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Dick Couture

Headstock Delamination Issue

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The headstock on my Gibson Custom Shop Archtop is delaminating. The Gibson logo, diamond headstock design and the area around each tuning peg has developed fuzzy edges. Frankly it degrades the look of my 16 year old premium Archtop. Is this repairable? Does anyone have any experience with this issue? All suggestions are welcome.

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Photos would help but a "GOOD" luthier should be able to handle that. If there are no silk screened areas, then it may be easiest to remove the lacquer on the face of the headstock and reshoot it. Not a hard task but not something you should try yourself. A light sanding and applying fresh lacquer over the old may also be an option. If you do not have a good luthier in the area, there are many across the USA that can handle it and there is the option of having Gibson do it.

 

Gibson Restoration and Repair

 

Tonequest report

 

Video of shop

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The headstock on my Gibson Custom Shop Archtop is delaminating.

 

I highly doubt this is the case.

 

What you describe is only a lacquer clearcoat issue. Though you may find it unsightly, this is typical of lacquer finishes in "mixed material" areas, mechanically fastened areas and stress points.

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Photos would help but a "GOOD" luthier should be able to handle that. If there are no silk screened areas, then it may be easiest to remove the lacquer on the face of the headstock and reshoot it. Not a hard task but not something you should try yourself. A light sanding and applying fresh lacquer over the old may also be an option. If you do not have a good luthier in the area, there are many across the USA that can handle it and there is the option of having Gibson do it.

 

Gibson Restoration and Repair

 

Tonequest report

 

Video of shop

 

 

Thank you for your advice. Gibson Restoration and Repair wants $450 to fix it. I have attached a photo of the headstock for your review.

****

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I highly doubt this is the case.

 

What you describe is only a lacquer clearcoat issue. Though you may find it unsightly, this is typical of lacquer finishes in "mixed material" areas, mechanically fastened areas and stress points.

 

 

Thank you for your advice. Gibson Restoration and Repair wants $450 to fix it. I have attached a photo of the headstock for your reviewpost-65080-013111600 1433016098_thumb.jpg

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Thank you for your advice. Gibson Restoration and Repair wants $450 to fix it. I have attached a photo of the headstock for your reviewpost-65080-013111600 1433016098_thumb.jpg

 

Of course subjective, I expected a lot worse. [drool]

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Sleeko,

I appreciate your reply. Maybe I'm just being picky, but I have a 50 year old ES175D that is stored in the same room and has no delamination issues at all. I have attached before and after photos. It just doesn't seem right that a premium 16 year old Gibson archtop would have this type of cosmetic problem.

 

post-65080-009062200 1433034161_thumb.jpg

 

post-65080-009820800 1433034185_thumb.jpg

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Here's the headstock of my '96 LeGrand N:

 

LeGrandN%20Headstock_zpssszcd23a.jpg

 

It's what happens to the top coat over time.

 

Danny W.

 

Danny,

Thank you for sending your headstock picture. While it is good to know that this can happen to other guitars, your '96 looks much better than my '99. I worry, if I don't get it fixed, will it get even worse over time. I also wonder if it will degrade the value of the guitar.

****

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Nah, guitar collectors are dumb, and, to them, visual degradation adds tone and thus value. They call it 'mojo.' Don't believe me? Watch them whip into an orgy over checking in the nitro. People actually pay extra to have these things done to new guitars.

 

What kind of archtop is it? I've got a '66 ES-125TDC, it's beat as beat gets, and I love it to death. the Gibson archtops and thinline archtops are great, great, underrated guitars.

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Nah, guitar collectors are dumb, and, to them, visual degradation adds tone and thus value. They call it 'mojo.' Don't believe me? Watch them whip into an orgy over checking in the nitro. People actually pay extra to have these things done to new guitars.

 

What kind of archtop is it? I've got a '66 ES-125TDC, it's beat as beat gets, and I love it to death. the Gibson archtops and thinline archtops are great, great, underrated guitars.

