My Custom NOS '56 Strat arrived full of cracks!!!!


My Custom NOS '56 Strat has arrived yesterday,

I did the waithing game for more than 24 hours, and when I opened the case this morning it looks first great but when I looked at the back I saw big cracks from about 10 inch long..its full of it!

It is not the first guitar I bought the same way by post, but the first time this has happen.

I know to expect some Relic Jokes but believe me I was almost in tears, while I am normaly a tough guy...

What can I do !?


Unfortunately you give almost zero information about the details of your transaction and how the guitar came to you. Nitro will finish check if put under large temperature shifts and given the winter climate in the northern hemisphere right now, may not be terribly surprising.

More information would yeild better advice here IMO.



Gold Supporting Member
Those finishes are known to crack over time....

that's why I don't like the NOS, most people fear
every nick, scratch or crack

how does it play ?


I'm sorry to hear that, I can understand your dismay. Hopefully, since they are on the back, you will be ok once the initial shock is over. Do you have any pictures?

Glowing Tubes

Gold Supporting Member
I know this is a little late but perhaps ordering your guitars in the warmer months would help. It probably went through some serious temperature changes while in transit.

Dont know what you can do about it now though.



I live in Minnesota and I can feel your pain however I've ordered several guitars with thin nitro finishes over winter time (sub zero weather) without any problems. How was it packed and shipped?


You will probably get people who will tell you "people pay extra for that mojo". Frankly I don't subscribe to that philosophy.

You probably ordered NOS because you like the pristine finish. Otherwise I suspect that you would have ordered 'Closet Classic' or 'Relic'.

I ordered a gloss R7, rather than VOS, because I want it to look like new! I waited 24hrs after it arrived & mine was perfect.

Was it shipped from the U.S. to the Netherlands? I suspect that nitro may have difficulties enduring that in the winter.


You waited long enough to open. I couldn't be been your fault. It may have been cracked before it was shipped or was in extreme temp. variations in shipment. If it bothers you to the point of wanting to return it, I would call the dealer and see what they might do for you.


Keep in mind guitars are shipped all over the world everyday from factorys to dealers to whoever by all types of carriers in all kinds of weather. NOS means just that and if your guitar is not then I suggest you demand a replacement.


Silver Supporting Member
Consider it christened.

If you really like the guitar keep it, but try to get some money back, you did not pay for a damaged instrument.


Silver Supporting Member
Sorry about your discovery. I was worried about my NOS '60 Strat when I got it last month after letting it climatize for 24 hours. I got lucky, no checking of the nitro. I decided on having the guitar shipped by air, so that may have helped.


I have a 05' NOS cs 56'. My guitar is checked all over like that due to Iowa winters. But it is the under layer that is checked. My guitar has some kind of weird alien lacquer with lots of placticizers and when it warms back up the checks dissapear. The checks are still there but you cannot see them. The also come back in the middle of summer when the humidity is really high and the wood swells. Most of the time they are gone though. If your check is through the top coat I think they are now set, and will always be there. If it flew from the US and was in the hold of an airplane it was subjected to subzero temps. It's probably gonna check no matter what if the guitar temp got down to 0 degrees through the packaging and the case. It just means that you got a good hard dryed out finish.....kind of a good thing as far as tone goes. All lacquer finished guitars are probably gonna do that eventually. Look at a real 56' strat now and it's most likely it has finish checks. You just speeded up the process. Also.....mostly up and down or across it has went all the way across the body is natural checking. Checking that looks like a spiderweb is man made. The cc and relic strats have a lot of spiderweb checking made by using a can of compressed air.

The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
Yet another sad tail of a cracked nitro finish.

...easily repairable if you can't stand it.

Tommy Tourbus

Senior Member
I was almost in tears, while I am normaly a tough guy...

What can I do !?

There is no shame in letting the tears flow kimosabe



Gold Supporting Member
Was it New?. I bought a high end guitar ( its actually on sale here!!, not mine any more) Looked great in the pictures and when it arrived , looking at it it was ok , beautiful and all the sudden WTF!!!!. This thing was full of nitro cracks. You could only see them at a certain angle but I was kinda bummed . Called the seller and they said they had no idea. Called the builder and asked about it because it was a pretty new guitar . I lived with it. Got another one of the same builders guitars and same thing but not as bad.
Both bought in the summer . I have other nitro finished guitars with no issues at all. I think some builders must put ot on better than others. I know its a evil of nitro but on these guitars it was a shock because they are new. The builder says it should not have happens so soon.
If you bought it used I would at least let the seller know.
If you like it andit pays well cool , though . If you got it brand new I would complain though . Put a few dings in it and you will forget about the nitro cracks .

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