Allan Holdsworth: 1946 – 2017

Allan Holdsworth

The entire Kiesel Guitars family is shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our great friend and legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Allan passed away unexpectedly on Saturday at his home in Vista, California.

Allan has been a part of the Kiesel Guitars family since 1994, when he worked with Mark Kiesel to design his innovative signature Holdsworth Series guitars, the single-pickup H1 and dual-pickup H2, which were officially launched in 1996.
Close to a dozen prototypes were designed and built over a two-year period, and the result were instruments that had a unique look, as well as the sound and playability that Allan needed for his influential playing. In 1999, the lineup was expanded with the HF2 Fatboy, which had the same basic design, with a hollow body featuring a unique twin-beam floating suspension system designed by Mark Kiesel. These guitars were instrumental in expanding Kiesel's appeal beyond mainstream rock-n-roll, into jazz and fusion circles.

In 2012, Allan and Mark Kiesel teamed up once more to push the boundaries of guitar design with the Holdsworth Headless Series guitars, once more expanding Kiesel's area of expertise and appeal into new markets. For years, Kiesel players had been asking for a headless model, and it took Allan and Mark's combined playing and building skill to bring this to fruition, which paved the way for many popular Kiesel models, including the headless Vader Series.

Allan was more than just a musician; he was a true friend to everyone at Kiesel Guitars, often appearing at the Kiesel booth at NAMM, and at sponsored clinics and other Kiesel events. He always had time to chat with staff and customers, and contributed not only to the world of music, but to Kiesel Guitars. He will be sadly missed.

Kiesel Guitars would like to extend their most sincere condolences to Allan's family, and the millions of fans around the world that his music touched over his amazing 50-year career.

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New Kiesel Aries Series 4, 5 & 6 String Basses

New Kiesel Guitars Aries Series BasssesIn response to many requests from Kiesel Guitars players, the Custom Shop is excited to add 4, 5 and 6 string Aries Series bevel-top bolt-neck basses to our lineup of made-in-the-USA instruments. Aries Series basses are modeled after our popular Aries Series guitars, with similar aesthetics and sleek and stylish design, making for an aggressive-looking instrument that also plays and sounds amazing.

Passive electronics with Kiesel Radium humbuckers are standard, and optional active/passive electronics are available, as are other pickup options, such as our SCP split-coil neck humbucker and HB2 bridge humbucker/JVA single coil neck pickup combination. The sculpted neck heel with 5 recessed bolts makes for easy access high on the fingerboard, and contributes to the instrument’s punch and tonal definition.

Like all Kiesel Guitars Custom Shop instruments, you can choose from a complete selection of options, include body, neck, top and fingerboard woods; inlays in a variety of shapes and materials; fretwire, including standard nickel-silver and optional stainless steel and gold EVO; and much more. As on the Aries Series guitars, you can order your new Aries bass with the standard beveled body, or without the bevels, for a more traditionally-styled instrument.

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New Solo Series Standard & Multiscale Guitars

Kiesel Guitars Solo Series Standard and Multiscale GuitarsThe Kiesel Guitars USA Custom Shop is excited to debut our newest guitar series, the Solo Series standard and multiscale bolt-neck guitars. These guitars are based on the popular TL60 and TL70 neck-through models, but with bolt-on neck construction, and in 6, 7 and 8 string models with both standard scale and multiscale fingerboards. All models feature our new sculpted neck heel, with 4 bolt ferrules versus a more cumbersome metal neck plate.

The standard scale S6, S7 & S8 Solo models are available with a standard Hipshot™ hardtail bridge, or our new Kiesel-designed Hipshot™ tremolo. The 6 and 7-string versions are also available with a Floyd Rose tremolo. The multiscale SM6, SM7 & SM8 versions have standard Hipshot™ Solo saddles.

All models have dual Kiesel Lithium humbuckers standard, with master volume, master tone, and 5-way lever-style pickup selector. Each model has optional pickup configurations, including dual Lithium single-coils (SS), triple Lithium single coils (SSS), and single Lithium humbucker/dual Lithium single coils (HSS). All models also have the option for a center-position Lithium single coil (CAP), for use in conjunction with dual humbuckers, for an H-S-H configuration.

Like all Kiesel Custom Shop instruments, you can order your new Solo guitar with a complete host of options, including exotic body, neck and fingerboard woods, inlay shapes and materials, finishes, fretwire, and much more. You can order your Kiesel Solo to perfectly suit your personal tastes and playing style, regardless of whether you prefer understated classic looks, or something completely over-the-top.

