NGD: NK Luminous (Chinese headless)

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Lord Voldemort, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    First, here's a photo of the little guy.

    [​IMG]

    I put a lot more time into the video, so if you've ever been curious about this guitar I go over a lot of the stuff. But I will here too for you guys.



    This guy is nice!

    I'm aware of the stigma that China gets for their guitars, and I've now owned three. I had a Fender Modern Player Telecaster, an acoustic and now this. Every single one has been awesome, so maybe I'm just lucking out. In any case, this guitar is stunning.

    It has a flame maple neck and fretboard with a blue satin finish on the back of the neck, Luminlays, rosewood tone/volume knobs that coil split, stainless steel frets, bone nut and a spalted maple top with a really nice burst finish. I'm thoroughly confused as to why this is $270. That's the price of a Squier.

    I was expecting the pickups to be just, unbelievably awful, and they're not perfect, but they're way better than Epiphone, Ibanez, LTD, Jackson, Fender and Gibson pickups. They're kind of like Dimarzios, and they seem to be potted properly because they don't buzz. I'll probably still swap them out, because they're not perfect for what I'm doing, but if I didn't swap them I'm sure no one would be the wiser other than they just look cheap. I'd put them on par with like, old Carvin pickups (not the lithiums which I think are a little nicer) or Caparison stocks. Like, pretty solid but not quite perfect somehow.

    It's not perfect, though. There's a finish flaw at the bottom, the frets need a little leveling/crowning, and there're a couple random imperfections. But honestly, this guitar just screams Schecter to me. The neck is very Schecter for one, but the little imperfections are very similar to the little ones that I had on my Loomis and KM-6. Nut's a little dirty on the side with a little dent, the paint runs a tiny bit in small areas. But those little things are the kind of problems you find on $5-1,000 guitars, not the problems you'd find on the lemons. They're easily fixed, and barely noticeable.

    I also like that it's not a straight copy of a Strandberg, or any body shape really. It's like a mixture of a Strandy and the Skervesen one, I think it's like a Doggle or something? Either way, I get the shittiness of straight stealing extremely well thought out designs, logo and everything, and selling it for dirt cheap. I'm glad that this is an original design, that doesn't quite look like anything.

    Anyways, that's just my $.02. This guitar is the best bang for the buck I've ever seen, the flame maple neck/fretboard, spalted maple top, I mean it just looks like a custom made guitar.

    Yeah buddy.
     
  2. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    You say the neck is similar to Schecter, so would you say it's a thin C shape? Like the Schecter Ultra Thin C or the regular Thin C? I remember seeing these on eBay and I really wanted to buy one just for the hell of it. Awesome to see someone bought one and enjoys it. I might consider one now as a project guitar. Thanks for the review!

    Also I'd be really curious if the bridge could be replaced with say a hipshot or something nicer.
     
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  3. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Riffs upon Riffs

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    Congrats and HNGD!!
     
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  4. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    Cheers man!

    It's like an older Loomis neck, a little thicker but not as thick as like, a Les Paul or something. I know that the hardware is replaceable, but I'm pretty satisfied with the bridge. I will say that the tuning devices on the bridge are vertical, so they stick up like a Floyd Rose, whereas some of the headless bridges I've seem they're laying flat and I would have preferred that.
     
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  5. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    So how would you say the tuning stability is? I'd imagine it doesn't hold tune that well. Thanks for the info!
     
  6. feilong29

    feilong29 SS.org Regular

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    HNGD, thanks for sharing!!
     
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  7. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    It's hard to say right now. It's a little unstable, but I can't really determine if it's the new strings or not. I'll get back on that.
     
  8. Tisca

    Tisca Big-tube snob

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    "stainless steel frets, bone nut"

    Impressive. Are you sure they are and it didn't only say so in the specs?
     
  9. vortex_infinium

    vortex_infinium SS.org Regular

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    s**tChinasays.jpg

    China has been killing it lately. But stainless steel frets out on a $270 China guitar also has me skeptical.
     
  10. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    I don't know, I'll be honest. I had a Parker with stainless steel frets a while ago, and honestly as much as I tried I couldn't feel or see much of a difference between them and my other guitar's frets. I wasn't really looking though. I do however think that they are stainless steel, simply because on the eBay seller's store he sells sets of stainless steel frets separately, so it would make sense that the guitars that his factory makes would have stainless steel frets.

