Some of you may have seen the other thread. Figured I’d do a proper NGD thread after turning around and buying that surf green strat. Let the other thread just be about the series in general and not me gushing about the one I got:
Wasn’t expecting to buy a guitar. Least of all a maple neck strat. Walked into guitar center to pick up an amp head to speaker interconnect since I’d been using a 10ft mains cable.
Saw that they had the entire road worn series up on hangers. Curiosity got the better of me. Played them all, just to see what they were all about.
The 72 custom tele was not great. Pickups were awful (not real wide range humbuckers), poorly cut nut, heavy.
50s butterscotch tele was meh... mostly a plain alder body under butterscotch just looks weird. Imho they shouldn’t have done a blackguard look now that they’ve stopped using ash on MiMs. Just pick another color, you don’t need another butterscotch blonde tele option. Especially when it’s plain alder.
The 60s strat in firemist gold had an excellent finish, but the Pau Ferro was really pale and it was heavy (I’d guess over 8 lbs).
Last I played a 50s maple neck strat in surf green... right away, it was noticeably lighter than any strat in the store... including the custom shop stuff they had there. 6lbs 12oz on my scale. Body and neck really resonated in sync.
Finish looked and felt great. Neck was just a joy in the hand. Fretwork was very well done. I’m still not quite sure if the frets are vintage height or 6105s. they seem shorter than 6105s but taller than vintage. I’ve read both on different spec sheets. Regardless they’re very easy playing. The fretboard edges could stand a little more rolling, and it needed a setup (both easily done at home). I prefer a spacer under the string tree, which was easily added. The 6 point trem had the middle 4 screws backed out. Never seen a non-CS come that way from the factory. It’s how I usually set them up.
The pickups are a huge improvement so far as 50s tone goes over the Tex mex pickups that came on the old road worns. I picked it up, plugged into a 68 custom deluxe and Bell Bottom Blues practically fell out of the guitar. I put 10s on and adjusted the trem for just a touch of float. Lowered the action a full grub screw turn across the board. Raised the bridge pickup just a touch and lowered the middle and neck pickup a tiny bit. This allowed me to back off the tone control on the bridge pickup a tiny amount but still have equal volume across the pickups... and if I need just a bit more gas, I can dime the bridge tone control for just a bit extra.
Can’t get over how good it feels. I don’t have to have featherweight guitars, but it just feels so nice. Is so well balanced. The soft 50s V neck just melts into your hand, especially after rolling the fretboard edges. The satin-y road worn finish is nice and slick. The lack of gloss on the fretboard makes for buttery smooth bends.
I left the store, without getting it originally... after all a guitar was not in the plans. But sometimes the wand picks the wizard. turned around on the drive home because I knew I’d regret it if I let this particular guitar slip away. I saw a guy walking in the general direction of it, I snatched it up. He said “can I try that when you’re done?” I said “sorry dude, I’m buying it. But you can play it a bit while I check out if you want.” He declined.
Got her home and finished the setup. Played her through the Friedman and Princeton Reverb. All the tones are definitely there. I’ll probably change out the caps at some point, as I’m not in love with the tone roll off. May also add a treble bleed. But that’s easy enough and by no means a necessity.