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Fuck you Gibson

5th-Tuner

New here
I am the owner/head luthier of TK Instruments and have been a professional builder since 1990.
I have not had any other job since the mid 1980s, so I am sort of designed for this kind of stuff...

Anyway, I have seen this issue on ALL types "one piece-tilt back" mahogany (and other open grain wood) necks.

I recently repaired a custom shop Martin acoustic where this had happened, but someone had tried to fix it with what seemed to be "rubber cement" <<( Yeah, that actually happened)..
So, I ended up making the lady a completely new head stock, and I did a "Spanish luthiers joint" (at the break) for the new head graft..
The cool part was; I was able to save the Martin head laminate, so in the end, it looked like it was done by Martin..
The (the owner) literally cried tears of joy when she saw it...
I even got a $50 tip! :)
One of my most proud repairs ever.

The flawed issue is called "short grain"...
It can be semi-okay to do this type of neck in hard maple, or multi laminate, but not the more open grained types of woods like Indian Rosewood, Limba (Korina), Spanish Cedar, and worst of all Mahogany...

The more the angle of a headstock tilt; the more short grain you end up with..
And of course the easier it will break..
Unfortunately, Les Pauls are usually heavy and they have up to a 17 degree head angle, so it's a disaster waiting to happen...

I spent a few years designing the ultimate "safe headstock" ( http://www.tkinstruments.com/id17_m.htm#head_stock_construction_1 ) but in the end, I believe -Headless- is the best way to go..

I know! I know! "They are ugly!"
What ever....
I love they way they look, and I love the balance of a headless design as well.
And my left thumb LOVES that it doesn't have to support 2lbs of tuners and extra headstock wood.
But yeah.. "Tradition" :-/

Anyway, as others have said here, it looks like a "clean break" so it should be a fairly inexpensive repair, but that said, it could happen again.. It just wont happen at the glue joint..
 
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1poorplayer

Forum Addict
Obviously a design flaw in Gibson headstocks. Surprised that after all these years they haven't addressed it. I never hear of PRS guitars breaking there.
It'd take more than a good "track record" of fewer neck repairs , for me to give in to buying a Gibson copy - called a PRS. I could never bond with the look , even if they ARE an attempt at a refined version.
 

addedc

Veteran
Sorry about your Axe though it sounds like it can be made new again. I have never had that happen with any guitar I own, but I have never paid the premium for Gibson. With Les Pauls, I have a great Gibson copy, the lawsuit Ibanez Les Paul Custom that I bought around 1977. And also a great playing, great sounding PRS Stripped 245 that I bought used a couple years ago.
 

H13

Inspired
Cheers all.

What I'm thinking is likely is that there was a bump SOMEWHERE in the past 10 years which started this off and ever since then it's been growing. Hence the movement I described earlier in the thread. That's still shit design however and fuck you Gibson.

I have a lot of respect for PRS guitars but I'm not a fan. Again, for the price point of a PRS, I can get a guitar made exactly how I want it. After 10 years of a Gibbo, there are things I would like to tweak and improve on. The PRS might get me 90% of the way there, but fuck it. I want my hero guitar.
 

OddManOut

Inspired
Hmmm...I’ve owned a Gibson ES335TD for 50 years as of last month. At one point I watched it fall forward from its stand onto a concrete floor. It was maybe two years old at the time. No problem. I own several other Gibson ‘s and no problems. Except for one friend who knocked his Les Paul std over and broke the headstock none of my Gibson owning friends has experienced this.
 

6L6C

Forum Addict
I've been playing Gibsons since 1976 - and still own an original 1982 LP Custom solid-body Silverburst.
FWIW - My Silverburst has been going for 35 yrs with the same neck and headstock, sans issue!!
Same here in my case a 1981 Les Paul Standard, no problems.

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.
You are sugar coating it: and I do love my Gibson's. But Gibson has flat out lied at times.
 
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Jeries

Forum Addict
No one uses a Gibson because they're good guitars since the 1960s

If you have a Gibson and it was made after the 60's- you have it only because it says GIBSON on it and no other reason

Go to the basement of namm- for $50 you can buy a guitar that blows away a $2000 gibson

...but- it doesn't say gibson

I have a Gibson Les Paul- I've played fakes better than it- but I have it- because it says GIBSON LES PAUL on it and really no other reason- I've never seen an Epiphone neck crack off- and I've seen nicer maple tops and burst finishes on $200 Epiphone standards- but they don't say Gibson so I don't want one- and most people don't either

Gibson USA= 12% Market share, 80% of all guitar repairs
 

6L6C

Forum Addict
No one uses a Gibson because they're good guitars since the 1960s

If you have a Gibson and it was made after the 60's- you have it only because it says GIBSON on it and no other reason
Kind of a blanket statement (or at least dont entirely agree)
I have a 1981 Les Paul Standard and a 2007 Les Paul Custom both trouble free great sounding guitars (taste vary of coarse). Throught the years I have many offers for the Standard, after people have tried it.

However: After getting the standard a few years later wanted another Les Paul the quest never went well, nothing measured up to my standard. So it went: when I was ready to buy could not find one that equaled or surpassed my standard. Or-- had tripped across a nice Les Paul but was not in the postion to buy or just lost interest for whatever reason at the time.
The 2007, pretty much triped across by accident, was not looking at any guitars at the time. My point, they are out there and not just the two I have. So yes there are nice Les Pauls after 1960.