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Kiesel-Designed Hipshot Tremolo Added to Select Custom Shop Models

jb100xThe Custom Shop has added the new Kiesel-designed Hipshot™ tremolo as an available option to a number of Custom Shop models. This new tremolo replaces the Wilkinson tremolo, which is being phased out on all models. You can now order the Hipshot™ tremolo on all California Carved Top and California Single Cutaway guitar models; the DC600 and DC700 guitars; Aries Series 6 & 7 string standard-scale guitars; and the SCB6 and SCB7 guitars.

This new tremolo system was in development for many months, and we’re so pleased with just how good this tremolo is that we’re excited to offer it on more Kiesel Guitars USA models. Give the Kiesel-designed Hipshot tremolo a try – we’re sure you’ll love it just as much as we do!

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New Jason Becker Tribute JB100 Standard Guitar

Kiesel Jason Becker Tribute JB100 GuitarKiesel Guitars is excited to team up with our friend Jason Becker to offer the new Jason Becker Tribute JB100 electric guitar, which is modeled after one of the Carvin guitars Jason played in the late 1980s. The JB100 is similar in
design to our enormously popular Jason Becker JB200C, but is the first JB model to have multiple bridge choices, and features the popular 25.5" scale length. It comes with no top woods options for use in conjunction with our standard solid finishes or optional metallic solid finishes. The alder body has an aggressive forearm cut, as well as a deep belly cut, for hours of playing comfort, and the neck-through maple neck has a standard tung-oil finish and thinner profile for fast playing.

A Hipshot™ hardtail bridge with strings fed through the body is standard. You can also choose a Floyd Rose tremolo, with or without locking nut, or our new Kiesel-designed Hipshot tremolo. Direct-mount Kiesel Lithium humbuckers are standard, and passive electronics consist of a master volume and tone control,
with a 5-way level-style pickup selector, allowing for a wide range of tonal possibilities suited for any playing style. The Seymour Duncan Jason Becker Perpetual Burn bridge humbucker is also available.

You can outfit your new JB100 with our extensive collection of Custom Shop options, including body, neck and fingerboard woods; inlays and fretwire; finishes and much more. The JB100 is made in the USA at our Escondido, California Custom Shop.

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New for 2017: Greg Howe Signature GH3 Classic 24-Fret Bolt-Neck Guitar

Kiesel Greg Howe GH3 Class GuitarThe new Greg Howe GH3 Signature Classic 24-fret bolt-neck guitar is our second model with Greg, and the Custom Shop is pleased to offer this new take on our long-running Bolt guitar. While the GH3 is based on the Bolt, it has the upgrades that Greg requested; specifically, a 24-fret neck, and available Seymour Duncan Little ’59 mini-humbucker bridge pickup – another Kiesel first. Our popular S60A Alnico single coil pickups are standard, and Kiesel Lithium single coils are also available, both in an S-S-S configuration.

Other features of the GH3 include an alder body with tung-oiled maple neck, ebony fingerboard with white pearl dot inlays, and a Hipshot hardtail bridge. Our Vintage tremolo is available, as is a Floyd Rose tremolo, with or without locking nut. You can choose from a complete selection of Custom Shop options, including body, top, neck and fingerboard woods; standard solid and optional translucent or metallic finishes, hardware and pickguard colors and much more. No matter what your playing style or personal tastes are, the Kiesel Guitars USA Custom Shop can build you a guitar that you’ll simply love.

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New for 2017: Amos Williams AW5 5-String Headless Bass

Kiesel Amos Williams AW5 5-String Headless BassKiesel Guitars has teamed up with TesseracT bassist Amos Williams to design and build the Vader AW5 Amos Williams Signature headless bass. Amos is well known, especially in prog circles, and in his native UK, having toured extensively with the band in support of their 2015 release, Polaris. Amos is particularly noted for his unique slapping/thumb technique, and the AW5 was designed with his playing style in mind.

This 5-string bass is similar to the Vader VB5, but with a few notable differences, including a 34″ scale 23-fret fingerboard (removing the 24th fret to accommodate Amos’ playing style), and a single high output HB series humbucker. Like other Vader headless basses, the AW5 Signature headless bass is constructed from premium woods, not composites, so its tone isn’t a radical departure from our traditional models. The AW5 headless bass is made in the USA, and loaded with features, along with having Kiesel Guitars full compliment of Custom Shop options available. It’s boutique instrument, without the boutique price, because Kiesel Guitars sells directly to you. You can build your AW5 5-string bass exactly the way you want it, and be the proud owner of an instrument that will last you a lifetime.

