NGD: NK Luminous (Chinese headless)

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

  1. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    Stainless steel frets is barely more expensive that nickel frets, so why not? It's just a bit more work from what i know.
     
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  2. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    Cool guitar, your posture when playing cant be good for your back though :O
    Anyone knows if there's is something like this but sevenstring? Seems to be mostly 6-string chinese headless guitars out there.
     
  3. raytsh

    raytsh Contributor

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    Just from the materials they are only slightly more expensive, but it's the fret dressing and general more labor that goes into stainless steel frets that makes them more expensive.

    Strandberg has some 7/8 strings. Extended range is not uncommon with headless guitars.
     
  4. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    Yeah i know, but since labor i so cheap in China it's probably not something that will add a lot to the price. I'm aware of the strandbergs :p Just want something cheap since I'm not sold on headless guitars yet.
     
  5. crackout

    crackout SS.org Regular

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    Stainless steel is a lot more durable than nickel silver which can not only influence the amount of time one has to deal with the frets but also the overall quality.
    Getting them smooth requires a lot more incremental sanding and polishing which might be simply ommited resulting in bad frets.
     
  6. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    Frets are actually quite nice. They need some leveling, but they're nicely polished and shiny and there's no oxidizing or rust. I've gotten my fair share of guitars that have unfinished frets, and again these aren't perfect because they need some leveling, but they're nicely polished and not sharp, nice rounding on the neck.

    It's also important to note, I think, that this is in fact a Korean made instrument. I'm not sure which factory, don't have that level of intimate knowledge, but it's Korean. I think that explains the level of quality in the build, because it's a really well done instrument when you fine tooth comb it (again, on par with a >$1,000 Schecter imo), and the consistency of the company.

    It's a real spalted maple top, real flame maple neck and fretboard, real bone nut, real luminlays, the pickups are Artec brand and sound great...

    All for $270. This is a screaming deal, and I think it's going to be difficult to find something wrong with it, but I think it's instinctive to look considering the price.
     
  7. downburst82

    downburst82 SS.org Regular

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    Happy NGD it looks and sounds great :agreed:


    Ive had my eye on these for awhile but haven't pulled the trigger just yet as I'm waiting to hear back it they can do a 5 piece neck for me.

    One thing to note is a lot of their stained necks appear to not be actual flame maple and instead it seems to be a faux flame effect they create with the staining process (not sure if your is real or not).

    Where did it ship from? I could see these being made in Korea but my gut still says for that price with those specs it would probably be China.
     
  8. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    god I want one.

    I have the Grote already.
    Im tempted to order any of these going forward, WITHOUT that bridge. (so it turns up with no bridge, or holes drilled)
    then install my own ABM or Hipshop bridge myself.
     
  9. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Damn, I want one of these.
     
  10. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    It shipped from Hong Kong, but I've had a few commenters that insist that they're made in Korea. I think that he's correct, though, just based on the Korean hardware, pickups and general style of build. Oh, and the neck is absolutely flamed maple, as is the fretboard. I have heard/seen that, though! I was surprised that it was a real flame when I got it, honestly.
     
  11. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    What evidence does this commenter have that makes you so certain??
     
  12. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    Haha, there was no evidence, he was just incredibly confident in it and said that he knew who made them, and owned a few.

    It's not really all that important where it's made, so long as it's good, right? Doesn't it just matter that it's good, which these have notoriously been? Unless you're a stickler for labor rights, which is fair.

    Either way, pretty confident these are Korean.
     
  13. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    Yeah definitely the end product is all that really matters, which is why it just seemed weird that some guy is insisting they are korean with nothing to back it up. Seems more like he is reaching for some validation that he got secret deal on korean instruments priced/advertised as Chinese.

    Glad you're digging yours though and that people arent getting firewood like with many Chibsons
     
  14. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    That's not what it seems like to me, but I guess it's possible.

    He said that the brand is an offshoot of an old Korean brand called Ruckabee guitars, which apparently made this exact guitar but say Ruckabee and not NK. I didn't ask him for pictures or proof, but this guitar doesn't seem like a Chinese guitar for a lot of reasons, and more feels like the guitars I've played from Korea, and has Korean aftermarket pickups, so I have no trouble believing that it's Korean but sold on AliExpress/eBay. But yeah, without emailing the builder it's hard to say for sure. I suppose I could though, I'd be interested.
     
  15. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    Alright, as promised here's a more thorough review after the pickup swap and set up. If there's anything I missed feel free to ask!
     
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  16. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    you are not helping my GAS for this one to go with my Grote headless strandberg copy...
     
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  17. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    The last page opened some old wounds from when Rondo failed to deliver a headless trem model. I remember having the prototype in the cart while I mulled over waiting for options in the full production that never happened. I’m glad Gibson revived the Spirit brand four years too late to make it on the bandwagon, but I want more options than Chinese eBay fronts in the budget headless marketplace. :(

    People of a certain generation will never get that through their heads and, because of them, stainless frets will remain a premium bulletpoint for the big brands for at least another five years. Same for bookmatched veneers: To this day, guys will walk past a heavily discounted Martin and grab something of similar price off the wall to admire the sheet of bookmatched spruce paper, then tell you how good it sounds as a result, while they strum between three open chords and experience what can only be taken to be an orgasm in their pants. Then they manage to put it back on the hanger wrong, while resting their hands on their hips in what’s supposed to look like admiration, and remark on how they want to own “one of them” someday.

    Because of that, every $30 guitar on eBay has a figured “top.”

    I doubt this disclaimer will ward off the three or so posters that regularly want to remind everyone that they’re a luthier (read: weekend tech), but I have indeed refretted stainless in the past. To paint it as a demanding achievement is to not have put the same amount of care into a nickel fretjob.

    Edit: I’m of course not referring to pondman. He’s not a luthier, but rather who luthiers pray to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  18. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    You seem incredibly judgmental. People like shiny things, and sometimes a pretty, shiny guitar that costs $500 can be more attractive than a guitar made in a 'better' country that costs $2,000.

    The way that people view instruments is almost always completely silly and entirely subjective. You might like something because it has good reviews, is made in America by a brand with a good reputation and it has frets that aren't sharp, whereas someone might like something that's made in who knows where because it's shiny, pointy and is entirely unencumbered by the minute flaws that the guitar presents.

    Let's be honest, does it really affect your playing if a guitar is worse than another guiatr? It's not like I can suddenly play Jason Becker covers on a Daemoness guitar while I can only play Nirvana on an Epiphone.

    All that shit is imaginary.
     
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  19. jarnozz

    jarnozz Let´s Get Wasted!

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    And I just pulled the trigger on a blue poplar one. Helps towards the waiting game for my Ormsby...
     
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  20. grail21

    grail21 SS.org Regular

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    Great review, the second video was also super informative. I like that you explained the full cost with the pickup upgrades, fret level and setup. I think folks who are expecting full perfection for $270 are expecting too much - I'd say the same thing for any of the entry level guitars from the big brands. I also agree that it seems like you're getting a lot of guitar for the money (compared to the bigger brand, and when buying new vs used). I've been contemplating one of these but can't get over the bridge (as you pointed out). The wacky tuning key and how the pegs stick up puts me off. If there was a cost effective way to replace it, I'd consider it more, but everything I've seen as an option feels cost prohibitive for this level of instrument. Still - seams like a lot of guitar for the money, obviously unique and when compared to other "brand name" headless guitars a huge cost saving (even including the setup). If they offered a better designed bridge I'd be in, even more so if it was multiscale.
     

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