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7enderbender

uneven neck finish in new J45

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I recently bought a new J45 after a long quest and lots of soul searching, comparing various Martins etc. I bought it online via Sweetwater without playing it and I'm overall quite happy with the specimen I received. Sounds better than two local ones I had played before (one sold, the other one didn't have the nicest looking top and the neck didn't look as straight as I would expect).
Now, I knew what I was getting myself into given the state of the company and their history of producing things that are very nice, classics that nobody else does, but usually come with some level of imperfections. So this is not a complaint. Fret ends weren't quite as round and finished as I like them so I spent a day on fixing that and the result is very good.
One other small thing I found is that the back of the neck at around the 3rd fret on the bass side has a very slight dimple in the finish, about the size of a cent. It's barely visible, really only by looking at the reflection of a light source being slightly distorted. But I can feel it. Granted - it took me two weeks of playing it every day before I noticed it. But now I know...
I'm not sending it back, I don't want to go through the hassle of involving some luthier, etc.
I'm thinking this could be leveled off/smoothed a bit by just polishing it down a bit around the edges of this dimple. Any recommendations what to use? I'm thinking some very fine wet sandpaper and taking it slow and re=polish it later to a shine.  By the looks of it the finish isn't really that thin so I'm pretty sure it would take a while before this became a visible thin spot. Obviously, I don't know if the source of the dimple is the finish itself or if the neck was sanded unevenly. It doesn't look to be the result of any impact or so.

Anyone done this or had any unevenness on a recent Gibson on the back of the neck? My Les Paul (I bought in 95) was very even but took a long time to fully cure and not be sticky. At least I don't have that problem with the J45.

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You say its the size of a cent, I'm assuming you mean a penny and you say it's barley visible. To me that is not small. So is it there or not?

You seem not pleased with the quality and I would send it back cause they ain't cheap. And then your last statement you say "At least I don't have a problem with the J-45" but you started this thread and it appears you do or you would not mention it.

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54 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

You say its the size of a cent, I'm assuming you mean a penny and you say it's barley visible. To me that is not small. So is it there or not?

You seem not pleased with the quality and I would send it back cause they ain't cheap. And then your last statement you say "At least I don't have a problem with the J-45" but you started this thread and it appears you do or you would not mention it.

 

I meant to say dime, but yeah. It's not small but barely visible because it's not deep. But you can certainly feel it. As far as being pleased: no not 100% pleased but I expected that. I chose a J45 over one of the Martins simply because I prefer the sound, look and feel - well knowing that Gibson still struggles with QC issues and will likely never be as well built as other guitars . I'm willing to chalk it off as part of the charm. The thing sounds and plays well and isn't a dud when it comes to the important stuff. I was able to work the fret ends and I'm ok with either living with the little dimple or polish around it if that helps. Not willing to go through an exchange or dealer repair for this since chances are that the next one I'd get has something else.

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Understand, its your axe. The fact that you didn't go with a Martin is irrelevant in this scenario. The real issue is you got a Gibson its not perfect (nothing is) and, you like the sound of it and have to live with the imperfection, since it appears you are keeping it and not exchanging it.

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7 minutes ago, jvi said:

never be as well built ? get a grip ...

Why? Let's be real. Most Gibsons have little flaws. And that's nothing new. And I'm not talking about some of the stuff from the last decade or so on the electric side that was just plain awful. Even my 95 Standard that I love to death has little flaws in the finish and binding. It is what it is. That's why I'm saying that I'm not even upset since I exactly expected this, even at that price point.  Nobody else builds these guitars so there.

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32 minutes ago, 7enderbender said:

Why? Let's be real. Most Gibsons have little flaws. And that's nothing new. And I'm not talking about some of the stuff from the last decade or so on the electric side that was just plain awful. Even my 95 Standard that I love to death has little flaws in the finish and binding. It is what it is. That's why I'm saying that I'm not even upset since I exactly expected this, even at that price point.  Nobody else builds these guitars so there.

Guitars like this are largely hand-made, and as such may have issues. However, it is also possible this happened in the shop, if the guitar had ever been out of the box. The fact that you didn't even notice this for two weeks suggests that it is pretty minor, and may be something that happened after you received it.

Bottom line is that it is impossible to know if it came from the factory that way.

I would leave it alone for at least six months before thinking about doing anything. That would give the lacquer a chance to cure further before you contemplate touching it with something that is by definition going to abrade the surface.

These finishes are very thin, and pretty soft while they are curing.  Your left hand may wear it smooth pretty quickly if you play a lot.

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3 minutes ago, j45nick said:

Guitars like this are largely hand-made, and as such may have issues. However, it is also possible this happened in the shop, if the guitar had ever been out of the box. The fact that you didn't even notice this for two weeks suggests that it is pretty minor, and may be something that happened after you received it.

Bottom line is that it is impossible to know if it came from the factory that way.

I would leave it alone for at least six months before thinking about doing anything. That would give the lacquer a chance to cure further before you contemplate touching it with something that is by definition going to abrade the surface.

These finishes are very thin, and pretty soft while they are curing.  Your left hand may wear it smooth pretty quickly if you play a lot.

 

Good suggestion on letting it cure more before considering anything else. But no, this did not happen after I received it. It's not a ding from bumping into anything (which hasn't happened and the guitar hasn't been out the house yet or in anyone else's hands). It looks like an uneven finish (or wood underneath, can't tell).

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1 hour ago, 7enderbender said:

 

Good suggestion on letting it cure more before considering anything else. But no, this did not happen after I received it. It's not a ding from bumping into anything (which hasn't happened and the guitar hasn't been out the house yet or in anyone else's hands). It looks like an uneven finish (or wood underneath, can't tell).

