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Fuck you Gibson

H13

Inspired






This happened literally overnight. Played it yesterday and it was screaming beautifully. Picked it up today and wondered why the tuning had dropped down to low B. Retuned it, it went out of tune straight away. Looked up and saw that. It hasn't been dropped or whacked, the glue holding the headstock to the neck just let go.

When you have 7 tonnes of pressure vs a scarf joint and wood glue and a bad angle? Eventually the 7 tonnes of pressure is going to win.

This is why you are going out of business.

Now I am sad.
 

Jeries

Forum Addict
I'm 99% sure that that is a one piece neck- some GLP could have a 3 pc but more likely than not- it's a 1 pc

Interesting story- I did the same thing to my SG- ON THE WAY TO SELLING IT
Guy still bought it- for less money though

I also thing at some point- it got whacked or dropped-

This don't just break on their own- although that exact break has happened on almost every guitar gibson has made- but-
they don't just do it tuning it up- it had to have got hit or something to cause it-

My guess- it got bumped/cracked- you didn't notice- tuned it back up- break

But I don't think it has anything to do with the glue or the pieces glued together-

If it was glued/3pc neck- it wouldn't have broke like that

It's probably 100 pounds of pressure depending on the strings- which laminated would can easily handle-

sorry for your loss
on the bright side-
it's a cheap and easy fix
it's also a common fix- anyone that fixes guitars has done 100's of these
AND if you get it fixed well and right- it won't happen again!
 

H13

Inspired
When I picked it up today, it was broken, hence the tuning was completely fucked. I was playing it last night, put it back in the toaster rack guitar stand where it hasn't been touched since, picked it up today and the headstock was broken.

In hindsight: I think this has been happening for a while to this guitar. Most of my guitars get a setup once every 12-18 months. This was needing a setup once every 6 months or so. I guessed that it was just a sensitive guitar, but in hindsight, I bet the headstock has been moving bit by bit for a long time now.

It'd been getting a bit worse too. I bought new tuners (hadn't put them on yet) because it was struggling to stay in tune. I bet the tuners are fine, but the headstock had shifted to a spot where the strings weren't quite getting enough tension.

But obviously, said tension was enough.

I'm going to get it repaired and I know that after said repair, it should be better than what was done in the factory (Again, fuck you Gibson). It'd probably never happen again and it may even improve the guitar. However I'm pretty bummed about the whole thing. I mean...it's a Gibson Les Paul. It's meant to be the unfuckable guitar that kicks the shit out of everything else. It's not meant to be the guitar that commits hari-kiri. Sure I'd heard about Gibson QC, but you wouldn't think that a guitar worth 3-4000 bucks would break like that. Hell even if it DID get bumped (which I really doubt), it would have been a bump so minor that it didn't even register when it happened, thus it shouldn't have broken like that. It's obviously due to a shithouse design which by 2010 they should have fucking fixed right? Looking at all my other guitars (each is worth less than 1k), the headstock angle and join is completely different to the Les Paul. So if I can look at a guitar which was 1\4 of the price and visibly see better design choices? You can get fucked Gibson.

PLAN:
Step 1) Get it repaired. Then sell it (will advertise the broken headstock and provide pictures because I'm not a dick)

Step 2) There's an Australian Guitar Maker called Cilia guitars. He does awesome stuff. I still love the Les Paul shape and sound so I'm gonna get him to build me a Les Paul which has 1 Volume\Tone knob, no weight-relief bullshit holes in the body, pickups with suitable output, a proper headstock with a G-String that doesn't go out of tune...oh and one that has a fucking headstock attached to the rest of the fucking guitar would be pretty fucking sweet right about now.

That'll set me back about the price of a brand new Les Paul, but at least I'll have the guitar that a Gibson Les Paul should be. Reputation and cost factor included in said expectation.
 

2112

Fractal Fanatic
Step 2) There's an Australian Guitar Maker called Cilia guitars. He does awesome stuff. I still love the Les Paul shape and sound so I'm gonna get him to build me a Les Paul which has 1 Volume\Tone knob, no weight-relief bullshit holes in the body, pickups with suitable output, a proper headstock with a G-String that doesn't go out of tune...oh and one that has a ****ing headstock attached to the rest of the ****ing guitar would be pretty ****ing sweet right about now.

That'll set me back about the price of a brand new Les Paul, but at least I'll have the guitar that a Gibson Les Paul should be. Reputation and cost factor included in said expectation.
I remember doing a show a few years ago with a guy who had a few Cilia LP style guitars and they were immaculate; right up there with the best of the best. Wise move.
 

H13

Inspired
I remember doing a show a few years ago with a guy who had a few Cilia LP style guitars and they were immaculate; right up there with the best of the best. Wise move.
I nearly pulled the trigger on one when I played them at the Guitar Show. The neck fit my hand like a glove and it played unbelievably well. However I just had my Les Paul screaming with my AFX and was super happy with it and didn't see the point of fixing what wasn't broken...at the time.

If this was any of my other guitars, I'd get it repaired and go: "Oh well. It's fixed". But due to the reputation and expense of a Gibson Les Paul, I'm pretty fucking livid that this happened. If I'd been a fuckwit and I had dropped it or whatever, I could accept it and go: "Shit happens" but not in these circumstances. It kinda shattered the illusion of what my hero guitar is and even if I get it fixed, I'll know that it isn't the guitar that I imagined. That's the part that makes this suck.

