Somethings missing here? NGD

Boogieman92

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I have been getting caught up in all the strandberg hype lately as well as becoming obsessed with instrumental progressive metal. I was having heartburn at the idea of throwing down $1500 plus on a new strandberg having no way to try one, and was looking pretty hard at the new Ibanez Q series when i came across a company called Latitude on amazon. This cardinal model really caught my eye having a tele meets buzz saw look. Latitude appears to be an offshoot of Eart but with a more visually pleasing design (to me anyway being a tele guy). Reviews are scarce but i decided to take a punt given the awesome specs (5 piece roasted maple and paduck neck, ss frets, ash body) low price (under $400) and easy amazon returns. Anywho the guitar arrived today so i thought i would give my initial review.

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Above is how the guitar arrived. Setup out of the box was playable but not great. The truss rod had little to no tension, and intonation was spotty. Easy enough fix though, but the bridge design makes intonation adjustments a bit of a pain, as the screw is under where the strings pass between the rollers and the tuning mechanism. Also the allen wrench to adjust that and the height screws is not included (not a big deal as i have tools but for someone else it could be an issue). I have no other real complaints with the bridge fairly straight forward and easy to use, you do need either the included tool that magnetically sticks to the bridge or a pick to adjust the tuning though.

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Next up the pickups were mounted cockeyed and also are completely anemic. Neck and bridge humbuckers measured in the 5k range, and testing it with my trusty blackstar fly 3 on the od mode with gain all the way up the bridge was almost clean sounding… not a huge deal as i have pickups in the parts bin and no issue working on it myself but again for someone who doesnt have these luxuries it is an added expense that you need to plan for. Also possible i had a defective or incorrectly wired set of pickups as i haven’t tested them further.

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Which brings us to swapping the pickups. Overall the electronics seem to be fairly solid with full size pots and a decent looking toggle switch. The stock soldering job isnt the best but not too hard to clean up. I did end up putting in a duncan jazz neck and a dimarzio dominion bridge i had in the parts bin and they seem to suit the guitar well. Picture below of how it currently sits

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As for fit and finish mine has some small issues that im not overly concerned with. There appeared to be a bit of glue from the fretboard being put on that had seeped out the side creating a rough spot on the neck. I couldnt get my camera to pick it up but a few light passes with a fine grain sanding block and no more issue. Also the small bit of wood below the truss rod wheel (has the heel adjust thing like some of the other “modern” guitars do that makes adjustments a breeze) is cracked but it really serves no purpose that i can tell other than separating the neck route from the pickup cavity. Fret work is pretty dang perfect and once the set up was tweaked it is a breeze to play.

So overall for my large sample size of 1 guitar i think i got a good deal that allows me to dip my toe in the water of the headless world for considerably less than most of the market. I forsee a strandberg in my future now lol. If your also curious and dont mind a bit of fine tuning this is a pretty fun guitar and worth the price of entry.

P.S. the guitar weighs 6.4lbs and also came with a pretty decent gig bag, although the extra padding for the strap button is in the wrong position. Also i never found a hard answer on the fret board radius, and dont have a way to accurately gauge it but given my experience playing different guitars i would hazard a guess of 14in.
 

Blues Twanger

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I dunno man, even $400 seems high for an unknown Amazon brand with that many issues, even if small they add up and that's not taking into account what else may crop up.

From afar it seems like a $200-250 guitar with an upcharge for the shape.
 

Boogieman92

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I dunno man, even $400 seems high for an unknown Amazon brand with that many issues, even if small they add up and that's not taking into account what else may crop up.

From afar it seems like a $200-250 guitar with an upcharge for the shape.

My thoughts exactly but HNGD anyway!
No doubt you pay a premium for the headless thing. I was eyeing the ibanez pretty hard but the specs pretty much mirror the $500 range but you pay $1000 to get the headless stuff. Honestly ive had more issues on higher dollar guitars from the bigger brands with inferior specs. I feel comfortable with what i paid for what i got knowing it was a risk and an experiment to see how i would adjust to the headless thing. I also was being extra critical for the review as information on these is scarce. Most of the reviews i found were positive but lacked much detail so i may have more issues than most will see or this may be normal. Still if this were a bigger brands product I would expect it to be a few hundred more given the headless market being fairly niche, and this has some specs that I preferred to the ibanez at almost 3 times the price.
 

