My NGD - 9 String Headless Guitar with Q-Tuners

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by frahmans, May 15, 2016.

  1. frahmans

    frahmans SS.org Regular

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    Hi Everyone,

    If you've read the Luthiery and Modification section, some of you may have seen a thread about a Mango Guitar with an 8, 9, or 10 string format. I actually have had it for two weeks and now would like to provide my thoughts to complete the story. I hope you enjoy reading the write up and find some interesting information.

    Please find the pictures first, as customary, and I will have the specifications and review afterwards.

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    I'll begin with some specifications, as obligatory, and we'll take it from there. The theme was to use as much distinct woods as possible. This is to provide a unique commemorative piece for the guitar.

    Body: It consists of 3 layers, inspired by a few builders (Caparison & Strindberg).
    - The top that you see is a Flamed Mango.
    - The core is Indian Rosewood.
    - The back is Buni (a type of berry wood).

    Neck: It consists of a 5 piece laminate wood made of maple, zebra wood, maple, zebra wood, maple.
    - The scale is 26.5' to 30'
    - The nice part is the maple is the birdseye variety
    - The neck profile is an asymmetric profile that changes as it flows from the top of the neck to the heel. It has a flatback area whose surface angle changes.
    - The neck heel, as you can see, is excellent and allows access to the 27th fret without problem. It is only possible because the neck was attached to the body similar to a neck through.

    Bridge & Nut: These are alridgeempire headless & nut system
    - If you look, these are similar to Strandberg and Technology4Musician systems.
    - These are the 1st prototypes from them as Stranough contacted Aldridge to build the bridge and nut.
    - I downloaded available open online sources for making a headless bridge and nut system, which I then sent to them as the basis for their design
    - As you can see, the aldridge design incorporates a modern guitar saddle.
    - To tune and intonate, they follow similar principles to other headless systems

    Pickups & Electronics: Q-Tuner and EMG BTS
    - The Q-Tuners used are the largest size they have for guitar. They are extremely hi-fi and clear.
    - I think the best I can describe them is single coil clarity with the power of a humbucker. They are transparent and everything you play is translated 1:1.
    - The BTS has individual controls for bass and treble, a concentric control for mids and mid focus area, an active balance control, and a volume control.
    - Here is a high gain sample https://soundcloud.com/frahmans/9-string-riff-n-lick-q-tuner
    - I really love the cleans and mid-gain sounds in addition to the high gain. Tapping and ambient passages are just so lively.
    - With the active controls, I can add or remove bass, mid, or trebles to sculpt the sounds from the guitar. I can make the guitar more hum bucker or more single coil depending on the setup of the controls.

    Some improvement areas:
    - The frets are stainless steel and are all level. There are no sharp fret edges protruding on the end of the fretboard. However, the fret job is not perfect because I can still feel some sharpness when I reach my hand around to fret the 8 & 9th string. I'm going to get a fret job similar to an ibanez prestige to have round fret end treatment. The issue are the clearance of the frets on the tope and not the edge.
    - The routing for the two truss rods are not perfect but I can let that go. I just wish they were neater.

    Overall, the guitar is light, resonant, plays well, and sounds very good through a real amp (HT-20) or sims (Positive Grid). I love playing clean and tapping now due to the dynamics and the clarity of the guitar.

    Thank you for reading.

    If anyone is asking. The inlay themselves are the initials and the date when my wife and I lost our son 6 months into pregnancy when we has born stillborn.
     
  2. TechDeathWannabe

    TechDeathWannabe SS.org Regular

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    Beautiful guitar, and a touching/equally beautiful way to remember. :wub:
     
  3. frahmans

    frahmans SS.org Regular

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  4. leftyguitarjoe

    leftyguitarjoe Correct-handed

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    I really wish Q-tuners didnt change their look. The old ones were so cool.
     
  5. M3CHK1LLA

    M3CHK1LLA angel sword guardian

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    cool looking design...congrats
     
  6. frahmans

    frahmans SS.org Regular

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    Yes, I wish that were true. I'm still happy with the sound even though the logo is not so eyepleasing
     
  7. mrdm53

    mrdm53 SS.org Regular

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    HNGD! I though that you are going to build a 8 string earlier
     
  8. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I... still... need... more... HD... pics... from... that... guitar...
     
  9. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Scooped All The Mids

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    Congrats man!
     
  10. wigger

    wigger SS.org Regular

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    This is a real beast. I really like the woods, too. Congrats man, HNGD!
     
  11. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    I wasn't aware they changed the look, so after googling it, I found this on their website:

    Figured others might be interested. The looks is really what set them apart, shame they changed it.
     
  12. frahmans

    frahmans SS.org Regular

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    been at work and playing again in my spare time.

    thanks for the feedback. I've found out thr following:
    - I changed the setup and intonation of the guitar. the downside of the aldridge bridge is that you to remove one screw to remove it fom the base plate and then move it back.
    - I really need to get some of the fret end clearance rounded ala ibanez prestige just to make it lot smoother
    - I love the neck on this and really love the mango. Moving forward, flame mango is something I will use again.


    in regards toe the q-tuner looks, yeah, it's sad that it's not the transparant cover. after comparing them with my emg57/66, they are very dynamic and responsive to how you pick. they are very transparant and it really force me to play cleaner and precise.

    my only gripe is I am confused how to get a 9 string set for this baby here in Indonesia. I'm going to go the store and check if bass strings will fot he headless bridge housing for the 3 low strings and use a 9-42 for the rest. Other than that, I wanna ask if anyone has tried the 9-105 ernie ball set?
     
  13. PBC

    PBC Composition Ontology

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    Happy NGD! That neck profile looks very comfortable.

    Thanks for the clips, I haven't seen any Q-Turner demos in ages it's nice to hear their application especially on 9s.
     

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