The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Hi, Looking to buy a Kiesel/Carvin Alan Holdsworth HH2 headless model guitar at a reasonable price. Trem not important, nor wood selection, most colors fine. Let me know if you what you have and how much?

    Thanks

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Not exactly what you're looking for, but this is pretty cool.

  4. #3
    Thought about that but I like mini travel and hollow aspect as well as the bigger neck profile of the HH2. Thanks for the idea!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Thought about that but I like mini travel and hollow aspect as well as the bigger neck profile of the HH2. Thanks for the idea!
    Isn't the Keisel version solid?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    Isn't the Keisel version solid?
    I'm pretty sure they offer a chambered body as an option, Jim.

  7. #6
    Wow I thought they were all chambered like his headstock version models Carvin made? Thanks for the clarification!

  8. #7

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    When the Holdsworth headless model was first introduced, it was a semi hollow. But then, shortly before he passed away, they updated the specifications to make the standard model a solid mahogany body with an option of chambering.

  9. #8
    Was Alan Holdsworth the one who suggested the change to solid body construction, or was it a Kiesel decision?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I'm pretty sure they offer a chambered body as an option, Jim.
    They do but I THINK it's a different construction than the original HH2. I'm going by memory (never a great idea at my age) but my recollection is that the original was essentially a hollow body construction with a top, sides and back whereas the chambered option of the current model is more of a thinline-style construction. Maybe someone more in the know could verify that.

  11. #10
    Wasn’t there braces running from the but end of the guitar all the way to the neck? Would love to see pics of the different construction builds of the various Holdsworth models throughout the it’s beginning to current.

  12. #11

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    This is supposedly the basic routing of the current HH2. They of course also have to rout for the pickups, bridge and neck. But if this is correct, the current HH2 is build closer to thinlines such as a thinline tele, CS336, etc

  13. #12
    Thanks for the pic, it really helps understand the difference. But being the body is so small to begin with, I wonder how both the weight and tone are actually affected.
    I would think choice of body would affect the tone as much?

  14. #13

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    That guitar is almost unusably bright IMO. Probably cool if you’re only using distortion. Had one for a second and it was a neat thing but every other instrument I owned sounded better.

  15. #14

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  16. #15

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    I really liked this one. He's a quality player (albeit not playing music that I would play) playing both a current model Holdsworth and a Strandberg Salen Jazz. All of it is over the same backing track using the same gear and the same settings so it seems like a really fair apples to apples comparison. The two guitars sound very different to my ears and again to my ears, the Strandberg sounds much better. It's warmer and fuller and as a player, I could imagine it being much more to my liking.


  17. #16

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    @jads, would you mind clarifying your actual needs/desires/budget for us, to maybe help us focus? If you're just wanting the AH guitar, that's fine; or do you want a "travel/small" guitar, and for fun or pro use, etc.? There are so many options out there, depending on what you are looking for!
    Thx!

    Marc

  18. #17
    So looking for a small travel guitar that can also double as a pro gigging instrument as well. I use to own both of the headstock Carvin versions. Utimately sold due to the neck pickup wasn’t Jazz or have enough bass for my ears.

    I figure I could deal with that on this version,since it’s so compact and able to fly with easily. Also I liked the hollow body or chambered part as well as the larger neck profile..

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    I really liked this one. He's a quality player (albeit not playing music that I would play) playing both a current model Holdsworth and a Strandberg Salen Jazz. All of it is over the same backing track using the same gear and the same settings so it seems like a really fair apples to apples comparison. The two guitars sound very different to my ears and again to my ears, the Strandberg sounds much better. It's warmer and fuller and as a player, I could imagine it being much more to my liking.
    From that video, I haven't the faintest idea what either of them would sound like for jazz, Jim. The effects being used seem to obscure any tonal personality either instrument might have. Although I agree with you that the Strandberg sounds "better", I think that's only because it sounds a little bit more like a guitar and less like a synthesizer than the Holdsworth through that rig.

