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ES175 with small cracks at each fret


Elmer

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I just bought a brand new ES175 natural reisued.

When I came home with this master piece I noticed that there are little cracks in the white inlay, just at each fret. See picture, that is more clear then my explanation (English is not my native language)

Every fret has got this little crack, you can see and feel it. It is very small and the guitar does play very well...but I think it is not how it meant to be. Any advice? Or is this normal?

Afb0223.jpg

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Welcome.

 

And congrats on your new 175. Love to see some pics.

 

Those type of binding cracks are not unusual.

 

Gibson doesn't trim the fret tangs, so when a drop in humidity shrinks the wood a bit, the metal frets don't shrink and sometimes cause the cracks you're seeing. I believe the Gibson factories are kept at 45%/70°.

 

Fret tang - untrimmed and trimmed -

 

Fret_Tang_Nipper_sm.jpg

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Welcome.

 

And congrats on your new 175. Love to see some pics.

 

Those type of binding cracks are not unusual.

 

Gibson doesn't trim the fret tangs, so when a drop in humidity shrinks the wood a bit, the metal frets don't shrink and sometimes cause the cracks you're seeing. I believe the Gibson factories are kept at 45%/70°.

 

Fret tang - untrimmed and trimmed -

 

Fret_Tang_Nipper_sm.jpg

What are the benefits for Gibson and their untrimmed fret tang?

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Guest EastEnder

What are the benefits for Gibson and their untrimmed fret tang?

 

None.

 

Problem is, you can trim the fret tang to allow for contraction of the fingerboard wood, but the binding still butts up against the exposed fret end. In severe fingerboard contraction, the exposed fret end will still force the binding away from the board at that spot, possibly causing a binding crack.

 

In any event, congratulations, Elmer. The 175 looks great. Enjoy it and don't worry.

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Seemingly many new Memphis Gibsons have displayed similar cracks in the past few years. Don't know if it's isolated to a particular period of manufacture or plant, but my Midtown Custom produced in Nashville late last year is clean as a whistle. Regardless, this will not impact the instrument's structural integrity. Enjoy your beautiful new guitar!

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Guest EastEnder

Fret ends should be sticking out beyond the FB trim. Poor QC IMHO. Still a beautiful ES-175

 

Good point. That's my preference. The tangs are trimmed to allow for wood contraction and the fret ends overlay the binding (Gretsch does this, for example). That way, if the ends do protrude, they can be easily trimmed a tad and will probably never need more work. The binding stays stress-free.

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The sound is even better then I expected (some tones make something tremble inside but not disturbing loud), the playability is superb, it is really a master piece to look at. If this is a known issue then I find it strange that this issue still happens. Make the frets a tiny bit shorter and the issue is solved I guess. The price was high enough to not have those little cracks. I told the store where I bought it and they send my remarks and photo to Gibson. I only played a few hours on it and already the little cracks getting dark (I wash my hand before playing but sweath and skin getting in the little cracks), so they will end up very visible black on white marks.

 

I have an Aria Pro2 (Japanese) Es335 imitation (not the real stuff but it is a very good guitar). I have that guitare for 28 years now and the white became beautifull yellow...but not a single fret show those cracks. I find it a little poor that an imitation got a better finish than the real stuff.

 

I am not sure if this got something to do QC (quality Check), if the cracks got there because drop in humidity then then there where no cracks at tghe time of the QC.

 

Never the less...this is my guitar.

 

I wonder what comment I will get from Gibson factory (they got the pic and the serialnumber)

Of course I will share this comment here.

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Guest EastEnder

The sound is even better then I expected (some tones make something tremble inside but not disturbing loud), the playability is superb, it is really a master piece to look at. If this is a known issue then I find it strange that this issue still happens. Make the frets a tiny bit shorter and the issue is solved I guess. The price was high enough to not have those little cracks. I told the store where I bought it and they send my remarks and photo to Gibson. I only played a few hours on it and already the little cracks getting dark (I wash my hand before playing but sweath and skin getting in the little cracks), so they will end up very visible black on white marks.

 

I have an Aria Pro2 (Japanese) Es335 imitation (not the real stuff but it is a very good guitar). I have that guitare for 28 years now and the white became beautifull yellow...but not a single fret show those cracks. I find it a little poor that an imitation got a better finish than the real stuff.

 

I am not sure if this got something to do QC (quality Check), if the cracks got there because drop in humidity then then there where no cracks at tghe time of the QC.

 

Never the less...this is my guitar.

 

I wonder what comment I will get from Gibson factory (they got the pic and the serialnumber)

Of course I will share this comment here.

 

My questions would be:

 

Although you bought it new, how old is it?

How far did it travel and by what method (air?);

 

I'm not sure that it would be a QC issue, but I'm hoping that Gibson would address your concerns and provide suitable support. I suspect green wood (not adequately dried), but I'll probably be beaten down for this.

 

Best of luck to you. A new guitar should be perfect in every respect.

