Glarry NGD - The Good, The Bad, The Glarry

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by BackwaterJunction, Jun 26, 2021.

  1. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    £60 for a brand new electric guitar. £60! Shipped! With accessories! I had to, right?

    Anyway, I'm the (proud?) owner of a Glarry GTL in Green.

    Obligatory:
    IMG_20210626_170512.jpg

    Here are my day-one thoughts:

    The good
    Thankfully (because although £60 is cheap for an electric guitar, I'd rather it wasn't totally wasted), there is a good bit to like about this guitar. It arrived faster than I thought, undamaged and with some 'case candy' (bag that is basically a cover, allen keys, cheap strap, cheap cable, pick). It looks great, to me anyway. The body appears to be full sized, and the green is just what I was hoping for.

    In terms of its function, everything works. I did manage to get it tuned up fairly quickly and didn't need to do anything really to get intonation to a playable level. The switch and jack work fine, and the pickups definitely aren't just clones of one another, and the volume pot has a nice, controlled sweep.

    In just a few minutes I was plugged into my amp and jamming away. And did I mention it was £60, including postage?

    The bad

    As you may expect, it's also not perfect. Predictably, the strings are garbage, but I'd expect that at prices higher than this too. The tuners are...well, they're there, and they technically work, but they're a long way from fluent. They're cheap tuners. Both of these things are hard to hold against it, given the price range.

    Worse, however, is the tone control, which when you ease back does nothing. So you ease it back, nothing. You ease it back some more, nothing. Ease it all the way back and, oh, someone's thrown a blanket over the amplifier.

    This wouldn't be a major issue on other guitars, particularly as a guy who routinely leaves vol and tone at the max. But the Glarry makes that tricky. The pickups are ceramic, as you'd expect at this price point. And I don't hold that as a criticism. The issue is, the neck pickup is super warm, a lot of highs dialled out. No biggie, tweak the amp treble. Switch to the bridge though, and it's all spikiness and brash. Both can be made to sound OK alone, but jumping from one to the other, their EQs are worlds apart. The neck in particular feels like a Tele neck pickup, but with the tone rolled maybe a third of the way back.

    The ugly
    These extra foibles aren't major at all but still worth examining. The strings that will of course be changed had seemingly oxidised? I think it was that. The first few chords and noodles left my fingertips greyed.

    The frets probably need a little polishing as they're very scratchy - though to be fair, any fret sprout seems minimal.

    Whoever placed the nut needed two goes to get it seated, judging by the cut at the top of the fretboard:

    IMG_20210626_170539.jpg

    And lastly, the pickguard is about 3-5 business days away from the bridge.

    IMG_20210626_170522.jpg

    The future

    Overall, I'm happy with this. I paid £60 for a useable and serviceable instrument. Would I recommend to a beginner? Yes, if you can't afford to go above this, or if you want to keep money back for some lessons (then a teacher could help you change the strings too).

    But my plan is to teach myself proper guitar care and maintenance, as well as modding. Pickups will go. Pots will go. I'll see what I can do to improve the neck, but might try a neck swap as part of the learning process too.

    I'm already excited to see what my new guitar will become!
     
  2. ghostchord

    ghostchord Tele-Holic

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    Glen and Larry at it again?

    Pretty green, congrats!

    How can you make a guitar so cheap, blows the mind.
     
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  3. Otisblove

    Otisblove Tele-Meister

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    3-5 business days away from the bridge made me chuckle.
     
  4. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    Not only that, but a playable one. It's not the best guitar by any means, but it is actually functional. Amazing to make it so cheap.

    It's not even an exaggeration!
     
  5. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Afflicted

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    The Glarry is probably a good guitar to take when glamping.
     
  6. Laxy picker

    Laxy picker TDPRI Member

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    Instead of swapping necks inexpensive guitars are great for learning to do fret work on.
    I've made some student guitars play great with a level beam, crown job and dressing/polishing the frets.
    Also after the initial investment and learning the skill you can now dial in just about any guitar out there as long as its not a twisted neck or back bowed (unless you have a 2 way truss rod).
     
