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We've seen enough examples posted on this forum, of this happening to this type of headstock, that maybe the "historically correct" excuse might not be far off...Look closely if your guitar has a MOP headstock. My 2005 AJ has the vintage script "Gibson" script headstock, and I see clearly that the mop insert is not tight to the wood of the head stock, but has a lot of black fill between the MOP and wood. I have a similar cracking around the lettering, but not as bad as the OP. Humidity in my guitar room is always 45-55% ( a by product and perk of living in N. Cal), so I can say for SURE it is not a humidity problem. Yet it seems to be more of a problem of the interface of the MOP, the gap and the filler maybe differential shrinking between the three different materials. The reason I posted the Martin headstock is that there is NO GAP between the wood and the MOP...very tight interface....so no chance for the differential shrinkage, which is what I feel is the real problem. I checked my '94 L-20 and again the cracking always occurs at the filler between the wood and MOP...sooooo....taking the "humidity" excuse and rationalization out of the equation, it appears that a big part of this problem is the design or implementation of the logo/filler/gaps in wood headstock. I have several other guitars (not Gibson) in the same room with MOP and no other guitars have the headstock problem. I would speculate, if Gibson had a tight fitting headstock logo with no filler, say, for example, like the Martin headstock shown, that the cracking that seems to occur on a lot of these, might disappear.

 

To add some more validity to your argument. I have four other non-gibson acoustic guitars in my home. I do have a whole house humidifier in my home. My one acoustic is a Yamaha and I have had it for five years and it has NEVER been in a case nor have I ever used a humidifier in the guitar. I have never had any issues with any of my other acoustic guitars. I guess this is why I did not think I would have an issue with my gibson AJ. Had I even suspected my AJ would suffer I would have been hyper vigilante. I am now constantly putting it on the case and I am searching for the best humidifier.

 

Any suggestions on a humidifier?

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To add some more validity to your argument. I have four other non-gibson acoustic guitars in my home. I do have a whole house humidifier in my home. My one acoustic is a Yamaha and I have had it for five years and it has NEVER been in a case nor have I ever used a humidifier in the guitar. I have never had any issues with any of my other acoustic guitars. I guess this is why I did not think I would have an issue with my gibson AJ. Had I even suspected my AJ would suffer I would have been hyper vigilante. I am now constantly putting it on the case and I am searching for the best humidifier.

 

Any suggestions on a humidifier?

Like I said.....this is NOT entirely a humidity problem, and to suggest that is rather lame in my opinion......Once the cracking starts from the differential shrinking of materials, THEN humidity can be more of a problem, but I, like you have good year round humidity, and my Gibson's are the only MOP headstock guitars that this has happened to, with NO humidity problems. The fact that Gibson now laser cuts and CNC's their headstocks like Martin and other companies do, really shows that Gibson was aware of the problem. Headstocks with problems like yours have been posted on this forum many times, but I must admit that yours is the worst I've seen. Let us know how it works out for you. If you are the original owner, you might want to contact Gibson customer service and see if they will help you fix this, out of company embarassment if nothing else.....It is really sad that you would have to fork out $250 to repair a problem, that to me, is a failure in materials and workmanship.

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Like I said.....this is NOT entirely a humidity problem, and to suggest that is rather lame in my opinion......Once the cracking starts from the differential shrinking of materials, THEN humidity can be more of a problem, but I, like you have good year round humidity, and my Gibson's are the only MOP headstock guitars that this has happened to, with NO humidity problems. The fact that Gibson now laser cuts and CNC's their headstocks like Martin and other companies do, really shows that Gibson was aware of the problem. Headstocks with problems like yours have been posted on this forum many times, but I must admit that yours is the worst I've seen. Let us know how it works out for you. If you are the original owner, you might want to contact Gibson customer service and see if they will help you fix this, out of company embarassment if nothing else.....It is really sad that you would have to fork out $250 to repair a problem, that to me, is a failure in materials and workmanship.

OP clearly states in original post "I am not original owner." This leads me to conclude that his instrument is not covered by warranty and he has no way of knowing if humidity/dryness problems were initiated by previous owners. Your assumption that Gibson's current use of the CNC process proves there was a problem and they were aware of it is "lame".

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Paulnumbfingers,

 

I would say that the quote you got is a reasonable one considering they may have to refill the epoxy around the logo if that is separated from the wood.

 

Unfortunately this kind of thing is bound to happen when you are mating 2 or 3 different materials together. Compounding the issue is humidity or lack of a guitar can be exposed to.

