Another totally unnecessary but potentially awesome NGD...

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Sid Nitzerglobin, Jan 4, 2019.

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  1. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Ran into this one last week while I was guitar shopping for my Xmas gift from my dad. Boredom led me back to it today, and impressive 1st and 2nd impressions all around, a pretty great used price, and a surplus in the gear fund had me bring it back w/ me:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It's an Italia Modena Classic.

    Apparently it's made in Korea w/ a korina body and rock maple 2 piece neck. It's got a fairly generous neck profile compared to most of my JMs or Jags w/ nicely finished frets that are sort of a slightly wider vintage height. Attention to detail seems pretty great across the board and I can't find anything that I felt was phoned in about its assembly or finish so far. It's got a really nice action right off the wall and contrary to expectation it's a fairly deep, round, full bodied sounding guitar in any of the positions of the 5 way selector. It still has some nice bite on the attack, but it almost seemed to be doing an extended scale kind of thing tonally through a black face DRRI and Rocker 32. I think I might want to try the Antiquity bridge minihum I've got on hand in there for dirtier pursuits (if for no other reason than I've had it for a few months and have yet to give it a go in a guitar [​IMG] ) but I'll have to give it some time through my own stuff first. It was sounding really nice and semi jazz-y to me clean w/ the stock pups as is. I like the single volume w/ PTB tone stack set up they went w/ too.

    Anyway, thought I'd share this one since I really hadn't had any awareness of Italia Guitars prior to running into this one and it's striking me as a pretty cool guitar to snag for ~$450 w/ the case. So far I wouldn't have any problems paying what seems like the going rates around $550-ish for a nice condition used one. Seems easily on par quality wise w/ my other favorite Korean mades, the Reverends and nicer Electromatics.
     
  2. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
    What NGD's AREN'T unnecessary?? Lol! Congrats on a cool looking ride with gobs of bling factor! Did you buy sunglasses as well to wear when you play it? ;)
     
  3. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks man!

    I am finding I have a soft spot for big flake finishes when they come attached to a nice playing and/or sounding guitar ;)
     
    TSims1 likes this.
  4. BuddieGreen

    BuddieGreen Gretschie

    290
    Sep 3, 2018
    indiana usa
    very nice, sparkly and greeneon! good score. someone should have told me NGDs were not necessary a long time ago. i could be rich today
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  5. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    48
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Congrats Sid!

    All the best with it sir,love the colour!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  6. musicman100

    musicman100 Country Gent

    Age:
    38
    Aug 15, 2008
    England
  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Nice, love this one!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  8. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Congrats and enjoy, Sid!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  9. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Synchromatic

    Age:
    51
    916
    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    Man! Erbody gettin their green sparkle on,,, love that!!! great style to that shape too!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  10. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Put it in the green guitar appreciation thread. Italia guitars are nice.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  11. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks again guys!

    I wound up dropping ~1/16" of mahogany shim into the back of the neck pocket, dropped the Antiquity II Firebird bridge pick in, restrung it w/ Paradigm .010-.046s, reset the bridge height and relief and handed it over to my luthier friend for a quick 15 minutes of guitar whispering sesion on this one today.
    [​IMG]
    The action is probably what I'd classify as medium tension, but seems very smooth for just about any kind playing I can muster and nicely low w/ zero fret buzz unplugged. The vibrato action is feeling pretty darn similar to my B3s w/ the Reverend spring w/ just a slight intitial ramp in effort and tuning seems very stable so far. I'm going to look for some abrasive washers for the bottom side of the vibrato arm and keep an allen wrench in the case for periodic retightening, but it seems to make it several hours worth of play before the arm starts going floppy and is a pretty comfortable one to use for me. I'm thinking the G could either stand some more break angle at the bridge and/or nut or the somewhat rattly tolerance of the saddle screws and roller assemblies are giving some bad vibrations and deadening it when picking in very close proximity to the bridge. I'm somewhat hesitant to go for more break angle/neck angle/bridge height:
    [​IMG]
    I could probably improve the saddle situation on this bridge w/ some loctite or nail polish, but I think it'll be worth just going to a nicer bridge on this guitar. It doesn't seem like a really bad problem plugged in (or acoustically either in the grand scheme of things) but more the principle of it that might bug me ;)

    I pretty impressed w/ both the stock Wilkinson pickups and the Antiquity I swapped over to at the bridge. The Antiquity has significantly more bark to it and does more for me for aggressive sounds for sure, but the bit of time I spent w/ the stock bridge pickup by itself after figuring out it was wired w/ a neck blend pot and tone rather than a PTB setup it was really impressing me on its own merits. By itself, the Antiquity on full volume is into saturated, hairy edge of break up straight into either the GVT-15 or VibroRic (both pretty clean amps) but it seems to blend really well w/ the neck for progressively cleaning up some bark and adding some body and glassy bite. I think I'll really like the stock wiring design w/ this pup setup although I can't rule out experimenting w/ some options for the middle pickup position. I've got a Starwood Tele neck pickup that hasn't been wired into a functional guitar in months that I think might be a prime candidate there... I might have to grab a chrome cover for the Antiquity (or raw nickel replacements for the stock pup covers) too.

    I keep liking this one more and more the more I play it :)
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I love that top! Very cool.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  13. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    It has some Firebird-vibe to it. That`s a real looker. How about that tremolo? Does it stay in tune?
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  14. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    ... so are @italiastraps ;)
     
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  15. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Congrats . Cool Sparkly Green , I like it
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  16. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    I really dig this kind of guitars - superb ! Lucky you are Sid Nitzerglobin....

    I'd be pleased to find exactly the same in LH at such a bargain price, you guess it !

    It's only a dream... :oops:

    A+!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  17. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks guys!

    Yup, works great and tuning stability seems excellent. The only issue I can see w/ the design is, similar to the vibrolas I've had, the arm tends to loosen up and go floppy when you swing it up and down a bunch, but hopefully adding one those orange abrasive washers under it will improve that situation a bit.
     
    loudnlousy and hcsterg like this.
  18. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    And even the tremolo works well... More-Than-Lucky you are, then ! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    A+!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  19. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I swung by the shop this morning to give another look for the set of 8mm to 4mm conversion posts that I must have either used somewhere already, sold to someone, or lost so I could try some other bridges on here, specifically thinking about the Wilkinson "roller" I've got on hand since it's seemed like a solid machined piece elsewhere and it would match up w/ all the other Wilkinson stuff on the guitar and the rest of the chrome hardware.
    [​IMG]
    When the final search turned up unsuccessful I cannibalized the TonePros roller w/ 6mm post holes off of my Wilshire and slapped it on the Modena w/ sort of surprisingly good results. The guitar wound up w/ a significantly more resonant feel and acoustic sound and the attack and decay of each note seems noticeably more focused. The semi-sitar/dead fish effect on the G seems pretty much entirely resolved too. Intonation is spot on within the capacity of my PolyTunes to measure but I did wind up having to run the A and D to minimum stops to get there.

    That being said, I ordered a set of Faber's conversion post just so I've got the option to try out some of my other bridges on there w/o having to pull, plug and redrill for bushings.
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  20. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Sid, that's a beautiful guitar. I'm glad to read that it's a nice player, too!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
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