NGD 2019 Traditional

danzego

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
327
Took delivery of a 2019 Traditional, looking to replace a 2018 Traditional I just got that I’m not 100% convinced is the one (I still have a few days left to return, so the best one this weekend wins).

I need to take some sunlight pics, but I got it late last night and it’s early morning now, so I’ll leave mostly Sweetwater’s gallery pictures for now. The flame is more pronounced and goes all the way across in person, which you can see in the awful last picture (taken with lighting that’s just there to show the flame; that’s not the real color!)


6C33E7E1-CA18-429F-ADD1-A2BA81A7C844.jpeg


58D354E9-2A6A-4D12-8D25-5C7892844186.jpeg


A63BFB17-93DC-4298-A954-FEA83037C5EB.jpeg


6298CDA9-EDB2-42A2-8153-A997E76C85B4.jpeg


1ECE5361-DCCB-41F6-8870-6856F93947DE.jpeg




The sound of the guitar is nice and loud unplugged, chords sound great, Power chords have that sweet grind, and it has amazing sustain. Seriously great there! It’s exactly what I was looking for in a Les Paul.

The build quality is fantastic, which I wasn’t surprised about. Having tried a lot of 2018 Traditionals, I didn’t find any that stood out as having any glaring workmanship problems (outside of something that a setup should take care of), opposite of what I experienced several years ago, where every one I picked up had some issue. The one little thing is that one of the pointers is loose, which at the very least should have been caught by Sweetwater, especially since I paid extra to have them do a custom setup on it. You can even see it in the pictures. If you’re really checking the electronics and giving it the once over- especially beyond the 55 point inspection- how do you miss that? I’ll definitely be talking to them about that. I wouldn’t normally pay extra for that sort of thing, but I saw it as a “last line of defense” to catch any issues (especially like THIS) going out the door since I wasn’t playing it before buying.

The other part of their custom setup that left a question mark above my head was with the bridge and tailpiece. They lowered the tailpiece to the body, which makes sense since I told them sustain is very important to me. However, they did it enough to where the high E is touching the back of the bridge, which I understand to be a Les Paul no no. It’s not an extreme angle and MAYBE there’s some room, but my test it to try to slip a piece of paper between the high E and the back of the bridge, which I can’t. I may have to raise the tailpiece a few hairs. Shouldn’t have to pay for a setup and have to correct that, though.

The finish is great and it has a beautiful top. I’m still slightly split on Gibson’s choice for the natural back. I’m not 100% convinced they should have gone the natural back route with the Tobacco Burst, but it’s not displeasing to the eye. What it comes down to is I’m still used to a dark back with tobaccos, I guess. The wood looks great, though.

Playability- I will say, the thing that struck me immediately is the low fret height that Gibson chose to use this year. I just don’t get why they would do such a thing. It’s like they have to do SOMETHING to make it hard for the majority to be all in on their lineup during any given year. The guitar is very playable, but I can very easily notice the difference in feel compared to medium frets; more than I thought I would. Bends take more effort than I’m used to. Some of that is the new board that needs some finger oils worked into it, especially on the inlays- I can feel my finger rubbing against the new inlays when I bend over one. The frets are less forgiving than mediums are (meaning sloppy playing isn’t going to fly). Moving up and down the fretboard, on the other hand, is a breeze. After playing the first time, my hand felt tired. Kind of like the feeling of walking with those ankle weights on- it creates a slight drag and your muscles feel a little fatigued. After playing a while, it felt a bit better.

I’m going to give it the weekend to see how my hand adjusts to the lower frets, as everything else is fantastic and the sound is so great with it. When I hit a chord, it just feels....ahhhh. That’s unplugged, mind you. Haven’t gotten the chance to plug it into my Marshall yet! I think it’s important to hear the guitar itself first, though.

Comments and questions welcome!! I’ll give more pics soon!
 
Last edited:

Elmore

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
129
Reaction score
166
Beautiful guitar. That could be the guitar of a lifetime. If the unplugged tone is there, you are good. You could change the electronics if needed, but it may be perfect as is.
 

Macronaut

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
1,680
Thanks for your insight. I have been eying on of these lately and find that some the things you do not care for are just what I prefer, like low frets.

I hear far more love for the Trads that most other models.

Congrats! and keep us posted on your decision/thoughts.....
 

