How Fragile Is My Gibson Headstock? Your stories please..

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Cheap Trills, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    The burst is glorious on yours!
     
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  2. schmintan

    schmintan Tele-Meister

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    That all makes sense in my head. Can you give a link to the type of gig bags you use.
     
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  3. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Afflicted

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    I own two Gibsons. I have never thought about the headstock.
     
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  4. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Tele-Meister

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    apologies - this is a bit of a shaggy dog story...

    i bought this in 1991 - i was 19 and had a few hundred quid burning a hole in my pocket; not enough for a real Gibson so was looking at Epiphone LP Customs

    in Coda Music, Stevenage, i was playing a black one - pretty good, i could use chemicals to strip the top to make it a Ronson / Duffy vibe. a friend shouts over form the 2nd hand section. he found this. LA

    WP_20151228_003.jpg

    no idea what the make was, but i was smitten. i loved it. played it constantly. it and my marshall guv'nor were the only things i didn't sell to fund my move to London in 1997

    time and reflection and other guitars were less sympathetic. it weighed nearly 12lbs. the neck angle was wrong, not pitched far back enough. the neck pickup was not aligned correctly, the low e was way off the polepieces

    DSC00305.JPG DSC00314.JPG

    the original wiring was dreadful - it was changed twice, the 2nd time i replaced the pickups that came with it with the zebra bobbin Irongear set in the picture; a friend kindly did the complex Page Wiring

    DSC00335.JPG

    however - this thing seemed impossible to kill. it had been thrown headfirst into walls, dropped headfirst onto concrete floors, fallen backward, sideways, face down. loads of knocks and bumps and gashes. but nary a hint of a crack where most gibsons split like the fingers of a kitkat (unfortunately i don't have a close up of the open book bit of the headstock. it was seriously battered)

    DSC00324.JPG DSC00315.JPG

    but no matter how might Achilles may seem, his vulnerable heel will be found. eventually time caught up

    i had several other LP types - Edwards, Orville, PRS245 - and this thing, the frets were worn to cigarette paper thin. i've done a bit of fretwork, and figured this would be a challenge but reasonably achievable to refret

    made sure i had the right tools, stripped then guitar down. warmed the frets with a soldering iron. as i removed the frets, the finger board started chipping out. not little specks mind. instant coffee granule sized lumps. i'd cleaned and oiled and maintained that board fastidiously. it was crumbling to dust before my eyes

    after a few days of failed repair attempts, i had to admit defeat. the LA was a goner. the cost to repair was far more than the worth of the guitar. sometimes you have to ignore sentiment, take the hard decision

    so i took LA to the recycle centre. the wood bin is easily a 15 foot drop. to make sure i did not have 2nd thoughts, i dropped LA head first.. guess what??

    36c7f4ed-293b-4a69-a20c-f213242924d7.jpg

    maybe the wood below had enough cushioning effect. who knows? anyway, i drove home LA-less for the first time in 26 years

    the guitar that refused to die...
     
  5. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Not as fragile as people would have you believe. If you are reasonably intelligent and care for your instrument properly..... In other words the headstock isnt going to just randomly self destruct.
     
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  6. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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  7. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I don't see much mention of the VOLUTE in this thread.
    I had an SG standard for several years in the mid 70's. Beautiful guitar... it was gigged and travelled a lot but I never had a problem with it.
    It did have a good size volute, which I liked as a scultptural feature - but that is not why Gibson built it there. Why did they discontinue that practice?
     
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  8. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    A big problem is not Gibson but the collector guitarists and their insatiable demand for ‘vintage correct’.

    People, who probably play far less than they like looking at pictures of old guitars, love to hate on the 3 piece laminated neck on early 70’s Gibson's... but its stronger, more stable and far harder to break. It’s all through wood to the end of the headstock. They tried... we hated anything different.

    I would not know the volute was even there if I played it blindfold. It’s an inch from where my hand could ever go.

    WE have created this problem

    This is my ‘72 ES345... not a relic.. that is real wear so everyone is clear!

    image.jpg
     
  9. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I've been dragging my 12 year old Melody Maker to gigs, jams and rehearsals for 8 years, in a flimsy bag. It rides on the back seat of my car and sometimes on the bus. It only sees a hard case if the band are on tour, or all the gear is crammed into one vehicle, for some reason.
    The guitar has heavy strings and is covered in cymbal scars and mic stand bites. It's regularly leaned against amps and shoved into corners full of gig junk. It has a round '50s neck profile, a small headstock and only weighs about six pounds; either these factors help, or they don't. ;)
    I am aware of it's relative fragility and it does things for me, which I've found hard to replicate, with other instruments. Maybe one day I'll suddenly start worrying about it's welfare.....?

    Oh yeah…..purists, stop reading now!..... it has a lot of stickers on the back. :rolleyes::lol:

    Bus station shot.....

    IMG_20190123_224917478.jpg
     
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  10. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    That's a real 52? wow!!!
     
  11. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    I have had 2 LTD EC's (LP style guitar) and both have the volute. I always thought it looked nice, and it never gets in the way. I kinda prefer having it to not, and not only for the added strength at the headstock. I lose sleep over my SG possibly experiencing a head break, and am waiting on a Gator case for it to arrive in the mail.
     
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  12. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Reunion Blues and Mono both make great stuff.

    For a killer cases on a budget, check out the Gator “Transit” series, and Reunion Blues RBX series. I’ve toured with both and they’re great bags on a budget. Really sweet for the price.

    For a lot of old school folks, it’s totally counter intuitive to spend $100-$300 on “gig bag”. But it’s worth it for so many reasons.
     
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  13. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Ah - I never even considered that explanation... But sadly, it does make a warped kind of sense! I have to add that the neck on my old SG was the best I have ever played on any guitar - but I can see your semi has obviously been a firm favourite, too!
     
  14. shupe13

    shupe13 Tele-Holic

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    I wouldn't chuck it off a stage, house or building. I wouldn't throw it from a plane, train or automobile. I wouldn't use it as a spear, shovel or pry bar. I wouldn't lean it against a wall, amp or wall of amps. I would shield it from drunks, idiots and show goers in general. I would use a guitar stand during breaks (nitro safe of course) and a hardcase during travel.
    I'd treat it like it was mine, expensive and that's about it.

    Sent from my REVVLPLUS C3701A using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had an SG and a Les Paul that were my main guitars for 30 years. Dragged them around to jams and gigs for the entire time. Never busted a headstock. Never even thought about it.
     
  16. Fuggle

    Fuggle TDPRI Member

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    I tripped over the cable while my LP Studio Pro was on the stand up on the church stage, and WHAM! it crashed face down onto the wooden stage floor. A really nasty break, but my luthier did a killer job repairing it and it's as good as new (some would say even better). Don't leave a Gibson plugged in while on a stand...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    My SG face planted off the stand. Luckily it was a carpeted floor, no harm no foul
     
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  18. tomkatf

    tomkatf Tele-Afflicted

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    Sheeeeesh... They break, you fix 'em. I don't see what the big deal is...:p

    headstockrepair.jpg
     
  19. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree with most of this. Except I’ll never use a guitar stand again. I’ve never once had a properly leaned guitar fall over. I’ve had more fall or be pulled off stands than I can count. And the only two I ever had catastrophically damaged, came off stands. Both acoustics. No stands for me anymore.
     
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  20. jguitarman

    jguitarman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I stopped using the typical three legged stand and bought a Hercules foldable three guitar rack for gigs. I'll never take a guitar stand to a gig again. I use two electric guitars at gigs and have room for the bass players guitar.
     
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