SG neck cracks... anything to worry about?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by NoMin-Etune, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. NoMin-Etune

    NoMin-Etune New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    I recently bought a 2013 SG Deluxe from a reputable online retailer as a "blemished" item.

    I have 2 possible issues:
    • The guitar arrived with hairline cracks running horizontally just below the back of the headstock. Are these purely cosmetic?
    • In addition, there appears to be a sawtooth or "zigzag" line running from the side of the nut, up the headstock (where it turns smooth and less visible) and all the way around to the other side of the nut. It's subtle, but it's there. Does the headstock "press" onto the backing? Is this simply a sloppy press job?

    I like the way the guitar plays, and don't mind much as long as there is zero structural issue. Any opinions? Thanks for your ideas.
     
  2. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,885
    Likes Received:
    1,630
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Those horizontal lines are just finish cracks. It doesn't hurt the structural integrity of the guitar. Same with the other marks. I mean its a blem right?

    That's a cool color!
     
  3. Moose

    Moose Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    221
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I believe finish cracking is fairly common on metallic finishes. I have some crack (but not in the same place) on my Metallica blue guitar.

    Doesn't look like a structural problem to me
     
  4. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,851
    Likes Received:
    2,855
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    They sorta cover their rear-ends when they sell as a blem ya know? But a blem or bunch of lirrle blems is all they appear to be. I know its a new guitar & we want the best but much like a girl with a mole or whatever marking their imperfect body, these blems often become the beauty marks are eyes look automatically to & fall 'in love with' that define our instrument & give it character all its own.

    While my vintage Gibby's aren't new guitars that bring the same expectations of body condition as your much newer 2013, I still find myself staring at all the various cracks (very similar to yours but many more in number) in a content & fascinated dreamlike state of bliss.

    Its ok bruddah, take a breath & enjoy that beautifully colored paint job with all it flaws. Thats your baby, Enjoy!
     
  5. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    158
    Maybe you could live with that, I couldn't.

    Either the wood is somehow bad or possibly there's been a repair done, who knows, it's not right.

    Now if you bought the guitar for next to nothing, say $500 or less, that's a different story.

    The wood looks thin and the finish looks thick, definite red flags.

    I would send it back before its too late.

    Good luck !
     
  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    11,851
    Likes Received:
    9,978
    Location:
    -
    If it plays and sounds good, keep it. The stress lines in the paint are not structural, in fact, they are distinct identifiers of that particular guitar.
    ;>)/
     
  7. LeadFinger

    LeadFinger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    2,292
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I've bought a few blems from said online retailer and there's usually one or two minor finish things wrong with them. Some worse than others, but none were structural or caused playability issues. On yours it looks like the finish cracked a bit when string tension was applied after the clearcoat cured a bit. At the factory they use a special brace to tension the neck for the PLEK machine, but the finish is still new so it probably didn't crack then. Someone got it in the mail, tuned it up and went "oh ****!" and sent it back -- whereupon you bought it as a blem. Congrats! I got $500 off on a nice LP because of some piddling nonsense with the binding. Gives it character.
     
    Biddlin likes this.
  8. mdubya

    mdubya Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,152
    Likes Received:
    423
    Location:
    western, MD
    That is the effect of the nitro finish shrinking and cracking. Nitro is one of the things purists demand. Shrinking and cracking is part of the mojo. Some are willing to pay quite a bit extra for it.

    [​IMG]
     
    dub-setter and Biddlin like this.
  9. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    158
    I took a closer look at the pics you posted.

    That area where those finish cracks are forming looks really-really thin.

    I'm sure you realize that's where they normally put a volute to strenthen the neck, to keep the headstock from snapping off.

    Is this some kind of a joke ?
     
  10. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    3,203
    Likes Received:
    3,082
    Location:
    Kelowna B.C.
    They "normally" put a volute there for about 10 years during the '70's. Gibson hasn't used a volute in about 30 years except on certain models like the '70's tribute for example.
    That looks like finish checking which is more likely to happen on a thick finish than a thin one. The guitar looks structurally sound to me. It has possibly been subjected to some extreme temperature changes. I doubt the wood is bad or the headstock would fold over under string tension.
     
  11. NoMin-Etune

    NoMin-Etune New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thank you for the replies. They're much appreciated, as I wasn't mentally prepared to pack this guitar up and send it back. I'm glad that the consensus view is that these lines are cosmetic, and not indicative of a failing neck. The guitar stays in tune, and I've even applied a decent amount of pressure on the headstock in both directions with no issue. I guess it's probably safe to drop it off for a proper setup and throw some strap locks on it so that I don't have any REAL repair issues to worry about down the road. And Huntron, thank you for pointing out the things you mentioned. Although I didn't get them down to $500, I did receive a pretty hefty discount vs. retail. As long as structural integrity isn't compromised, I'm more than happy to have a guitar with a little extra "character". Interesting info on the metallic finishes, and the PLEK process as well. This is obviously a very informative and helpful community.

    Here she is... a bit over the top, but IMO the right kind of crazy. Thanks again.
     
    dampsneaker, eS.G. and mdubya like this.
  12. mdubya

    mdubya Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,152
    Likes Received:
    423
    Location:
    western, MD
    Awesome. [​IMG]

    Nice rig. [​IMG]
     
  13. lunchbox

    lunchbox Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    137
    Location:
    NorCal
    :eek:....do NOT do that!!!
     
  14. bea

    bea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    446
    Have You ever seen a broken Headstock? Possibly not - You would have noticed that the headstocks breaks more or less along the grain (if it breaks). These cracks in Your guitar run perpendicular to the grain. That indicates that they are restricted to the laquer coat itself.

    I would guess that these are temperature induced in more or less the same way as the cracks in old or aged nitro. Maybe the guitar stood in winterly cold a bit too long. Or something else happened to it.

    Well, You seem to own a moderately cryo tuned guitar :-)
     
    dampsneaker, Moose and mdubya like this.
  15. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    158
    Poll : Is the root cause of this finish cracking due to the general decline of wood strength from pollution?

    Poll : Will newly built wooden instruments require volutes or some other means of added reinforcement to eliminate/minimize flexing and the resulting damage in the near future?

    Poll : Extra strength with volute or gamble the damage?

    You decide :
     
    shreddy bender likes this.
  16. mdubya

    mdubya Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,152
    Likes Received:
    423
    Location:
    western, MD
    I'd be tempted to freeze and and thaw it to go for the full effect. [​IMG]
     
    shreddy bender likes this.
  17. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    4,865
    Likes Received:
    3,491
    Just a word about volutes: they do not prevent all headstock breaks. My SG broke at the headstock right through the volute.
     
    dampsneaker and Biddlin like this.
  18. bea

    bea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    446
    Take care of Your SG. Don't beat the singer or any other band member with it ;-)
    Then it will not break. Probably ;-)
     
  19. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,851
    Likes Received:
    2,855
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    Jah-yeeziz Bea! What kind groups you playin in baby??
     
  20. bea

    bea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    446
    No, although i own a PT reissue SG, i am not playing in a Who tribute band ...
    (btw: being a bass player i would have to stay really cool ...)
     

Share This Page