Posts tagged ‘wenge’

31/03/2017

Review: Kiiras Instruments Ahti + Ukonkirves

Kiirassoitin – instruments from the Purgatory; the name alone makes pretty clear from the get-go that these aren’t your dad’s guitars!

Simo Iiskola, the man behind Kiiras Instruments, is a custom guitar maker (and drum builder!) from Central Finland. His main guitar line – the Katras Series (katras is Finnish for flock) – stands firm as a wholehearted manifesto to Metaldom, both visually and in terms of sound.

Kitarablogi got the chance to spend some quality time with two Kiiras Katras guitars – the Ahti and the Ukonkirves (prices starting from 1,495 €).

****

The Kiiras Ahti (named after the Finnish water god) is a two-horned affair, looking like the wild love child of a Fender Strat and a Burns Bison.

The hand-distressed, rustic finishes on Katras Series instruments resemble the bark of the birch tree.

The reviewed Ahti was built using a three-piece alder body.

All Kiiras Katras guitars feature a three-piece body, with a wide central piece and two narrower pieces added on the sides.

The Kiiras Ukonkirves (ukon kirves is the Finnish equivalent of Thor’s Hammer) is a Flying V-shaped electric guitar.

The reviewed Ukonkirves uses ash for its body.

Both instruments feature a rib cage chamfer.

All Kiiras Katras guitars have five-piece maple and wenge necks with sturdy bolt-on joints.

The area around the bolts is dressed away for easier access to the top frets.

Simo Iiskola uses top-drawer Gotoh parts in black chrome, like the Gotoh SG381 machine heads on our review instruments.

The Gotoh Floyd Rose is a model GE1996-T.

The wenge fingerboard comes with 24 chunky jumbo frets.

Our vibrato-equipped review guitars feature a 16-inch fretboard radius, while stoptail-equipped Kiiras guitars usually come with a compound radius ’board.

The look on these Kiiras instruments is non-more-Metal, and the pickups have been chosen accordingly.

The Ahti comes with a pair of passive humbuckers – the Seymour Duncan Sentient (neck) and Nazgûl (bridge)…

…while the Ukonkirves sports a sole Nazgûl humbucker in the bridge position.

The stainless steel pickup rings, switch plates and jack plates are all custom-made to fit the birch bark theme.

The Ahti’s controls comprise a three-way switch – giving you neck pickup, off [!], and bridge pickup – as well as separate volume controls for each pickup and a master tone.

The Ukonkirves makes do with two controls – volume and tone.

The electronics cavities look very clean, and they are shielded with conductive paint and a foil-lined wooden lid.

****

Despite its ”distressed mythical old plank” looks, the Kiiras Ahti feels every bit the smooth, well-balanced, and comfortable custom-made guitar it is.

The flattish C-profile neck is fast, but chunky enough not to feel flimsy or uncomfortable. The frets have been seated and dressed with great care, although some might find the look of the fret ends a tiny bit scruffy. The important thing is, though, that the frets (and fret ends!) feel even smoother than the guitar’s cool satin finish!

The reviewed Ahti was set up for standard-C tuning. The set up was fantastic, offering a slinky, yet precise playing feel, coupled with an in-tune Floyd Rose.

Seymour Duncan’s Sentient and Nazgûl humbuckers are among the darkest and most brutal passive humbuckers offered by the company. Still, these pickups manage to combine brooding darkness with a very musical and rich top end. Sure, these humbuckers will kick your amp’s butt, but they don’t offer blunt power at the expense of great tone.

Here are two basic demo clips recorded with a Blackstar HT-1R:

I turned to a Metal expert for the demo track to do the guitar and the genre justice. My son, Miloš Berka, recorded the guitar tracks using his Atomic Amps AmpliFire amp modeller:

The Kiiras Ukonkirves is a great V-shaped guitar for the no-compromise, no-nonsense lead guitarist.

If you try to play a V-style guitar seated, you’re doing it wrong. This type of guitar is meant to be used standing up with a strap.

