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ES-335 Horror Story: Please Help

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I have a pretty big problem.


I am currently playing a 2013 Gibson ES-335 (bought brand new in 2013 from Steves Music Toronto) as my main guitar (with Fender Stratocaster or Ibanez AF 175 on the side). But my beloved 335 is having a serious truss rod issue.


About a year ago I took my guitar to a very reputable tech in the Toronto area named Mark Atkinson for a typical setup. He called me a couple days later with some bad news, he said that the truss rod in my guitar is broken and that it cannot tighten any further. That said, the neck was fairly straight and didn't need any immediate adjustment. Obviously this is a huge issue. He didn't have much in the way of remedying the situation, we discussed heat pressing the neck but we never went through with that.


He advised me to take it to where I bought it (Steves Music in Toronto) and discuss warranty procedures with them. So I did that, I brought the guitar in, and I explained the issue- the tech at Steve's said he didn't think anything was wrong with it, but that he would look.


He calls a week or so later saying that the guitar is fine and that he's given it a set up. So I pick up the guitar and everything looks good (Keep in mind, the neck was fairly straight before, that wasn't the issue). Over the next few days I talk about this situation with my teachers & guitar playing peers and they all agreed: it is VERY questionable that the Steves guy said the truss rod was fine. Because Mark Atkinson (the first tech I went to) has a spotless reputation, and also has no reason to lie to me about something like that- he would likely have not made a profit on fixing the guitar neck, and he advised me to investigate my warranty.


But Steve's...they wouldn't want to lose money replacing or repairing my $2500 guitar.


So all of this happens, but I am a university music student, so I really can't go very long without this guitar. So in the mean time I'm playing it all the time- practice, gigs, everything. And I'm not having any issues, but I'm also not adjusting the truss rod.


So about a year later (August 2015) I take it to a new tech to get a new nut cut for it. This new tech is Mike Smyth (Smitty), a highly respected Canadian guitar/pickup maker. I bring my guitar in and Smitty is very thorough, he assess my playing style, we discuss intonation, and every things good...then, he goes to adjust the truss rod. He tries to tighten it, and it really doesn't move. He spends more time looking at it and tells me what Mark Atkinson told me about a year earlier.


"Your truss rod is broken and can't be tightened any further".


He explained that truss rods on Gibson guitars are anchored up around the 17th fret or so, but that essentially my truss rod came "unanchored" and was moving closer towards the 15th fret. The procedure to fix this involves cutting open the fingerboard, pulling the truss rod back down, anchoring the truss rod again, and then re-doing the fingerboard that was ripped up in the process. That will cost me about $500.


Smitty's advice was to fix up my 335 as best as we can and then and sell it. He advised I buy something else.


So my dilemma is; I like this particular guitar, but the truss rod repair will cost $500,(I'm a student and $500 isn't cheap) and the neck/fingerboard has a curve to it that isn't ideal.


Would you sell this 335 and buy something else, or would you try and have it repaired?


Either way, I'm never buying a guitar from Steve's Music Toronto ever again, and I probably won't be buying another gibson.


I realize this is an old post but I can't help comment on the fact that Smitty advised you to fix it as best as you could and sell it. Hopefully you got it fixed under warranty, and didn't sell it to some poor unsuspecting person

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