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Author Topic: NGD RS2  (Read 3552 times)
Scrambler17
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« on: December 16, 2015, 04:00:15 PM »

Last night my RS2 was delivered.  I spent the evening checking it out, checking the electronics, and playing around.  I got this used from a National Chain.  It's in used, played condition, which was fairly disclosed, but they never really go into depth.  It seems to have been gigged, and has some bumps and bruises and a nice looking cymbal rash on the back tip of the headstock.  Either that or someone was using this a saw-horse and slipped with the saw. :)  Also the G tuner knob isn't quite square to the shaft and wobbles a little as you change the strings, probably a bump there, but the tuner seems to work fin still.  Anyway, after checking the guts, (this is a Gen 3 RS2 per Matt's description in a previous thread, but from a production side, it's the first round with gloss finish and Gen 3 humbuckers)  Still original.  Whomever had this before must have played metal because the pickup is really angled to get the lower strings and the magnets are really raised towards the middle strings.  This is evident while playing.  I only played this through a practice amp last night because the kiddos were to bed, but the pickups do have some gain to them.  Especially cranked to 10.  It really pushes the overdrive more than my Tele (G&L ASAT).  The neck is different.  It seems fat in the hand, but has the same width as my Tele, I think it's just that the back is so flat. 

I really need to get this out to a Tube amp and try it out for the sound.  Also get it setup so the pickups are back to a standard setting.  Overall the guitar seems solid and well built.  Despite the little bit of road rash.  I'm a little disappointed in the wear, but I knew there was some wear going into the deal, I probably shouldn't be, because this is used, but I've always kept my gear in top shape.  My Tele is 15 years old and looks pretty much brand new.  I've also never had a guitar with HB before, so I'm really used to single coil tone, and my Tele has great tone.  So on my practice amp I could get some heavy crunch, but that hasn't been my style before, and on a crappy speaker it wasn't the best.  I think I need to do some more playing and learning. 

I'm going to run this by the guitar shop and have them give it a once over to make sure I'm not missing anything.  And run by the church where I play and give it a whirl on the tube amp, to get a better feel than my practice amp.  I'll run it on my Roland JC90 as well at home.  I've got a 30 day return on this, so if I'm not happy I can take it back. 

So, a little bit different than the normal excitement of a NGD post.  I'm still excited about the guitar, but not 100% in love yet. 

Any one have any suggestions of things to look for, try out, test while I have the return period? 

Oh, and here's a pic 
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L-03WL (A Hunt for Spruce) with K&K Pure Mini
RS2 with humbuckers
Mikeymac
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 04:36:33 PM »

I'd say check the guitar out, give it an honest trial run, then decide if YOU can live with the bumps and scars. There are lots of other examples of these around, many in excellent to mint condition, so don't overpay for something that's got so much wear on it.

The humbuckers in these are very expressive, so give them a good testing through your usual set-up... yes, they're different than single coils, but good humbuckers, like good single coils, are expressive and should give you a wide range of tonal possibilities. Larrivee uses excellent pots and caps, so no corners have been cut on these guitars.

The feel of the neck on these should be very similar to their acoustics (maybe a little thinner than the acoustics, but not much). But yes, it's different than the soft V of many Fender and Fender-style guitars, so it might feel odd at first.

It's really up to you - but I'd say check it out well, but don't be afraid to send it back and patiently keep looking for a better maintained example - one that you can be THRILLED about owning.

 
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tlp2
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2015, 12:28:05 AM »

Nice!
Keep us posted on how this one works out.
 
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2015, 12:52:25 AM »

Nice!
Keep us posted on how this one works out.
 

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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 10:02:01 PM »

Just a suggestion regarding analysing the tone and setting the pickups.

As a starting point, adjust the pickup and pole-piece heights to Gibson LP factory recommended specs. and play it that way through your test amp for a while to get a basis for what the humbuckers sound like.  Start with the tone controls on the amp at a flat setting, and the guitar tone pots turned fully up (clockwise).  Use this as your "control" for the experiment, if you will.  Then try different tone and volume settings on both the guitar and the amp to get a good idea of the range of possibilities with the pickups in this more or less standard setup.  Only tweak one knob at a time between listening intervals.