Hatefulsob

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
887
Reaction score
1,041
Beautiful. Love the natural back (hate cherry back). Did Gibson change their standard frets? They used to use Jescar .095x.047 frets (on all usa guitars) that are shaped like a school bus and they suck big time; I replaced mine with .106 x .036 and love them.
Yes, you should not HAVE to pay for a set up, but for the last 40 years or so, you do have to if you want your guitar to be all it can be. Adjusting hardware is nothing. If you have a good tech that you trust, don't be surprised if they have to level the frets as part of the set up. Very common too that they'll have to sand the fingerboard too. Gibson does a poor job and so a lot of times a board will look and feel very dry and rough. Your tech will smooth it out with some fine sanding and probably treat it with a little S.C.Johnson paste wax, and you'll love it. Great looking guitar man, enjoy.
 

danzego

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
327
Beautiful. Love the natural back (hate cherry back). Did Gibson change their standard frets? They used to use Jescar .095x.047 frets (on all usa guitars) that are shaped like a school bus and they suck big time; I replaced mine with .106 x .036 and love them.
Yes, you should not HAVE to pay for a set up, but for the last 40 years or so, you do have to if you want your guitar to be all it can be. Adjusting hardware is nothing. If you have a good tech that you trust, don't be surprised if they have to level the frets as part of the set up. Very common too that they'll have to sand the fingerboard too. Gibson does a poor job and so a lot of times a board will look and feel very dry and rough. Your tech will smooth it out with some fine sanding and probably treat it with a little S.C.Johnson paste wax, and you'll love it. Great looking guitar man, enjoy.

To clarify, I’m ok with paying for a setup. That was a little confusing on my part. Guitars are one of those things that are very personalized in their settings from person to person. Naturally, a guitar company can’t release a one size fits all guitar.

What I meant is that when I’m paying for that setup, I shouldn’t have to receive it with a loose pointer knob or a tailpiece that’s dropped so low, the high E is touching the back of the bridge.

The fretboard is definitely on the dry side. I’d love to oil it, but I’m going to hold off on that until I’m 100% sure I’m hanging on to it. Just playing for a couple hours last night helped and it’ll be better over the weekend the more I play.

I’ll add any thoughts or observations (and pics!) as they come up.
 

519tbarr

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
530
Reaction score
479
Congratulations - great colour choice! Nice to see some new 2019 NGD's here!


Took delivery of a 2019 Traditional, looking to replace a 2018 Traditional I just got that I’m not 100% convinced is the one (I still have a few days left to return, so the best one this weekend wins).

I need to take some sunlight pics, but I got it late last night and it’s early morning now, so I’ll leave mostly Sweetwater’s gallery pictures for now. The flame is more pronounced and goes all the way across in person, which you can see in the awful last picture (taken with lighting that’s just there to show the flame; that’s not the real color!)


View attachment 331704

View attachment 331705

View attachment 331706

View attachment 331707

View attachment 331708



The sound of the guitar is nice and loud unplugged, chords sound great, Power chords have that sweet grind, and it has amazing sustain. Seriously great there! It’s exactly what I was looking for in a Les Paul.

The build quality is fantastic, which I wasn’t surprised about. Having tried a lot of 2018 Traditionals, I didn’t find any that stood out as having any glaring workmanship problems (outside of something that a setup should take care of), opposite of what I experienced several years ago, where every one I picked up had some issue. The one little thing is that one of the pointers is loose, which at the very least should have been caught by Sweetwater, especially since I paid extra to have them do a custom setup on it. You can even see it in the pictures. If you’re really checking the electronics and giving it the once over- especially beyond the 55 point inspection- how do you miss that? I’ll definitely be talking to them about that. I wouldn’t normally pay extra for that sort of thing, but I saw it as a “last line of defense” to catch any issues (especially like THIS) going out the door since I wasn’t playing it before buying.

The other part of their custom setup that left a question mark above my head was with the bridge and tailpiece. They lowered the tailpiece to the body, which makes sense since I told them sustain is very important to me. However, they did it enough to where the high E is touching the back of the bridge, which I understand to be a Les Paul no no. It’s not an extreme angle and MAYBE there’s some room, but my test it to try to slip a piece of paper between the high E and the back of the bridge, which I can’t. I may have to raise the tailpiece a few hairs. Shouldn’t have to pay for a setup and have to correct that, though.

