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Belated NGD: 1965ish Intermark Cipher Ranger

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Joined: 04 Feb 2012
Posts: 678
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:47 am    Post subject: Belated NGD: 1965ish Intermark Cipher Ranger Reply with quote

My congratuhousewarmingmas gift to myself actually arrived a couple of weeks ago, but when I started taking it apart to clean it and set it up, I discovered that the screws on the truss rod cover were stripped and wouldn't budge. I fought with them for a full afternoon, then took it to the nearest shop in exasperation. Since I recently moved, I figured I needed to find a new tech anyway, and a pro setup wouldn't be a bad idea when I didn't know if or how well the guitar had been maintained in the last half century.

That setup took a good week and a half, mostly because that guy couldn't get the screws out either. So it wasn't just me.

He finally did, though, and got it set up, but I have to say the result left me with some lingering doubts. The wiring perplexed him, he strung it up wrong (fed the strings through the bottom of the tailpiece instead of the top, so the trem isn't really working at the moment), and he missed some fret buzz. I *think* it's just a flat spot on one fret, and I *may* be able to correct that myself, but I don't want to jump to conclusions, especially when it may just be the neck working itself out. It's playable, and it's certainly better off than it was. The truss rod was just about at its limit already, so I'm really glad he caught that instead of me, because I probably would have done something stupid with it first. There's still some upbow, but much less than there was. I've got it strung with 10-52s now, instead of the 9s it shipped with, and that couldn't hurt. At some point, though, I think it's still worth the 45-mile drive to have my old tech--the one who's done impeccable work on all my gear since I was 14--take a look at it.

I finally had a chunk of time to play around with it and lay down some tracks yesterday, and it's a joy. Light as a feather with a comfy neck (same nut width as my Super-Sonic and just a little chunkier). The neck pickup is great for pretty tones, and the bridge is nice and hot. This might be the guitar where I finally warm up to single coils. The biggest adjustment has been the lack of side dots, which threw me a little at first, but I'm getting used to it. The (non-original) switches aren't glamorous, but they aren't hideous. The previous owner was cleaning up after some clown who put a tele switch where no tele switch should go, and he did a respectable job of it. Eventually I'll try to hunt down some originals and see about getting a new pickguard cut, but I'm sitting on too many other unfinished projects in the meantime.

Anyway, enough talk. Look at some guitar pictures.

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Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 1148

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats! She's beautiful!
Disciple of Pain

"I'm like the monkey screwing the skunk. I haven't had enough, but I've about had all that I can stand!"

"Born to Lose. Live to Win." Lemmy Kilmister

Last edited by speedfish on Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 7292

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exciting post. Love intermark's style. I guess with any of these old Japanese guitars there is a bit of hit and miss, but it soundalike like yours is good and over the months with a little tweaking you will get it where you want it to be. Going back to 9's may help if the truss won't go any more, but it might settle down with time. Also, the offer stands if you ever want to get the rocker switches I don't mind cutting a new PG for you.

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The Oppressor

Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 7539
Location: glasgow

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tech seems like a bit bit of a Muppet if he didn't know how to string the guitar up properly.
Extreme distortion used discreetly...
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