    I've played one standard Strandberg 7 and was not at all impressed with its sound, which was thin and sterile even through an excellent 1x12 Friedman tube amp that seemed ideal for jazz to me. Admittedly, the guitar was not their "jazz" model, so the pickups are totally different. They use traditional open pole piece style humbuckers in the "jazz" models and their own proprietary p'ups in the standard Bodens (which is what I tried). I was ready to buy the Strandberg on the spot when I saw it hanging on the "used" rack at GC a few months ago........until I played it.

  20. #19
    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!

  21. #20

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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!
    To be honest, I thought the Strandberg looked and felt cheap. The wood surfaces reminded me a bit of barn planks - no part of the instrument felt like a guitar should feel, regardless of whether it's matte or gloss. The join lines between wood pieces were not fine and neat. They reminded me of a pile of children's building blocks sitting on each other. Interestingly enough, I did not find the compound flat surface neck to feel at all weird and could have lived with it very happily. But I felt like I was playing a cheap guitar made of Lincoln Logs or a pile of scrap wood.

    And the hardware was cheap and flimsy. Releasing all tension on the "tuners" didn't result in movement of the hooks that pull on the ball ends - I had to grab the strings and yank to get them to detune. When tuning up, the mechanism felt rough, gritty, imprecise, and sloppy. In my opinion, it was just not worth even $1k USD used - and the asking price was $1500. I think they still list for about $1800, which I don't think is justified by the quality.

    Despite the pickup position so close to the bridge, I think a skilled craftsman could make a pair of humbuckers that would give a decent jazz sound. Other guitars with long scales / necks and short bodies manage to sound much better than this did.

    It was a 2018 standard Boden 7, so maybe their higher end and/or more recent models are better made or finished. I'd love to try another to see if this one was just a weird coincidence of outlier tolerances. But based on my series of 1, I have no desire to own a Strandberg.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    So looking for a small travel guitar that can also double as a pro gigging instrument as well.
    ..
    Cool, thanks!

    I posted recently about the Rocca Guitars, which were designed for that! [On sale recently; I'm sure you can make an offer ...] Any of the "ergonomic/klein-style" guitars are about the size of a fancy tennis racquet bag, and I've traveled easily with my Forshage "Orion." So, Forshage, Klein, Sankey, Soulezza, et al. are (expensive) options. Occasionally you see "budget" options by other builders, like this guy in the UK (no idea how it actually plays, though). Heck, even Mick used to play one of those funny Steinbergers!



    Edit: I'd add Wright Guitars to my list, along with his earlier line, the "Soloette" models.
    Last edited by marcwhy; 06-17-2022 at 01:19 PM. Reason: update

  23. #22
    Thanks for suggestions, but I’m going to stick with the Carvin or Kiesel mainly since it’s a known quantity which is easily resealable.
    Plus I’m familiar with the neck shape and glued in neck features.

  24. #23

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    i've owned a holdsworth and a zeus. Neither of them was so bright that they were unusable. I'm not a big fan of 25.5" guitars with 24 frets. I don't like the neck pickup sound but you can hear that with the tone control rolled down it gets a nice jazz tone.

    I liked the zeus better than the holdsworth for jazz tones.


  25. #24
    Thanks Jack Z. Kind of settled on the HH2 for a used one. I like the larger neck shape and smaller size for the flying/ travel option as well. Always enjoy your demos, especially since they demo the Clean Jazz aspect of the guitar!

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Thanks Jack Z. Kind of settled on the HH2 for a used one. I like the larger neck shape and smaller size for the flying/ travel option as well. Always enjoy your demos, especially since they demo the Clean Jazz aspect of the guitar!
    i think the carvin and zeus are close to the same size. They use the same case. You can also order the zeus in the thicker neck profile. To me it sounds better. I didn't like the chambering on the holdsworth I had. It seemed to be designed for higher volume playing. At low volumes and for clean stuff I thought the zeus was better.