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Stewie

2006 Les Paul Classic Goldtop Checking?

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I purchased a Les Paul classic Gold top about a year ago. It was a 2006 NOS still in the box at my local Guitar shop.

They had it stock for about 6 months, and it must have been at the dustributor's warehouse before that.

It is one of the chambered models and I love it.

It seems like overnight I picked it up and noticed lines running away from all the tone and volume controls. They seem to be in the finish and are not cracks. There are also similar lines at the bridge and the stop tail piece lower bolts.

I asked the dealer about it and he said he has two goldtops and they both have similar "checking" is what he referred to it as.

I was wondering if this is common. The lines do not run across the width of the guitar but straignt up and down.

The guitar has never left my home and I keep it at 70 F year round with a climate control system, with an air filter because of my asthma. So no humidity problems or spikes in the heat or cold.

I have sent pictures to Gibson recently and there has not been enough time for them to respond.

My tech said He doesn't mind them on his guitars, he saiys it give them character.

My only concern is that with the chambered body is there a possiblitly that they may develop into cracks?

I have an LP Studio in Fireburst, and a 1996 Standard with no issues.

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I think it is checking, that is just the finish aging, someone more experienced in older guitars woll confirm, but I don't think that there is any chance of those finish cracks developing into wood cracks. So relax.

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You should not be experiencing checking on a guitar of that age.

 

After Gibson changed the recipe for their nitro in late 04 I believe, by adding plasticizers you would have to take the guitar from a freezer to the oven to even get it to think about checking.

 

It looks like a pressure fissure.

 

If your guitar was made after Oct 2006 it is chambered not weight relieved.

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^ that's what I was going to say. It looks like somebody really cranked the pots.

Stewie, the top of that guitar is maple, the body is mahogany. Only the mahogany body is chambered, not the maple top.

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Like I said It seemed to happen over night. I clean my guitars after every use. I have 17 Electrics and I am anal about scratches and dings. This almost floored me. I have never seen anything like this. For someone to say oh yea mine did the same thing really bothers me. The only thing the dealer told me was to slightly loosen the top bolt on the pot to relieve any pressue. We shall see what Gibson says.

I am certain that this guitar is chambered.

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I had the same exact thing happen to my 06 Honeyburst Classic. Although chambering officially started in 07 some of the later 06's were as well.

My tech in SF stated that because of the chambering the top could expand and contract more dramatically since there is less wood to anchor itself onto.

To me it looks like the pots may have been screwed down too tight, causing the finish to crack.

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I've got the same on my 56RI. It started out just like in your picture. It then spread quite quickly across the guitar. I've seen 'checking' going across the top before, but not like ours. I don't clean my guitars a lot, but I do put them in the case when I'm finished playing for the day. I was concerned to start with, but thought what will be will be. It's the least of my worries now, as there is now a large 'ding' in the top where either my son, or one of his friends, smacked in to the corner of the PC table one day.....What's that about character?

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Let me start by saying I don't know much, but here are my impressions: Nitro cellulose laquer takes a few years to completely dry. It dries from the outside - in. That is why you can touch the outside of your new guitar, but because it is pourous, the inside is still plyant for a long time. I think the pots were screwed too tight (factory defect) and when the nitro finally dried, it followed the stress cracks in the wood. That is NOT normal checking and I would want Gibson to address this.

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Let me start by saying I don't know much' date=' but here are my impressions: Nitro cellulose laquer takes a few years to completely dry. It dries from the outside - in. That is why you can touch the outside of your new guitar, but because it is pourous, the inside is still plyant for a long time. I think the pots were screwed too tight (factory defect) and when the nitro finally dried, it followed the stress cracks in the wood. That is NOT normal checking and I would want Gibson to address this.[/quote']Nitro doesn't dry, it cures and decomposes (as it is made from organic materials).

 

See? You learn something new every day![-o</

 

But, yeah! I'm with AXE on this one, because those "checks" are too verticle and too localized to be from anything other than overtightened pots.

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Nitro doesn't dry' date=' it cures and decomposes (as it is made from organic materials).

 

See? You learn something new every day!=D>/

 

But, yeah! I'm with AXE on this one, because those "checks" are too verticle and too localized to be from anything other than overtightened pots.