Just as on the Ahti, the feel and playability of the Kiiras Ukonkirves is fantastic, and its set-up (in D-standard tuning) was spot on!

It may all be in my head (or down to the tuning), but I feel the ash-bodied Ukonkirves sounds a tiny bit brighter than the alder-bodied Ahti:

Once again Miloš recorded the demo track using his Atomic Amps AmpliFire amp modeller:

****

I’m sure some will find the looks of these two Kiiras Katras guitars a little bit too much of a visual statement. They’re entitled to their views, and won’t have any problems finding a black instrument.

There’s no denying, though, that both the Kiiras Ahti and the Kiiras Ukonkirves are about much more than just bold looks. These are excellent custom-made electric guitars, completely geared towards the needs of modern Metal guitarists.

Simo Iiskola’s Kiiras Instruments also offers plenty of custom options, from the pickups and electronics used all the way to different headstock shapes. If these guitars rock your boat, go check them out!

****

Kiiras Instruments Ahti + Ukonkirves

Prices starting from 1,495 € (includes hard case)

Contact: Kiirassoitin

Demo Track composed, played and recorded by Miloš Berka.

Pros:

+ handmade in Finland

+ custom options available

+ workmanship

+ playability

+ finish

+ sound

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

13/03/2017

First View: Kiiras Instruments

Demo Track composed, played and recorded by Miloš Berka.

****

KIIRAS AHTI

• bolt-on Kiiras 5-pc. maple/wenge neck
• wenge fingerboard with 24 frets
• alder body
• Gotoh machine heads and Floyd Rose vibrato
• Seymour Duncan Sentient and Nazgûl humbuckers
• Schaller Security Locks
• case included

****

KIIRAS UKONKIRVES

• bolt-on Kiiras 5-pc. maple/wenge neck
• wenge fingerboard with 24 frets
• swamp ash body
• Gotoh machine heads and Floyd Rose vibrato
• Seymour Duncan Nazgûl humbucker
• Schaller Security Locks
• case included

****
Contact: Kiirassoitin

08/03/2017

Guitar Porn – Kiiras Instruments

Contact: Kiirassoitin

Save

07/03/2017

Tulossa *** Coming soon *** Kiiras Instruments

Contact: Kiirassoitin

Save

Save

06/08/2013

Review: Warwick Corvette Standard Ash

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – body angle

Warwick’s Pro- and Artist-series instruments are being built in South Korea these days, which results in lower prices when compared to Warwick’s German basses. The question is ”Are Korean Warwicks really thoroughbred Warwick basses?” Read on…

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – full front

The Warwick Corvette Standard Ash (current price in Finland: 873 €) is the German (Warwick Series) Corvette Bolt-On’s more affordable Korean Pro Series counterpart.

As is already hinted at by its name, the Corvette Standard Ash bass features a body made from swamp ash.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – full back

Three long stripes of ovangkol are used as the main ingredient for the neck. The ovangkol pieces are visually offset by two thin strips of ekanga. Both woods come from West Africa.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – neck joint

The Corvette’s neck is screwed on using four separate screws and individual washers. A round chamfer on the body takes away some of the bulk for smoother top fret access.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – neck grain

Warwick’s famous oil and wax finish brings out the rich hue and the lively grain in the ovangkol.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – tuners

Korean Warwicks come equipped with the exact same top-drawer hardware found on the company’s German models.

The Corvette Standard Ash sports Schaller-tuners.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – headstock + nut

There are more cool pro-touches on the front side of the headstock too – truss rod access is possible without using a screwdriver, and the top nut is Warwick’s own, fully adjustable Just-A-Nut-III model.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – fingerboard

A wenge fretboard and bell bronze frets – most bass players would already know that this is a Warwick bass by this picture alone.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – bridge

The bridge is a masterpiece of German engineering. In addition to intonation and action, this chunky number also allows for the adjustment of string-to-string distance. Naturally, everything is then locked in place securely using grub screws.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – MEC pickups

The Corvette Standard’s J-sized pickups are made by German pickup buffs MEC.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – controls

This bass features all-passive electronics, offering controls for master volume, pickup balance and master tone.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – electronics

Inside the extremely clean back cavity you’ll find a set of special MEC-pots.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – body angle 2

Warwick’s smooth satin oil-finish is called Nirvana Black.

