NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

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Larry Mal
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NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:04 pm

So, it came today, and I got to play it for most of the evening. It'll be staying. These are the eBay auction pictures:

Image

Nice rosewood on the back:

Image

And to contrast I do own an L-00 Standard as well:

Image

So, how is this 12 fret one different?

1) It's 12 frets to the body instead of 14, but you knew that,

2) It has a different scale length for some reason, the 12 fret seems to be the 25" that they advertised and the Standard is the usual 24.75",

3) The 12 fret has rosewood back and sides, the Standard has mahogany,

4) The 12 fret has a 16" radius and the Standard the usual 12",

5) The 12 fret is advertised at having a 1.75" nut, but it doesn't, it's a hair over the typical Gibson nut of at something like 1.28". The Standard is advertised as having the typical Gibson 1.725" nut but is actually wider at 1.73" or something like that. Maybe a little more.

6) The 12 fret has a "V" neck profile that it turns out isn't too sharp of a V, I was worried it would be, but it's pretty sedate. The Standard has a Slim-Taper sort of neck. Both play great. Too early to say if I like the Standard more, I bet I do by a bit.

I won't bore you with how the Standard sounds, I'll just talk about the 12 fret. And bear in mind that it's not all that set up yet, I'll get to that in a minute.

The 12 fret has a tremendous amount of bass. It's really something. You can feel it vibrate your ribs as you play- even fingerstyle. It's not super loud, though, or boomy: it's just powerful, localized bass. It'll be great for recording.

It kind of sounds like an organ or something.

The 12 fret has a ton of sustain to it, also. Again, it's not a super loud guitar- at least not now- but you can hear it just ringing out down there. I can only imagine that a microphone is going to love this sound. You fingerpick a haunting E minor9 chord and just let it ring out, and it just hangs there. It's really something.

I should mention that I don't give a shit about sustain with acoustics any more than I do with electrics. It's not something that I look for or think sustain or lack thereof makes or breaks the instrument. But in this case, with this guitar, it'll be a cool thing, since it's somewhat quiet, and that'll lend itself well with recording solo guitar type stuff.

I had thought that the treble would be a little more present and a little sharper due to the rosewood. But it's if anything a little less present than it is on the Standard. That could be something that is just a 12 fret vs 14 fret thing, I'm not experienced enough to say. Still, I had thought that there might be a little more. What is there has a sweet sound to it.

I'm enjoying the action of it OK. I am a little disappointed not to have the full 1.75" nut like advertised. Frankly, most of my Gibsons are wider than they advertise their necks as being, and I was hoping for something closer to 1.8"- but no, in this case they went the opposite direction from what they said it would be. It's not a deal breaker or anything.

The V neck is growing on me, the 16" radius I'm long used to from Martin guitars, and while I've grown to prefer the 12" it's fine on this guitar- I might even come to view it as a strength. Gibson seemed to think that they were making the ultimate fingerstyle guitar, and while I don't think it's really better than their usual necks, I can say that it's flawless for fingerstyle. You can play it effortlessly that way with little or no fatigue.

It also has a very good dynamic range to it- for what it is- the quiet notes can turn into loud ones very quickly, with a lot of room in between.

That being said, there are some notes that kind of don't "burst" when you play them. I guess I won't say that they are "dead" notes on the fretboard, but if you don't pay attention, they can get lost in the mix of the rest.

That being said, there's reason to think that this guitar will only get better. This was an expensive guitar even used, new, I think it would have sold for like $2200-2400. I didn't pay that, I got a good deal.

But regardless, I have no idea why there is a fucking cheap plastic saddle on here, super cheap plastic no account bridge pins, and a nut that I don't even think is Tusq quality, which I would think was poor quality on a guitar of this cost anyway. And of course there is some LR Baggs bullshit underneath the cheap saddle (which doesn't even look all that compensated).

I've been through this with all my Gibson acoustics, and I already ordered a replacement bone saddle. I'll pull the LR Baggs bullshit and sell that and get the new saddle in, these strings are likely to be dead that are on there now, and I am predicting that I will get a fair amount more volume when I'm done and the sound will change considerably- experience is telling me that I will get more treble, but of course that remains to be seen.

Oh, I should also mention that it's wonderful with a pick. It sounds great that way, it's not a one trick pony or anything.

So, that's my new guitar.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by wproffitt » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:44 am

Congratulations on your new L-00! I’ll have to give these a serious look when it comes time to buy my forever acoustic. I am especially intrigued by the way you characterize the bass response and the way the notes hang in the air. It looks great, too!

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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by zhivago » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:29 pm

Incredible rosewood back and sides!! :w00t: 8)
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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by mbene085 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:16 pm

Nice, congrats! It may sound weird to non-acoustic folks, but 12-fretters actually have a completely different tone than 14-fretters. The longer soundboard shifts the point of maximum deflection in the top forward and it's in a different spot relative to other elements like the bridge and soundhole on a 14-fretter. The bracing is different, as well. I'm not surprised your 12- and 14-fret versions sound so different.

I play capoed a lot on acoustic (often at the 5th and even 7th fret) so I find myself bumping into the upper bout sometimes on 12-fretters, but damn do they ever sound sweet.

I'm not usually a sunburst guy on acoustics, but they always look right on Gibsons for some reason. This one is definitely a looker. Especially love the grain on the back there!

