Modded NGD - warning ESP content :)

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by angl2k, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    First the pics of course

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    It's a new old stock ESP Vintage Plus with reversed headstock and scalloped fretboard. I've always wanted a single coil strat clone and since I'm an ESP fan I couldn't let this one get away :)

    Specs: alder body, 25.5" maple neck (bolt on) with scalloped maple fretboard. Sperzel locking tuners, bone nut, Wilkinson vintage trem. Has vintage string spacing of 56mm E to E.

    Now the guitar came stock with Seymour Duncan YJM (could you have guessed by the looks of the guitar? Yngwie inspired :)). Hated these pups right off the bat. They were decent with a bit of crunch or high gain but for my taste the set had too much output or compression going on. The bridge pickup was nearly unusable. Neck pickup was decent though.

    Anyway I ripped those YJMs out and swapped them for a Fluence single width set. First impressions: man they sound so silky. Neck pickup solo sounds great, twangy with tone on 10 but never harsh. Back off the tone a bit and it gets ultra smooth. Neck+middle is decent but that'll sound too much like a regular humbucker so it won't get much use.

    Middle on its own was decent too but couldn't hold a candle to that smooth neck pickup :) Middle+bridge was also decent but the real surprise was the bridge solo. It's not wired to the tone pot so it's quite a bit brighter but again, never harsh. Definitely gonna spend some more time in position 5!

    I liked voice 1 the best, it's the lower output of the 2. Voice 2 is a Texas hot voicing, couldn't really tell a difference except that voice 2 has more gain to it. Need to spend some more time A/Bing it but voice 1 is really great. The Fluences are not true single coils obviously and they are dead quiet. Also no signal loss with long cables/pedalboard.

    Anway on to the main attraction on this guitar: the scalloped fretboard. It's fully scalloped so every fret has a bit of wood cut away. Man I must say it plays like a dream. I was skeptical at first at how it feels to play but adjustment time was actually only a couple minutes. I guess I always play with a light touch. Bends are ultra smooth because of the scallop but the real benefit is in bar chords. Those 6 string bar chords are really, REALLY easy now lol.

    Now on to the downsides of this guitar otherwise I'll sound like an ESP rep. The trem saddle height adjustment screws are sticking so far out it scrapes my right hand when I'm palm muting. I guess I'll have to buy some shorter screws or some have suggested that I get the neck shimmed a bit. Again not really an issue since I won't be heavy palm muting on this guitar but worthy enough to mention.

    Anyways my verdict so far:
    Sound: 6/10, 9/10 after upgrade
    Looks: 7/10 looks slightly boring but nothing a pickguard swap or knob swap can't fix
    Playability: 9.5/10 if you can adjust to the scalloped fretboard
    Quality: 8/10 because a better neck angle might have adressed the saddle height screw issue
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  2. Zado

    Zado SS.org Regular

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    Spectacular man! No idea the YJM sounded that bad tho!
     
  3. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    looks real nice!
     
  4. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred MIW Creature

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    Looks killer man.
     
  5. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    Always thought that model looked awesome, love the reverse vintage headstock. No idea what I’d do with a scalloped fretboard though.
     
  6. feraledge

    feraledge Black Walnut Pounding Bragger Contributor

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    I think every other ESP nerd was as relieved as I was to click this and not see the abomination of a “modded” ESP we feared it could be.
    But that looks sick! Some say boring, I say classy. Reverse headstock is bonerific.
     
    Dineley, Blytheryn and JD27 like this.
  7. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Blames it on "the rain"

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    114E36CF-4823-459E-ACDB-D773E5CD449A.jpeg You can go grab a set of Ideal Reflex wire strippers (maybe other brands have the feature as well). They have a 6/32 thread to cut down screws, and it’s perfect for those saddle height screws. I do it to almost all my Fenders because they’re usually too long.
     
  8. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys she's a keeper! The looks are very simple compared to my other guitars but then again white pearl pickguard on white is just classy af:)

    I'm thinking about replacing the trem with a Floyd Rose rail tail but the chrome version is out of stock lol. Also it's very pricey here in Europe, 439 euro :|
    I'm intrigued by the rail and also it will narrow the string spacing at the bright making it feel a bit more like a modern guitar. It's a dive only trem tho but I'm not a heavy trem user anyways.
     
  9. Wolfhorsky

    Wolfhorsky Regular idiot

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    That is one very pretty axe, dude. I love maple-white-pearl esthetics.
     
  10. mike1033

    mike1033 SS.org Regular

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    Looks great! Are the scallops stock on that guy or something that was done later? They look really clean.
     
  11. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    It was done at the factory. Specs are here:
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    This one was made in 2011 but it's not in the catalog. Maybe it was a Japanese only guitar which was imported somehow.
     
  12. mike1033

    mike1033 SS.org Regular

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    That's awesome! Congrats!
     
  13. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    The YJM are designed to be used with non MV Marshall amps and are stupidly high output. They might not go well with more modern gear.
     
  14. crystallake

    crystallake SS.org Regular

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    This model was based on Joe Stump's custom from years ago.

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    BMusic did a small run of these back in 2010 with gold hardware.
    http://guitarsatbmusic.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=12703

    Your's might be from 6-string.com. Not sure if it's a one-off or not though.
    https://www.6-string.com/esp-vintage-plus-sc-pearl-white-yngwie-malmsteen-yjm-electric-guitar.html

    I also saw a few ESP EII's like that floating around last year, but without a scalloped board. I forget who had them.
     
  15. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    Cool, some more info on this guitar :)

    The BMusic run looks cool with the gold hardware, also they have a different set of pickups in it and gold hardware. Classy :)
     
  16. Trashgreen

    Trashgreen SS.org Regular

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    This model was part of the ESP standard series in 2011 - 2013 for the Export market. Same specs. all years. E-II branded in 2013.

    It´s in the catalog for sure..., that be the Export market catalog!!


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  17. crystallake

    crystallake SS.org Regular

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