NGD GOC Materia 6 and Vajra 7

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by horrorwes, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. horrorwes

    horrorwes SS.org Regular

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    Specs
    Scale: 27-25.5 (Vajra 7 String), 26-25 (Materia 6 string)
    Body: Swamp Ash (Vajra has wenge top)
    Neck: Maple with wenge stripes, carbon fiber rods, spokewheel truss rod, stainless steel jumbo frets, 16 inch radius, wenge finger board
    Pickups- GOC 4th Generation high output Alnicos
    Hardware- GOC proprietary (seems pretty strandberg like)


    I wanted to build a headless guitar. So, I stumbled upon GOC who mentioned online that they would build necks and bodies. We initially agreed to work together and I’d buy a body and neck and then source the parts myself. But, after a lot of back and forth, I decided to put down a little more money and have the guitars nearly finished by GOC (I wanted them unfinished so that I could oil them myself). I ordered the guitars in early July and received them early October. The timeline got extended, but I was given almost weekly updates on the process. I got a lot of shop pictures and pictures of bridge prototypes and final versions. So, I felt like I was always in the loop.


    Fit & Finish- Shipping from China, the action was a bit off and there was some string buzz (more on the materia than the vajra). But, that was easy enough to fix. The spoke wheel truss rod access is excellent and responds well. There were maybe one or two slightly sharp frets on each guitar. These weren’t razor sharp, I could still play comfortably, but I filed them down and softened the edges. Otherwise, the stainless steel jumbo frets feel solid and look nicely polished. Both the guitars were (intentionally) unfinished. I wanted to finish them with oil (which I’ve since done). There were a few, small, scratches on the surface of the wenge top. Likely these were just tool marks, but when I oiled the guitars and did some rubbing, they seemed to disappear. When I go back and re-oil them in the future, I may do a complete final resand of the wenge top just to make sure everything is uniform.


    Hardware- These are my first forays into headless hardware. Everything works as is should. The finger tightening screws are very tight. But, I can use tools to help with the turning of the knurled ends. And, things seem to stay pretty solidly in tune. So, no complaints there. The string locks work as they should, but I did notice that the lock for the first E string (on the 7 string) wants to travel. I think it’s screw may be loose. The plastic electronics covers were a weak point. I’m not worried about plastic covers, these are 6-700 dollar guitars, but the set screws for the electronics covers were tiny and stripped as soon as I tried to remove them. I had to use a drill to bore out the inside of 2 of the screws and then I used pliers to remove them. So, I’ll be replacing those screws at some point. But, because the covers sit so tightly in the cavities, I don’t actually need screws to keep them in place.


    Electronics- The pickups are a high output, 4thDimension set (a proprietary GOC pickup). They are a little on the darker side to my ears. But, the drive and gain sounds stay focused and tight without being shrill and the clean sounds are clear and warm so I’m happy. I’m still dialing in a solid crunch sound (which I honestly don’t use that often). The covers are a sort of battleworn look. Initially I was very skeptical of these psuedo BK covers, but the look is growing one me. The switches worked well and seem solid. The switch on the materia was loose when it arrived, so I tightened it. The wiring looks good. The pickups are splittable, so I may install a push pull in place of the volume at some point. I have the parts, but not the desire to solder right now.


    Neck- The shape of the neck is a medium D. It’s not ibanez thin and not too big either Wider than my Flaxwood Aija but still nice. The fretboards on both guitars are wenge. I prefer ebony but the wenge is a nice middle ground between ebony’s hardness and the warmth and graininess of rosewood. Also, the offset inlays are maple which was a nice touch from GOC. Playing in the dark might be a little difficult, but I’m mostly a home player and can always add some luminlays or glowing side dots or something if need be. The neck feels solid and really didn’t seem to move very much during the journey from China to Florida.


    Body- The Materia 6 is all swamp ash. It’s a light guitar, but not crazy light. Around 6-7 lbs (I’m guessing as I don’t have a scale). Noticeably lighter than my flaxwood. It sits on a strap and balances nicely. The strap button on the top horn is on the back side of the guitar, which I’m not sure I like, but it sits well and is comfortable so I’m getting used to it. The Vajra 7 has a wenge top (which was a free upgrade so thanks GOC). It is just a bit heavier. Its top horn is also more squared and looked like it might dig into my pec a bit when on the strap. But, it doesn’t so that is nice. Both guitars are quite loud acoustically and resonate well. I have finished them with crimson guitars finishing oil, 2-3 coats, to retain a pretty raw, resonant feel (and look).


    I’m very happy with both guitars. I’ve never had a sevenstring before so that has been particularly exciting. The input jacks are basically straight which means I need to get a right angle jack so that I can ensure my leg doesn’t push against it when I’m sitting.
     
  2. BlackSG91

    BlackSG91 Loves Black Guitars

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    Those are pretty rad looking guitars. How do you find playing on the fanned out frets?


    ;>)/
     
  3. mlp187

    mlp187 Burrito Master Contributor

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    Damn dude, nice write up! Congrats on your new guitars!

    Thanks for sharing!
     
    horrorwes likes this.
  4. horrorwes

    horrorwes SS.org Regular

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    The fan on the 6 string isn't too much of an issue. But, I can feel that my normal 10s feel a little extra taught. So, I might have to go down a gauge for that one. But, on the 7 string, the 27-25.5 feels pretty normal. I put a set of 60-10s on it and the low be has a nice amount of tension.
     
  5. TheUnvanquished

    TheUnvanquished SS.org Regular

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    Both of those are awesome. I particularly like the 6. I think it is because of the pointed horns, but, yeah, both are fantastic.
     
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  6. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Mind uploading some pics of the back & neck joint?
     

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