Headstock break, repairable?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by arfalax, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. arfalax

    arfalax Member

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    Here's the story. Bought this guitar off of eBay from a musician. Got a pretty good price, it's a Garrison G20-CE. Sent the Paypal and the guys says he'll ship the guitar when the money clears his bank cause he needs the money to pay the shipping costs. SO he's a starving musician.

    Anyway, I pick the package up at the Post Office and shake my head at the packing. He used a box that's about 5 inches short and cuts the end open so the case protrudes out, covers it with the cardboard and duct tape and sends it on its merry way. Being that this guy is probably broke and spent the money I sent him on his rent, is this type of break repairable and if so, is it too costly for what the guitar is worth?

    Check it out:
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  2. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    That looks easily repairable by a competent tech, but i don't know that it is worth it for a Garrison.
     
  3. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    +1

    ..and I'll add..

    If it were me, I'd ask for a refund from the seller. He'll obviously have no recourse with the shipper due to the archaic packaging. You would probably have to protest the issue with PayPal...which may be your saving grace should you choose to not have it repaired.

    It is however, repairable.

    Good luck either way!
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Certainly repairable, and certainly worth it.

    It's a very clean break by the look of it, and a good repairer will be able to make that nearly invisible and structurally perfect - actually probably stronger than it was before it was broken.

    It's hard to say for sure without seeing it, but I would estimate that at around a $200 repair to do to the best standard.


    BTW, was it shipped to you with the strings at full tension? If so, that's why it broke, nothing to do with the packing job. I assume it must have happened like this since otherwise the whole head area of the case would have had to be bent far enough forward to do that, and it looks undamaged. Never ship a guitar with the strings at full tension, regardless of who tells you that you should because the guitar companies do. I've seen way too many examples of this sort of damage caused like that.

    Also, FWIW, that guitar was a headstock break waiting to happen because of the way the wood grain in the particular piece the neck is made from angles upwards under the nut, which greatly weakened it. It should never have been made like that really.
     
  5. james russell

    james russell Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, quite repairable, and well worth it in my opinion. I've done several like that and most were much worse. It doesn't seem to have a bunch of splinters and hanging shards, which id going to make the job much easier. I agree with Jon that if it's done properly, it will be stronger than the original. Don't look for the budget repair guy though. Take it to someone who has experience with that kind of break. It can be glued to be pretty much undetectable.


    James
     
  6. arfalax

    arfalax Member

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    Hard to say really if the strings were at full tension but that does sound like the most plausible cause of the break. I've had numerous guitars shipped to me at full tension and am always surprised they sent them that way. I'm going to take it to a local tech and get an estimate. Maybe I can get enough $$ from the seller to cover the cost.

    Thanks for the input fellas.
     
  7. Nuclearfishin

    Nuclearfishin Supporting Member

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    You can get it fixed with some hot hide glue and a good repair technician, however I wouldn't let the seller off so easy. He needs to make right by the sale and the first thing I would ask is that a provide a full refund and you ship the guitar back. That's his prblem if he spent the money already, not yours. Go through both E-bay and Paypal and see what recourse they will offer.
     
  8. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    People freak out about broken headstocks, but it's rarely as big a deal as folks think it is. I do so many of them that I have a pretty advanced clamping jig set up just for headstocks. For simple fresh breaks with no to minimal touchup I typically charge $80-$120. I'm not sure what prices are in your area, but check around. It's an inconvenience and a ding in the resale value, but not as big a deal as most folks fear.
     
  9. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    The best guitar I ever owned had a headstock break. It was a '68 Les Paul Custom.

    The repair was invisible. The break was repaired using a dowel, and the resulting fix was stronger than the way it was made.

    If you "think" you are going to like the guitar, don't let the headstock injury worry you. It'll actually be stronger than new.

    I have seen ultra-old violins walk into a shop in a box (in pieces), only to be transformed to perfect without any visual signs that the instrument had undergone major surgery.

    Don't "fret".
     
  10. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    one of the worst packing jobs ive seen some time...the shipping service would never have insured it with that job, and the shipper likely would have been advised about this unless he sent it parcel post, which means he likely charged you for priority mail, used the cheapest option, and kept your shipping money...file a claim with ebay/paypal...theyll (slowly) deal with this...
    Fully fixable...but...
    FWIW I dont know what you think about the guitar, I wouldnt spent $ on the repair, not to be rude, but the Garrison isnt a guitar Id invest in...and if your going to put another $100 in to it, youll likely find a nicer guitar in your budget +100 without the hassle

    Also, that is consistant with damage from being shipped at tension, although it may still have bounced around in the hardcase...and theres no assurance the shipper hadnt cracked the headstock himself and tried to screw someone...