The finish is great and it has a beautiful top. I’m still slightly split on Gibson’s choice for the natural back. I’m not 100% convinced they should have gone the natural back route with the Tobacco Burst, but it’s not displeasing to the eye. What it comes down to is I’m still used to a dark back with tobaccos, I guess. The wood looks great, though.

Playability- I will say, the thing that struck me immediately is the low fret height that Gibson chose to use this year. I just don’t get why they would do such a thing. It’s like they have to do SOMETHING to make it hard for the majority to be all in on their lineup during any given year. The guitar is very playable, but I can very easily notice the difference in feel compared to medium frets; more than I thought I would. Bends take more effort than I’m used to. Some of that is the new board that needs some finger oils worked into it, especially on the inlays- I can feel my finger rubbing against the new inlays when I bend over one. The frets are less forgiving than mediums are (meaning sloppy playing isn’t going to fly). Moving up and down the fretboard, on the other hand, is a breeze. After playing the first time, my hand felt tired. Kind of like the feeling of walking with those ankle weights on- it creates a slight drag and your muscles feel a little fatigued. After playing a while, it felt a bit better.

I’m going to give it the weekend to see how my hand adjusts to the lower frets, as everything else is fantastic and the sound is so great with it. When I hit a chord, it just feels....ahhhh. That’s unplugged, mind you. Haven’t gotten the chance to plug it into my Marshall yet! I think it’s important to hear the guitar itself first, though.

Comments and questions welcome!! I’ll give more pics soon!
 

jstarr823

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
4,235
Reaction score
6,720
Congrats. Absolutely love that finish. It's reminding me of the early Ace Frehley Tobacco Burst.
 

DylanLP

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
389
Reaction score
457
Looking forward to your feedback. I hope you’ll like it once it’s plugged in into your Marshall amp
 

1all's Pub

Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
3,481
Reaction score
3,589
Teardrop Tobacco Burst is dang near perfection. Best finish they’ve put on the Trad in years (if it only had a red back ;)). Love it! Love it! Love it! Nice score! :D

As for the pointer... seriously, you’re concerned about that? The pointer is held on by a nut under the knob. It could very well have shaken loose in transit. Pull the knob and tighten it a touch. Pointers coming loose is not uncommon at all.

As for the slammed tailpiece and the string touching the bridge. I got a Reissue from Wildwood that had the same issue and they set it up for me too, it happens (no one is as picky about your guitar as you will be). If it’s sustaining great and you’re not noticing any playability issues I probably wouldn’t worry about it. If it bugs you, raise the tailpiece a tad or lower the bridge a tad. These are *totally* minor tweaks that you can make into “big deal” and ruin your NGD if you wish... OR just enjoy your gorgeous new Tobacco Burst! :cheers:

Put some oil on that board though, if for some reason you do decide to return it, they aren’t going to care if you oiled the board—heck they’ll probably be thankful . :) (it needs it).

BTW, if for some reason you can’t get the tailpiece/bridge/string issue fixed to your satisfaction, get yourself some Faber locking tailpiece studs. They come with Lg-Med-Sm spacers and will fix the problem for sure AND give you the added sustain benefits of locking the tailpiece. I add these to all my LPs regardless—one of the best LP mods out there IMO.

Enjoy and HNGD! :D
 

danzego

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
327
I haven’t had time to get some pics in natural lighting, but here are a few shots that seem a bit dull, but they give an idea of what the color really looks like. Imagine that with a bit more yellow in there, but not as much as the Sweetwater pics I posted. There’s more of a deep brown with amber thing going on that’s hard to catch on camera. Also, it looks like there’s a patch on the lower left that has no stripes, but that’s just the way it catches the light and how you can’t get that 3D effect with a camera. As you can see with the last pic, it has stripes- lots of them. I love that!

It’s more beautiful in person. I have a Studio that’s a lot easier to catch on pictures what’s really going on, but this one is hard. If you think it looks great, know it looks twice as great in person. Hopefully that comes through better when I can try getting some natural light pics tomorrow.

