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Off To The Luthier


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Having only had my ES-355 for about 6 weeks, one night during the wipe down after play I discovered this:


And this:


I'm at a loss as to how this happened as I've never dropped it or banged it against anything. The dealer I purchased it from thinks it was shipping damage I overlooked. I'm sure it isn't. Either way, 6 weeks after shipping, shipping damage can't be claimed. Gibson won't touch it as they think it is shipping damage. I guess honesty doesn't count for much these days and their warranty is just so much Swiss Cheese.

Kudos to the dealer, he offered to repair in his shop for free if I can ship it back. Ha! I'm done dealing with shipping guitars. Since I fly for an airline, hand carrying to him is an option, just not practical with my schedule in Guam.

There is one luthier on the island if you want to call him that. I have other titles for him.

So today I'm visiting a custom guitar shop in Osaka that has an extensive repair capability. It's my dime whether I pay for the repair or pay shipping or travel cost. This way I can face to face with the luthier which I think is the better option.

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That looks real familiar.


Did you recently do a string change? Are there any small marks or indentations on the outside of the guitar case?


I know exactly what happened to your guitar.







Funny you should ask Steve. Yes I did change the strings right before I noticed this. No there aren't any small marks or indents outside the case. Can you fill us in please?



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The guitar fell from a height during shipping and the impact was transferred to the head stock area.


The cracks were there but weren't noticeable as the string tension was holding it together. As soon as the strings were removed the cracks opened up and migrated down towards the second fret. I had the exact same thing happen to a Martin HD-28 I bought last year but in my case there were a couple of small dents on the bottom of the case.


Moral of the story? If you get a guitar shipped to you loosen the strings up all the way and give the neck a real good inspection after an hour or two.


Sorry to hear about your guitar, I know how heart breaking this is.


Do NOT loosen the strings up right now as that's all that's keeping it together. The trick is to loosen up the strings enough to inject glue into the cracks and then tighten up the strings to clamp it all together.



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That's a tough one Mike. Sounds like you've got a good plan.


Along the lines of case damage, here's more advice: Don't "half-seat" you guitar in the case with the top open. ("half-seat" - leave some guitar hanging out, or not setting the guitar all the way down into the case.) Damage can happen if the top drops shut on the guitar. Acoustics are particularly susceptible to this type of damage, but I've seen solid bodies dented/dinged from a top drop.




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