Potential neck issue - Gibson USA

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Pinocchio, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    No, this is what you expect from a hand-painted guitar. Robots are perfect, humans aren't.

    To the OP; it's not uncommon. Possibly the binding tape overlapped the body a little, and it would normally be covered by the pickguard anyway.

    My 2007 Historic has something funky going on where the headstock meets the nut:

    013.jpg

    I think it's actually just buffing compound, but I've never even bothered to touch it. The finish is also a little thin at the neck pocket and a few edges of the body. Frankly, it's part of the charm IMO. Anyone who has experience with a "golden era" Gibson from the '50s-'60s will tell you they came with plenty of flaws from the factory as well.
     
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  2. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    What is the "neck dive issue"? If most SG buyers had an issue with that, their sales would suffer. But they don't. Most SG buyers prefer a historically accurate design. I think very few people would prefer it being on top of the horn like Iommi does. Beyond that, what's the alternative? Redesigning the neck joint and ruining the high fret access that makes the SG such an appealing guitar? I mean, they already make the Standard and Tribute with the 19th fret heel design which does basically that in a subtle way.

    The point is, balance is not an "issue", it's a characteristic resulting from other design choices and also just the random density of a given cut of wood. There are tradeoffs with every design choice; for example, Gibson uses a 3x3 headstock design that does not have a straight string-pull. That's a design choice that means you'll get more binding at the nut than a Fender style headstock. I dislike binding, but that doesn't mean I want Gibson to make a 6-inline headstock on SGs. It's just a characteristic of the design. Life is all about tradeoffs and you find ways to deal with them. For Gibson, that means paying more attention to lubricating the nut and that the slots are cut right in the first place.

    I just really feel like this is so blown out of proportion. If you have your SG on, you should be playing it, not doing household chores. ;)
     
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  3. semka

    semka New Member

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    I recently got the green one. It looks normal on mine, I think OP should replace his.
     

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  4. PauloQS

    PauloQS Member

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    Look underneath the pickguard. It’ll be similar to OP’s. SGs have the neck pickup further back relatively to a Les Paul. SGs with 22 frets will always have that exposed tenon hidden under plastic. For instance SGs with small pickguards will have a tenon covers. Remove the tenon cover and voila, similar thing to OP’s. Batwing pickguards are just a way to combine pickguard, pickups mounting and tenon cover.

    If the guitar is intonating properly it means they didn’t mess up the bridge location and it is thus purely cosmetic, i.e. nothing to worry about. OP specifically asked if there was anything to worry about structurally with his guitar or something that could be a serious problem later on. The answer is objectively no. I repeat, if Gibson messed up the position of pickguard, but got the position of the bridge right and therefore the guitar is intimating properly than it’s a purely cosmetic issue.

    That’s what OP asked, nothing less, nothing more. Please forgive my bluntness, everyone, but he didn’t ask if it was an acceptable thing or not. Just a purely objective “should this worry me structurally now or in the future.” I’m not trying to be rude and I’m too old to be edgy and too young to tell people to get off my lawn. It is just that I’m trying to put myself in OP’s shoes and see a thread with a lot of comments that do not address main thing he was concerned with.
     
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  5. semka

    semka New Member

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    Even if this is just a cosmetic issue, it shouldn't be on $2500 guitar. Would you accept this even on a $150 Epiphone? I thought so...
     
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  6. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Just an example of a frequent complaint.

    Yes, that happens all the time because this is an internet forum and not, say, a doctors office or a complaints desk at a department store where that would actually be an issue. Here discussions flow rather freely, from which you sometimes can learn surprisingly interesting things. Personally I wouldn't enjoy a forum that had the rule "Stick to the subject, keep your opinions to yourself or fck off". That particular questioned was answered in the very next post so anyone with an exclusive interest in that particular problem, or who has an issue with free flowing discussions, doesn't have to read further than that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  7. Vall

    Vall New Member

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    Wow @Pinocchio, what a Great guitar! It seems they are out of stock nearly everywhere in my area...

