Kiesel RV69K Roy Vogt Signature Vanquish 6-String Bass – Interview with Roy + Bass Review…
The latest in the signature line from Kiesel Custom Guitars is the Kiesel RV69K Roy Vogt Signature Vanquish 6-String Bass. As bassists, many of us know Roy, and it is now possible to own and play the same model of bass that he uses. No second guessing, the bass can be the same exact as Roy uses, or you can choose from many options including body, neck and fingerboard woods. The first thing that I noticed was that aside from being a 6-string bass was the double P pickup configuration; I don’t recall ever seeing a 6-string bass with this type of pickup configuration. As Kiesel Custom Guitars prides themselves on being 100% American made, they also pride themselves on outstanding quality and workmanship including setup that is second to none, allowing you to play any of their instruments as soon as they arrive on your doorstep; the RV69K is no exception. While I am your typical 4 or 5-string bassist, I found this bass extremely easy to adapt to for playing.
The particular review bass that I was provided by Kiesel Custom Guitars is the same exact as Roy’s current basses, right down to the finish. The body style is the same as the Kiesel Vanquish series basses, and the 34” bolt-on neck is a tung oiled 5 piece maple neck with two walnut stripes, two high strength carbon reinforcing rods with a full adjustable truss rod, with a 14” radius and a 24 fret ebony fingerboard with medium-jumbo frets and pearl inlay dots. The body consist of alder with a 4A flamed maple top. Even being a 6-string, the neck on this bass is very comfortable and the bottom cutaway of the Vanquish body gives you access to all frets in the upper range across all strings.
TC) What sets the RV69K Roy Vogt signature bass apart from the other 6 string Kiesel basses?
Roy) The combination of the bolt-on neck, alder body and P bass pickups give the option of a very traditional tone, which is sometimes hard to get with 6 string basses. The wood choice (flamed maple on alder) makes for a light instrument with an inherently lighter tone. The sweepable midrange also allows you to tailor the midrange frequencies that will let the bass tone “sit in the mix” well live or in the studio. The 5-piece neck looks nice and has a little bit more stability compared to a slab-sawn neck. Ebony is far and away my favorite fretboard. All in all, I took the favorite features of my favorite Kiesel basses of the last 24 years and added my own personal touch.
As I mentioned before, the pickup configuration is double P, which are the SCP2 split-coil pickups. The electronics are 18-volt passive/active with volume, blend, stacked bass and treble and stacked mid with sweep. The passive/active is controlled with the push/pull feature of the volume control. With the choice tone woods for the RV69K and the many tonal options from the double P configuration right down to the 18 Volt electronics, you have tone for days!
TC) What inspired having the double P pickup setup?
Roy) I have found that the P bass configuration emphasizes a nice part of the midrange for recording work. At one point I had a Bartolini system with switchable coils on a bass and I found that the best tone, particularly for recording, was the double P configuration. We tried all the combinations of humbucking/ P on a prototype test bass including changing the direction of the pickups and this worked the best for me. Also, I’ve played Carvin and Kiesel basses for a number of years and really enjoyed them. I wanted to contribute something unique with my design both visually and sonically. It’s really conceived as a “working man’s 6” and there aren’t many 6 string P basses out there.
While there are different color choices for hardware, the Kiesel RV69K Roy Vogt Signature Vanquish 6-String Bass for the review came with chrome hardware, which is standard. Other options are black and gold. The bridge is the Hipshot A style and strings can be either through the body or top load through the bridge. Standard strings are Dunlop Super Brights Roundwound in gauges .030, .045, .065, .085, .105, and .130
The RV69K is great to play, so much that I took it out on quite a few gigs. It does extremely well both live and in the studio, and is very comfortable to play for hours on end. Just sitting around in the studio and experimenting with the different tones I could get out of it was a lot of fun.
Roy) I teamed up with Kiesel guitars to create the ultimate recording bass. It’s definitely exceeded my expectations in that it’s comfortable, beautiful, easy to play and it sounds great! I feel it adds a unique flavor to the Kiesel bass family. I’m honored to have worked with this great company for nearly a quarter of a century.
The RV69K has the option of coming with a soft case or hardshell case. The soft case that came is of exceptional quality, very sturdy and lightweight with a thick padded interior to protect the bass and additional padding for neck support. It has two outside pockets with enough room for books, iPads, tablets, cables, tuners, straps, etc. IT can be carried by the padded handle or on your back with the padded straps.
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