The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26
    Jack you tried different wood versions as well as chambered. Did they have any affect on the tone at all? I read where you advised just get the stock woods I believe?

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  3. #27

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    i did try different wood variations. I've had several holdsworth guitars and a couple zeus guitars. My thoughts are that the super fancy woods contribute negatively to the guitar. My favorites were the mahogany or ash body and mahogany or maple neck, rosewood or ebony fingerboard. I think with many of these instruments folks get carried away with all the wood options and the ones that I've played that had the exotic tops and fingerboards were dead sounding to me...

    I had one holdsworth that had a walnut body and neck and ebony board. Didn't sound as good as the painted red zeus which was swamp ash, maple neck, ebony board.

    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Jack you tried different wood versions as well as chambered. Did they have any affect on the tone at all? I read where you advised just get the stock woods I believe?

  4. #28
    Thanks Jack, I learned that lesson back in the late 1970’s with having a Zebrawood body Shecter Strat build. YUCK! Heavy as hell and no sustain or tone, sure looked great, Lol!

    Can you elaborate on the chamber body a bit more. I’m only familiar with the earlier headstock versions of Carvin Holdsworth. Reall liked the thin body aside from the 24 fret neck pickup placement. I just figure I can deal with that somehow.

  5. #29

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    i can't elaborate too much on the chambered body because i don't really know much about it. All I know is that at low volumes, the chambered holdsworth guitars I owned were thin sounding and didn't have the blooming sustain that you would expect from a semi-hollow like a 335/339, etc.

  6. #30

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    I own one. Standard woods, hollow. Tonally it will never replace an ES-175 or something of that ilk, but I think there's a pretty nice jazz tone to be found in the neck humbucker. It takes some re-EQing of amps and pedals compared to more more traditional guitars, but there are nice sounds in the thing. One thing I've found is that I'm much happier using a volume pedal rather than riding the guitar volume the way i'd usually do. There's something funny about the wiring that makes the sound thinner as you turn the guitar volume down, as opposed to most humbucker guitars I've used over the years where you lose treble when turning down. At around 8-10 on he guitar volume it it a pretty full sounding guitar, at 5-6 it's decidedly not.

    About the hollow aspect, I don't know that it makes it sound like a hollowbody but it does make it easier to ride the interaction/feedback from the amp the way you can with say an ES335

  7. #31

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    My own problem with these very small bodied guitars with the bridge so close to the butt is, I can't get a comfortable right arm position. It's the only reason I dumped my Parker Fly. Of course, that's just me.

  8. #32
    These guitars are not ideal for me either but I do like the travel fly aspect, especially nowadays. And having owned the Carvin earlier headstock versions the neck shape works well for me as well!

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    My own problem with these very small bodied guitars with the bridge so close to the butt is, I can't get a comfortable right arm position. It's the only reason I dumped my Parker Fly. Of course, that's just me.
    I agree. I had to spend a lot of time with it to get comfortable and then once I did, it made it really hard to switch back and forth between it and my 175. I wish I had it back though because it's definitely nice for travel. The one that Arnie is selling looks really nice but I'd have to replace the pickups and remove the preamp so I'll probably just wait for a simpler one to come along.

  10. #34
    Well I’ll have to wait till Jack Z buys and decides to sell it. That way I’ll really get a great guitar at a great price! Lol!

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Well I’ll have to wait till Jack Z buys and decides to sell it. That way I’ll really get a great guitar at a great price! Lol!
    i won't be buying an HH2. I will probably buy a headless guitar for travel within the next 6-12 months. However, i'm leaning toward the ibanez Q52 which is 1/2 the cost of the strandberg or kiesel.


  12. #36

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    Since I’m looking at a three plus month hospital stay, I wanted to get something small to have with me. Years ago when traveling a lot I had a Hohner/Cort Steinberger copy that was so easy to air travel. Played and sounded like, well, horrible.
    So looked around and took a chance on the newer Spirit by Steinberger version. Found a used one for 300 at GC, ordered it, perfect condition. Even in the ads they talk about the neck being more a 60’s LP neck so yes it’s very comfy.
    Found a device to convert to regular single ball strings on eBay - 49$ - so it got a set of TI flats.
    Then replaced the neck pup with a Fralin Modern PAF I had in the drawer.
    It has morphed into a quite acceptable jazz sound! Using the NUX Mighty Plug I can dial in a very clean warm sound. (OK, it’s not my PM200, but that ain’t going with me))).
    With a strap it’s pretty easy to play. Build quality compared to the one I had is far better. Nice curly maple veneer too, in blue trans.
    YMMV but I’m quite happy.
    jk

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    I don’t think any of these instruments are intended for a traditional Jazz type of tone or player. It’s a shame because they really just need to offer a 22 fret option. But like Pop Music they are interested in the general public as their consumers. Can’t blame them, since it’s a hard business to compete in to stay alive!
    I’ve been asking for a 22 fret version since forever. It’s a total shame. I swapped the neck pickup on my Strandberg original for a SD A2Pro and it definitely helps but it would be much better a couple frets up.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    i won't be buying an HH2. I will probably buy a headless guitar for travel within the next 6-12 months. However, i'm leaning toward the ibanez Q52 which is 1/2 the cost of the strandberg or kiesel.