I can only imagine it'll sound even better with a proper nut and saddle on there. Especially if it's a lackluster saddle over a UST pickup. I have never, ever liked those and he boingy, plastic tone they produce, and installing them introduces an opportunity to create a non-ideal joint between the strings and the bridge plate, which absolutely has an effect on the acoustic tone. And the acoustic tone of an acoustic is the entire point - otherwise, you might as well be playing one of those Acoustasonic Telecasters or whatever.

Anyway, point is, congrats, that's a great guitar, and I bet it'll be even better once you have that new nut and saddle on it!

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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:52 pm

Yeah, this is my eighth Gibson acoustic, and on seven of them I've pulled the under-saddle transducers out of them. I've found improvements in all cases, sometimes mild, and sometimes very great, like in the case of my J-45.

In no case have I regretted pulling the UST out. I hate them.

And yes, having had a little taste of a 12 fret guitar, I knew I wanted one again very much. I had a few things in mind, but since I like Gibson so much, and I like my L-00 so much, and this one was very different from the L-00 Standard by a large amount, I felt I had to make a move here.

I'll comment when I have it all set up... I have a bone saddle coming from MacNichols, which is a wonderful product and company. I also have my usual- you guessed it- Kluson Revolution locking tuners.

I'll pull the UST at that point. Sell it on.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:31 pm

zhivago wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:29 pm
Incredible rosewood back and sides!! :w00t: 8)
Thank you! I'm not going to lie, that kind of put it right over the edge.

I only got a little time to play it tonight, but I was noticing some of the glassiness of the rosewood coming out more than I noticed yesterday.

This guitar needs a setup pretty badly, though.
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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by mbene085 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:18 pm

I've noticed a similar thing, that pulling out USTs has a variable effect but always a positive one. It's been my hypothesis that the big improvements happen when the UST and saddle weren't perfectly flat against each other, and the smaller improvements happen when that joint is nice and flat. Then again, maybe it's just due to different USTs having different intrinsic properties. Who knows. Point is, they suck.

Some day, I'll convince you to try a Halcyon Guitar. They're handmade in Vancouver by a guy who used to work for Larrivée. They start at $1799 CAD now ($1350 USD). I got one when he had just started out, maybe his 20th or 30th guitar, and he was charging $1000 for them to get his name out there. And man. Does he ever have the touch. If you're nervous, ask him to build one of his Gibson-style ones, he offers like 10 different shapes and bracing patterns, and you'll end up with an heirloom quality instrument. Just don't be mad at me when you're posting a NGD saying "this is my 8th Halcyon" instead of your 8th Gibson.

Don't worry about resale value. Especially since they go like hot cakes on the Acoustic Guitar Forum. His prices have been rising steadily for 5 years and I sold mine at a profit because of that. The only reason was that I got a Martin-style build, and it was better than any Martin 3 times the price, but I concluded that I just don't like Martins, and continued on my path of slowly accumulating David Webber guitars, which still have yet to be surpassed for my tastes.

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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by Maggieo » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:36 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:31 pm
zhivago wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:29 pm
Incredible rosewood back and sides!! :w00t: 8)
Thank you! I'm not going to lie, that kind of put it right over the edge.

I only got a little time to play it tonight, but I was noticing some of the glassiness of the rosewood coming out more than I noticed yesterday.

This guitar needs a setup pretty badly, though.
Oh my goodness, that is lovely.

One thing about my Waterloo, is it came perfectly set-up. But it's Colings, so that's usually a given.

I love how big 12-fretters sound for their size and how balanced they are. Try playing the intro to "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" one one (capo at 2nd fret to match Tweedy) and that's practically an ad for the 12-fret guitar.
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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:00 pm

I really like this guitar. I knew I would, or at least I was pretty sure.

I was missing the 12 fret thing that I had only really just come into being familiar with. And this one is a little more inspiring than my other one, or maybe I just really like Gibsons more than most things right now.

But it's loud, totally inspiring to write little pieces of music on, it's easy to play, sounds great with a pick and very good fingerstyle.

Honestly, at the moment anyway, I like the 14 fret Standard more for fingerstyle for whatever reason. Maybe that will change, or maybe this one will open up a bit. Regardless, it's so strong with a pick that it's worth it for that alone. Kind of weird.

I put on a new bone saddle and a basswood shim under it, and it didn't make a tremendous difference there. Sometimes removing the UST and the plastic saddle makes a huge difference, it was on the milder side on this one.

I have some bone bridge pins on the way to replace the plastic, I don't expect much sonic difference from that, and I have an abalone truss rod cover to replace the one ply inexplicably cheap one that was on there before. I certainly don't expect much sonic difference from that.

Still, this guitar is wonderful, I'm glad I got it when I did since it's exactly what I would have wanted a 12 fret to be- well, I'd like a 12 fret dreadnaught- and Gibson seems to have made these for only one year.
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Re: NGD Gibson L-00 12 fret

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:10 pm

Oh, also, funny thing. I have one of those nice recent J-35s, and I keep that at work at the moment. I had always read that they had "V" necks, but never really noticed it much. It is a little thicker than the Slim-taper type neck that some of my acoustics have, but I never thought more of it than that.

But as soon as I got to work and pulled it out, after playing the "V" neck on the L-00 12 fret job, I was like, oh, shit, I can totally feel the "V" now. I had never really noticed it before.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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