Finally, make any final pickup adjustments to correct or improve upon what you heard with the "standard" pickup heights.  Do this last step with all guitar tone and volume controls turned fully up (turn down the amp if it's too loud, not the guitar).  Also, return the eq. on the amp. to flat while adjusting the pickup height and pole-piece height.

I adjusted my RS4 with P-90s using the same LP factory setting as the starting point, since no recommendations came with the guitar.  For other single coils, I use the same method.  But, I start with Fender recommended settings instead (unless I can find a recommendation from the guitar's maker).

That  method has worked well for me many times.  I have setup many older electric guitars with obscure or unknown brand-names this way.

I haven't checked into it, but maybe Larrivee has posted how it sets up the pickups at the factory.  If that is the case, then I would start with those specs. and go from there.  Maybe Matt will read this and provide this info.

Hope this helps.
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Scrambler17
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 03:54:58 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions guys.  I need some fretwork (looks like minor shaping on the first 5) and a setup done on my Tele, And I was going to Lansing yesterday so I took them both by a respected shop for an inspection and rough quote.  He seemed to think there were some loose frets on the RS2 that would need gluing down (said that was a common occurrence on Larrivee Acoustics).  Then a setup, etc.  Took it by another shop closer I'd wanted to check out, and he had the same diagnosis.  And the same comment about these frets and that being common on this brand.  Took it by the national chain to discuss the cost.  They called the store that sold the guitar, talked about some setup things.  Of course they wanted me to have it setup at that chain to try to reduce costs for themselves.  But talking to their tech, he didn't think there were popped frets, it just needed setup, and some sharp fret ends.  So I'm not too sure about his assessment, since I had 2 trusted techs tell me there were some frets to glue down. 

LO7, I will take your advice on setting the pickups.  I may do a few tweaks to get the buzz to stop on the bass, so I can round out my review and decide on whether to keep it.   

Looking back at my OP I may be being harder on the guitar's condition than I should.  It still looks great, just has some bumps and bruises. 

The manager for the shop I bought it from was very willing to work with me on things, so that's a plus.  Of course he was trying to save costs and have it worked on in-house, but after the 3 assessments I'd feel better taking it out of their shop. 
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L-03WL (A Hunt for Spruce) with K&K Pure Mini
RS2 with humbuckers
JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2015, 04:16:07 PM »

The fret work suggested by the two shops I wouldn't think, be expensive. Seems odd to have two saying loose and one saying its not. Not difficult to determine they either are or aren't
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2015, 07:49:36 PM »


The fret work suggested by the two shops I wouldn't think, be expensive. Seems odd to have two saying loose and one saying its not. Not difficult to determine they either are or aren't


Maybe it's just coincidence, but the two shops that say there are frets that need gluing are the two shops that will charge for it - the national chain will do the work under warranty - is this a correct assumption?

I'm not questioning the two shops who want to glue the frets - it may be that the dealer just wants to save costs...

Does Larrivee glue frets down? Is this a common practice these days?

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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2015, 01:09:07 AM »

I don't believe Larrivee glues the frets in, btw, I had two frets on my LV that wouldn't stay down so were glued. That was included in the $150 set up charge.
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Roger


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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2015, 04:02:00 AM »

The fret work suggested by the two shops I wouldn't think, be expensive. Seems odd to have two saying loose and one saying its not. Not difficult to determine they either are or aren't

Yes, you can check this yourself.  Use a small diameter wooden dowel or wooden "push stick" or even your thumbnail.  Hang the guitar with it's strap over your neck like you normally play it and push down on the suspect fret ends with your push stick or thumbnail and release.  If you look closely, you will visually detect if there is any movement.  If there is no detectable movement, then the frets are seated fine.  If you see any movement at all, then the frets need to be reseated.  These days, the most common way to "reseat" existing frets is to glue them down with super glue.  The process of actually doing this is pretty routine for most guitar techs.
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
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If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Scrambler17
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2015, 04:40:20 AM »

Quote
Maybe it's just coincidence, but the two shops that say there are frets that need gluing are the two shops that will charge for it - the national chain will do the work under warranty - is this a correct assumption?

