Incoming NGD: By Zeus, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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Incoming NGD: By Zeus, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Ceylon » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:12 am

Well, there's an NGD incoming, and based on the pictures it kind of looks like it might be an offset (but apparently the mods have decided otherwise, hence the move).
My browsing eBay and classifieds ads is now officially an issue, because I'd never seen another one of these before and 5 seconds later the seller had accepted my offer and I was paying for it.
It'll only cost me 149€ shipped but even so.

But the combination of the sweet, swinging looks, the loving wear, the semi-hollow body with a Jazzmaster-inspired vibrato and the iron curtain-era Bulgarian origin all just got to me.

So, anyone with any knowledge about old Soviet guitars that can enlighten me on what it is I just bought?

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Last edited by Ceylon on Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Christ, now what did I buy?

Post by Trout » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:42 am

Cool! And if you want a new color on the trem arm tip, here you go :D


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Re: Christ, now what did I buy?

Post by Flurko » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:18 am

I have no idea what it is but it looks great.
Can you make out what the name on the pickups say ? I suppose it's written in cyrillic ?

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Re: Christ, now what did I buy?

Post by Ceylon » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:31 am

Flurko wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:18 am
I have no idea what it is but it looks great.
Can you make out what the name on the pickups say ? I suppose it's written in cyrillic ?
Weirdly enough I think they're latin letters. It says Orpheus, which was also the name of the brand. They kept making guitars into the 80's or 90's. That's about all I know, I was hoping (and I seem to remember) that someone on here knows a bit about Soviet electrics and could clue me in on what the model might be called, or when it might be from.
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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Ceylon » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:40 am

I figure if it's fundamentally even a halfway decent guitar I'll probably want to upgrade at least the tuners and possible also the bridge. If I hope to play it at all the jack will need to be changed out for a 6,3mm input. But in the off chance that this happens to be a really rare model or whatever it'd be kind of a shame, whether or not it has any monetary value.

But I guess they're not, since a search for Orpheus guitars turns up a picture of a slight variation pretty much instantly
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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Kent » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:53 am

Although most "Orpheus" guitars are super cool looking, they are also super-dog-shit.

They are very common over here and not well-built. I keep my fingers crossed for you.

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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by SignoftheDragon » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:58 am

I really dig the kind of 'knife blade' shaped f-hole on this one- finishes off the look & shape perfectly.

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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Ceylon » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:50 am

I definitely mostly bought it because it's cool and good-looking. At best I'm expecting a neat couch guitar, although the video demos of Orpheuses I can find on Youtube at least show them sounding pretty nice.

Still, I mean I obviously don't know how that wear happened, but it looks like play wear, and I can't imagine it would have gotten played that much if it was truly dog shit.
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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Ceylon » Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:00 am

So after finding a thread on a Russian forum and a couple of videos of these guitars being played on a presumably Russian YouTube channel I have no doubt this is going to require modifications to be of any kind of use to me. I'll have zero regrets because this has a better chance of being preserved for the future if it's even borderline useable.

There doesn't appear to be any sort of grounding, the tuners don't seem to be original in the first place, but rather what looks like two sets of balalaika tuners, and also the bridge seems different from what was likely originally on there. The neck seems baseball bat-ish with an almost semi-circular radius. The vibrato is Jazzmasterish but not floating unless you put some fucking really heavy strings on there I suppose.

On the good side the body seems to be a pretty solid build, the top is supposedly carved and there's a center block. The neck is also allegedly stupid sturdy and thus not prone to warping of any kind. And with a bolt-on neck and an adjustable truss rod there's a decent chance I can get this to play decently with a set-up and the addition of an adjustable bridge. I figure a cheap TOM with a rosewood base should maintain a good balance between original character and functionality. Pots and stuff look pretty crappy and will probably have to go when I install a grounding wire and new jack. Add a more stable set of tuners and it should be good. Well, probably not good-good, but useable good. I have this weird fascination with Soviet stuff and am pretty psyched about taking this on as a project.

(There's a couple more pictures of this particular one in the finished eBay auction )
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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by countertext » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:34 am

Holy shit, there’s a bass version of your model on that Russian forum that looks incredible! I hope you get your guitar working.

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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:29 am

That's a cool guitar - hope you get it playable.

I'm pretty baffled by the DIN socket output jack though.... maybe it's a MIDI guitar?!? ;D
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before....

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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Veitchy » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:31 pm

Interesting shape - kinda looks like a prototype Rickenbacker, like if Les Paul built the Log, but as a RIc.

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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by BoringPostcards » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:29 pm

Bradley-Jazz wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:29 am
That's a cool guitar - hope you get it playable.

I'm pretty baffled by the DIN socket output jack though.... maybe it's a MIDI guitar?!? ;D
Eastern European, Russian, and Eastern German guitars often had DIN sockets, instead of a 1/4" jack.
I believe there were even some West German instruments that used them, but I think they were more common behind the Iron Curtain.
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Re: Incoming NGD: Christ, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by Jan Deal » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:24 am

That look super cool, I hope you get it up and playing well.
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Re: Incoming NGD: Zeus, now what did I buy? Orpheus semi-hollow

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:42 am

Thread needs retitled....

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