custom build wonder what the woods are? The Kiesel is also a 25 scale like a PRS so will have a different feel and slightly snappier tone than a Les Paul. Been playing Carvin Kiesel guitars since the late 1980's own 8 right now have owned more than I can count over the years. Don't know those Bare Knuckles so can't comment on their tone. A standard CS6 build would be a mahogany neck and body with a flame maple top but you can get just about anything in woods if you want. Some one here suggested a Duncan Pearly Gates set they can sound good in a dark guitar but also can be very bright and harsh in a guitar that leans to the bright side. Post some photos front and back and lets see what you are working with. The default pickups from Kiesel would have been the A2 Berylliums which sound very very good if you like a slightly overwound fat PAF style tone.
Half my Carvin Kiesels have Duncans half the stock pickups. Have a set of the Beryllium's in my 16 DC 600 and really like those pickups.
Here is a demo with 2 of my favorite Kiesel Humbucker combos. Both sets are medium output very articulate and sweet combos. The Beryllium set A2 mags around 9K bridge 8K neck more vintage vibe the other set. The Paralax bridge Gambale neck set are slightly hotter with A5 mags and more modern sounding. Both sets are absolute killer combos.
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Poster Extraordinaire
Aug 14, 2009
innsmouth, MA
Sounds like you like two guitars-- the Kiesel and the LP. But neither sounds quite right. I would pick which ever you like the best for how it feels and how it makes you feel-- the looks, everything-- and then change out the pickups.

But I suspect the LP will be easier to get exactly where you want it in terms of sound. Any of the PAF reissues would do the job--Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Gibson, or even many of the cheaper ones such as those reviewed by Antigua Tele on TDPRI. You could add push-push or push-pull pots to give you parallel or coil split for even more options.

On the Kiesel it might be as simple as putting in 250k pots instead of 500k pots to dial back the brightness. Would be a very cheap thing to try. It may also be that a slight twist of the tone knob gives you exactly the tone you want, no mods needed.

Another great option on the Kiesel would be to switch out the tone pot(s) for a Stellartone tone knob. It's a Varitone style switch that actually works. As you dial it you get less bright tones, but they're not muddy like a typical tone knob.

Couldn’t you just turn the tone down instead of breaking out a soldering iron?