Luthier/Tech advice needed... 12 string topic

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by ajchance, May 13, 2008.

  1. ajchance

    ajchance Member

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    Unfortunately, I'm handling my first bad buyer experience from Ebay. After about 2 dozen guitars come and gone without issue, I guess I was due.

    I just received a Takamine solid top 12 string that was described as "impeccable". Impeccable apparently means that it has a bridge that is partially lifting, a very noticable bellying of the top below the bridge, and what appears to be about a 15cm crack in the top (running with the grain) on the upper portion of the top about 2 inches above the soundhole, running to roughly the level of the bridge. (Not to mention all the cosmetic issues, as well).

    The idealistic thing to do would be to stick it to the seller and get my money back, but realistically at best I'm probably out at least the shipping costs. The guitar actually plays quite nicely and has a great full tone. My question is whether this guitar is irreparable or will a few relatively simple and inexpensive repairs keep it in its current condition for years to come?
     
  2. Advoc

    Advoc Member

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    as we say in the warmoth forums..


    pictures or it doesn't exist :p
     
  3. ajchance

    ajchance Member

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    Saw that one coming. Here's my best shot:

    [​IMG]
    Crack looks longer than my estimate!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Had a hard time getting the convexity of the top to show, but the angle of the bridge is a good reference. In close study there looks to be a little bit of concavity in front of the bridge and covex behind. All told, it eyeballs to a little under a 1/4 inch deflection (best estimate).
     
  4. Tricks

    Tricks Member

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    I believe this is all fixable by a good luthier. I'd begin by slackening off the strings ang getting the tension off of the top and bridge.
    Still, that's not the point, is it? Getting burnt on ebay can't be a good experience, there's always that bit of stress in the back of the mind until you actually hold it in your hands. Were the pics (on ebay) lacking in content? Are you at liberty to let the folks at home know who that dastardly seller is??
     
  5. ajchance

    ajchance Member

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    Thanks for the comments. Actually my intent with this was not to sling mud, but to see if I can make lemonade out of lemons. The listing went into detail about how the case was in poor condition, but only mentioned the condtion of the guitar as "impeccable". None of the pics with the auction gave any indication of the serious structural concerns and really didn't even show the heavy blemishes on the top that you can see in my pic.

    As I mentioned in my first post, I actually like the way the guitar plays, so if I can get it safely stabilized and not have to worry about, I may keep it rather than risk the return issues. Still mulling that one over, though!
     
  6. Stubee

    Stubee Member

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    I'd say it depends on how much you like it, how it sounds to you, and how much you paid. Those repairs are not a big deal, but they are not "free". I think the bridge reglue will be $100-$160, most cracks are repaired by the inch. So maybe a couple hundred bucks in repairs or so for that stuff. Could also have a loose brace or two, other unseen stuff. Still, it doesn't look at all beyond fixing, those things happen to guitars.

    It is certainly not "impeccable" by any stretch. I bought an LG-1 years ago that had a lifted bridge, the seller honestly didn't know it and quickly fronted me $50 toward a repair when I sent him multiple pictures. Could try that, maybe it was "impeccable" to the seller, who knows.

    If you like it & it was a reasonable deal (including the repair costs), it'll likely make a very nice guitar.
     
  7. ajchance

    ajchance Member

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    The more I look at it, the more details I'm not happy with. The "impeccable" guitar has serious fret wear, possibly enough to warrant a partial refretting. What gets me the most out of that is the fact that the nut was moved over slightly, so that the strings now are riding over fresh frets. Looks like a blatant cover up! There are so many details that needed to be disclosed in the listing, that I don't think I can ever look at it again and be happy about it, no matter how well it plays. I paid a fair (not great) price for an "impeccable" guitar - not a beater that needs a bunch of work. I've already contacted the seller and have proposed a refund. Now it's crunch time!
     

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