Things I agree with you:
Yeah I pretty much got that Standard because Gibson was on the headstock, because Jimmy Page played them really. (same thing I agree, hey I was 17)
And yes there are allot of bad ones out there too. Throught he years I have played a shitload of Les Pauls. A rough guess somewere in the neighborhood of 2-3 hundred. (come to think of it not all that many in 30 + years) The biggest offenders always seemed to be nut & frets.
But yes that is a poor track record to say the least.

With the price of these things no one should have hunt and peck to that degree. Sidenote: when I purchased my Standard it was $600 with the case.
@Jeries as you guessed from me droning on I favor Les Pauls, I love allot of guitars for different reasons. But for me the Les Paul feels like home for me, probally because it was my first electric guitar.

respectfully
John
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
I recently repaired a custom shop Martin acoustic where this had happened
Yeah, I believe Martin uses a 15 degree angle which is nearly as bad as Gibson's 17 degrees. Around 8 to 10 degrees is really all that is needed. Still gives plenty of downward pressure on the nut and also allows the strings to slide more easily in the nut slots when bending and using a tremolo. That's why Bigsby units tend to have horrible tuning issues on Gibsons even with a roller bridge. The strings bind like crazy in the nut. Too much down pressure and the wide splayed 3+3 tuner layout causes side angle friction in the nut slots as well, particularly on the inner D and G strings. That layout is better suited for fixed bridges.

I agree that there are plenty of very nice Gibsons out there from any decade. Their problem for years has been consistency. For the prices they charge, every Gibson should be a good one. Sadly, way too many flaws make it out of the factory and are not caught by QC. Some folks get lucky and have flawless guitars, while others have issues. It's a crapshoot. $2000+ US is not a crapshoot product price range and their quality reputation has deservedly taken a hit.
 

H13

Inspired
Fuck it. If I'm going custom, let's have fun with this and make something cool rather than a knock-off Les Paul.

If this is going to be a guitar that says: "Fuck you Gibson" I want it to be something modern that plays better, is built better and looks better than the 1950s design which lead to this broken headstock in the first place.

So what are some modern Single-Cut esque body designs that I could erm..."be inspired" from? This came up recently and I think it looks cool as shit.

https://www.reverendguitars.com/guitars/sensei-ra

Not fussed on the brand of guitar for the look as I'm gonna get this Grudge Guitar built by somebody who knows what the fuck they're doing.
 

5th-Tuner

New here
Around 8 to 10 degrees is really all that is needed. Still gives plenty of downward pressure on the nut and also allows the strings to slide more easily in the nut slots when bending and using a tremolo. That's why Bigsby units tend to have horrible tuning issues on Gibsons even with a roller bridge. The strings bind like crazy in the nut. Too much down pressure and the wide splayed 3+3 tuner layout causes side angle friction in the nut slots as well, particularly on the inner D and G strings. That layout is better suited for fixed bridges.
I FULLY agree with you here! :)
 

OddManOut

Inspired
**** it. If I'm going custom, let's have fun with this and make something cool rather than a knock-off Les Paul.

If this is going to be a guitar that says: "**** you Gibson" I want it to be something modern that plays better, is built better and looks better than the 1950s design which lead to this broken headstock in the first place.

So what are some modern Single-Cut esque body designs that I could erm..."be inspired" from? This came up recently and I think it looks cool as ****.

https://www.reverendguitars.com/guitars/sensei-ra

Not fussed on the brand of guitar for the look as I'm gonna get this Grudge Guitar built by somebody who knows what the **** they're doing.
Hi H13
If you really want a grudge guitar with a single cut flare you can’t do much better than a PRS Singlecut with 57/08 pickups. PRS managed to piss off Gibson with that guitar so much that Gibson sued them over it. BTW PRS prevailed in that case.
 

USMC_Trev

Fractal Fanatic
Hi H13
If you really want a grudge guitar with a single cut flare you can’t do much better than a PRS Singlecut with 57/08 pickups. PRS managed to piss off Gibson with that guitar so much that Gibson sued them over it. BTW PRS prevailed in that case.
They sue everyone that puts out a single cut.. They sue everyone period, frankly. It's one of the reasons why they kinda suck. They have more lawyers than creative people making new guitars.
 

USMC_Trev

Fractal Fanatic
Boden OS-6 trem with lace alumitones and strap - 4.46 lbs. Howbahdah! (yes i put it on my kitchen scale)
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
Boden OS-6 trem with lace alumitones and strap - 4.46 lbs. Howbahdah! (yes i put it on my kitchen scale)
is the Carvin a Holdsworth? If so, we are twinsies I got both o them too....BTW, no guilt hijacking this thread, it’s been in the crapper for a while....just like the once grand.Gibson..:confused:
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
If you want a Les Paul grudge guitar, Edwards LPs are a great choice.
I've played some of those that sound and play as good as any of the 20+ Gibson LPs I've owned.

No matter how much I hate some of the crap Gibson has put out lately, I still love the ergonomic design of a Les Paul. It just feels right in my hands. I'm a huge Tom Anderson fan, so I bought a Bulldog (thinking it would cure my lust for the perfect LP), but it did not. It didn't feel as good as a regular LP. I've got a few 70's and 80's Gibson LPs that are just stellar. They're still hard guitars to beat (and I NEVER paid over 2k for a LP). Great Gibson can be found...just shop the used market.
 

USMC_Trev

Fractal Fanatic
is the Carvin a Holdsworth? If so, we are twinsies I got both o them too....BTW, no guilt hijacking this thread, it’s been in the crapper for a while....just like the once grand.Gibson..:confused:
Yep that my HH2X. It's the lounge section of an internet forum. There should never be such a thing as feelings of guilt over the hijacking of a thread. I really can't imagine anything with less intrinsic value.
 
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