    Are these available in the US now? There are almost impossible to get in Canada. I think they could really change things.

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    Are these available in the US now? There are almost impossible to get in Canada. I think they could really change things.
    …..and there’s a 7 in the lineup! I gotta check that out.

  16. #40
    So just me but I really don’t care for such thin neck profiles most of these companies including Kiesel offer.
    I would ideally love to find a used Kiesel HH7 seven string!

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    I would ideally love to find a used Kiesel HH7 seven string!
    I was a dyed in the wool Carvin enthusiast since I discovered how good they were in about 1990. I ordered a custom 7 in about ‘93 and loved it for over 25 years for all kinds of gigs. I only sold it when we retired and downsized because I had less than half the storage room in the apartment that I had in our house.

    But I played a few Kiesels made after Lowell was gone and thought they’d declined in quality. The website had changed to reflect what seemed to me like a real departure from their original philosophy - prices were higher, and it looked more like a high pressure car dealer’s marketing than a customer focused musical instrument maker.

    A few years before I sold mine, I’d called them to ask about sending it back for a fresh setup with fret leveling, repairing a few minor dings, and going through the electronics. I was told curtly that they no longer did any work on customer guitars and that I’d have to go through their website to try to find out what parts were available.

    I have to admit that Hoshino has never responded to any email inquiries from me about the half dozen or so Ibanezes I bought new and have owned since the 1970s (3 of which I still use regularly and love after many years). So I don’t exactly love them either. But if their new headless 7 is even close to an original Holdsworth 7, it’d be no contest for me. And if it’s really good, I’ll violate my 1 in 2 out retirement philosophy for it.

    Lowell Kiesel seems to have been a good guy dedicated to the ideals of high quality, great value, and customer service. I ordered my DC7 by phone back when their custom shop really was a custom shop. Everyone with whom I interacted was wonderful, and they were all welcoming when I arrived at the San Diego factory to pick it up because I had a gig at the San Diego Marriott in 1994 and flew out with an empty case! I truly miss that level of caring and interaction. I’d gladly pay today’s prices to know that the maker has my back - but I do not believe that Kiesel does.

  18. #42
    Over the years I’ve met some very honorable people in the gear business, and quite a few who weren’t so as well. The sad part is some of the best gear wasn’t always from the ones I actually admired the most.
    In fact I sold a Dumble OD Special I owned after Howard Dumble pulled one his sad contract tricks on a freind of mine. And I’m sure there were many others who fell prey as well.

    At this point I’m looking second hand to keep the cost affordable and being it’s mainly a travel guitar as well. So no real rush or time constraint involved. I’m sure given time someone will sell one.

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    At this point I’m looking second hand to keep the cost affordable and being it’s mainly a travel guitar as well. So no real rush or time constraint involved. I’m sure given time someone will sell one.
    My travel guitar is a Kubicki Express that Phil made for me over 40 years ago. You can find good ones used for under $500, and they're amazing little instruments. The Express is a miniature LP with a Duncan Quarter Pounder in it and very high quality pots, knobs and jacks. They're neck-through construction, and mine's solid maple. He made some with contrasting mahogany wings, and he made a similar version of a V that he called the Arrow. Intonation's actually pretty fine even with a 22" scale, and the amplified sound is the equal of any solid body I ever played.

    I just looked on Reverb and eBay, and there are several available. I highly recommend it! Here it is next to my lap steel for perspective.

    Kiesel/Carvin HH2 (Alan Holdsworth Model)-dscn1297-jpg

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by blille
    I’ve been asking for a 22 fret version since forever. It’s a total shame. I swapped the neck pickup on my Strandberg original for a SD A2Pro and it definitely helps but it would be much better a couple frets up.
    I have too. Kiesel and strandberg don't seem interested.

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    Are these available in the US now? There are almost impossible to get in Canada. I think they could really change things.
    They are. There are a bunch of them on reverb and I saw a few on ebay too. They are starting to show up used too. I recently bought an indonesian made Ibanez EBH1505 bass. I'm assuming this guitar is from the same series. The bass is really great. Very well made.
    Kiesel/Carvin HH2 (Alan Holdsworth Model)-messages_0-jpeg

  22. #46
    Well interesting the various comments about wood choices and chambered vs solid. Seems to me the Fatboy was an all hollow body with interesting bracing. The regular version Carvin Holdsworth, not quite sure of construction?

    If I end up having to order one, Im leaning towards all mahogany body and neck for a warmer tone and possibly a rosewood fingerboard. I guess much like a LP Special but with the longer scale length, should help the highs cut through.
    Any opinions on neck wood or such choice?

  23. #47
    Well I found one on Reverb used. They seem to be more expensive at least the Kiesel branded ones. Should arrive next Monday or so.
    Hoping it works out!

  24. #48
    So have had it for a week now and getting used to it. Tried 11-50 strings but too stiff and went to 10-46 instead. Neck shape is actually quite nice for being thinner than I’m used to. But seems to have enough shoulder,so it’s okay.

    Have yet to gig with it live, but sounds quite usable at home so far. I imagine I’ll still have to deal with the neck pickup having a bit less bass than I normally like. But so far a really nice instrument.

    https://reverb.com/item/57321703-kie...worth-sunburst