 

 

[/quote']

 

I don't know about that the Nitro decomposes. Weird!!!

 

As I said, my RI has the same 'checking' but it's over about 3/4 of the width of the top and around the same lengthways. As it's still happening and the guitar is well over 10 years old, I don't suppose I can get it fixed free now. However, it does not worry me one bit as the guitar still sounds as good as ever.

I will try to get some pix of my top, but it will be a while before I get back to them (work calls);(

 

Back to the son I mentioned in my last post. he also cracked the top of my Ovation when he fell back on to in from the PC chair. I think I will have to either get rid of the PC or the son....which???? He did say sorry for doing it, but then spoiled it by saying it was my fault for leaving the guitar on it's stand in the music room. Why??? because it was near the PC chair that he was swinging on. Don't you just love kids:)

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I took another look and I know it looks like the pots have been overtightened, but it also basically where ever a screw/bolt/or nut has been put into the top.

There is even a small one where the pickup ring is screwed to the front of the guitar and where the bridge studs and stop tailpiece are attached.

I still have not heard from Gibson. My only issue is what will this do to eventual resale. I don't plan on selling it but if I do?

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Hey Gibboman. Where are you from in Scotland. I'm fae Dundee. I was a year and a half when I came to Canada. That was 60 years ago. And as for getting rid of your son, it doesn't work! They keep coming back. LOL. I would like to see some pictures of the similar problem. I could use them when I make my case to Gibson.

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You should not be experiencing checking on a guitar of that age.

 

After Gibson changed the recipe for their nitro in late 04 I believe' date=' by adding plasticizers you would have to take the guitar from a freezer to the oven to even get it to think about checking.

 

It looks like a pressure fissure.

 

If your guitar was made after Oct 2006 it is chambered not weight relieved. [/quote']

 

 

I think you hit it, Axe. Pressure.

 

 

Groper

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Nitro doesn't dry' date=' it cures and decomposes (as it is made from organic materials).

 

See? You learn something new every day![thumbup']/

 

But, yeah! I'm with AXE on this one, because those "checks" are too verticle and too localized to be from anything other than overtightened pots.

 

 

 

 

Good comparison, bad logic. First of all, non organic materials 'cure'. Like say, paint! Organic material always has a form of water as the moisture content. (example - tree sap, goes back to rain water) People erroneously use the word cure if something takes a long time, because we think of drying as a speedy occurance. This however is wrong. And yes, tree sap does dry, after a long time.

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Hey Gibboman. Where are you from in Scotland. I'm fae Dundee. I was a year and a half when I came to Canada. That was 60 years ago. And as for getting rid of your son' date=' it doesn't work! They keep coming back. LOL. I would like to see some pictures of the similar problem. I could use them when I make my case to Gibson.[/quote']

 

Fit like Stewie?

I'm fae jist North o Aberdeen...Peternapper to be exact. BTW they've still not got a bypass for Dundee yet.

I won't be back home for another 5 weeks yet, but if you can wait I'll get you some pix. So until then, 'say aye to a pie'

Cheers

Bri

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I have the exact same thing on my 1999 R9. The checks are not really visible unless you look from a perfect angle, but they do run parallel to the neck as well. There is also some checking between my pickups and between my selector switch and neck pickup. For the most part, all of them go in the same direction but they are not really as dead straight as yours. I don't really care because I figure my guitar is gonna get banged up since I play it everyday, I think it adds character. But if that was an investment guitar or something you wanted to keep clean that is unfortunate.

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I am amazed at how many people have these lines on there guitars. Some even more expensive than mine. But they seem to accept it as part of owning a Gibson guitar. I have 17 electric guitars and have had several "knock off" LPs and none have had this problem. I could see someone say, in Indonesia over tightening the pots, but why so many from Gibson. Is it a case that noboby is complaining, so they don't address the situation or are they just saying that is the way it is. I was told by a tech that this is common in Gold tops, now I am hearing it is not just Goldies. Is there a common ground here. It is finish, or is it the fact they are chambered? I opened the cavity to see if I could see any cracks and there what looks like a plate where the electronics are mounted, I have never seen this in any other LP. Also everyone keeps coming back to "overtightened pots" but as I stated it is hapening where ever a screw, bolt or pot is attached to the top of the guitar. I have a 2008 Studio that I had to wait for manufacture. (Fireburst). It was almost "wet" when I received it and you could really smell the nitro. I will keep a close eye on that one to see what happens as it gets older. Right now I don't see this as "Character" or "Mojo" . I was one of those guys who always thought that the USA Gibson was worth the extra money. Now I am not so sure.