 

Although I don't fault Gibson for poor workmanship or processes it is odd that I have not seen this problem on any Martin that I have worked on. 2 of the Martins I have done were so dried out that there were gaps all around the bindings and the clear was split (much like the pic you posted of your headstock). But on both of those the inlaid logo's were perfect and nothing had to be done with the headstock on either guitar.

 

 

You may be able to repair this yourself however...

 

First, I would make sure your guitar is humidified properly 45% humidity is about where it should be.

 

 

Then I would get a very good magnifier, like a photographers loupe. Look very carefully at the edges of the MOP logo and try to see what is actually separating under the clear. There is probably separation from the wood and the epoxy. I am guessing the logo was put in and epoxy was used as a filler between the MOP and the wood.

 

You will need to get some lacquer thinner, clear lacquer and a very small brush. Mix a 50/50 mixture of thinner and the lacquer.

 

 

First I would try to find where the crack in the lacquer is around the logo. Take your brush with only lacquer thinner and carefully apply it just at the cracks. It should be drawn into the crack and you should see that it will become much more transparent. You will want to have already mixed up a small amount of thinner and lacquer (about 50/50) Dip the very tip of you brush into that mixture and just touch the crack. It should be sucked into the crack that you have already applied the thinner into. You may need to repeat the process a number of times but it should reduce the appearance of the problem.

 

You want to make absolutely sure that you do not drip the thinner or clear anywhere you do not want it. A good thing to do would be to put masking tape around the logo to keep drips off of your finish. When you are done you could take a bit of polishing compound and lightly rub the surface out. Toothpaste works really well.

 

If done very carefully and all the stars are aligned properly the only person that will know it has been repaired is you.

 

If you screw it up then you will have a $250 bill...

 

Thanks Rob, I will give this a shot and see if it works. If not, then Chicago Fret Works will get some work. I also contacted Gibson and their quote was $350, plus shipping, so CFW is defintely my best option.

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Does the logo appear to be raised relative to the height of the face of the headstock? If so, is the logo itself that is raised, or is it the finish around edge of the logo?

 

When I rub my finger over the name I can feel it, so I think it may have raised. When I rub over the diamond, it appears smooth. I kept rubbing, just hoping a genie would appear and I could wish this never happened...no genie, so I will first try Rob's fix and if that does not work I am off to the luthier.

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Like I said.....this is NOT entirely a humidity problem, and to suggest that is rather lame in my opinion......Once the cracking starts from the differential shrinking of materials, THEN humidity can be more of a problem, but I, like you have good year round humidity, and my Gibson's are the only MOP headstock guitars that this has happened to, with NO humidity problems. The fact that Gibson now laser cuts and CNC's their headstocks like Martin and other companies do, really shows that Gibson was aware of the problem. Headstocks with problems like yours have been posted on this forum many times, but I must admit that yours is the worst I've seen. Let us know how it works out for you. If you are the original owner, you might want to contact Gibson customer service and see if they will help you fix this, out of company embarassment if nothing else.....It is really sad that you would have to fork out $250 to repair a problem, that to me, is a failure in materials and workmanship.

 

It's clearly stated in the original post that he is the second owner. The problem as I see it is that you are claiming to be an expert when you clearly are not. Name calling is not heplful and doesn't solve any problems. You are trying to pass yourself as an expert and you have no qualifications. I am no expert in the art of guitar building so I just go to the source. THE GIBSON GUITAR COMPANY in Bozeman. I ask and they answer. Simple as that. They have no secrets and anyone that goes to the "Homecoming" will tell you that.

 

Gibson has been using CNC machines to do it's inlay work since 1992. They didn't change because they had a problem. They switched from hand cutting to the CNC machines to make a consistent guitar and increase production. Period...Good grief where do you come up with all this misinformation? To suggest that they use CNC machines to solve a problem is not correct. Just so you know....Whenever you try to pass bad information off on this forum I will correct you. I will get my information directly from the folks at Gibson Montana.

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Sorry this happened. If I was in this situation I'd try the repair (slow & thought thru) and if I can't get it looking the way I'd be okay with, into the shop. $150 is not much shop time hours for a repair. 3 hrs maybe + materials. That seems pretty fair to me.