    I'm confident that the nut is bone, though. It's certainly not the same nut that's on my Epiphone, which is the worst thing ever made. It's a solid material, and feels/looks like a bone. I'll happily put up some pictures of them, though, so more discerning eyes could spot that out.

    As far as the price being bizarrely cheap for features like that, this guitar makes me rethink how much these kinds of things actually cost luthiers-especially big luthiers that buy in Mass bulk. Granted, this was made in China where they are literally paid pennies an hour, but a very figured flame maple neck and fretboard, spalted maple top...that's insane for $270. The nut/frets seem comparatively tame to the figured woods used here.
     
  11. MaxAidingAres

    MaxAidingAres SS.org Regular

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    These AliExpress guitars are not terrible. They suck. However I believe if you are ordering something unique enough and it’s something you need they are awesome projects. They require a lot of work mostly fretwork and a set up. You can replace the tuners, nut bridge etc but it’s money wasted imo. The improvement new parts bring is laughable. Their pickups ain’t even bad. Every aliexpress guitar that I’ve came across has pickups that put Ibanez schecter and Jackson and anybody else’s stock pickups to shame. The only negative I’ve had with electronics is the pickups are unpotted. And in that sense it usually makes sense to just upgrade to something you know you want. These can be money pits but they don’t have to be
     
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  12. Tisca

    Tisca Big-tube snob

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    I've been browsing a lot of those guitar products on Aliexpress and there's inconsistencies is pretty much every store/item. The photos are sometimes of the actual real guitar that they then copied, specs are clearly not the same as in photos and my favorite; photos from the factory but there's for some reason only white people working there.

    Do the burn and smell test. Heat up a needle and poke it somewhere where you'll notice the mark the least. You'll tell the difference between burnt bone and plastic.
     
  13. mystix

    mystix Balaguer Guitars Brand Ambassador

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    Talk about impule... your vid made me pull the trigger on one.
     
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  14. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    Awesome! You'll have to post pictures when you get it. What color did you go for?
     
  15. mystix

    mystix Balaguer Guitars Brand Ambassador

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    Will do. Purple!
     
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  16. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Nice video man. Good playing. $270. If those specs are true that sounds like a steal.
     
  17. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    So, as an update, I will say that it holds tune reasonably well. It's not perfect, quite, but it's not bad. I find myself tuning up after about 15-20 minutes of rough playing, which I feel is a about the same as my Japanese Ibanez, whereas my Music Man Silhouette I don't think I've tuned in about two weeks. So, that's not perfect, though it's manageable. I'm also not sure if it's still breaking in a bit, and it's in need of a proper set up.

    I also did some research on the pickups, because it was really bothering me that they were so decent. I'm still going to swap them because they just kind of sound high output, loud and Bass-y, but they do metal chugga dugs as well as any pickup I've played just about. They lose clarity with anything other than that, though. It turns out that they're technically aftermarket pickups called Artec, which is a brand that makes a lot of GHS stuff, or vice versa I don't recall. But it's a solid pickup, far superior to any stock pickup for a big company. I found the site and pickup page. He chose the hot rail humbuckers, which makes a lot of sense of djent and modern metal.

    http://www.artecsound.com/pickups/giovanni/40_humbucker.htm

    Makes me think that whoever is making these is actually putting some thought and care into these guys.

    At any rate I've bought some new pickups for this guy, and I'm taking him in for a setup when they arrive. I'll keep this thread updated since I've gotten just about 3 PM's from people saying I inspired them to pick one up lol.
     
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  18. PirateMetalTroy

    PirateMetalTroy The Tooth Fairy

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    Out of curiosity, how long did this take to arrive after you ordered it?
     
  19. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    About 3 weeks. It felt like a lifetime though, sheesh. After it ships from China, it doesn't get scanned until it arrives in California, so there's like 2 and a half week period where no one knows where it is or how long it'll be, so the tracking number just reads ''shipped, from China" and doesn't update or indicate what's happening. Once it got to the US it arrived the next day, and it was packed really well.
     
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  20. PirateMetalTroy

    PirateMetalTroy The Tooth Fairy

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    You should make a more in depth video on this thing, currently there's only one other video about these guitars on youtube, and much like yours is a cursory once over the guitar, talk about the features, djent a bit, video done.
     
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