The 3 different "generations" of Navigators from 1976 to mid-1980s (details inside..)

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by H. Sals, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. ales12

    ales12 Junior Member

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  2. ales12

    ales12 Junior Member

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  3. Ph03n1x

    Ph03n1x Senior Member

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    I would say no.
     
  4. ales12

    ales12 Junior Member

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    This was written on the forum:

    The earliest ESP-built LPs (Navigators, and possibly other brands that ESP could have white labeled for other names), from around 1980 through around 1983, are the only LPs I am aware of that did not have headstock wings:

    My guitar does not have wings, short tennon,.. Like Navigator from 77- 79.
     
  5. El Greco

    El Greco Senior Member

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    What makes you so sure that's MIJ?
     
  6. Ph03n1x

    Ph03n1x Senior Member

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    @ales12, it seems like you have decent LP and genuinely want to figure out who made it. However, there is the possible scenario of where you might want to sell the guitar and refer to a thread on mylp to say look, these guys think it is a Navigator. There is no way to 100% prove that. If you had pictures of the headstock conversion or original build process it would be much easier. One thing I can say for certain is that it is not like any Navigator made in the last 25 years. Unlike other MIJ brands, the early Navigators are not more desirable than the new ones. I thought even the old Navigators had nibs so unless there has been a re-fret lacking nibs would go against it. At one point, Navigator was selling partially made guitars that were like a kit. I don't know if there is a definitive way of identifying them. You can go on yahoo Japan now and find examples of unknown guitars being Gibsonized and people have being that sort of thing for years. Bottom line is that if you scored it for a good price and it plays well/sounds good then you did well.
     
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  7. Ramon Goose

    Ramon Goose Senior Member

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    Hi great thread - I am quite knowledgeable post 1998 (regarding Navigators) - I even had to school a certain guy who has a website full of navigators with some of his Navis he was selling as 380s (they were 280s which were poly finish and vaneer). Udon knows a lot about this stuff. The new ones started from 1997/1998 and were over engineered and crazy heavy then around 2001 they became the more modern model that people know now.

    The Strats and Teles had weird shaped necks until about 2008 when they became more vintage/fender CS spec and now I personally own a 2011 strat and its real good - (2 piece body) neck is still an acquired taste but more on the lines of the Fender CS masterbuilt guitars - just a shame about the tiny frets :(. Funnily they installed really crappy capicitors in thier strats and teles until after 2005 which is also kind of strange considering they had Seymour Duncan Antiquities as standard.

    Be careful on the weight of the Navigators - I notice guys that are buying Navigators from Yahoo Auctions and then selling them in Europe/US/Canada and they seem to buy all the heavy ones and charge nearly double !?! My advice is if you want one of the newer models - sign up to Rinkya and wait on Yahoo Auctions to throw up a good deal - most important check the weight and try to get one around 9 pounds.

    A strange thing - Im sponsored by a certain Japanese effects pedal company and the boss of the company told me the original old ones are the best ones - for me, I prefer the newer ones - post 2011 - I think they really have got their shit together now and are making a really great guitar.

    Peace out!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  8. Ramon Goose

    Ramon Goose Senior Member

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    Like to add the ones I've owned and still own are: (I'm a touring musician so I dont hang them on the wall and gaze at them - I'm out there on the front line playing the damn things). I bought them all off Yahoo Auctions and used Rinkya to buy them got some great deals!!!

    1997 - N-LP 380 - (9.3/9.4 pounds) amazingly engineered, very heavy, beautiful woods, top carve incorrect, neck shape not like a gibson. I started to get back ache so sold it as I was never going to be able to play it live.
    2014 - N-LP 480 - beautiful lightweight (8.2 pounds) not a bad neck shape but not like a vintage gibson (not like the bursts Ive played in the past anyway) top carve incorrect compared to bursts, not a bad guitar - basically a 'modern' les paul quite bright sounding (tried Holmes, Seymour, OX4, Mojo etc etc and none gave the 'tone'.)Sold it as it wasnt giving up the Gibson style tones I needed - got a local luthier (Daniels Guitars) to build me a vintage Burst spec'd Les Paul and now gig those guitars.

    2 guitars I own are:
    2004 Telecaster - (for home/studio use) wide nut and thin D shape neck again not like the fender vintage teles Ive played - but superbly made - probably better than any Fender.Came with cheapo electronics which is a shame as the guitar is pretty amazing and cost a bomb at the time.
    2011 Strat - (currently a main gigging guitar) a great guitar 2 piece body - neck shape is pretty good - Gotoh hardware. This is going to the Bass Gallery, London for a re-fret as the frets are the most skinny and short I've ever seen - not sure what their thinking was there!??

    Conclusion - I love Navigators but they take a little getting used to if you have been playing Fender / Gibson Custom Shops.

    I don't know anything about Navigator pre-1997 but heard some good stuff about them if you get the right model.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  9. villager

    villager Senior Member

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    Ramon, 280's are not veneer, the only difference between the 380 and 280 is the poly finish...some speculation that the mahog was not Honduran, but not seen any hard evidence for this, also PU were different duncans...
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  10. Udonitron

    Udonitron Psychedelic Stoner Rock Premium Member

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    Yup saving 100k on the finish was the only difference between the 280 and 380.
     
  11. villager

    villager Senior Member

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    sorry edited above for correctness....
     
  12. villager

    villager Senior Member

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    100k seems a lot for just a finish difference...but my main point is that the 280 are not veneer...

    but then there's absolutely no difference at all between an NLP380 and an NLP480.. except for a 100k price hike.....
     
  13. Udonitron

    Udonitron Psychedelic Stoner Rock Premium Member

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    Yeah but considering pure nitro is tough to come by in Japan, due to VOC laws etc, I can see them charging that for a vintage nitro finish.
    YOu would be spending that on a refin from any reputable luthier and those folks at ESP are damn good at their jobs.
     
  14. villager

    villager Senior Member

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    true enough...
     
  15. Hydra19

    Hydra19 Senior Member

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    I have a Navigator that could be from the early 80's. It does not have headstock wings, Navigator logo without the dropped v and nothing else on the headstock. Bought it used and it came with a JB in the bridge and an unknown in the neck, that I was told was an Antiquity. I put an Antiquity in the bridge now. Tuners look original and they are the ones with metal tuner tips, like Jimmy Page's Les Paul. I checked the pots and they have some 2's that could indicate it's an 1982, other than that no idea what year or model.

    The neck is slimmer than my Navigator Goldtop limited model and the side dots are smaller too. MOP inlays, one piece back and two piece flame top. It's also a little bit lighter and to be honest I think it may even be a better guitar than the Goldtop, it really is a perfect Les Paul for me. The Goldtop is probably no older than 20 years, and it has checking in the finish, but this flametop has no checking at all although it does look old enough to be from the 80's
     
  16. Hydra19

    Hydra19 Senior Member

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  17. ales12

    ales12 Junior Member

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    Hello, can someone post a foto of pickup routings? I'm still trying to identify my guitar which headstock has been gibsonized :/
     

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