    My advice...get out while you still can...

    j
     
  11. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    I'm unaware of ANY manufacturers, acoustic or electric, who recommend shipping a guitar with "slack" tension.

    All of the ones I am aware of (major manufacturers) ship under full tension with no ill affects...unless of course...it's improperly packaged.

    All major dealers ship to the end users in this fashion as a well.

    YMMV.
     
  12. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    Regardless of how well packed it is, I would never ship a guitar (other than maybe a Fender-style headstock) under full tension. It's just plain foolish.

    It's the equivalent of not wearing a seatbelt - yeah, if nothing extreme happens you'll be fine, but it will break much much easier under tension. Since there is zero risk that can be associated with loosening the strings, why would anyone leave it at full tension.
     
  13. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    I agree with you David, but have always followed the manufacturers/dealers instructions and shipped at pitch, with extra packing in the headstock cavity of the case. I've only shipped about 30 guitars but I've never had a problem...even with two overseas sales.
     
  14. arfalax

    arfalax Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful comments. So far my 2 emails to the seller have gone unanswered so I'm going to escalate this with Paypals Dispute Resolution.

    I really have no idea how this guitar was going to sound since I haven't played a Garrison before. I see from reading here that there's a nice selection of quality acoustics in the $600-$800 range. The Blueridge BR-160, some Breedloves, the Guild GAD-40C looks nice as does the Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE. I like the cutaway/electric features on the latter 2.

    On a positive note I received my Collings City Limits Deluxe today and it was expertly packed and shipped from Tim Bascom at Morgan Music and it's a real beauty!

    Steve
     
  15. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    The rule ive always followed is better safe than sorry on tension...it really matters what guiatr were talking about--id be less worried with a strat/tele and much more with anything with an angled headstock or lower quality wood in the neck...acoustics, never under full tension...


    my experience with many manufactures is that the concern is usually more around immediate playability and convenience factor for the retailer/purchaser...safety isnt the main concern...while i cant imagine not setting up a new purchase (or taking it to a tech), the vast majority of buyers do not pay attention to this step...dealers are better, but more often not

    shipping conditions vary greatly from company to company, hell even shipment to shipment, and while full tension can keep a neck from reacting to heat/moisture/handling, many guitars dont ship in hard cases, making full tension more of a gamble....


    j
     
  16. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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  17. arfalax

    arfalax Member

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    So long as the following instructions from your link are followed, I'm fairly certain that the guitar will survive unscathed 99.8% of the time:

    * Put a lot of packing under the headstock of the guitar. Either use a couple of old t-shirts (Which will be returned) or a lot of newspaper. The headstock should be resting firmly on packing material and not floating. The goal of this is to keep the headstock from snapping back if the box falls over during shipping.

    * Ship the guitar in a box meant for a guitar. Your local music store (Whether or not a Larrivee Dealer) likely receives guitars regularly - ask them for an old guitar box - they will probably just give you one if you ask nicely. Often the packing materials will still be in the box. You want the case to be supported on top, bottom, and side once inside the carton.

    Unfortunately when the packing is sub-standard and inside the case the guitar is left to be jostled as was my case, the worst will probably occur.
     
  18. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    From the looks of the packaging in the initial post, I'm surprised a lot more damage wasn't done. The "shipper" is obviously a log or two shy of a cord.
     
  19. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    You should have no problem getting a full refund with a Paypal dispute if you follow PP guidelines, document damage, keep your tracking numbers when Paypal rules in your favor (you must return item with proof of delivery before receiving final refund) and most of all, watch for Paypal notices that give a certain amount of time to reply to each step in the dispute. It's easy to get lulled into a slow pace as they can drag on a bit. I lost a Paypal dispute that was guaranteed my way because I missed an e-mail saying I had 10 days to reply. If you should happen to miss responding within the time they give you, they immediately cancel the dispute with no appeal. Otherwise, sounds like you have a solid case and should get every cent back except the shipping charge for the required return to seller.
     
  20. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    Theres no doubt that there are those guidelines...
    and I wouldnt call that emphatically...

    I think we're trying to touch on the WHYS of those guidelines...there are plenty of experienced people out there that disagree





    j
     

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