 

Eric,

I'm not sure that all guitar collectors are dumb, but I agree that many like the "used/worn-in" look. I work part time at a Guitar Center store and I've seen many great playing guitars with cosmetic damage fly out the door.

****

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Danny,

Thank you for sending your headstock picture. While it is good to know that this can happen to other guitars, your '96 looks much better than my '99. I worry, if I don't get it fixed, will it get even worse over time. I also wonder if it will degrade the value of the guitar.

****

 

****, my opinion, leave it. The responses you've gotten so far have been correct and then some.

 

The next guy will either love the mojo, OR, if you fix it and make it perfect, he'll find something else he can beat you up about regarding the price he'll pay. I agree completely with the reply that someone may even detract from the value because it's been re-done in some way. If you leave it, it'll basically age and match the other components as the guitar was originally built. Once you mess with 'as built', you can never be sure the next guy will agree with what you've done- -whatever it may be.

 

Of course if it bugs the heck out of you, then it's your call.

 

I'm not so sure the answer doesn't lie in water-based paints and laquers, which all manufacturers have converted to for environmental / compliance reasons. Water based vs oil base - -fewer VOC's but slower cure times softer finishes, different adherence properties etc etc.....

 

Hope this helps. Again, MHO.

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****, my opinion, leave it. The responses you've gotten so far have been correct and then some.

 

The next guy will either love the mojo, OR, if you fix it and make it perfect, he'll find something else he can beat you up about regarding the price he'll pay. I agree completely with the reply that someone may even detract from the value because it's been re-done in some way. If you leave it, it'll basically age and match the other components as the guitar was originally built. Once you mess with 'as built', you can never be sure the next guy will agree with what you've done- -whatever it may be.

 

Of course if it bugs the heck out of you, then it's your call.

 

I'm not so sure the answer doesn't lie in water-based paints and laquers, which all manufacturers have converted to for environmental / compliance reasons. Water based vs oil base - -fewer VOC's but slower cure times softer finishes, different adherence properties etc etc.....

 

Hope this helps. Again, MHO.

 

Dennis,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your opinion is very valid, however, as you said, it bugs the heck out of me plus, I'm not planning on selling the guitar. Therefore, I have decided to have Gibson Repair and Restoration fix it. They should bring it back to where I like it. Perhaps when I get it back, I'll post a picture of the restoration for all to see.

 

Regarding my 1965 ES175D, Gibson must have used oil based products because the headstock on this guitar is rock solid.

 

Best regards,

****

 

post-65080-014075400 1433357197_thumb.jpg

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Dennis,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your opinion is very valid, however, as you said, it bugs the heck out of me plus, I'm not planning on selling the guitar. Therefore, I have decided to have Gibson Repair and Restoration fix it. They should bring it back to where I like it. Perhaps when I get it back, I'll post a picture of the restoration for all to see.

 

Regarding my 1965 ES175D, Gibson must have used oil based products because the headstock on this guitar is rock solid.

 

Best regards,

****

 

post-65080-014075400 1433357197_thumb.jpg

 

You're welcome,****.

And here's another 'vintage' story - - all true !

I bought a '77 Les Paul Artisan in 2008 - - used but decent condition. I loved the look, and still do, but never played it, 'cause I couldn't get comfortable with it. I was too used to archtops. When I'd first gotten it, all the original gold hardware pieces were pitted, worn, faded etc., etc., so I replaced them with all new shiney gold pieces and it looked fantastic. I thought.

But when I saw an archtop I had to have ( and would play ), I traded in the Artisan and all the original parts to a dealer for the archtop. Two weeks later, I see the Artisan listed for sale with all the original parts re-installed, and listed as ' all original, vintage vibe' etc etc.

 

But glad you're not selling the instrument ! If you've found a guitar you like, absolutely hang onto it.

And if you want to post pic's when you get it back, pls do.

 

Dennis

 

I

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