Question about neck pocket line...

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by fuze, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. fuze

    fuze New Member

    Feb 1, 2021
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    Hi all! I just received a used SG from Reverb and have a question about the neck/finish.

    if you run your hand over the top of the neck joint, its perfectly smooth.... if you run your hand on the bottom, you xan actually feel the line.

    is that completely normal for an SG? Its the Autumn Shade finish if that matters. (So its kinda translucent)

    i just want to make sure its ok and not out of the ordinary while i can..... thanks so much!!!!

    Here is a picture of it: E3052203-5A52-44B5-956F-FF190BFDE4FB.jpeg
    Biddlin likes this.
  2. phylodog

    phylodog Member

    Jan 11, 2021
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    My 99 Special doesn't have a visible line but my 2018 standard does.
    papagayo likes this.
  3. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    British Columbia, Canada
    It really depends On The year and the neck/heel joint being used. There are more than a few different ways Gibson has set their necks and used different heel designs on the SG since it’s inception.

    in regards to your photo posted, it looks completely normal to me. I would say there is just a visual line of the joint from where the paint dried. Expansion and contraction may accentuate this over time. Or, as we sometimes see, small hairline cracks in the finish. So long as we are talking finish checking, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

    2001 61 reissue:

    2009 reissue of a 1970


    2007 Custom

    this is the only one that has a smooth neck joint, but the heel is still notched

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2012
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    Welcome to the forum. It looks fine to me. Enjoy.
  5. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2018
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    Welcome, my cream SG Standard has a line only on the left side .
  6. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2009
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    Tucson AZ
    Welcome to ETSG!

    Yours is a good question. But I believe my colleagues on this thread have answered
    your question, so I'll just add +1 on what's been said.

    Yours is a used guitar. So no one knows what it's been put through by previous
    gorillas, and what it's endured in the way of temperature and humidity.

    There are many players, some on this site!!... who think nothing of flexing the neck on
    their SG in order to get a "wah effect..." They horse the neck with the left hand while in play
    and flex the strings in and out of pitch, and they think that sounds cool.

    Personally, I don't. I would never manipulate the neck on one of my SGs in order to get a
    cheesy wah effect, nor would I allow anyone else to do so, especially when drunk.
    To me, that kind of abuse stresses the glue joint between neck and body.
    A crack at the neck/body joint is what I would fear. So I would suggest (darkly) that they flex the
    neck of their own guitar, and not my prized Gibson.

    The responses by other members above, as well as the photos of neck joints included make
    me say that your neck joint is very likely ok. The way you know is not by believing me, or my
    colleagues above. The way you know is by playing that SG. If the neck seems firm and well
    glued while you play that SG, then you shouldn't worry much.

    The weak neck joint was a characteristic of early (read that "vintage") SGs, which is one reason
    auld Les Paul himself told Gibson: "Take my name off the thing, it's not my design."
    But Gibson's later SGs corrected that flaw, and the new neck joints are very strong indeed.
    Even auld Les himself could probably play one and approve. But he daid...

    So play it, and listen. That's my suggestion. Feel with your left hand, and listen with your ear
    and your heart. If the guitar's neck seems loose in its pocket, return it. If not, then rock that
    sucker....but don't flex the neck. Get a wah pedal if you wish...
    fos1 likes this.
  7. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    Looks like a typical finish crack.
    If everything else on the guitar is fine it wouldn't bother me.
  8. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2020
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    Looks perfectly normal to me as well. It is a joint after all, and a proper finish thickness will not fill it or make it invisible. The key to "is it OK or not?" is movement. It is fine for the seam to be visible, but there should be no movement in it under varying pressure or tension.

    I wouldn't be afraid to put a small amount of flex/pressure on the neck to verify the neck joint, if it breaks it was already broken. Again there should be zero movement in the joint if it is OK. I wouldn't use neck pressure to bend the notes though. A vibrato unit will work a thousand times better with no risk of weakening the neck.

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