So I'll go get the hero guitar I always imagined.
 

solo-act

Fractal Fanatic
I had a 70's Les Paul Deluxe. Got knocked out of its stand near the wall. As it fell, it slid along the wall and the headstock caught the doorframe. It broke the same way. It was a beautiful pristine axe, translucent wine red with ivory colored trim and those cool mini hum buckers.

Had a local shop fix it and sold it. The buyer paid more than I bought it for, despite knowing all about the break and repair.
 

Rich G.

Veteran
I dread this happening to one of my LP's. It seems to be such a common failure mode. I'm very surprised Gibson hasn't taken steps over the years to lessen the likelihood of failure.

This thread had me looking up headstock repairs. HERE's an an amazingly well done repair on Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner's '74 LP Custom. Actually, it's a neck replacement because it was splintered beyond repair. I'm amazed at how well it turned out after they relic'd it to match the original.
 

Muad'zin

Forum Addict
This happened literally overnight. Played it yesterday and it was screaming beautifully. Picked it up today and wondered why the tuning had dropped down to low B. Retuned it, it went out of tune straight away. Looked up and saw that. It hasn't been dropped or whacked, the glue holding the headstock to the neck just let go.

When you have 7 tonnes of pressure vs a scarf joint and wood glue and a bad angle? Eventually the 7 tonnes of pressure is going to win.

This is why you are going out of business.

Now I am sad.
No, Gibson has been doing this like forever, from the start. They build their necks and headstocks out of a single piece of wood. Which makes it structurally weaker and is also incredibly wasteful, as most of the wood is just routed away as waste. Which is why for decades luthiers have been making a good living out of repairing the inevitable breaking Gibson headstock.

Unfortunately with guitarists being arch conservative who think that guitarmakers like Gibson and Fender got it right straight away in the 50's, there is little incentive for Gibson to change the practice. Hell, they're already catching major flak for ANY modification to the traditional design.
 

MisterE

Forum Addict
Back in the eighties, when I was doing demos for Kramer, it was for the same firm that distributed Gibson.
they had a full time luthier to fix the crap that Gibson sent.
I keep telling people that but they like the name sooooo much.
I'd rather give my money to a local luthier than to that firm.
BTW, all Kramers were top notch and came out of the box properly set up.
 

MisterE

Forum Addict
And by the way, it is not worth 3000 - 4000 bucks.
That's what a decent hand built guitar is worth.
These should be sold for $ 1500 tops.
Its like someone ponce said "The Gibson Double Scam".
First you pay way too much so you'd think you got a good guitar and you're stuck with a piece of crap.
 

Jul

Inspired
For what its worth - This exact same break happened with my Les Paul a few months ago when it fell forward out of the guitar stand - I was heartbroken for a bit until my local guitar tech saw it and told me it "happens all the time with these guitars" He fixed / glued it and said it will be stronger than new. Plays and looks good now - set me back $60 for the repair. I've not thought much about it since.
 

H13

Inspired
And by the way, it is not worth 3000 - 4000 bucks.
That's what a decent hand built guitar is worth.
These should be sold for $ 1500 tops.
Its like someone ponce said "The Gibson Double Scam".
First you pay way too much so you'd think you got a good guitar and you're stuck with a piece of crap.
I should mention that we're talking Australian dollars here.

However you are 100% correct. If I'm gonna spend THAT much money on a guitar, I'm going custom built.

For what its worth - This exact same break happened with my Les Paul a few months ago when it fell forward out of the guitar stand - I was heartbroken for a bit until my local guitar tech saw it and told me it "happens all the time with these guitars" He fixed / glued it and said it will be stronger than new. Plays and looks good now - set me back $60 for the repair. I've not thought much about it since.
Yeah I can believe that which is why I won't feel bad about selling it. It's the damage it did to my soul that makes me bitter.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
I've been playing Gibsons since 1976 - and still own an original 1982 LP Custom solid-body Silverburst.
I've seen plenty with headstock damage like that, but only EVER from a fall when knocked off a stand or dropped.
I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I've never seen or heard of one get a broken headstock like that from just "sitting".

As @Jeries stated above.. they don't just "break".
Somewhere along the line (maybe not you) it fell, got knocked off a stand or dropped and a stress fracture started. I find it highly improbable that it just "broke".. that said.. IF it did.. then yeah.. it would be a first that I've heard of, and your position would be 100% justified.

FWIW - My Silverburst has been going for 35 yrs with the same neck and headstock, sans issue!!
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
Poor design and all too common. Gibson's headstock angle is too large. Nearly every other maker uses a smaller angle and have far fewer breaks. Gibson claims it helps sustain, but that's BS. Guitars with less than half the angle still have plenty of tone and sustain. Also makes for a guitar that won't lay flat. Headstock hits the ground when laid down. That just begs for breaks.

Notice in the side profile picture above how the break runs parallel to the neck axis. Typical grain runout weakness. Any carpenter or woodworker worth their salt knows that's a very bad idea, especially in a high stress application. A scarf joint would eliminate that. Wood has very good compression strength along the grain axis, but fairly poor strength across it. That's why one good hit with an axe can split a log along the grain, but penetrates little in comparison when struck across the grain.
 
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