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  7. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    I think I'd like to start by learning fret work on it too. Replacement neck is sort of a potential idea but not necessarily certain by any means. I've got a lot of ideas for it!
     
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  8. Masmus

    Masmus Tele-Holic

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    I love that green.
     
  9. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

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    If you aren’t patient enough to save at least $200 for a guitar you probably aren’t patient enough to learn how to play.

    I guess they’re good for stage smashing antics.
     
  10. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    Players like guitars at all price levels. I’m not looking for any ultra cheap guitars at this point, but there was a time I would have absolutely bought one of these.
     
  11. mbr

    mbr Tele-Meister

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    I got one recently in natural.
    I had the same issue with the tone control. Turns out the pots were mini 500k linear taper. I got a couple of full size pots, 250k, one linear, one audio taper. The audio taper worked much better as the tone pot and the linear for the volume, just the opposite of what I always thought. I also installed a .022 cap. i don't know how much diff that made, I didn't do a critical listening test.
    I also wired up a 4-way switch. The cavity wasn't deep enough, but a half hour of careful chiselling fixed that. Even if I broke through the back, a thin rosewood plate would have covered it, but it wasn't needed.
    There was loud buzzing and noise from the pickups. Turns out the neck pu cover and bridge were not grounded. The neck cover needed to be grounded anyway for the 4-way, and I ran a ground from the bridge. No more noise.
    Now it sounds much better. Some fret polishing, a Stew-Mac shim in the neck and a bit of spot leveling fixed the action issues.
    All for very little cost, less than $100, including the guitar.
     
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  12. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    I could not disagree more. I love guitars, and I think everyone should have the chance to play one if they want. I think the lower the barriers to entry, the better.

    Edit: now that I think about it, it's better to catch people's enthusiasm whilst the spark is there. The more available (and I guess to some extent the more affordable) the guitar is, the easier it is for people to take up
     
  13. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    Not surprised you found the same with the pots. I guess they're all just cheaply made. I've not got hum issues, so I guess I'm fortunate in that regard. I do plan to swap the pickups, largely just to teach myself how to fully do it properly rather than asking a mate or taking it to a shop.

    Practicing fret work is probably a first priority for me.
     
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  14. Fretting out

    Fretting out Doctor of Teleocity

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    New D’Addarios always leave my fingers grey

    As for the glarry.... well.... it’s a glarry
     
  15. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    It's a way from perfect. But it's better than I anticipated. Always rated Glen and Larry*

    *Company almost definitely not run by two men named Glen and Larry
     
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  16. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

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    Who are these people, that have saved $50 but can’t save $200, that are dying to play guitar? Kids under the legal working age of 14?
     
  17. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    A word of advice from someone that tried to do frets on the cheap.. use good tools.
    It's very important for frets. And the best part is, you'll buy them once and be able to use them for years or decades. Cheap tools often get tossed after the first use or two.
    Making your own leveling tool is pretty easy to DIY, polishing can be done well with micro mesh pads (which are nearly infinitely reusable), however, the quality of the crowning file makes all the difference. Skimp on any other parts if you have to, but make sure to get a decent crowning file.

    Study up on available threads here on TDPRI and go watch a handful of YT vids and you'll know exactly what to do and have the tools to do it.

    Good luck! :)

    PS. FWIW -- I also bought a 'cheap' project import guitar. After a thorough makeover (basically all the hardware swapped + some fret work) it's my favorite guitar. Cheap can be fun. ;)
     
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  18. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Probably a large percentage of the world's population.
     
  19. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    It's amazing how we can grow up wishing we didn't have certain hurdles to trying stuff we were curious about, yet once a new generation of kids has the opportunity to do just that, we demand they go through all the same BS we did, just because we did.
     
  20. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Before you swap the pickups, learn how to adjust the pickup heights for the best sound. You might have some winners there. I have found some inexpensive ceramic pickups to be really good. My Squier Bullet Tele has ceramics and I am keeping them in there. I installed a 4-way switch and have gigged it. Of course the Bullet was $130, more than your Glarry.
     
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