 

Best of luck/wishes with it and let's see the final outcome!!! It's always good to have "closure" with issues ya know!!! [biggrin]

 

Aster

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Your Predictability in your responses, Hogeye, well, it makes me smile. Clearly these headstocks, if they have a tighter fit Like Martins and others, will not have the problems shown in the original posters pics. ..they will have a lot less problems with headstock logo cracking with the tighter fit and no fill.....read the posts by others and the OP, Hogeye, although you CLAIM to be no expert, you manage to put your opinions forth as though you are the last ansere for everything Gibson, The original poster has 6 guitars and a humidified house, and his Gibson is the only one with this problem????? There must have been 15 threads posted in the last years of headstocks with the same problem. I have two with the same problem and I have NO humidity problems. For you to put forth with great authority that this is simply a humidity problem, and the fault of the user is the height of arrogance and shows your true apologist stance and a quaint "Gibson can do no harm" loyalist attitude. So, when YOU are wrong I will point it out also. Unless you have some grand theory why his Gibson is the only guitar in his humidified house that has this problem, then you should keep your theories and opinions to yourself. So now, will come your predictable "troll" accusation, even though I own 6 Gibsons and am a true fan, so be it. Please explain to me, why there are so many problems with these headstocks, especially when clearly there are no humidity problems causing it, and I will listen....otherwise you just have an opinion and certain body parts like everyone else.....

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OWF, you are so caught up with trying to prove you're right that you're not hearing what Hogeye is saying. He's saying the humidity problem was probably caused by the prior owner and has nothing to do with his current humidity situation. You have said several times that you don't like to buy new guitars so if you also have some with the same problem, I'm guessing that your problems also started well before you got your guitars too.

 

Hogeye said he's not an expert on guitar building but he probably has more experience with Gibson acoustic guitars and more sources for information if he doesn't know the answer than anyone else on this forum. For whatever reason you may own 6 Gibson guitars but you are not a true fan of Gibson acoustic guitars and you're not fooling anyone by trying to pass yourself off as one. You are the biggest Gibson basher on this forum and a well known hater of anyone who is a true Gibson fan.

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Calm it please gents. It is clear that Wily did not call Hogeye a troll. He predicted that somebody would call him (Wily) a troll. Which immediately happened. Please read each other and yourselves properly before you go off on one.

 

1. It is true that the OP said he bought the guitar s/h, and that he might not have been entirely sensitive to humidity issues.

2. It is also true that he said that he has and uses a room/house humidifier which appears to attenuate the importance of that confession to some extent.

3. It is also true that Hogeye specifically singled out the previous owner as a possible source for humidity problems.

4. In one post Hogeye also quotes the OP's regret that he perhaps did not pay enough attention to humidity, but totally ignores the mention of the humidifier, which amounts to suggesting that the OP is responsible.

5. It is RAR who mentioned the move over to CNC-cutting for inlays, and who implied that an improvement in consistency may have resulted, but at the cost of a certain individuality which may have been preferable. He used the word 'now' (italicized) which can seem to imply a recent development, but which in the absence of a date could mean a move going back as far as 1992. Wily apparently took the 'now' to mean very recent. Hogeye's Bozeman-based information suggests otherwise.

 

Beyond those textual facts, which careful reading would reveal to all of you, we are left with a fundamental argument about probabilities and possibilities. Certainty seems to be outside of the equation. The previous owner is not available for comment, so we can only surmise - as Hogeye does - that s/he kept the guitar in imperfect conditions. We cannot say for sure, however, that the previous owner did cause humidity problems, since we do not actually know what he or she did with the guitar. Until a materials scientist with a particular specialism in wood and humidity tests the instrument and confirms that humidity is the cause of this problem, none of us can deduce with absolute certainty what happened.

 

There have been a notable number of posts about similar problems on this forum in the past. They may all be due to poor maintenance by owners, or some other problem. The posts are there, though, for post-erity as it were.

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Your Predictability in your responses, Hogeye, well, it makes me smile. Clearly these headstocks, if they have a tighter fit Like Martins and others, will not have the problems shown in the original posters pics. ..they will have a lot less problems with headstock logo cracking with the tighter fit and no fill.....read the posts by others and the OP, Hogeye, although you CLAIM to be no expert, you manage to put your opinions forth as though you are the last ansere for everything Gibson, The original poster has 6 guitars and a humidified house, and his Gibson is the only one with this problem????? There must have been 15 threads posted in the last years of headstocks with the same problem. I have two with the same problem and I have NO humidity problems. For you to put forth with great authority that this is simply a humidity problem, and the fault of the user is the height of arrogance and shows your true apologist stance and a quaint "Gibson can do no harm" loyalist attitude. So, when YOU are wrong I will point it out also. Unless you have some grand theory why his Gibson is the only guitar in his humidified house that has this problem, then you should keep your theories and opinions to yourself. So now, will come your predictable "troll" accusation, even though I own 6 Gibsons and am a true fan, so be it. Please explain to me, why there are so many problems with these headstocks, especially when clearly there are no humidity problems causing it, and I will listen....otherwise you just have an opinion and certain body parts like everyone else.....