    I would be interested, where your bridge-saddles are located. If they are all more towards the Pup as usual, then maybe there is something weird with the set neck going on. Maybe the saddle positions compensate for this...
    Could you upload a picture from the bridge?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  8. Pinocchio

    Pinocchio New Member

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    As @PauloQS said in an earlier post - the pick guard has holes in it for the bridge mounts. This prevents the pick guard from being set any higher than it has been, which leads me to wonder if the bridge holes and/or pup cavities have been carved out of the body a fraction too low causing the gap issue higher up. Intonation sounds fine to the ear.

    IMG_4029.JPG

    IMG_4031.JPG
     
  9. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    If that picture is your guitar, and the intonation is right, that bridge is absolutely perfectly positioned. Caveat - perfectly positioned relative to the positioning of the neck. The holes in the pickguard for the bridge screws are oversized and allow some movement of the guard. So what appears to have happened here is that the pick guard was not pushed tight against the end of the neck when the screw holes were drilled, so it has drifted away slightly. Painting the exposed area black is a decent fix. Moving the pickguard probably isn't because the distance is so small it makes re-drilling the holes messy. Slipping some black paper under the guard to cover the hole might be the best bet.
     
  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    No ? Awww ... that's the only time my wife lets me wear it.
     
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  11. Vall

    Vall New Member

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    @Pinocchio Thank you for the upload! It seems there is Nothing wrong with the saddle positions. So the neck can‘t be set too far away from the body.

    I just wonder, if the pickguard holes are pre drilled or done through the pickguard as @donepearce describes it...

    A 2020 61 reissue had the exact same gap, with the same discoloration, or stain-free spot.

    Let the shop replace it, if it bothers you. It is a premium guitar, everybody accepts being nit-picking. Gibson is proud of theor wonderful product and no customer should be unhappy with a purchase.
     
  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about the hole drilling procedure for the pickguard. If it is done on the auto router, I can't see how it could end up misaligned. This looks to me like an operator slipup.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  13. PauloQS

    PauloQS Member

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    @Von Trapp I really didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes. I agree, being too strict about staying on topic is not conducive to good conversations. Perhaps I just let my experience from other guitar related mediums dictate how I answered and that’s not fair to this forum.

    Let me explain a bit what I mean. I have recently started to bond more with my SG and it has taken me by surprise. I usually play LPs. I’d have phases with strats, Tele’s, PRS etc. but nothing like the bond I’m getting with my SG. Thus as you’d expect, the mediums I chose in the past were mostly concerned with LPs.

    The thing about LPs mediums is that the focus on cosmetics can get tiresome at times, especially now when there is not a lot of new content. Pictures of minuscule blemishes often are the genesis of long threads. In some instances it was required the poster’s description of what we were looking at in order to figure what we were supposed to be scrutinizing.

    Then I come here and don’t see as many “should I keep this or return it” threads. It felt quite refreshing. My initial impression was that the SG community was more about playing guitar than looking at it with a microscope. The aforementioned impression was reinforced when @Pinocchio specifically asked about the longevity of his guitar. Like myself, he is new here, but it was still quite refreshing compared to what I was used to.

    I get that there is going a continuum of opinions and preferences. Some people might still want a cosmetically perfect instrument and that’s awesome, because it adds to our forum diversity.

    I may have overreacted because of my experience elsewhere and that’s not fair to this community. Hopefully you can see where I’m coming from.
     
  14. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry, you can just say it; mylp.com is for and by arseholes. Been there too, briefly. I personally didn't take offense though, we're just talkin' here. I guess this particular issue is connected to my personal aversion to taking sh!t lying down. They screwed up, they fix it. Especially for that kind of money. The devil is in the details and that's a detail.

    Now at the same time it irritates me when people ask for advice and just get a bunch of opinions instead and I try to stick to advice, but since he already got it I figured no harm in voicing an opinion. And even though it's not my business I guess I got pissed off on his behalf. I mean it's not a minor scratch or so, the whole damn pickguard is fitted wrong. It's said that you get what you pay for. Well, he didn't.
     
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  15. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Think about it; the pickguards are all just cut from the same template. They aren't custom shaped to fit every guitar perfectly. Wood-working isn't a perfectly predictable science; humidity, the density of a given cut of wood, even the wear on machinery or how recently tools have been sharpened can throw off a neck fitment by a tiny amount like that. And of course, the bridge placement is determined by the neck fitment, so the pickguard is lined up according to the bridge posts, ultimately.