The bass comes with a User Kit bag containing a user’s manual and strap locks, as well as all allen keys needed for adjustment.

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – beauty shot 2

Regardless whether the instrument comes from Germany or South Korea, if it says ”Warwick” on the headstock players’ expectations with regard to quality, playability and tone are bound to be high.

One of the key points of Warwick-quality is the quality of woods used for crafting their basses. It’s not only about the unblemished looks, but also about the right (read: light) weight. Thanks to the company’s strict guidelines there are no unpleasant surprises when it comes to a Warwick’s weight and feel.

In ergonomic terms the Corvette Standard Ash is also a genuine Warwick – the body feels comfortable and the whole bass balances very nicely on a strap, thanks to the long top horn.

The Corvette’s neck profile starts off as a slender-but-full ”U” at the top nut, broadening out nicely the nearer you move towards the the body. The neck’s oil finish gives the bass a very natural feel.

This bass has been designed to make slap-playing easy, with plenty of room between the top of the body and the bottom of the strings. And the Corvette is no slouch when it comes to other playing styles, either.

Played acoustically this bass displays a charmingly raunchy mid-range, coupled with a clear, piano-type attack.

As you can hear clearly in the soundbites below, the natural tone of the Corvette shines through nicely in its amped-up performance also. All audio clips have been recorded using a SansAmp Bass Driver DI -box and a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound-card. Each clip starts off with the neck pickup on its own:

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – back beauty 2

The Korea-made Warwicks represent a win-win-situation in my opinion. The Pro Series basses aren’t second class Warwicks by any stretch of the imagination, instead they offer us cash-strapped musicians professional grade instruments with a friendlier price tag. It’s 100 percent Warwick quality and tone at a moderate price – this should spell ”great value” in anybody’s book!

****

Warwick Pro Series Corvette Standard Ash

873 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

****

Pros:

+ value for money

+ workmanship

+ quality tonewoods

+ pro-quality hardware and electronics

+ finish

+ playability

+ sound

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – beauty shot

18/06/2013

Testipenkissä: Warwick Corvette Standard Ash

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – body angle

Warwickin Pro- ja Artist-sarjat rakennetaan nykyään kustannussyistä Etelä-Koreassa, minkä ansiosta firma on onnistunut tarjoamaan myös saksalaistuotantoa edullisempia bassoja. Mutta, onko korealainen Warwick todella täysverinen Warwick? Lue eteenpäin…

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – full front

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash (873 €) on saksalaisen (Warwick-sarjan) Corvette Bolt On -mallin edullisempi korealainen, Pro Series -vastine.

Nimensä mukaisesti Corvette Standard Ash -basson runko veistetään suosaarnista.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – full back

Soittimen kaula valmistetaan kolmesta pitkästä ovangkolpalasta joiden väliin on liimattu kaksi ohutta ekangaviilua koristeeksi. Molemmat puulajit tulevat Länsi-Afrikasta.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – neck joint

Corvetten kaula on kiinnitetty ruuvaamalla. Saarnirunkoon lisätty pyöreä viiste tekee liitokohdasta sulavan.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – neck grain

Warwickin öljy- ja vahaviimeistely tuo ovangkolin upeat syykuviot herkullisesti esiin.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – tuners

Korealaisissa Warwickeissa käytetään ne samoja laatuosia kuin kalliimmissa saksalaisissa sarjoissa.

