This is now the 3rd Kiesel Guitars/Carvin Guitars I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing (with one more in the chamber), and the first 6 string. Actually, it’s been a goodly long time since I’ve gotten to review a six, and it felt nice to get back to basics for a bit. I love me some ERG, but it kinda feels like taking the donut off the bat if you know what I mean.
This, like the others I have played, did not disappoint. In the video, I liken the SCB6 to a Les Paul, which in my Strandberg review from yesterday I called the ultimate dad guitar. Continuing this metaphor, I’m gonna say the SCB is like the cool, hip uncle guitar. It’s still a classic shape, but it’s updated, classier.
SCB stands for Single Cut Bevel, for reasons I can’t possibly begin to comprehend. The mind boggles. Okay, so it’s fairly descriptive – straightforward, like the guitar itself. Frills are few and far between on this lean machine (of which mine was green), with a simple Hipshot hardtail bridge and clean good looks. The axe I reviewed had a pirate map-y spalted maple top I viewed through a transparent green finish on a limba body, with a matching headstock.
I think this guitar fills a definite niche – someone who wants a modern axe, but not something as modern as a Vader, Strandberg or a Teuffel. The styling and feel of the guitar is evocative of an LP, and with different options (a Tune-O-Matic bridge and mahogany) it could be even closer. But I think the one I played struck a fine balance between the old and the new, without sacrificing any mojo from either. I enjoyed the upper fret access, and having upper frets to access, and the feeling of the guitar’s significant, but not burdensome, weight.
The look of the bevels on this guitar (and on ones that have a third layer of wood peeking out between the top and back) really sets it apart from other guitars in its class. Arm contours are very important to me in particular (if you follow my reviews you know this), but even if you don’t need one that bad, it’s visually streamlining and adds some serious sex appeal (one of many reasons I enjoyed holding it in front of me).
I love a nice birdseye fretboard, and this one did not disappoint. It was also quite striking with the Evo Gold frets, which are a nice compromise between the typical nickel/silver frets and the harder stainless steel. The woods used in this guitar were nothing short of primo, and made me fantasize about which ones I would choose, should I decide to plunk down the scratch for one of my own. I’ve talked about the Kiesel Passive pickups in my other review, but I’ll reiterate: they sound killer. They are definitely part of the modern vibe of the axe, rather than the vintage part, so bear that in mind, they’re no PAFs.
With all the options, this guitar came to about $2100, direct from Kiesel Guitars/Carvin Guitars, although the base price is $899. If this tickles your fancy, build your own at the Kiesel Guitars/Carvin Guitars website.