    Anyone making comments like this:

    Has never built a guitar before. God help any music shop that has to deal with people like him nit picking crap like this on a bargain basement First Act toy for his kid. :rolleyes:

    Any rational person would expect tiny variances in alignment on a cheap guitar. In Gibson's case, he could be justified in taking it back but I personally think the pursuit of a guitar free of imperfections is futile. Look at how many timeless albums have been recorded with factory 2nds, for instance. It really does seem to be a modern thing; nobody was scrutinizing SGs like this in 1965, I guarantee that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  16. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Quite the contrary in this particular case. I'd venture a guess that anyone who's ever built a guitar before will feel that fitting the stupid pickguard is by far the easiest part of the job. Now I notice that we have a different take on this, and that's all good. I agree with you in general, but when it comes to this specific issue, and based on my experience, that's just not good enough. In fact it's downright sloppy. In my humble opinion of course.
     
  17. Brooklyn Zeke

    Brooklyn Zeke Member

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    Having stumbled upon this particular case, I checked my own '69 SG Std. No gap. I'd say that the pickguard was misaffixed. Still, any guitar costing over $1,000 should be flawless, cosmetically.
     
  18. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Gibson is a box-shifting business. Sell the lowest quality the customer will put up with.
     
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  19. Les537

    Les537 Member

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    I have an 2018 SG Special with some issues. The gibson logo, crown and fret markers are all a few millimetres off centre. It came brand new with 2 broken tuners and a few other issues. It plays like a champ so I kept it.

    My 97 Les Paul has every tuning peg screwed on at a different angle. Kept it anyway cause it is made with magic wood and sounds great.

    Who cares about little gaps here and there. Are we here to rock and roll or are we here to polish guitars and paint our fingernails and write emo music? I recommend fewer tears and more strumming. Play that guitar for 20 years and get it full of chips and scratches and love. Who gives a flying monkey about minor cosmetic imperfections. If it feels good and sounds good then it's good. IMO.

    I have guitars that are perfect. Even cheap epiphones that are robot perfect - but they suck. I'd trade a room full of them for one gibson with an off center logo and a 1/4 gap on the pick guard.
     
  20. PauloQS

    PauloQS Member

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    I had a 2018 SG Standard '61 that was cosmetically absolutely flawless. Sounded great too and stayed in tune extremely well, but that's always the case when you know a little beyond the basic of guitar set up. However, the thing fought back like crazy. I ended up trading it in for original collection SG Standard '61. The difference was night and day. The guitar almost plays itself.

    I'm thinking about "upgrading" the USA SG to a custom shop historic reissue, thus I started putting the USA SG under the microscope so I can disclose everything if I list it for sale. I did eventually find a purely cosmetic factory imperfection at the nut where it meets the binding at the treble side. I never noticed it before through touch when playing and because I it's on the treble side, it was hidden from view for all this time. Anyways, I'd take my current USA SG any day every day over that particular cosmetically flawless 2018 MMA fighter/bucking horse SG.

    The custom shop SG arrived last night. I have week to decide if I'm keeping it. In terms of cosmetic perfection, the custom shop is far superior. Cosmetically it is not even close. It's difficult to even see the tenon joint under the tenon cover, for instance. I also noticed that in terms of sustain, the custom shop SG has noticeably more sustain. However, this particular SG's sustain is freakishly good. It has more sustain than even my R9 and R0, for instance. The neck profiles are not so different. The custom shop SG is similar to the USA SG and an R0v2, and the custom shop SG has a bit less shoulders, particularly so at the lower registers (towards the nut). My first impression is that the custom shop SG sounds a bit brighter, but I want to spend more time listening to all the nuances.

    I'm still not sold on the custom shop SG because of one thing, playability. Even though it is clearly an upgrade cosmetically and in terms of sustain and I like the neck profile a bit better, the difference in smoothness of how it plays is marginal at best. I think the difference between a Les Paul Standard '50s and an R9 in playability is far more in your face than the difference between a USA SG Standard '61 and a Custom Shop 1961 SG Standard Historic Reissue. Or perhaps my experience with LPs make me notice things a bit more. It is not that the custom shop SG aren't as good as the custom shop LPs, it is that that particular USA SGs is just that good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021

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