Boogieman92

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So very strange, out of curiosity i decided to mess with the stock pickups and check the ohm reading again. I figured the wires got mixed up (4 wire pickups) and i was only reading one coil but now that they are out of the guitar they read normal? The neck reads 8k ish and the bridge is around 16k? I did notice the stock wiring was backwards with the north start (im assuming anyway) going to the ground and the south end/ shield wire going to the switch on both pickups. Any ideas of what might have been going on?
 

crazydave911

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So very strange, out of curiosity i decided to mess with the stock pickups and check the ohm reading again. I figured the wires got mixed up (4 wire pickups) and i was only reading one coil but now that they are out of the guitar they read normal? The neck reads 8k ish and the bridge is around 16k? I did notice the stock wiring was backwards with the north start (im assuming anyway) going to the ground and the south end/ shield wire going to the switch on both pickups. Any ideas of what might have been going on?
My guess, and it is only a guess, is the pickups were wired exactly backwards. I get and donate entry level guitars (many brands) and run into this quite often, especially with humbuckers. When corrected they generally sound quite nice, even ceramics. My only guess FWIW is that we know with any given diagram they are published as looking at it from the back, regardless of weirdness. The first I ever wired, I did not know this and soldered away. Predictably the results weren't good
 

Wound_Up

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I dunno man, even $400 seems high for an unknown Amazon brand with that many issues, even if small they add up and that's not taking into account what else may crop up.

From afar it seems like a $200-250 guitar with an upcharge for the shape.

Its not an Amazon brand. They have nothing to do with that, except to facilitate the sale. They're a marketplace where people open their own e-stores. So much of the time, you aren't buying from Amazon. You're buying from someone, a 3rd party, THROUGH Amazon.

That's like calling the FENDERS for sale on there AMAZON BRANDS.

They aren't either.

Or do you consider Fender to be an Amazon brand, too? I mean, they're sold on there just like these are.

Screenshot_20221004-000314_Amazon Shopping.jpg
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Twang-ineer

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I have the EART version (very close to identical) - Currently it is in pieces, awaiting parts. The neck is better than expected. I had considerable difficulty setting up the bridge, youtube videos really helped, but it still feels odd, and it isn't just quite right yet. The pickups were possibly the worst I have bought in years. I quickly dropped in a set of vintage Bartolini pickups - not because they are cool, rather they are what I had in a ziplock. Made a big difference, but I have new pots, Liberator volume knob and a JB/Jazz set planned to go into it fairly soon. The big surprise for me was how comfortable it is to play seated in "classical" position. In fact it is even very comfy kicked back in the Lazyboy. If it were not for that, I would have just moved on from it, but it is so couch friendly, I want it to sound better for headphones when the wife wants to watch GOT together, and I just want to participate socially.

And just as a note, I dont know what mine weighs, but it is very heavy, between my heaviest Strat and that boat anchor of a non weight relieved Les Paul that hangs on my wall. (at least the LP is pretty)
 

Peegoo

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Also i never found a hard answer on the fret board radius, and dont have a way to accurately gauge it but given my experience playing different guitars i would hazard a guess of 14in.

If you want to satisfy your curiosity: set up a pencil compass so there's 12" between the steel point and the pencil tip. Draw a 3" arc on some stiff paper, and carefully cut along the line. Cut that section out (example below) and use it as a gauge to check the fretboard radius. If there's light coming in at the ends of the arc, it's smaller than 12". If there's light in the center of the arc, it's larger than 12". Draw and cut out a new gauge accordingly (e.g., 10" or 14"), and try again.

Homebrew-Radius-Gauge.jpg
 

Peegoo

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I was eyeing the ibanez pretty hard but the specs pretty much mirror the $500 range but you pay $1000 to get the headless stuff.

Here's a weird headless Ibanez. This model ("X-ING") has two passive mag humbuggies and a hex pickup for a synth or MIDI triggering, with onboard synth control.

Ibanez-Xing.jpg
 

Blues Twanger

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Its not an Amazon brand. They have nothing to do with that, except to facilitate the sale. They're a marketplace where people open their own e-stores. So much of the time, you aren't buying from Amazon. You're buying from someone, a 3rd party, THROUGH Amazon.

That's like calling the FENDERS for sale on there AMAZON BRANDS.

They aren't either.

Or do you consider Fender to be an Amazon brand, too? I mean, they're sold on there just like these are.

View attachment 1036362 View attachment 1036364 View attachment 1036365 View attachment 1036366
You misread me and put a whole lot of effort into your position as well. Congrats!

I don't need the lecture on Amazon, multiple employers of mine have had me working through them for years.

We don't use Amazon brand the same as the term Store Brand, but meaning brands existing in online channels only.
 
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Resident Bum

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Looking at the tape around the pickups, they should be way more than 5k considering the coil thickness. Must be a wiring issue, maybe the pickups come with 4 conductor wiring for coil split and they got the wires mixed up. Test the pickups outside of the guitar.

Maybe some foam under the pickup can help them sit flat.
 

Ricky D.

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Cool guitar! Glad you were able to tweak the details to get it right. Always nice to see someone take a shot at a guitar that’s not a Strat/Tele/LP/etc.
 




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