Corvette Standard Ashin virittimet tulevat Schallerilta.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – headstock + nut

Pro-meininki jatkuu myös lavan toisella puolella – kaularautaan pääsee ilman ruuvaria käsiksi, ja satulaksi on valittu Warwickin oma, helposti säädettävä Just-A-Nut-III-malli.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – fingerboard

Wengeotelauta ja jumbo-kokoiset nauhat kellopronssista – jo tämän kuvan perusteella jokainen basisti varmaan tietää, että kyseessä on aito Warwick-basso.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – bridge

Firman omaa tallamallia käytetään lähes kaikissa Warwick-soittimissa. Intonaation ja kielikorkeuden lisäksi pystyy tässä tallassa myös säätämään kielten välisiä etäisyyksiä itselleen sopivaksi.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – MEC pickups

Corvette Standardin J-kokoiset mikrofonit tulevat saksalaisvalmistajalta MEC.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – controls

Basson elektroniikka on täysin passiivinen, ja se tarjoaa säätimet master volumelle, mikrofonibalanssille, sekä master tonelle.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – electronics

Erittäin siististä elektronilokerosta löytyy MEC:n erikoisvalmisteisia potentiometrejä.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – body angle 2

Warwickin oljypohjaisen mattaviimeistelyn nimi on Nirvana Black.

Soittimen mukana tulee firman User Kit -tasku, josta löytyy käyttöohjeen lisäksi kaikki säätämiseen tarvittavat kuusiokoloavaimet, sekä hihnalukot.

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – beauty shot 2

Riippumatta siitä tuleeko basso Saksasta tai Koreasta, asetetaan jokaiselle Warwick-soittimelle erittäin tiukat laatukriteerit.

Yksi keskeisimmistä on käytettyjen puiden laatu, ja tähän kuuluu virheettömän ulkonäön lisäksi myös tarkan määritetty painoraja. Tämän ansiosta Warwick-bassojen kanssa ei koskaan tule ikäviä yllätyksiä painon suhteen, eikä soittomukavuudesta tingitä.

Myös ergonomialtaan Corvette Standard Ash on aito Warwick – soitin istuu erittäin mukavasti soittajan kehoa vasten, ja kompaktin rungon pitkä yläsarvi pitää soittimen hyvässä tasapainossa hihnassa.

Corvetten kaulaprofiili alkaa satulan lähellä hyvin lihaksikkaana, mutta silti hoikkana U-muotona, joka muuttuu leveämmäksi ja selvästi laakeammaksi runkoon päin siirtyessä. Kaulan öljyviimeistely tuntuu hyvin miellyttävältä.

Tässä mallissa kaula on asennettu runkoon niin, että kielten alta jää riittävästi tilaa släppaukselle, ja muutkin yleiset soittotyylit sujuvat Corvette Standardin kanssa kuin tanssi.

Akustisessa äänessä on aimo annos keskialueen rouheutta selkeällä, pianomaisella klangilla höystettynä.

Kuten esimerkkipätkistä kuuluu, Corvetten akustinen luonne säilyy ehjänä myös basson vahvistetussa soundissa. Soundiesimerkit on äänitetty linjasoittona SansAmp Bass Driver DI -boksin (ja Focusrite Saffire 6 USB -äänikortin) kautta suoraan tietokoneeseen. Jokainen pätkä alkaa kaulamikrofonista:

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – back beauty 2

Tässä testissä tuli minulle hyvinkin selväksi se, että Koreassakin osataan rakentaa täysverisiä Warwick-bassoja. Pro-sarjalainen ei ole toisen luokan Warwickilainen, vaan tuo meille basisteille sen aidon Warwick-kokemuksen oman kukkaroomme ulottuville. Hinnasta on tingitty, mutta laadusta ei – ja hyvä niin!

****

Warwick Pro Series Corvette Standard Ash

873 €

Maahantuoja: Musamaailma

****

Plussat:

+ hinta-laatu-suhde

+ työnjälki

+ puiden laatu

+ osien ja elektroniikan laatu

+ viimeistely

+ soitettavuus

+ soundi

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – beauty shot

13/06/2013

Tulossa… Coming soon… Warwick Pro Series Corvette Ash

Warwick Pro Series Corvette Ash teaser

****

Lisätiedot: Musamaailma

****

03/09/2012

Andy Irvine & Warwick Corvette Pro 5

 

Lisätiedot: Musamaailma