90D85219-5768-4D01-84F0-3AD756D1ACA1.jpeg


1D48FA5B-F4A0-4B0C-A846-8E8709D463B2.jpeg


E1AD9EAE-134C-4289-B07E-FAE04AC21F86.jpeg


286AE1F4-D8F1-497D-B405-7F9B5BCFB77F.jpeg


7B988E72-03DE-42CD-86CC-AFF972911C66.jpeg


DF593154-E771-439E-9516-12C47E00B82C.jpeg
 
Last edited:

danzego

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
327
Teardrop Tobacco Burst is dang near perfection. Best finish they’ve put on the Trad in years (if it only had a red back ;)). Love it! Love it! Love it! Nice score! :D

As for the pointer... seriously, you’re concerned about that? The pointer is held on by a nut under the knob. It could very well have shaken loose in transit. Pull the knob and tighten it a touch. Pointers coming loose is not uncommon at all.
Thanks!

Well, again, my concern has to do with paying Sweetwater for a setup, not to mention the “55 point inspection” they go on about, yet that simple thing not being taken care of. Tell ya what- I beat the heck out of my hand getting that darn knob off so I could tighten the nut. The point is, that should have never made it into my hands in the first place like that. I get that things like that happen in shipping, but that’s something Sweetwater should have caught, especially when I paid extra for them to go over the thing. That’s all.


As for the slammed tailpiece and the string touching the bridge. I got a Reissue from Wildwood that had the same issue and they set it up for me too, it happens (no one is as picky about your guitar as you will be). If it’s sustaining great and you’re not noticing any playability issues I probably wouldn’t worry about it. If it bugs you, raise the tailpiece a tad or lower the bridge a tad. These are *totally* minor tweaks that you can make into “big deal” and ruin your NGD if you wish... OR just enjoy your gorgeous new Tobacco Burst! :cheers:

Put some oil on that board though, if for some reason you do decide to return it, they aren’t going to care if you oiled the board—heck they’ll probably be thankful . :) (it needs it).

BTW, if for some reason you can’t get the tailpiece/bridge/string issue fixed to your satisfaction, get yourself some Faber locking tailpiece studs. They come with Lg-Med-Sm spacers and will fix the problem for sure AND give you the added sustain benefits of locking the tailpiece. I add these to all my LPs regardless—one of the best LP mods out there IMO.

Enjoy and HNGD! :D
That’s a great point regarding the string on the tailpiece. If I start breaking high E’s, then I’ll worry about it. Your suggestion about the tailpiece studs sounds even more enticing, though. I really like having a tailpiece to anchor my hand on when playing and I don’t get that with as low as the thing is. However, I do love the added sustain I’m presumably getting with the tailpiece dropped like that. The locking studs might be exactly what the doc ordered!

As for the board, yeah.....it needs oil. I didn’t want to pull the strings yet since they just put new ones on there, but this is the first time I’ve tried D’Addario NYXLs (Sweetwater put them on with the “setup”). I read tonight on a few forums that people have noticed an increase in string tension and stiffness when using them. This has me thinking- THAT might be what’s causing me to feel like bends are a bit harder than I’m used to! The combination of an oiled board and strings that aren’t so stiff could be exactly what I need here!
 

Cjsinla

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
4,041
Reaction score
3,500
Thanks!

Well, again, my concern has to do with paying Sweetwater for a setup, not to mention the “55 point inspection” they go on about, yet that simple thing not being taken care of. Tell ya what- I beat the heck out of my hand getting that darn knob off so I could tighten the nut. The point is, that should have never made it into my hands in the first place like that. I get that things like that happen in shipping, but that’s something Sweetwater should have caught, especially when I paid extra for them to go over the thing. That’s all.




That’s a great point regarding the string on the tailpiece. If I start breaking high E’s, then I’ll worry about it. Your suggestion about the tailpiece studs sounds even more enticing, though. I really like having a tailpiece to anchor my hand on when playing and I don’t get that with as low as the thing is. However, I do love the added sustain I’m presumably getting with the tailpiece dropped like that. The locking studs might be exactly what the doc ordered!

As for the board, yeah.....it needs oil. I didn’t want to pull the strings yet since they just put new ones on there, but this is the first time I’ve tried D’Addario NYXLs (Sweetwater put them on with the “setup”). I read tonight on a few forums that people have noticed an increase in string tension and stiffness when using them. This has me thinking- THAT might be what’s causing me to feel like bends are a bit harder than I’m used to! The combination of an oiled board and strings that aren’t so stiff could be exactly what I need here!
Stiff, raise the tailpiece, you won’t notice any change in sustain, it should get less stiff.
 

1all's Pub

Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
3,481
Reaction score
3,589
Thanks!