I'm not questioning the two shops who want to glue the frets - it may be that the dealer just wants to save costs...

The tech at the dealer didn't know of my conversation with the manager of their other location.  So I don't think he's "on the take"  as it were to try to downplay the work involved.   I think the manager of the store I bought it from would like me to have the work done at their chain so he can try to get them to do it for free for him, or for a minor charge to him where he got the "in house rate"   

Looking at the frets, there are a number that have lifted away from the fretboard at the ends, maybe from the outer string to the binding.  They're not moving up and down much, if at all, when I push on them, but they have lifted to a degree.  Enough I can about slide a finger nail beneath a few towards the edges.  So the two techs I respect more noticed this and said they'd glue and clamp them.  The other guy with the dealer said they weren't loose, but noticed sharp edges on the frets and would dress them to smooth them out, but didn't notice they had risen as it were, and I assume his solution would be just filing them down during dressing to match the heights of the others. 
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L-03WL (A Hunt for Spruce) with K&K Pure Mini
RS2 with humbuckers
Scrambler17
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2015, 04:53:45 AM »

And tonight I tweaked the pickup heights and leveled the poles.  And played it through my Roland and pedal setup.  I also got around to L07's advice about trying out the tones and volume.  I've never played much with a gibson style double volume and tone setup.  Had some fun with that, and thought my selector switch was going bad until I realized that the volume pots are coupled when running both pickups.  I'm also getting more used to the neck.  The guitar sounds great.  I really shouldn't have even tested it on my practice amp.  I don't think you'd be able to tell much of the difference between a $100 guitar or $5000 on that amp.  The pickups sound great, with some interesting harmonics.  I'm back to where I expected to be on loving the tone and construction of the RS2 model. 

Need to run this through the tube amp at church still.  Then try to get things sorted about setup, condition, etc with the seller. 

Thanks for your help folks, It's been a long week on a number of fronts. 
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2015, 01:27:32 PM »

I'm liking the sound of this...
(seems like you are too)
 
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2015, 01:11:07 AM »

If you can't get used to it, I'd be happy to take it off your hands. These are hard to find and the red is gorgeous. Nice guitar! :)
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Scrambler17
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2016, 05:40:08 PM »

Ok,  It's been a few weeks since my last update.  I've played this guitar for a few sets at Church now.  I'm very happy with the tone and response.  I'm trying to get used to the neck still.  Playing Barre chords up the neck gave my hand a little cramp.  But I'm getting used to it.  Need more time to play. 

I did work out a little price reduction for the fretwork.  And I'm taking it to a tech this week to get the frets back snug and a full setup. 

I'll report more info when I have it. 
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L-03WL (A Hunt for Spruce) with K&K Pure Mini
RS2 with humbuckers
JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2016, 08:07:12 PM »

Sounds like positive progression. Surprised you are having some issue with barre chords. Do you find it much different than your L-03WL 
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Larrivee Electrics - My Dream then and Now!!!!!<br /><br />Forum IV     00-03MT       #4      (Treasured)
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2016, 02:33:41 AM »

It may have just been the day, or the set.  My left wrist hurts some when I play alot. 

The neck is very similar to my L-03.  It's a little narrower as you move up.  Maybe 1/16" at the 9th fret.  I've been meaning to get some digital calipers and will have to do that for accurate measurements.  The biggest difference between this guitar neck and my others for that matter, is I feel the sides are squared off more than my L or my other electrics.  I was looking up neck shapes and descriptions and I'm going to slaughter this with terminology.  It seems for the first 1/4" or so from the fretboard toward the back of the neck, it's basically square to the fretboard, with a slight taper, then the radius (or C or V shape) for the back of the neck starts.  Where as on my other guitars the curving for the back of the neck starts almost immediatly.  This neck isn't really much wider than other necks, but feels so in my hand because of these square shoulders.  It even feels wider to me than my L-03, even though it's narrower, when I hold it like a baseball bat. 

On the image below it seems to be more of a U or D shape, where I feel the L-03 is more of a C shape. 
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L-03WL (A Hunt for Spruce) with K&K Pure Mini
RS2 with humbuckers
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