Gibson SG Special - headstock repair

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by BubbaV0, May 23, 2018.

  1. BubbaV0

    BubbaV0 New Member

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    I have my closet queen Shishkov Ultimate that gets its share of playing, albeit with TLC. Best guitar I've ever played. I had a Hamer USA Mapletop Mirage that had it's share of dings. Dings don't bother me. But this is a little more than I'm used to seeing:

    https://reverb.com/item/11865554-2011-limited-edition-gibson-sg-special-humbucker-upgraded

    So a few questions since I don't have much experience with Gibsons or SGs and came here to learn:

    1) Is it really a Gibson USA special? Or is it a Chibson in disguise? The seller claims Specials with a wraptail in 2011 was a Guitar Center only run. Do you think that's likely.

    2) When the headstock on an SG breaks, is that break on that guitar pretty typical?

    3) Does that headstock repair look like a proper repair? I've seen the work that BCR Music does and it seems "cleaner" (ahem).

    4) Is the price right? For less price all in I can get a PRS SE Standard Custom 22 which seems to be a pretty darn good guitar albeit Indonesian.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    That is the classic Gibson Headstock Break. It happens because they carve the neck and head from one piece of wood instead of using a scarf joint as a good manufacturer like Epiphone would. That one has not been repaired properly. A good repair is a hairline - on that one the far end of the headstock is now simply in the wrong place. Depending on the kind of glue used for the "repair" it may be possible to take it apart and do it properly. It's worth asking whether the repair has been made with hide glue or PVA. If the former is may well be worth a bid at the right (low) price.
     
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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  4. BubbaV0

    BubbaV0 New Member

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    I did ask about the glue and the seller didn't know. The hairline repair is what I've seen too. Maybe someone with the time can take their shot at making it right. I'll pass.
     
  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Good decision, I would have passed too. Looks like the repair slipped a little when the glue was still wet. Joint is too wide.
     
  6. S.Ustain

    S.Ustain Active Member

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    Epiphone uses scarf joints not because they're better, but because it involves cheaper cuts of wood. There's nothing wrong with a good scarf joint and many of the best guitars in the world have them. And most of us have zero concerns about a "retroactive scarf joint" (that is, a good headstock repair.) But the one-piece mahogany neck is liked by many SG players and is the original spec, so please let's not pretend that Gibson is making non-scarfed necks in order to cheap out, or that Epi is making them -- on Gibson copies! -- because they're out to advance guitar design. No so. They do it because it's cheaper. As for this guitar, while it's totally repairable, the price has not been discounted nearly enough to make it a smart buy. A poorly repaired break is infinitely worse than a clean, unrepaired one.
     
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    +1 on that, especially when there are lots of great guitars out there
    for sale for reasonable prices, and which are undamaged, unmodified
    and which are no more and no less than they seem.

    That said, what the op's guitar has going for it is a cool factor given by the
    wrap over bridge and the P-90s, and the fact that it was a limited edition.
    The seller claims it's playable, which is maybe why he is asking too much.

    But I would not buy it. A badly repaired headstock turns a guitar into a wall hanger, or a door stop. Possibly unplayable, unrepairable. That one deserves a Viking funeral.
    UP HELLY A!
    viking funeral.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Most of what Gibson does, it does because that is how it has always done it. It looks at improvements in design, shakes its head and says no, not for us. That is why we see overly-angled headstocks (Gibson use 17 degrees, Epiphone 14 and PRS 10 degrees). It's why we see fret nibs that shorten the effective fret length and cause unending problems until we go to a luthier to get frets over the binding. It's why Gibson is currently in Chapter 11.

    Sure Epiphone can pay less for its wood, because it doesn't waste anything like as much. Because Epiphone guitars are sold at prices much closer to their actual worth than Gibson, they can't afford arrogance, and have to attend to the details that make lower cost production possible. That's a lesson Gibson has just learned the hard way.
     
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  9. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:
    Since it is said that a repaired headstock is more solid than a not repaired one, then a scarf joint IS more solid.
     
  10. BubbaV0

    BubbaV0 New Member

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    The wraptail was what made me consider it. But it is such an ugly repair and I would always wonder about it. Until it broke and I had to pay to get if fixed and then I would kick myself for not buying an unmolested standard in the first place. Thanks you guys very much. I appreciated the responses.
     

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