NGD: Tribute to the Fallen [Sakashta + Mystery Builder Content]

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by narad, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I'm home sick so I thought I'd share a really cool and unique guitar that I technically received a year or so ago, but had to leave in the US while I was overseas. I mean, for starters, how many custom 7 singlecuts do we get around here?

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    You could say this is a tribute guitar -- while never popular on SSO, some people might recognize the shape as Taku Sakashta's Noupaul. Taku was doing a couple things that we've seen become massively popular, like this cutaway bevel that starts at the bottom of the guitar, and loops up eventually twisting in to become the binding, like on Blackmachines and all their copies. But that's selling him short, all his designs were incredible and the Noupaul is only like my 3rd or 4th favorite one. As far as designs go, he was absolutely my favorite luthier, but was unfortunately murdered when a convict escaped from the back of a police car and broke into his shop to steal his car :-/

    So naturally, this isn't actually a Sakashta. Sakashta never made a 7-string Noupaul. I'm going to keep the actual builder's identity a secret, as that is what he wanted in this case, but he's a super good builder himself. If you know or if I told you, please don't mention it. I'm not going to answer over PM either, but if you're like actually interested in buying, I don't mind being the middleman to put you in touch. I knew that he was hands-on with a Noupaul at some point, and I would no longer have any chance at ordering what I wanted, and I wanted to try this builder's stuff anyway, seemed like it was worth a shot.

    It turned out cool in a lot of ways. So it's 25.5" scale, BKP black dogs, TOM bridge. The body is chambered, but it's THICC. I mean, could be 2 inches? But it has heavy contouring, which makes it by far the most comfortable guitar in terms of bringing it close to your body. You really can't find a way to get it to dig into your ribs, so it's great to be able to move it around and know it's not going to abruptly hurt you, or wear into you while you're playing it.

    Tone-wise it's mammoth. I thought it'd be cool to have something very vintage-flavored in a proper 7, and the result is interesting. The BKPs have that mid range brittle kerrraaang sound of a true PAF, but with good low end clarity, and pretty much any big chord sounds like a Mastodon song. But on the upper strings it's still totally at home playing Led Zeppelin. The neck isn't quite as sweet sounding, but a huge improvement over basically any SSO superstrat 7 type builder when it comes to versatility back to the 60s/70s sounds. At the end of the day, most of my ergs (and most ergs I've played) are sort of in the same sonic territory, just slightly apart from each other. I think this one is cool in that it's basically what a Gibson LP 7 (or perhaps a PRS USA 7) should be.

    The craftsmanship is also super top notch. In the close-ups around the joins, everything is a perfect line. It has all this custom handmade hardware bits, and all the angles line up perfectly. There's these fancy wood purfling bits, the inlaid burl maple guard, the scalloped frets. The headstock has a frikkin' hole in it! I mean, I think when we get into the popular ERG luthiers, prices quickly get into the $4k range, sometimes closer to the $6-7k range, and none of this is executed as well as guys like -- Huber, Hartung, Ken Lawrence, etc., to name a few. I'm going to post another NGD for a once popular SSO luthier in a bit, and these are just the exact opposites -- still a great sounding guitar, a great looking guitar, but when you start to look at the details it just doesn't have the professionalism of this or these more established 10-15+ years of building guys.

    My only qualm is that sometime between receiving the guitar and now, some glue seepage happened around the join. It was stored with my other guitars and none of them developed these issues under the same climate, and it actually stayed at the builder's shop for an extra 6 months or so, so it's all confusing / disappointing. I actually had the camera out because I was taking some photos of that to send to the luthier.

    Second qualm, the body is extra wide, and it pushes tightly on the inside of the LP-style case, probably causing some finish wear.


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    Had some smudgy bits before giving it a quick polish and spray of condensed air unfortunately:

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    Some detail shots on this forearm contouring bit:

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    And turns gracefully into binding. Can also see how clean the neck join is here:

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    The pickup covers are really fancy:
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    This is the ergo-money shot. I think a lot of the uniqueness of this guitar is due to this enormous thickness. It must be like 30% thicker than an LP:
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    But this sort of contouring makes it very comfortable:
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    And when you get it at this angle the flame really pops:
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    Neck joint is also on point. Note how it starts about halfway through the body -- this is something Nik Huber will also do that makes it just far more
    accessible.
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    Glue leaking out:
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    pondman, JSanta, oracles and 8 others like this.
  2. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Hit the photo limit -- here's some extras:

    Fancy scalloping:

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    Fancy neck purfling stuff:

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    Here's the cool headstock -- I learned how to do porno style censoring just for this :) The design is from the only 7-string Sakashta made, which was a larger jazz archtop, but still works well here I think.

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    JSanta, prlgmnr, Masoo2 and 10 others like this.
  3. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    HNGD! Looks awesome, cool headstock hole and contouring.

    Now I kinda want one of these but with the censored logo.
     
  4. xzacx

    xzacx SS.org Regular

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    I dream of coming across a Noupaul for sale some day, and that day coinciding with me having the money to spare. Huge fan of Sakashta's work. I've seen that archtop 7 before - great idea for the inspiration - what a beautiful headstock.
     
  5. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    really love the inlaid pickguard, that's a cool little twist on the lp look.
     
  6. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    That's exactly what I dislike, go figure.

    @narad you're high on NGDs... wow!... and very nice NGDs btw.
     
  7. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Pretty, reminds me of Framus for some reason.
     
  8. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    How did I miss this until today.

    I like the idea of "making up" for the contouring with extra thickness elsewhere, I always irrationally worry that the bits removed for the contours are where the tone lives....
     
  9. Wolfos

    Wolfos SS.org Regular

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    Wow just Wow, that thing is très cool.
     

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