Electronics on the AW5 consist of Kiesel Guitars’ 18V active/passive module with master volume, master tone/coil splitter and stacked concentric bass/treble cut/boost. A single HB5 alnico humbucker is positioned right in the sweet spot, producing amazing tones with loads of bottom-end punch.

The AW5 can be fully customized by choosing from the Custom Shop’s large assortment of optional woods, finishes, fingerboard, inlays and more. No matter what your playing style or personal design aesthetic is, Kiesel Guitars can build an instrument for you that will be a joy to play.

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New for 2017: Chris Letchford Signature Series Multiscale Headless Guitars

Chris Letchford Signature Series Headless Multiscale GuitarsHighly regarded progressive guitarist Chris Letchford has been part of the Kiesel family since last year, using the Vader VM7 multiscale guitars as one of his primary instruments. And now, the Custom Shop is very excited to debut the new Chris Letchford Signature Series headless multiscale guitars. Jeff Kiesel worked closely with Chris to design his ultimate instrument, and the CL6, CL7 and CL8 are the result of their teamwork.

The CL Series guitars have a body that’s closer in size and shape to a standard guitar, versus the much more compact Vader Series. There are other appointments specific to the CL Series; most notably, set-through neck construction. The set-through neck design has a smooth neck heel, allowing easy access high on the fingerboard, and offers the warm, rich tones of a traditional set-neck instrument with the great access of a neck-thru shaved heel. This is Kiesel Guitars’ first set-through neck design, and Jeff Kiesel spent a considerable amount of R & D time to make sure it’s perfect.

Other features include a thinner, chambered mahogany body with plain maple top, and a new control layout consisting of master volume and tone, with 3-way mini pickup selector, and mini coil splitter. Angled direct-mount Kiesel Lithium humbuckers are standard, and we’re also pleased to offer optional Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentient pickups; another first for the Custom Shop.

You can order your new Chris Letchford Series headless multiscale guitar by choosing from our huge selection of Custom Shop options, including body, neck and fingerboard woods, finishes, inlays and much more. No matter what your playing style are personal tastes are, Kiesel Guitars can build a CL Series guitar perfectly suited for you.

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New for 2017: Vanquish Series Standard & Multiscale Guitars

vanquish-guitar-trioAfter many requests from our customers, the Kiesel Guitars USA Custom Shop is excited to offer a guitar version of our popular Vanquish Series basses. Vanquish Series guitars are available in 6 and 7 string standard-scale configurations, and 6, 7 and 8 string multiscale models. Vanquish guitars are modern, with sleek and stylish design cues, and have a 24-fret, bolt-on neck in standard or multiscale configurations. The body is more compact than the Aries Series, but larger than the Vader Series, with body styling and contouring that make it very comfortable to play. Our new 2 X 4, 2 X 5 and 3 X 5 headstocks, which will also be offered on other models, add to the compactness of the instrument, and help alleviate neck dive. Hipshot bridges are standard, and the standard-scale models can also be ordered with a Floyd Rose tremolo or our new Kiesel-designed Hipshot tremolo.

You can order your new Vanquish Series guitar by choosing from our huge selection of Custom Shop options, including body, neck and fingerboard woods, finishes, inlays and much more. No matter what your playing style are personal tastes are, Kiesel Guitars can build a Vanquish guitar perfectly suited for you.

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New Custom Shop Finishes for 2017; Luminlay Super Blue Side Dots Now Standard

newfinishes2017The Kiesel Guitars USA Custom Shop is excited to announce several new finish options for 2017! There are 4 new, no charge solid finishes: British Racing Green (far left), Blood Red (left, center), Light Blue and Light Pink. These finishes can be used in conjunction with any non-figured top wood, and can be topped with matte satin clear coat or high gloss. We’ve also added Grape Jelly Metallic (near right) to our list of optional metallic solid finishes. Like our other new finishes, this new metallic finish can be used on any non-figured wood.

Kiesel Guitars offers dozens of finishes on our guitars and basses, ranging from our standard no charge solid finishes, to optional metallic, translucent, Color Shift, flamed and quilted finishes. No matter how your tastes run, the Custom Shop has a finish that will suit you.

In addition, effective January 1st 2017, our Luminlay Super Blue side dots are now standard equipment on every neck we make. Custom Shop guitars and basses, kits and replacement necks will all now be equipped with these glow-in-the-dark side position markers. We use the side dots with a black ring, so they are visible even on maple fingerboards. Luminlay side dots are ideal for dark stages, and dimly-lit studios, making it easy to find your place on the fingerboard. Order your new Kiesel Custom Shop guitar of bass today, and see for yourself!

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luminlay

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