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I am amazed at how many people have these lines on there guitars. Some even more expensive than mine. But they seem to accept it as part of owning a Gibson guitar. I have 17 electric guitars and have had several "knock off" LPs and none have had this problem. I could see someone say' date=' in Indonesia over tightening the pots, but why so many from Gibson. Is it a case that noboby is complaining, so they don't address the situation or are they just saying that is the way it is. I was told by a tech that this is common in Gold tops, now I am hearing it is not just Goldies. Is there a common ground here. It is finish, or is it the fact they are chambered? I opened the cavity to see if I could see any cracks and there what looks like a plate where the electronics are mounted, I have never seen this in any other LP. Also everyone keeps coming back to "overtightened pots" but as I stated it is hapening where ever a screw, bolt or pot is attached to the top of the guitar. I have a 2008 Studio that I had to wait for manufacture. (Fireburst). It was almost "wet" when I received it and you could really smell the nitro. I will keep a close eye on that one to see what happens as it gets older. Right now I don't see this as "Character" or "Mojo" . I was one of those guys who always thought that the USA Gibson was worth the extra money. Now I am not so sure.[/quote']

 

I think this happens to most guitars with a nitro finish (though I can't be sure if it's just nitro finishes) over a period of time. Sometimes I've seen it refered to as 'crazing'. To be honest I thought it was more to do with shrinkage (not sure if it's the wood or the finish that shrinks) thananything else. I've heard that some 'relics' have this checking process carried out to make them look old. As I said in an earlier post, my guitar top is checking all over the place, not just around the pots. However, this is where I first noticed it.

Now I'm sure someone will correct me on what I have just wrote, but even though I have a few guitars in my collection I don't really get into the specs and stuff, I just tend to play the things.

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Well it is definitely not just gold tops b/c mine has the same thing going on. I also had considered the possibility that it was just pressure from the pots being screwed too tight, because the checking I first noticed was by the pots. However, I have noticed the checking between my pickups and selector switch is just as bad. There is one noticeable difference: the checking by the pots can be seen on the TOP of the finish AND within it (it can only be seen when light hits it at the right angle), whereas the checking by the pickup can only be seen UNDER the finish (at the right angle). It once occurred to me that maybe the compressed air I use to blow the dust off the guitar created enough of a temperature change to do this to the lacquer. The air does get extremely cold, but I figured that a few short bursts of air would not cause enough of a change to affect the finish. Like I said, I don't really care, but this would be an interesting problem to solve.

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Good comparison' date=' bad logic. First of all, non organic materials 'cure'. Like say, paint! Organic material always has a form of water as the moisture content. (example - tree sap, goes back to rain water) People erroneously use the word cure if something takes a long time, because we think of drying as a speedy occurance. This however is wrong. And yes, tree sap does dry, after a long time.

 

[/quote']I was half asleep when I posted that, and when I read it the next day, I was like :-k:-s

 

But thanks for correcting it![blink]

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If anyone has pictures of the same issue with their guitars, I would really appreciate a picture or two. I am still waiting for a return from the warranty assesment people at Gibson, and it would be nice to show other guitars with the same issues. It is funny on this issue, most of the players don't think this is anything to worry about, and the collectors are appalled. Not to say that my guitar is a collector guitar, but when you have 17 guitars I guess that is a collection.

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My son has a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop 2007. If I posted a picture, it would look just like Stewie's, right down to the fact that the longitudinal cracks emanate from either side of where the hex nuts from the volume and tone controls press into the wood. So Stewie, did you ever do anything about your checking? Did the lines ever get longer? Has this happened to many other Goldtops? I was wondering if Gibson has a design flaw/defect that they are not admitting. I know it doesn't affect the sound, but it is distressing to see this on a relatively new guitar in mint condition. If anyone else has a similar experience, please post. Thanks.

AndyVt

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