Headstock breaks

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by PhoenixFear, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. PhoenixFear

    PhoenixFear Active Member

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    Do you guys generally stay away from a headstock break or look at the break and judge how bad it was or how good the repair was and make the decision to buy? I’m thinking of buying another SG but I’ve been staying away from the broken headstock listings, but some repairs look really decent and hardly noticeable. Thanks.
     
  2. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, if I see guitars with headstock breaks for sale, I'm immediately interested. Provided the break is properly fixed and doesn't look too bad, you usually get really good deals. At the moment I have two guitars that I bought with broken headstocks; a 2011 Les Paul Traditional and a 2018 SG Standard. Both were fixed really well, and are really stable and play great. I bought the 2018 SG new from a store (it had been broken in shipping to the store) at a 60 % discount.
     
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  3. Steve D

    Steve D Active Member

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    If it was a guitar I never planned to sell (resale value can’t be great) I’d be interested but I’d have to physically check it out. I wouldn’t do sight unseen online unless the guitar was special In some way (Special includes a crazy good deal for that kind of guitar)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  4. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with a well-repaired break. I've never actually bought one but not because of the break, just because every time I have looked seriously at one with a break I found something else that I liked better.
     
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  5. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing wrong with a property repaired neck. That being said, I have tended to avoid them as you can find an unrepaired one in excellent condition at the same price if your willing to wait.

    I would be willing to pay the price of components plus a few hundred for a good repair. But people still tend to ask 60-80% of their unbroken counter parts. So why not spend the extra few hundred

    It’s one of those that’s easier to buy and save a few bucks. But hard to sell, and probably keep dropping the price to move it
     
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  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    A well-repaired headstock can often be stronger than it was before the break.
     
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I agree. A Gibson with a well repaired headstock can be a real player.
    Don't buy one unless you can play it first... that's how you know.

    Certainly there will be no loss of tone if the repair was done right. The grain where the
    break was will not break again in the same place. But it will still have this weak point
    where the grain crosses the neck angle. So it could break nearby, if mistreated.

    What cannot happen with a deal like this, is profit.
    The guitar will keep its low resale value.
    So if you buy a repaired Gibson in order to make music, you can get an awesome guitar at less than you'd pay for an unbroken one. But you can expect to have trouble selling it, should you ever need money. If you buy it to flip it for profit, you'll wish you hadn't.

    So they are generally 'less desirable' than their unbroken siblings.
    If you like rescue stories, and saving sad ladies, and if you want to buy a great guitar
    for less than normal, do it.

    If you like everything perfect, and if you hate it when you get a scratch on your car
    or your guitar, stay away.
     
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  8. Steve D

    Steve D Active Member

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    We’re 100% on the same page. That said, a little while ago I saw a ‘62 SG Special on sale for $800, damaged of course. Finish only partially original, lots of original parts gone but the worst was a messed up neck, literally nailed on totally strait to the body without any angle. It was a project but it was an original ‘62 for under a grand. Had I pulled the trigger on that I’d have fixed it up and kept it, resale be damned. If I hadn’t just bought two guitars and still getting stink eye fro my wife, I’d have done it. Sometimes the heart beats the brain.
     
  9. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    back in 1995 when i was a noob, i bought a '75 SG standard with OHSC for $250 that had a repaired headstock...
    of cos back then, the repaired headstock didnt bother me...i was just thinking...hmm $250...which was of cos cheaper than the brand new epiphones at $300-400+...
    later on, i bought the SG book by john bulli...and i realised it had the ebony fretboard...everything was original on it etc etc etc.
    anyway, its still with me untouched since then and still going strong.
     
  10. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    You are 100% correct PTL. But it’s personally still not on my to by list unless the price is astonishing low, the repair is perfect and it’s a year/model I can’t live without

    When majority of people ask a few hundred less than a good condition piece for a repair (good or not), why would I bite. A few hundred is nothing to scoff at, but if it means easier resale with less risk of returning my initial investment, it’s sound logic.

    Spend a few more bucks to get it back. Or save a few bucks for a difficult sale, it’s a no brained for me.

    As for making good music, they will both do it perfectly
     
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  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's any reason to fuss over 'vintage' guitars.
    The new ones make excellent music. In 2018 I sold my three oldest instruments,
    and I move on. Lucky me, I bought 'vintage' instruments before they became
    objects of worship (in the church of Mammon). So I sold them recently and got fairly
    respectable prices, and am using that money to have like, a life. Now.

