Seller who avoids talking about dead spot?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by zeuch, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Timtam

    Timtam Member

    Jul 22, 2017
    The existence and common cause of dead spots is well known ... eg
    If due to particular neck resonant frequencies, they are often un-fixable (although changing the mass properties of the neck may alter/reduce them).

    Some guitars are more subject to them than others. And savvy owners usually know the guitars that have bad ones, particularly if their playing relies on sustain. Which is often why they want to sell the guitars if they happen to be saddled with one. Particularly if they paid $3k for it. So while most people seem to be implicating the OP as the problem here, they ignore the possibility that the seller knows his guitar has one or more bad dead spots. Note that he said 'every guitar has some dead spot'. But he's obviously not going to sell to the OP anyway, so he's not going to admit that he knows his guitar has that issue.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    Tone_Terrific likes this.
  2. bojocatkite

    bojocatkite Member

    Oct 10, 2017
    Wow, I'm dumbfounded that so many people here take side with the seller... Do you guys even know what a dead spot is ???

    - First he asks politely a totally legitimate question, the seller can simply answer "I don't notice any" or "I don't know what a dead spot is" instead of being a jerk.
    - Second, dead spots are not subjective, at all, they have a precise definition and are easy to spot. They are spots where the note has no sustain at all, totally evanescent amplitude, and no amount of fatfinger sustain enhancers can solve this problem. People seems to think dead spots as spots "with a little less sustain" like all guitars have... no, it's spots with zero sustain (like if the string was chocked by a high fret kind of). It doesn't comes from the pickups, or the setup. It's a matter of resonance frequency of your guitar and absorption of the energy of the string for a specific frequency or a range of frequency. Depending on the Q factor and the resonant modes of your oscillator (your guitar) it can be corrected partially by shifting the resonance frequency of the guitar/neck with some trick like adding weight on the headstock, or shaving the neck or whatnot. Usually nothing really works.
    - Third: I'm tired of those sellers that get annoyed at the first question they deem uncool (weight of the guitar ? Any dings ? Is the neck "straight"? any dead spots). If you don't want to answer any questions, YOU should get off Reverb and keep your guitar and don't try to sell it online !

    The first guitar I bought online was a PRS CE24 (~early 2000) with many major dead spots that made the guitar unusable for anything other than fast jazz licks, playing the e string at the 12 fret and the note was dying out completely in 1 second. It was a major problem. Especially when you don't know how to play fast jazz licks.

    Seller: For sale: Gibson Les Paul
    Buyer: does the guitar has a broken or repaired headstock ?
    Seller: if you ask this question, you shouldn't buy online ! Would Jimmy Hendrix ask this question ?
    TGP: yeah I side with the seller here, there is no clear definition of "broken headstock", it's not so easy to see and it's so subjective.... changing the strings solve the problen anyway, so why asking ?

    Un-freaking-believable !
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    kookaburra likes this.
  3. johnh

    johnh Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    I really don’t want to offend the OP, but I’m 100% with the seller.

    One persons opinion might be that a dead spot is totally unacceptable. Another’s opinion might be that it’s completely tolerable - or even easily fixable.

    In any case, if I was the seller, I would rather stick pins in my eye than sell to someone who wrote questions like the OP. Perhaps the OP communicated poorly, but they really come across as a potentially nightmare customer.

    I actually thought the seller came across as very reasonable and polite.

    By the way, I’ve bought and sold perhaps a hundred guitars in my lifetime. I’ve never experienced a guitar which had zero sustain at one particular spot. Never. And I’ve never played one, in all the thousands of guitars I’ve played over the years. I’ve certainly experienced guitars which had less sustain at certain areas of the fretboard. I would call that a “dead spot”, but it was quite subtle.

    It was almost always solvable by a decent setup - especially adjusting the truss rod or levelling the frets.

    And I stick by my point that one person’s “zero sustain” is another’s “less sustain”.
    coldengray and Jabberwocky like this.
  4. GuitarMike69

    GuitarMike69 Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    San Diego
    I restore a lot of guitars and do a lot of fretwork and would suggest that over 95% of the time a dead note is from faulty fret work. The pull of magnetic pickups and placement with regard to certain intervals can affect the quality of a note, so there's some science behind pickup location and of course, pickup height, on electric guitars. I'm sure there's a scientific argument for voids in wood, hardware, plastics, etc. causing certain frequencies to be absorbed, increased or cancelled out, too, just as "hot" notes might describe notes with natural harmonics and overtones from neighboring open strings or fretted notes with a strong harmonic pull.