 

I don't like to dignify your responses with a reply but someone need to point out your misinformation.

 

Do you even read these posts? He mentions that one of his other guitars is a Yamaha that he leaves out and has had for 5 years. No problem.. Well let me be the first to tell you that Yamaha has never finished their guitars with Nitrocellulous lacquer. Gibson is one of the only builders in the U.S. that can use it so I can only imagine that his other guitars don't use it either.None of the popular imports use it. Gibson spent a small fortune on their spray booth and the scrubbers used on their exhaust fans to pass the EPA standard for emissions. Nitro is the best finish possible for a guitar and it costs a fortune to use it. Gibson has been using it from day one. All the great guitar builders used it and most stopped when the EPA regulations made it to expensive to use.

 

Nitro is porous and allows the wood to breath. The moisture content of the wood can vary because of this. That is why people with nitro guitars must keep the humidified. His other guitars are probably not finished with nitro. His Yamaha certainly does not use it. This is basic guitar building 101 and I'm surprised that you have no knowledge of this.

 

I'm glad I can make you smile Wily. I'm sorry that you have the need to attack me personally.It really adds nothing to the discussion.I have 23 Montana Gibson guitars and two of them are AJ's One Indian and one Brazilian. None of them have any finish problems as I keep them humidified.

 

I don't print my opinions.My information comes directly from the factory and is not speculation but fact. The only personal opinions expressed here are yours and they are diminished by your need to draw away from the discussion and attack me personally.

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Well stated, Mojorule. You should be an attorney, if you're not already one. I sincerely apologize for suggesting that OWF's a troll.

 

Sadly (?) otherwise qualified and nowhere near as well paid! (Wish I had 20+ Gibsons like Hogeye or even 6 like Wily, but I'll settle for my two!)

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Well stated, Mojorule. You should be an attorney, if you're not already one. I sincerely apologize for suggesting that OWF's a troll.

 

Well Strummer & others,

 

I've never been called a troll, but damned if I don't feel like the big Billy Goat Gruff every 3 day or so!! In my time with Nitro guitars, since about 1970, I have seen some wild things happen. Humidity, (too low or high), too hot, change from cold to hot too quick etc. None of it has a good looking outcome. I haven't had any of my gits have issues with the logo name. Only the little MOP feather (or whatever it is) loosen & fall out of my D-47 Guild. A drop of glue and it was good as new.

 

Just like the frets walking out from the fingerboard it does seem like this was (when ever the hell it happened), prolly the results from low humidity with the wood shrinking away from the MOP or inlay material that doesn't shrink. Just IMHO however.

 

Aster

 

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Aster1 is correct in his statement:

 

Just like the frets walking out from the fingerboard it does seem like this was (when ever the hell it happened), prolly the results from low humidity with the wood shrinking away from the MOP or inlay material that doesn't shrink. Just IMHO however.

 

 

From my experience as a repair guy I have seen a lot of different issues some very strange and some no so. Most of them having to do with different materials applied or used together. Not very many materials behave the same way under stress, i.e. high/low humidity, high/low heat, bright/dim light and the list goes on all the way down to how the owner uses and treats their instruments. It is a fact that even using the same kind of clear under slightly different conditions can cause all kinds of issues so saying that one guitar doesn't have the same problem as the exact same make and model doesn't really mean much. The unfortunate side effect of having guitars made one-off by humans is that each one will be different. That is why Taylor has such strict manufacturing processes, they want each of their instruments to sound, look and feel the same and that includes the longevity of their products. They keep a very tight control over the complete process trying to eliminate any of the variables. Gibson does not do that although I think they are getting better at it.

 

So, I guess in defense of both onewilyfool and Hogeye you both are correct. Gibson may very well have issues with some of their processes but I think it probably has more to do with each guitar being built by humans and probably not under exact conditions on each one. That is probably the biggest reason you see one guitar with a problem and others with none.

 

I hate to see arguments break out on forums and one of the reasons I like this one is that it doesn't happen too often. It seems like you are both taking sides to an issue that doesn't really have sides...

 

just a lot of variables.

 

 

That is my 2c for what its worth.

 

Bob

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I have been so distraught over the fighting here because of my own foolishness and not paying attention to the humidity, that I traded in my beloved Gibson AJ for a rainsong carbon fiber acoustic guitar. I played it in the shower this morning and it was awesome. Now I do not have to worry about humidity issues.