Well, again, my concern has to do with paying Sweetwater for a setup, not to mention the “55 point inspection” they go on about, yet that simple thing not being taken care of. Tell ya what- I beat the heck out of my hand getting that darn knob off so I could tighten the nut. The point is, that should have never made it into my hands in the first place like that. I get that things like that happen in shipping, but that’s something Sweetwater should have caught, especially when I paid extra for them to go over the thing. That’s all.




That’s a great point regarding the string on the tailpiece. If I start breaking high E’s, then I’ll worry about it. Your suggestion about the tailpiece studs sounds even more enticing, though. I really like having a tailpiece to anchor my hand on when playing and I don’t get that with as low as the thing is. However, I do love the added sustain I’m presumably getting with the tailpiece dropped like that. The locking studs might be exactly what the doc ordered!

As for the board, yeah.....it needs oil. I didn’t want to pull the strings yet since they just put new ones on there, but this is the first time I’ve tried D’Addario NYXLs (Sweetwater put them on with the “setup”). I read tonight on a few forums that people have noticed an increase in string tension and stiffness when using them. This has me thinking- THAT might be what’s causing me to feel like bends are a bit harder than I’m used to! The combination of an oiled board and strings that aren’t so stiff could be exactly what I need here!
Again, the pointer could have been acceptably “tight” when it left SW, but was just on the edge enough of being loose that it rattled loose during shipping. They are not going to pull all the knobs and tighten them before shipping. You really can’t blame this on SW, at least not definitely... and again it takes moments to remedy (BTW, getting knobs off is easy, no need to “beat the heck” out of your hand... google is your friend).

If you don’t like the tailpiece that low then just raise it, problem solved. I highly doubt you’ll even notice any difference in sustain, but will notice the strings being a slinkier most likely. And if you do feel like you lost some sustain, get the the Faber locking studs.

As for oiling the board, no need to remove the strings, just loosen them, pull them aside, oil the board and retigthen. Easy.
 

danzego

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
327
Again, the pointer could have been acceptably “tight” when it left SW, but was just on the edge enough of being loose that it rattled loose during shipping. They are not going to pull all the knobs and tighten them before shipping. You really can’t blame this on SW, at least not definitely... and again it takes moments to remedy (BTW, getting knobs off is easy, no need to “beat the heck” out of your hand... google is your friend).

If you don’t like the tailpiece that low then just raise it, problem solved. I highly doubt you’ll even notice any difference in sustain, but will notice the strings being a slinkier most likely. And if you do feel like you lost some sustain, get the the Faber locking studs.

As for oiling the board, no need to remove the strings, just loosen them, pull them aside, oil the board and retigthen. Easy.
The pointer was loose at Sweetwater. Look at the pictures I originally posted. Bridge pickup volume knob. You’ll see it. :)

Anyway, sound.....wow. Damn, it sounds amazing. So far, I’ve played it through my Marshall DSL40CR clean and Classic gain, and green channel Ultra gain. I compared it to the 2018 Traditional that it’s competing against, which has the same pickups set to the same heights relative to the action. The 2019 has wonderful clarity, even with the gain up high. The 2018 is a bit warmer and sloppier, I guess (that could have a lot to do with strings, which are Dean Markley Blue Steels as opposed to NYXL’s on the 2019). I also played through my Kemper with various amps. This LP is a monster with anything gain. Great clean, too.

I’m very happy with the way it sounds. I also feel like I’m getting more used to the low frets. They’re great for chords and moving around the fretboard ( particularly with slides and fast runs where I keep my fingertips fairly low). The build is nice and solid, sustain is great....it’s a winner.
 
Last edited:

Rds

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
856
Reaction score
1,352
Nice looking guitar. You can't go wrong with a traditional. I love mine.
 

danzego

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
327
Thanks for the compliments on the guitar, folks. For me, this is a huge milestone. Years ago, I said one day I would own a Standard. I never thought I really would, though. In June, I fulfilled my probationary teaching contract (first three years in a district here are probationary and I worked in two different districts) and this is my 30th year playing guitar. Thus, I decided to treat myself. To me, the Traditional IS the Standard, so there it is!

The 2018 I got, I’m not so sure about. It feels amazing, but doesn’t quite give up the goods in sound. Good general tone, but not a whole lot of sustain (even with the tailpiece dropped and the action higher than I would like) or that LP grind. I decided to also get the 2019 and keep the best one. I’m kind of leaning toward the 2019 I think.
 




Top