    That said, I make sure every guitar I ship has notes ringing consistently and to my satisfaction before packing them up, whether it's an 80 year old archtop or a 2 year old Strat. If more than one example of this $3,000 guitar has bad, dead, buzzing, flat, sharp or inconsistent notes/frets anywhere on the fretboard, I'd shop for something else.
    MilwMark likes this.
  5. data_null

    data_null Member

    Sep 20, 2018
    Your second point is contradictory. You make the claim that dead spots are “not subjective at all”. Then you state that “People seems to think dead spots as spots with a little less sustain”. The mere fact that your opinion on dead spots varies greatly than that of these other “people” you referenced clearly indicates that it’s a highly subjective topic. And this is precisely the reason the seller did the right thing by passing.
  6. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Member

    May 14, 2010
    'Tis safer under the bridge.
    zeuch, with all due respect, the seller is right to tell you to buy in person because you have asked him 1) a question that only you can answer satisfactorily with the guitar in your hand; 2) it is clear that the seller does not wish to entertain returns, shipping on his coin or not, for an opportunity cost of letting you try it out for two weeks. Simply put, you have unwittingly entrapped him with a loaded question which if he were foolish enough to answer - and it is clear to me he ain't a fool- leads to potential justification for "item is not as described".

    I once had a Gibson guitar for sale and I found a buyer. While it was all packed up and ready to ship and I was waiting for his payment he asked me, "What is the condition of the goldplating?" It was a valid question but one that I hesitated to answer because while it looked fine to me old eyes I was not sure if it was fine to his. I pulled the guitar from sale and told him to stop payment. He was a very nice fellow but I did not want to run the risk of disappointing him and ending up with a $400 round trip shipping bill-it is a large archtop guitar- for him to try it out at my expense.

    The seller of that guitar did not wish to disappoint you so figured there was no point in wasting his time, incurring an opportunity cost, and yours. He could end up $300 poorer in shipping fees and lose a potential buyer while it was in your posssesion.

    A seller has a duty to disclose everything requested by a buyer ONLY when he wishes to sell the guitar to the said buyer. In this case, it is clear that he does not want to sell the guitar to you so he does not have to disclose anything.

    "The colour conflicted with my chakras."
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    coldengray likes this.
  7. fjrabon

    fjrabon Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    This is part of the issue. Lots of people are working with totally different definitions of “dead spots”

    Some people mean fretting out, some people mean a vibrational cancellation on a node.
  8. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Member

    May 14, 2010
    'Tis safer under the bridge.
    Narcisco Yepes, 10-string guitar and Yepes tuning. That should answer the "dead notes" question. And also answers why most of us know that the OP's question cannot be satisfactorily answered except by himself.
  9. McJugga

    McJugga Member

    Jan 14, 2018
    Totally agree. When a seller starts asking alot of questions about dead spots and fret buzz or how the tremolo performs I just block them from purchasing any items from my ebay. With paypal not returning fees after an item has been returned it's not worth the hassle
    data_null and Jabberwocky like this.
  10. jm9239

    jm9239 Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2012
    100% with the seller on this one.

    Dead spots are totally subjective. When doing a transaction it's best to stick to the facts. This is stuff like make, model, pickups, neck radius, neck width, weight, etc. Asking about something as subjective as dead spots is a "dead" giveaway that a buyer may be a pain in the butt and not worth the hassle. What's next, is the OP going to ask if the guitar sounds good? Is it easy to play? Will it sound good through a klon? Do you think chicks will dig it? Give me a break. Stick to the facts.
    MilwMark, data_null and coldengray like this.
  11. LeicaBossNJ

    LeicaBossNJ Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2015
    New Jersey
    Maybe you don't understand the difference between clear, objective traits and untenable ones.

    If a buyer puts in a claim stating a guitar had a broken headstock - it's easy to determine if he is lying.

    When a buyer puts in a claim saying "Seller told me the dead spots weren't bad but I think they are" - Reverb can't determine who is right and will side with the buyer.

    You would be nuts to answer that question.

    As a buyer, you can choose to purchase an as-is guitar or not. As a seller, you have a right to protect your interests.
    johnh, Jayyj, josephpnorman and 4 others like this.
  12. heavydutysg135

    heavydutysg135 Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2006
    Here is a post from Terry McInturff explaining his view on "dead spots" in the context of discussing Les Paul Jr's.