It could be a flaw in the underlying wood, as well as in the finish. Mahogany is generally and easy wood to work with, especially the straight-grain material used for necks. It is possible it got bumped during the construction process and sprayed over, but nobody even noticed it, since it took you a couple of weeks to notice it. You couldn't return it in any case, since you've modified it by dressing the fret ends, even though you may see that as an improvement rather than a modification.

Perceived flaws in a new guitar can be frustrating, but if you otherwise really like the guitar, I would just live with it, at least in the short run.

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Martin has recently had systemic problems with bindings popping loose at the waist, and new instruments needing neck resets after only a few years.  And these are on 28 thru 45-Series instruments, not the entry level stuff.  Pick your poison - Gibsons tend to have minor finish issues, but not all.  I have a number of Gibson electrics and acoustics with no flaws.

That said & speaking to your particular issue, twenty years ago I bought a new J-100extra.  A lovely instrument that I still have, I didn't notice until sometime down the road that there was a slight crease in the back of the neck that could only be seen under light.  It was simply a matter of how the neck had been shaped by hand at the factory.  I then of course could feel it once I'd seen it.  This immediately bugged the heck out of me, being the OCD creature that I am.  But I liked the guitar too much to let it go because of such a minor issue, so twenty years later, the only time I think about it is if I happen to notice it under the light - and my next thought is, "I can't believe I ever let that bother me."

If you can't live with it & want to keep the guitar, the only thing I would try at home would be to work the area with Virtuoso Cleaner.  Used with a rather heavy hand (on a clean & soft cotton cloth), Virtuoso will act as a mild abrasive and will slowly cut into the finish.  It's a crapshoot - if you are skilled, you might level it out to be sufficiently satisfied.  But there's the risk that you might make it more uneven, or possibly break through the finish & go down to the wood.

Personally, I'd leave it as & enjoy the heck out of it for the next twenty years!

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34 minutes ago, bobouz said:

That said & speaking to your particular issue, twenty years ago I bought a new J-100extra.  A lovely instrument that I still have, I didn't notice until sometime down the road that there was a slight crease in the back of the neck that could only be seen under light. 

That is a great statement. I usually see my guitars in the light too. In the dark they are a lot harder to see.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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2 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

That is a great statement. I usually see my guitars in the light. In the dark they are a lot harder to see.

Indeed!

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I'm guessing you've let it sit on a guitar stand too long and the dimple is from uncured Nitrocellulose resting on the rubber-coated neck support. 

 

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2 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

I'm guessing you've let it sit on a guitar stand too long and the dimple is from uncured Nitrocellulose resting on the rubber-coated neck support. 

 


Ive seen that before.  It leaves a nasty mark on the necks. 

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I'm guessing you've let it sit on a guitar stand too long and the dimple is from uncured Nitrocellulose resting on the rubber-coated neck support. 

 

Maybe 20 years ago I had the same thing happen to one of my guitars.  It was a sturdy stand  it just had that ^%$%^ rubber thing at the top.

The stand  was gone in a heart beat!

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18 hours ago, gearbasher said:

If the guitar is very new, I would give the finish  some more time to cure.  

 

Technically finishes do not cure because there is no chemical reaction involved.  They dry.   Back in the day, Gibson used to spray the lacquer on in thick even coats because it would lose half its thickness during the first year alone.  But what they use these  days ain't your granddaddy's lacquer.   Not only do they use a different solvent to meet EPA standards  but add catalyzers which cause the finish to dry quicker while allowing them to shoot it in a thinner coat.  The guitar stand comment is interesting.    As a rule of thumb, I  replace the rubber tubing on a stand with surgical tubing.

Edited by zombywoof

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16 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

 

Technically finishes do not cure because there is no chemical reaction involved.  They dry.   Back in the day, Gibson used to spray the lacquer on in thick even coats because it would lose half its thickness during the first year alone.  But what they use these  days ain't your granddaddy's lacquer.   Not only do they use a different solvent to meet EPA standards  but add catalyzers which cause the finish to dry quicker while allowing them to shoot it in a thinner coat.

 

 

I'm guessing you've let it sit on a guitar stand too long and the dimple is from uncured  UNDRIED  Nitrocellulose resting on the rubber-coated neck support. 

There, cured FIXED it for ya !

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In a dozen years, if you play this guitar regularly all over the neck, you'll start getting those tiny places where the lacquer wears through, and it will all just be good honest player wear then.  

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My first question would be did you void the warranty by working on the frets.  I have never owned a guitar with a warranty so have never had to ponder such things..  

If the dimple impacts your playing or is aesthetically abhorrent to you  , I would take it to a good repair guy and have him make it right.   

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By the way, even if you go with surgical tubing it is still made with pure gum rubber so  it is also a good idea to wrap it  with cheesecloth.  

Edited by zombywoof

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I'd just play it.  My '95 Dove has lacquer checking out the wazoo and has barely any lacquer left on the back of the neck. I don't notice it at all. Every time I pick it up, a new song falls out of it...I can forgive the flaws, because I know there are far more flaws on the skin of the hand that meets the neck than there are on the neck that meets the skin of the hand.

 

 

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This ^

Like Willie Nelson's  "This Face of Mine"  

"This face is all I have  worn and lived in  /  And the lines below my eyes are like old friends." 

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If I put guitars on those stands. I have wool socks that Ive wrapped the neck and butt sections of the stands so they do not hurt the finishes.   
 

now on another note. . Those perferated  green worm  humidifiers.  Theresa rubberwasher prevents  the tube from falling inside the f holes of the archtops and mandolins.  Remover the rubber grommet. It stains the finish.   
 

 

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