Just done my 3rd Gibby headstock in 20 years

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by AlexF, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. AlexF

    AlexF Member

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    Yep another one. This was interesting in that the guitar just fell forwards on to the floor, the headstock didnt hit anything, there was a loud crack and there it was hanging loose. Just the force of it hitting the ground coupled with the string tension was enough. My Warmoth Tele must've been sat there laughing, its been over so many times and doesnt even go out of tune. Fortunately the Gibby is only a Les Paul BFG, so I just glued it back on again, it all seems just the same now, the guitar is only marginally more scruffy than it was before the accident. this is why I dont play Historics anymore!! :)
    Al
     
  2. LesPaulMan

    LesPaulMan Member

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    I snapped the headstock off a Les Paul many years ago. The heavy Grover tuners allowed it to break in two pieces. Damn thing wasn't even connected with a sliver of wood. LOL

    If the strings weren't on, that headstock would of flown across the room, and probably dinged up another Gibson.
     
  3. Bussman

    Bussman Member

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    This is why I love those Norlins with laminated maple necks and volutes. Mine fell so many times it looks like it was run over by a tank but it still plays great.
     
  4. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    The good news is that a propertly repaired headstock is usually stronger that it was before the break.
     
  5. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Only 3 in 20 years? I did 3 in 2 years not long ago :) All were 90s Les Pauls.

    --chiba
     
  6. Hackubus

    Hackubus Member

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    I haven't broken any since 1989. (knocks on wood) 70s SG with grovers. Snap! I bawled my teenage eyes out over (what I thought) was the death of my first guitar. Got her repaired & it's still holding together, better than it ever was.
     
  7. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    A fall face forward while up to string tension will do it every time. Years ago when Roger Fritz headed the Gibson Nashville repair dept., he demonstrated this at one of the seminars we used to host. He brought up a new Les Paul to demonstrate factory neck replacement procedures on, but before steaming it off he enjoyed doing a little demonstration. "Watch this" - lets go of neck- snap!

    If a Les Paul falls face forward while up to string tension, the inertia of the headstock and tuners carries more than enough force to keep the headstock moving after the neck stops. Roger proposed an argument though that the old style tapered headstock and lighter tuners were enough to make a serious difference. His theory was that the slight increase in flexibility combined with the slight decrease in mass was enough to make a real difference. I'm not fully convinced as to just how much flexibility is added by the headstock taper, but a massive set of Grovers will certainly make it more likely.

    I'm almost never without a peghead repair in the shop. Just finished up one from exactly the same situation as yours last week, have another in touchup, and a 1907 Gibson that came in yesterday repaired with six screws and a strip of brass.
     
  8. AlexF

    AlexF Member

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    That's intersting David, many thanks for your input
    Al
     
  9. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    Why doesn't Gibson use a volute at the back of the neck, or a scarf joint? Wouldn't that be a solution?
     
  10. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I just glued up a LP Special that suffered that very fate - fell face down and snap. I've repaired scarf breaks too - you really have to clean those mating surfaces well before gluing them back together. I ended up jigging it together then sawing a kerf and epoxied in a piece of veneer - been good for years. My guess is the extra mahogany and labor of doing a volute put the kibosh on that.
     
  11. devilrob1979

    devilrob1979 Member

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    Because that's not how they did it in 1959 and people would covince themselves it has an effect on tone. The Les Paul crowd is, for the most part, VERY conservative.
     
  12. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Talk about a glass jaw...coming from the world of Fender, Leo would never stand for that foolishness. There's a pic in one of my Fender books from back in the day, of someone standing on a maple neck to demonstrate its strength. The neck is bending a little, but that's it.
     
  13. hubberjub

    hubberjub Silver Supporting Member

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    The repair on my '92 Gibson Les Paul Studio is still holding strong after 12 years. It went through the back window of my car during an accident and the gig bag didn't do too much to protect it. It snapped clean off at the nut. Gibson wouldn't try to repair it. They wanted to replace the neck at a cost of $800. That was almost what I paid for it new. Instead I had it repaired by Frank Finocchio in Essex, PA. He spliced a long "V" shaped piece of mahogany into the neck. He even refinished the back of the neck aftarwards (the guitar used to be black). He did an outstanding job. (The spot of wood putty was done by me and is not related to the repair.)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  14. humbuster

    humbuster Senior Member

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    Solution: purchase a Fender.

    I have owned and played Gibsons since 1972 - never a problem with the headstock.
     
  15. TRGuy

    TRGuy Member

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    I've had a few LP's but never snapped a headstock. Fingers crossed...

    I always keep them in their cases though, I expect those who keep guitars on stands leave them more open to be dropped.
     
  16. Alister

    Alister Supporting Member

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    Rather, let's say that we're "traditionalists," instead. It sounds better to me.

    BTW, I've played Les Pauls since 1973, and never experienced this. But whenever I read one of these threads, my superstition riles up and I become afraid my luck has rung its string, and today and tomorrow (Twilight Zone theme, here), my R7 will tip over, face first.
     
  17. Telecaster62

    Telecaster62 Member

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    Yep, all the Les Paul connisseurs dog the Norlins to no end but my 1971 Goldtop has fallen at least 5 times over the last 37 years and never broken. Built like a damn tank and sounds great too. It's still not as tuff 'n ruff as my Tele but hey, nothing else is.
     
  18. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    My solution is that it goes back in the case the second I'm not playing it. I also just got a Calton Case so that I don't repeat the old, slipping off the side of my car, falls on the ground, breaks the headstock, trick. I love my 68' LPC!

    Adam Stark
     
  19. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    About 12 years ago I had a minty 1960 ES-335 that took a dive onto the stage after a gust of wind blew it over at an outdoor gig. I couldn't believe the headstock didn't snap, in fact luckily the guitar landed exactly on the nut and the bridge and wasn't even scratched... but I know plenty of the old ones have been broken off. The good news is that the couple of Les Pauls I have owned with repaired headstocks, I think they sounded better after the repair... the stiffer headstock seemed to tighten up the tone of the guitar.

     
  20. Dumo

    Dumo Supporting Member

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    Yeah, no stands for me. Only played with straplocks or in the case, flat on the ground. Knock on mahogany.
     

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