Do I need to be worried

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Baggio, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Baggio

    Baggio New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently purchased a 1999 Limited Edition SG Special from ebay and when it arrived I noticed that there was hairline cracks near the neck joint at the head stock on both sides. The seller did not mention this in their advert and I am now a bit concerned that this is more than just cosmetic.

    I have tried to show it in the pictures below. The other thing is that the all long the neck the join between the fretboard and the neck does not feel smooth as you would normally expect and have experienced. The fretboard is ebony on this model.
    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
    I paid £450 for it which seemed like a reasonable deal but now not so sure.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,002
    Likes Received:
    4,929
    I have the same model, but a 2000.
    The cream finish is very thick, so the finish cracks with age.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I really like those SG Specials with ebony boards. I have had several Faded versions in the past, but prefer the gloss versions and sold all the Faded finish ones except for one that I had stripped, grain filled and refinished to gloss poly with the grain visible through the color. I don't anticipate the finish cracking any on that one any time soon...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    koaguilds likes this.
  3. Baggio

    Baggio New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the response. If it is likely to be an age thing to the finish then I don't mind. I like the guitar with the ebony fretboard and it comes with a Custom 8 and Gibson 57 pickups so sounds great.
     
  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    This sort of thing is always likely to happen where two different woods meet, partly because of temperature change, but mostly humidity. If they haven't been cut from the tree in matching grain areas, they will move quite a lot relative to each other over time. To prevent this you need two things. First the wood has to season for at least two years, and second it must be cut to shape in stages, allowing it to relax for several days between each cut (as PRS does, but Gibson doesn't). This picture shows how wood shrinks as it loses moisture.

    aaa wood shrinkage.png
     
    syscokid, Worblehat and Daniel.S like this.
  5. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    I was going to add. Wood is truly a crappy material to use for a demanding application. Kevlar, Carbon fibre, MDF, metal - all these things will make a much better job of the task. Just got to prise the dinosaurs' heads out of the sand.
     
    Daniel.S likes this.
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,002
    Likes Received:
    4,929
    Sure about the pickups?
    Mine came with the stock 490R / 490T that is typical with humbucker-equipped SG Specials.
     
  7. Baggio

    Baggio New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes on the pick ups - it was one of the reasons for buying the guitar. They have been changed by previous owner. Have never been a fan of the 490s on previous SGs I have owned - just my personal opinion, I know others like them. I can confirm that pickups on this guitar sound completely different - I really like the sound of the Custom 8 pickup.
     
  8. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,290
    Location:
    Groovy Beach, CA
    Can you tell if the ebony fretboard was properly maintained?
     
  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,002
    Likes Received:
    4,929
    Got it.
    Misunderstood that you thought they were stock.
     
  10. Baggio

    Baggio New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not really sure. The guitar plays well enough and stays in tune but fingerboard and neck are not as flush as my other guitars.
     
  11. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,290
    Location:
    Groovy Beach, CA
    What I meant, if the ebony board is clean and has been properly moisturized. Feel any fret sprouts? Seems like ebony is more sensitive to shrinkage if it's allowed to dry up too much. You would feel fret sprouts on the sides, and maybe the shrinkage might have caused the finish to stretch and crack. This latter part is just my personal theory... :hmm:
     
  12. Baggio

    Baggio New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's possible that it might have occurred in the past but fretboard is playable and there are no issues with frets on side of neck. That is not to say that there wasn't an issue in the past.
     
  13. 58pit

    58pit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Location:
    EARTH
    Aint No Thang
     
  14. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,002
    Likes Received:
    4,929
    Not to worry.
     
  15. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,098
    Likes Received:
    8,204
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Welcome to ETSG, and congratulations on getting a fine SG.

    I recommend professional setup: with the best luthier you can find or afford. Speak with local pro musicians and find out where they take their
    guitars for service (if you don't already know).

    I like to do my own setup work, but whenever I get a new or used guitar I will pay my favorite luthier to check everything over. He owns tools and measuring devices that I don't have. I regard the first pro setup as part of the price of any new or used guitar. It solves problems for me.

    And then I am able to keep things setup well for a long time.
    The luthier can take a good critical look at those cracks and any fretboard issues and find solutions. Cracked headstock joints are common Gibson problems, and a good luthier will have seen lots of them on SGs and Les Pauls and ES series guitars, any instrument with a mahogany neck and a 17 degree back angle is vulnerable there. Luthiers fix these things all the time.

    I am NOT saying that I think your guitar is cracked. It doesn't look like that to me.
    I have an Epiphone Wilshire with white finish, and it has some cracks too which I think are just the paint. But a pro luthier can likely tell if it needs
    a judicious application of some thin Super-Glue. The luthier can look at the fretboard and solve any issues. Then your SG may play better as well
    as sounding great. It looks lovely.
     
    fos1 likes this.

Share This Page