    The old ones sound great, no one denies this. But so do the new ones, pay no
    attention to Gibson bashers, or guys who claim that the only great tone comes from
    antique equipment. That's all nonsense, of course.

    And a "vintage" guitar that has been broken, and repaired by idiots, and which has
    lost its original parts... has no virtues. It's just another POS. RS guitars will
    'restore' it for you. They will do an excellent job, and charge you between $2000
    and $3000. You'll end up with a restored '60s guitar. But I maintain that it won't
    sound any better than my humble (but lovingly modded) '07 SG special, with the
    '57 Classic and Classic plus pickups. If you can afford the cost of the restoration,
    you can feel glad that you've brought a piece of history back to life.

    But IMHO it's better to play music on instruments of less vintage and more usefulness.
    One of the reasons I sold my 'vintage" instruments is because I was always worrying
    about them. Newer guitars are more useful because you are less likely to get targeted
    by guitar rustlers. I learned this the hard way, of course.
    There have been a lot of improvements in the last fifty years. Some of them weren't
    well thought out, but most of them were.

    So a new SG is a better guitar in many ways than a '62...
    in spite of the religious awe surrounding the 'Golden Age"
    Kalamazoo made guitars. There are so few of those, it really has become
    irrelevant what they might have sounded like. Most of the rest of us will never
    even see one, let alone be able to play it or buy it.

    So be glad you didn't buy that POS, and try to fix the problems of the past.
    We have enough problems now.
     
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  12. PhoenixFear

    PhoenixFear Active Member

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    I’ve never been into flipping gear, but I do like to make most of my money back if I ever sell. I’ve been trying to get another ebony fretboard model, like the 2008 Blue Mist one I stupidly sold. Right now that model guitar is asking up over $1200, more than twice what I sold mine for and even bought it for. Another one is a little less than that. I’ve decided to look for a crescent moon model but those are a bit of money and a lot have been beat up. A non-moon model may be more what I’m after.

    I’ve wanted another husk for a while but they are hard to find, one like the ‘69 Custom I had refinished. Occasionally I do find them but they usually have no finish or repaint, routing for different pickups, etc. So I’m finding some that have cracks but no routing or paint issues and I’m trying to decide what is worse. I believe the bottom of the barrel is all that is affordable when it comes to anything vintage so I mostly stay away from that, but once in a while I get the bug to have another old guitar to mess with.
     
  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    While a well-repaired headstock break can be fine for years later down the road, I personally avoid them because of my own preference, and for no other reason. I have no issues with paying a fair market price for a second hand guitar without any breaks. Again, there is nothing wrong with a well-repaired headstock. I believe it to be a matter of personal preference when purchasing any guitar, with or without breaks.

    I like your idea of finding another second hand early SG Special Faded with ebony board without any breaks. They can be found for $500. Maybe find one with dots instead of moons, if cost is a concern. Either way, find one for a fair price and those are ideal candidates IMO to have a pro refinish done to any custom color you choose if that is your goal.

    I could not be any happier with the recent refinish of my 2004 SG Special Faded with ebony board. Having the grain filled and refinished to gloss really makes it more enjoyable for me to play. It now feels like a higher end model without the bling. Although the color did not turn out as expected, it was a happy accident and ended up being something that I like even more because of how unusual it is.

    http://www.everythingsg.com/threads/sg-special-faded-refinish.35469/
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    neck fix.jpg SGclsc.jpg
    Very good action and rock solid tuning.
     
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  15. 58pit

    58pit Well-Known Member

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    I stay clear of them unless its "an offer I cant refuse".
     
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  16. Steve D

    Steve D Active Member

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    Good points, I don't think vintage = magic tones. I had one that was all original except the pickups and it sounded good but was terrible at staying in tune and had bad fret buzz issues that needed a refret job that I couldn't afford. So it was far from a perfect guitar. I just have an affinity for old things. I like stopping at off the beaten track antique shops and looking at rusty "old crap" as my wife calls it. I don't care for the high end art glass or that sort, I like the stuff that served a purpose (often one that doesn't even exist anymore), that was used, and that somehow still exists. I dont often buy, just like being able to see it, hold it, get a sense of it. I also watch videos on youtube of guys restoring old tools from 100 years ago. I'm just weird this way. For me that was a chance to explore bringing it back, resetting that neck maybe myself with some help. I don't care about the pickups or gaurd being "correct" so cheap aferrmarket stuff would work. It's not for most people, that's for sure. It sold with one offer, so there's your proof.