 

EE

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.... I'm not sure that it would be a QC issue, but I'm hoping that Gibson would address your concerns and provide suitable support. I suspect green wood (not adequately dried), but I'll probably be beaten down for this. ....

 

Actually, a bit more than a year ago or so, I saw two or three reports here on the forum about neck cracks along the fretboard/neck seams - more than just a crack in the nitro - a couple were open so much you could see bare wood inside the crack. Gibson covered those under warranty confessing they found that the wood was not dried properly.

 

The OP's case appears to be finish cracks at this point, probably from changing environmental conditions during shipping or during the time the guitar was held in stock.

 

.

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My questions would be:

 

Although you bought it new, how old is it?

How far did it travel and by what method (air?);

 

I'm not sure that it would be a QC issue, but I'm hoping that Gibson would address your concerns and provide suitable support. I suspect green wood (not adequately dried), but I'll probably be beaten down for this.

 

Best of luck to you. A new guitar should be perfect in every respect.

 

EE

 

Agree, a new guitar should be perfect.

The certificate says October 2010, so it was pretty long here in EU before it was sold...

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Guest EastEnder

Agree, a new guitar should be perfect.

The certificate says October 2010, so it was pretty long here in EU before it was sold...

 

Please keep us up-to-date on this. It'll be interesting to hear Gibson's response.

 

In the meantime. play away!

 

EE

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I just bought a brand new ES175 natural reisued.

When I came home with this master piece I noticed that there are little cracks in the white inlay, just at each fret. See picture, that is more clear then my explanation (English is not my native language)

Every fret has got this little crack, you can see and feel it. It is very small and the guitar does play very well...but I think it is not how it meant to be. Any advice? Or is this normal?

Afb0223.jpg

 

Newb, I just bought a the exact instrument less than two weeks ago. I just checked it and mine does not have those cracks in the neck binding. As we have discussed in another thread, I suppose you could just learn to live with it........ I wouldn't.

 

ES175.jpg

 

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The majority of guitars with binding will have at least some binding cracks given enough time. Plastic is not forever. It degrades, shrinks and changes it's properties with age, sun light exposure, chemical exposures etc.

Then it is like wrinkels from old age and belonging to the guitar. Now it is brand new. and like I wrote above, I have a good imitation ES335, that is 28 years old and no binding cracks there.

 

I really going to try to make a point a Gibson factory...this is not normal, this is a waranty issue.

I hope Gibson is going to offer me a repair or a replace.

 

@Rock and Reel: I am surely going to try to get this fixed, the more I think about it the more I start to be a little disapointed. I know it is just a very minor issue but here in Belgium this guitar costs 3800€ (5096USD)

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I had exactly the same issues on my ES 335 59 Fat Neck, also 2010 build. See attached picture. I also just recently looked at an other ES335 in a store (high end place, the display room was humidified & temp controled) and saw the exact same cracks on this guitar. They also had several others where i could not see cracks.

 

My dealer exchanged my guitar for a new one. I am still quite disappointed in the Gibson QC, my 150$ indonesian GC acoustic stood for 2 years in the livingroom and has no cracks. Pick is form the exchanged guitar.

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Guest EastEnder

Elmer, I've given this a great deal of thought.

 

Your disappointment is understandable and regrettable. If it were my guitar I'd forget about dealing with Gibson directly. I'd take it back to the dealer and get a refund if such an approach is possible where you live. No matter how much you love the guitar's tone and playability, I think it would be unwise to "live with" the problem you are having.

 

As badbluesplayer and I have suggested, there might be an as yet undisclosed problem with the rosewood being used. Whatever the cause of your problem, this should not happen with a new guitar.

 

Between this and my own thread ("Is This 355 Falling Apart"), you'll see a lot of observations concerning humidity, temperature, the composition of plastic, differing contraction and expansion rates of different materials, and so on ad infinitum.

 

No one knows what's happening until the Gibson customer service people step in here and give an official explanation beyond the usual "subject to environmental factors" line. If there are an excessive number of complaints about improperly dried fingerboards (or anything else, for that matter), we consumers have the right to know about the underlying causes.

 

As I've said in another thread, I'm giving Gibson one more chance with a new ES-355 that will be arriving shortly. If it lacks the quality that I had come to expect from Gibson over the years, it's going back to the seller the day I receive it. Gibson will then have lost a lifelong customer.

 

The company cannot survive without an absolute, unfailing commitment to the quality of its instruments — and to the complete satisfaction of its customers. The only comment I've seen from the customer service team on this forum lately was concerning the "chrome versus nickel" debate. More attention and involvement is needed.

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This discussion got me thinking so I went into my music room

and examined the neck binding on my Gibson's (I have nine...ten if you count

both necks of my CS EDS-1275). I was both happy and disappointed. Happy because

only one of mine had the cracks in the binding that we're talking about. However I was disappointed to find cracks in the most expensive electric guitar in my collection. Here is my Gibson Les Paul Ultima. MSRP: $11,009.00

 

Binding.jpg

 

 

 

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