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NGD...something very different!


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P1010034.jpegToday was a NGD that I wasn’t planning on happening at all...I was quite settled and happy with my stable and wasn’t planning on any expansion, but I found myself browsing my dealer friend Glenn’s website and this caught my eye...as I had a few extra pennies thanks to the quarterly PRS royalties payout, I thought I’d take a chance and buy it remotely-Glenn and I have known each other for fourteen years or so now, and he knows exactly what I look for and favour in a guitar, so I knew he wouldn’t steer me wrong.

The guitar is a cedar topped maple Jumbo, around the size of a J185, made by a Cornish luthier by the name of Kif Wood. I’ve been aware of his work for some time, but had never seen anything of his for sale. He never builds the same guitar twice, so every build is totally unique, and he makes guitars in small numbers so they very rarely appear on the secondhand market.

It’s a stunning instrument...really different to any of my Gibsons and doesn’t really sound like anything else I could name. It has the rich sheen of a twelve string but is never harsh, has the warmth of an SJ200 but is never woolly or overly bassy and has the same balance as a J185, yet sounds entirely different to any of them.

It’s early days, but I love it so far. The neck is ever so comfortable and easy going too, which is a boon. It also has one of Kif’s proprietary pickups in it, which appears similar to a K&K but with larger transducer discs, of which there are two rather than three. I haven’t plugged it in yet, but I’m looking forward to that.

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16 minutes ago, Lars68 said:

Cool! I really like the uniqueness of the look. Is that an adjustable saddle?

Lars

It’s not an adjustable saddle, but it is *drumroll* an adjustable neck.

The neck is secured with a four-bolt tilt system which means the angle can be tweaked indefinitely by way of two small brass-lined holes in the back of the guitar-slide in a long 4mm Allen key, loosen the clamp bolt, adjust the tilt bolt to taste then re-tighten the clamp bolt. 
 

I’ve never seen anything like it (other than the Fender micro-tilt system on ‘70s electrics which was never fully realised as a functional thing), certainly not on an acoustic. I was on the cautious side of curious to start with, but it sounds GREAT and the tilt system means that it will never need a neck reset, and the saddle never needs to be shimmed or sanded down.
 

The saddle itself is bone, it has a triangular cross section and is secured to the top of the bridge by way of two metal dowel pins. It lifts off easily and can be changed for a different material, but I see no need for that.  The pins mean it doesn’t sit in a slot, just on top of the bridge. There are so many little innovative touches-the machineheads, for example, are recessed into the headstock by a few mm to optimise the break angle over the zero fret and nut, and the bracing is totally unique too, a sort of fanned A-frame  system which is a little like the Taylor V-Class bracing, but obviously predates it by some way.

It’s an odd looking instrument until you get used to it, but the craftsmanship is fantastic and I can’t put it down. It’s 9:45pm here and I’ve only just put it away after playing it all evening!

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Oooouhhh, , , what a fellow. And the cedar/maple-comb is remarkable too. This is a guitar we must hear before goin' any further.                                                                                                                                                                                 Something tells me it can only do nice songs. Simple Twist of Fate, not Idiot Wind - Perfect Day, not Waiting For My Man. . 

                                                                              I actually have a feeling that on certain summer days it will only play John B. Sebastian tunes. So be prepared. . . 

Edited by E-minor7
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Just goes to show that it has NOT all been done before.  Cedar/Maple is pretty uncommon, and then the saddle, adjustable bridge, adjustable neck angle, machine heads all very innovative and sounds like it all came together well for a good sounding and playing guitar.  Congratulations on a rare find and enjoy playing it 👍

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Congratulations!   Bonding to and enjoying a guitar, can strike at anytime and with any model when it’s an instrument that allows your music to flow when it happens!  And, when it happens, let that music come through it!   It’s a cool and great phenomenon!   Thanks for sharing!

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark
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Whoa - that one is a looker.  I really like the guitar's Plain Jane looks although that short stubby bridge did get a second glance from me.  One  of those guitars that looks like it has everything you need and nothing you do not.

The Fender-esque micro-tilt neck is an interesting twist.  

Anyway, play the heck out it and enjoy it like you would a good sandwich. 

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Thanks all!

it’s a sweet instrument and so responsive. I’ve figured out how the neck angle adjustment system works, and in my investigations found that a previous owner has clearly adjusted it but left a washer out, which meant the treble side of the neck wasn’t tightened down properly, so I put that right and now it’s giving a further 10% of volume and responsiveness. 
 

The neck profile is superb and the entire thing plays wonderfully, especially as I’ve been able to set it up to my exact preferences with a quick tweak of an Allen key. Very ingenious.

In a weird twist of fate, when I removed the neck to figure out how the adjustment system works, I was surprised to find my name written in pencil in the neck pocket. Clearly it was built for a different Phil but ended up with this one!

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