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Aster1 is correct in his statement:

 

 

 

 

From my experience as a repair guy I have seen a lot of different issues some very strange and some no so. Most of them having to do with different materials applied or used together. Not very many materials behave the same way under stress, i.e. high/low humidity, high/low heat, bright/dim light and the list goes on all the way down to how the owner uses and treats their instruments. It is a fact that even using the same kind of clear under slightly different conditions can cause all kinds of issues so saying that one guitar doesn't have the same problem as the exact same make and model doesn't really mean much. The unfortunate side effect of having guitars made one-off by humans is that each one will be different. That is why Taylor has such strict manufacturing processes, they want each of their instruments to sound, look and feel the same and that includes the longevity of their products. They keep a very tight control over the complete process trying to eliminate any of the variables. Gibson does not do that although I think they are getting better at it.

 

So, I guess in defense of both onewilyfool and Hogeye you both are correct. Gibson may very well have issues with some of their processes but I think it probably has more to do with each guitar being built by humans and probably not under exact conditions on each one. That is probably the biggest reason you see one guitar with a problem and others with none.

 

I hate to see arguments break out on forums and one of the reasons I like this one is that it doesn't happen too often. It seems like you are both taking sides to an issue that doesn't really have sides...

 

just a lot of variables.

 

 

That is my 2c for what its worth.

 

Bob

That is not two cents worth. That's $20.00 worth. I don't have any reason to fight on this forum. I live in Bozeman and have many close friends that work for Gibson and so when a person has a problem with a guitar and posts here I just go to the plant and ask what the solution is. It usually works out for the best. Thank you for your post. Thank you for being the voice of reason here. I wish I was a better person and could aviod conflicts as it really serves no purpose. I will be better I promise.

 

I will say this. Your assement of Taylor is spot on. Bob is a frequent visitor to Bozeman as his grandfather lives about 10 minutes from the Gibson plant. One of his big regrets is that he can't shoot nitro because he has his plant in California and the restrictions by the State and the EPA are to restrictive. Gibsons unique location and there commitment to history are different than Bob Taylors.Most folks don't know this but Gibson actually cut Taylor's shell in Bozeman for several years. Bob Taylor helped Gibson secure their first Fadal CNC machine. Small world.

 

I wish you could come to one of the "Homecomings". You would find a lot of wonderful folks that attend. They are not Gibson apologists nor do they have any agenda. They just like to get together and play their guitars and learn about the Gibson experience. Most have other guitars and bring them to share as well.

 

I would like to go to the gathering in Northern California as well but haven't quite worked out the schedule. I am trying to put it together for this year but nothing is definite as yet.

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I have been so distraught over the fighting here because of my own foolishness and not paying attention to the humidity, that I traded in my beloved Gibson AJ for a rainsong carbon fiber acoustic guitar. I played it in the shower this morning and it was awesome. Now I do not have to worry about humidity issues.

 

 

YaaaHaaaHaaa!!!! If this is fighting I really don't know where most of us hide out all the time! It must be the ONE & THE ONLY Nirvana

 

It's all good. We good. Don't worry, be happy. You know all that stuff like that there.

 

I really believe it is about the best to attempt (that's the qualifier) to keep a guitar in as close to production conditions as possible for storage. No matter who made the dang thing. You either want to mess with that more closely, or if you don't want to, mess with the things that come your way. No different than brushing/flossing, changing the oil in the car, and taking good care of your health/diet too. Life is one big maintenance hassle. The repair is even bigger IMHO.

 

Aster

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YaaaHaaaHaaa!!!! If this is fighting I really don't know where most of us hide out all the time! It must be the ONE & THE ONLY Nirvana

 

It's all good. We good. Don't worry, be happy. You know all that stuff like that there.

 

I really believe it is about the best to attempt (that's the qualifier) to keep a guitar in as close to production conditions as possible for storage. No matter who made the dang thing. You either want to mess with that more closely, or if you don't want to, mess with the things that come your way. No different than brushing/flossing, changing the oil in the car, and taking good care of your health/diet too. Life is one big maintenance hassle. The repair is even bigger IMHO.

 

Aster

 

Yeah I was just kidding, I love my aj and plan to keep it forever. The funny thing is I only wanted to know whether other folks thought I should fix it and then it spiraled into Gibson quality discussions. I am a huge gibson fan. I initially wanted a martin because of the history and quality of their guitars. However, after spending months playing every guitar I could get my hands on I realized that Gibson guitars really spoke to me. The guitars just seem to have more soul and the aj sounded perfect to me. So, I am still happy and can deal with the blemish in my headstock until I get it fixed.

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Paulnumbfingers, I figured you were just joking about that Rainsong. Although the Rainsong is a great sounding guitar and as you say it is immune to humidity and temp changes.

 

If you would like to PM me and discuss fixing your headstock logo I would be happy to give you some help.

 

Bob

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