    "Thanks for your question!
    A quick explanation:

    Mahogany necks on DC style guitars are prone to a dead spot at or near the 12th fret on the G string; often that same note on the B string 8th fret won't die away as fast, but will dissolve into a higher overtone series as it decays.

    You can test by playing slow, sustained notes from the 9th to the 14th frets on the G and see if any one note dies away much faster.

    This is caused by the neck's primary resonance stealing string energy at the pitch of the note that has much less sustain than its neighbors.
    In the common case of the G, the dead spot is very often 12th fret G string (an important note!)

    Not all DC's have this, for example my '59 didn't have it but my '60 did. And of the aprox 500 Hamer Specials that I have set up, probably 80% had the dead spot.

    The SC is not prone to this due to the fact that the carved shaft of the neck is shorter; thus, it vibrates at a higher frequency, high enough not to cause trouble."
    marshall2553, zeuch and Tone_Terrific like this.
  13. Miroslav L

    Miroslav L Member

    Jan 19, 2018
    Southern NY
    In your OP, the way you described the conversation with the seller, it didn't seem to me that he was "avoiding" talking about any dead spots.
    It seems more like you wanted him to guarantee that if any were there, they wouldn't be real bad...even after you agreed that all guitars have some dead spots.
    That's like asking a seller..."Will I like the sound and feel of the guitar?"

    If you're that concerned about any little dead spot...find guitars that you can try before you buy.
    Jabberwocky and MilwMark like this.
  14. Da Geezer

    Da Geezer Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Shenandoah Valley VA
    Seller be like

    "This is not the guitar you are looking for"
  15. Little Larry

    Little Larry Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2017
    God forbid there's a hairline finish crack at the neck pocket.
  16. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Terry knows.:aok
    Non-believers are simply naive.
    TGP often veers into tangents one does not expect and it becomes YOUR matter what. :banana
    kookaburra and zeuch like this.
  17. LqdSndDist

    LqdSndDist Member

    Dec 13, 2012
    Basically don’t sell anything to TGP members unless you want a 75% or greater chance of getting a request for a refund at your expense.

    Unless the guitar is 100% subjectively perfect for the players unique demands it’s going to be “not as described”. If there is a piece of lint on the bottom of a stomp box, it’s “not as described”.

    Basically any description, account, or subjective opinion on playability, condition, et al., can and will be debated.

    Usually a thread will be stated about it saying “this tuning machine screw appears to be installed 0.01mm out of alignment, do you think I should ask for a refund”? Or how about “The seller said the guitar weighted 7.956 lbs but on my scale it’s 7.97lbs, seller totally lied about the weight, I want my money back”

    Lots of great folks on TGP but sell to the wrong guy and you’ll wish you never posted it for sale.

    I only do guitars in person these days, get less for them, but I sell to someone who can play it first, hands me cash, and it’s a done deal where I never have to se then again. Far better than selling something and getting the out of the blue “my luthier says the guitar has a problem” email 6 weeks after you sold it.

    Buyer beware always holds true, but these days it’s more like “seller beware”
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    near Arnold's
    By your account he was gracious.

    There are lots of guitar stores.

    Go to your locals. Tell them what you want and to call when they get one.

    Sit down with them. If there’s a “dead spot” as you define it in person, they can tell you if they can fix it as part of the purchase.

    Not saying this to be a jerk but I think it’s a technique issue in your case. The good news is, that’s easily fixable.
  19. Tone Meister

    Tone Meister Supporting Member

    May 1, 2010
    +1 He told you twice, clearly. Nothing evasive about what he said here.

    Seller: Not trying to be a jerk but every guitar has some dead spot.

    Me: I agree but some are better and some are worse. I played a guitar of the same model at local store that had a dead note on G. I loved that specifc model but cannot tolerate dead note, so I'm shopping for another one.

    Seller: Honestly if I were you I will keep shopping locally and try guitars before you buy.

    Not sure how.much clearer the seller needs to be. Move on from that one and wait for one you can put your hands on.
    Jabberwocky and MilwMark like this.
  20. marshall2553

    marshall2553 Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    I don't ask sellers about them when I'm shopping around, but dead spots are real and are super annoying. I bought a new SG Classic online a while back with this exact problem. If you fretted the G string at the 12th fret the note had zero sustain. It was not a fretwork or saddle issue or a case of the pickups being too close. It was bad enough that I had to sell the guitar even though I liked it otherwise. I've never ran into a dead spot as bad on any other double cuts but I could see them being a dealbreaker if they're as severe as the one on that SG.

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