    I would never shell out the cash for a real pristine vintage guitar though. Well, maybe if I won the powerball but otherwise as a not very good bedroom player that makes no sense. I'd rather get a POS for cheap and make it play again (for cheap!) just so I can say I did. I'm a weirdo, what can I say?
     
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  17. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    yes, I've gotten lots of smokey fun by upgrading Epiphones and my
    first SG, a 2007 faded special.

    I like the idea of making ye silke purse out of ye pig ear.
    Epiphones and low end Gibsons respond really well to upgrades IMHO.
    So our ideas aren't too different. I just have a healthy disrespect for
    the Vintage Guitar market, which I look on as a nest of snakes, shysters,
    con artists, counterfeiters, and swindleers... There are more 'vintage"
    Les Pauls for sale right now than were ever made.

    And I've read many posts by guys who say "Gibson hasn't made a decent
    guitar since ___________________... (your fave year here)." It's all
    nonsense as far as I can tell. I read posts by people who claim that new
    guitars are no good, and then I play my new ones and my old ones and
    I wonder where they got these dumb ideas.

    I have played almost my whole career on used instruments, so I do love
    old tools, ...just not THAT old. *grins ...I have more love for tools that
    actually work. I love tone, and I love elegance (as much as I can afford)
    and I love the Gibson SG special for it's practical elegance, and its
    affordable price, and its excellent tone.

    I'm not alone in this. I regard the Gibson SG as adaptable...
    which means versatile, which means that it can sound like anything the
    player is capable of, and it's not pinned down to sounding like someone
    else's guitar.
     
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  18. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Vintage really means old to me. "Vintage" houses, cars, guitars, etc have lost their appeal for me. I am just shy of 50 years messing with guitars. I started at 9 years old. Like old houses they often have hidden surprises. Not interested. Modern guitars, particularly SGs, seem easily as great as any older ones. I

    Headstock breaks, if solid and a good deal (I can get close to my money back if I resell), are things I am open to as well. I have wanted a L.P. Traditional (now T) for years. It was not until I found a new 2017 for 1560 that I took the plunge. I can resell it for that if I don't keep it. I also have a 30 day return with it.

    The point is context of the purchase. The fun, and music, is the player not the guitar to me.
     
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  19. brazilnut

    brazilnut Active Member

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    Some years ago I bought a 2000 LP Classic from a guy on MLP's classifieds. He swore it weighed eight lbs. It had a headstock repair, that was part of the charm--a low price. When I got it, it was obviously a 9+-pounder, and we got in a big fight about him not accepting a return, or a refund. He was a real jerk about it, yelled at me over the phone, said bad things, and like that. So I froze his PayPal account, and then he REALLY went nuts. He was a cop in Montana, and was going to call the DA in my county and have me harassed by the local constabulary, he was going to drive all the way to No California and kick my ass, etc. I let him stew for a week or so, and then relented and dropped the dispute with PP. I just decided I didn't need the aggravation, and so I tried to love that LP. Too unwieldy, I really tried, but it was heavy, too heavy.

    Eventually I gave up and offered it on the MLP Forum in trade for an SG. I figured I'd take a loss, but what the heck. Within a week or so, a nice guy offered to trade me for his 2005 SG Standard in Natural Burst--you know, the brown burst. I said yes, and we traded, amicably and hassle-free. And when I got the SG, I couldn't believe my luck. The guitar was virtually unplayed, had enough heft to sound good and be neck-dive free, had perfectly level frets, an unscratched unscuffed finish, great nut and tuners that turned effortlessly, perfect case, I mean, it was the BEST.

    That was seven years ago, and that SG is still my main axe, and just the best guitar I've ever had.

    I really like guitars with headstock repairs.
     
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  20. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    My humble Vintage G400 had such a repair that was well done. Apart from that, it was virtually unplayed when I bought it. For me it's all the SG I would ever need and it cost me $100 CAD.

    [​IMG]
     
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