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Old 04-23-2015, 02:40 AM   #1
Alex
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Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

“Every time you break the headstock of the Les Paul, once it’s put back together, the guitar sounds better.” -Kirk Hammett


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Old 04-23-2015, 03:20 AM   #2
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

I was electrocuted while playing my 57 special back in 94; I didn't trim the loose string ends and one of them somehow caught the charge of an extension cord hanging from the ceiling as I walked under it and the string brushed into it. Time froze, I saw a spiral of sparks towards the headstock, & suddenly POP I wake up on the floor and the loose part of the string had melted away, the tip of my chicken pickin finger was burned black and the headstock had split diagonally.
I got it repaired after weeks of mourning, and had them leave the scar visible, which I love now; and the repair has been totally stable ever since. The scar is beautiful.

Anyway, point is : I didn't think it sounded better when I got it back. I worried at the time that something might be different or even subtly lost, but I think it was more part of the distress I had at having blown up my girl than any actual aural perception. Decades later she's still my #1
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:07 AM   #3
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Funny and interesting interview - thanks for posting
I think it will be hard to prove the broken headstock theory in a blind test,
but if you believe it it becomes the truth
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:10 AM   #4
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Absolute rubbish - every time a broken headstock is WELL REPAIRED the guitar should be as good as it was, in some very freakish instances maybe the glue / join position / realignment of the stars might make it sound better, but I suspect it is in the ears of the beholder.

Passed up a 56 Les Paul with a repaired Headstock for $4500 here in Australia (admittedly a long time ago) - I don't know if it sounded better than before, but it sure sounded awesome; why, oh why, did I pass it up?

Doofus.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:25 AM   #5
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Interesting Video Alex, thanks for posting.

Certainly more than a few repaired Guitars have come back to life in their time.

Cheers, Rudi
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:57 AM   #6
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

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Originally Posted by David Mccarroll View Post
Absolute rubbish - every time a broken headstock is WELL REPAIRED the guitar should be as good as it was, in some very freakish instances maybe the glue / join position / realignment of the stars might make it sound better, but I suspect it is in the ears of the beholder.

Passed up a 56 Les Paul with a repaired Headstock for $4500 here in Australia (admittedly a long time ago) - I don't know if it sounded better than before, but it sure sounded awesome; why, oh why, did I pass it up?

Doofus.
Not the only tme I have heard this....in fact I posted a thread about it.

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/vint...ck-repair.html
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:45 AM   #7
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

I absolutely believe these guitars would sound better. I equate it to the extra sustain and beef you get from putting Grovers on. Some extra dowels, or some blue, etc, make that part probably stiffer than the original.

Having said that, if I'm paying 5 or 6 figures for a guitar, I still prefer it the way it came from the factory.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

I've been hearing the 'Improved after headstock break' story since Gibson went back to Mah. necks (just try breaking a Norlin!)
I can't imagine there's much of a difference.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:50 AM   #9
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

BCRGreg has been preaching for years "they sound better after there broken and repaired"
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:57 AM   #10
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaik View Post
I was electrocuted while playing my 57 special back in 94;
If you had been electrocuted, we would have never gotten to hear the cool end of the story ...
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #11
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Shhhhhhhhhh. Now you've done it. Secret's out
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

How can you own the Green/Moore LP and not know the fact that the magnet polarity is switched, not just the position of the pickup screws????
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:35 AM   #13
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

This vid makes me want to start shopping guitars again.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:35 AM   #14
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better


Kirk seamed to be desperately trying to convince us that he was justified
in paying twice what Greenie was worth because of the aura that surrounds
the guitar. I guess after being offered the guitar for four times the value,
getting the chance to buy it at half price felt like a bargain.
The headstock repair...sounding better after the repair is small compensation
after loosing half the value of your guitar to a broken headstock. I certainly
wouldn't snap off my headstock to improve the tone.
Interesting to hear about the movie posters! At the end of the day, it's all
about portfolio diversification.

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Old 04-23-2015, 10:01 AM   #15
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by sws1 View Post
I absolutely believe these guitars would sound better. I equate it to the extra sustain and beef you get from putting Grovers on. Some extra dowels, or some blue, etc, make that part probably stiffer than the original.

Having said that, if I'm paying 5 or 6 figures for a guitar, I still prefer it the way it came from the factory.
That's kinda contradictory isn't it? Wouldn't you rather have the better sounding one?

If they honestly sound better with a repaired headstock break why don't repaired guitars fetch more, after all, it'a all about tone, no?

Are you sure you get more tone/beef from sticking heavy diecast tuners on the headstock of a guitar? Fender don't believe that - that's in part why they reverted to/stuck with Klusons (or cheapass copies of same) - perhaps more importantly David Grissom believes that the low mass tuners on his DGT PRS sound noticeably better than Paul's favoured tuners..... if that view is good enough for a player of his standard, well, y'know, I kinda know who's view I'd follow. ....
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:05 AM   #16
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by delawaregold View Post

Kirk seamed to be desperately trying to convince us that he was justified
in paying twice what Greenie was worth because of the aura that surrounds
the guitar. I guess after being offered the guitar for four times the value,
getting the chance to buy it at half price felt like a bargain.
The headstock repair...sounding better after the repair is small compensation
after loosing half the value of your guitar to a broken headstock. I certainly
wouldn't snap off my headstock to improve the tone.
Interesting to hear about the movie posters! At the end of the day, it's all
about portfolio diversification.

He'd probably apply the same logic to the original Seafoam Green Pre CBS Strat he bought no doubtedly for ten times the cost of a run of the mill sunburst Strat too. Guitars are guitars - if they get played they get battered - you have to remember that Peter Green viewed this guitar as not much more than a great tool to make the music he wanted to make - the mystique that surrounds the guitar has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with those who spruik the awesome incredibleness of the 59Burst they want to sell to you for $500K......
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:49 AM   #17
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

If guitars sound better with broken headstock,
why doesn´t Gibson break the headstock on all their guitars before sending them to the Stores ??!!!
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:18 AM   #18
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mccarroll View Post
That's kinda contradictory isn't it? Wouldn't you rather have the better sounding one?

If they honestly sound better with a repaired headstock break why don't repaired guitars fetch more, after all, it'a all about tone, no?

Are you sure you get more tone/beef from sticking heavy diecast tuners on the headstock of a guitar? Fender don't believe that - that's in part why they reverted to/stuck with Klusons (or cheapass copies of same) - perhaps more importantly David Grissom believes that the low mass tuners on his DGT PRS sound noticeably better than Paul's favoured tuners..... if that view is good enough for a player of his standard, well, y'know, I kinda know who's view I'd follow. ....
Not contradicting myself. Pointing out that when you get into the 5 and 6 figure category, you are not buying tone. You are buying history, legend, investment, rarity, etc etc. And once you start talking those things, originality matters a lot.

If it truly was all about tone, I'd buy a used plaintop. Clearly, many on this board are willing to pay more for flames, so it's not just about tone for them either.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:21 AM   #19
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by delawaregold View Post

Kirk seamed to be desperately trying to convince us that he was justified
in paying twice what Greenie was worth because of the aura that surrounds
the guitar. I guess after being offered the guitar for four times the value,
getting the chance to buy it at half price felt like a bargain.
The headstock repair...sounding better after the repair is small compensation
after loosing half the value of your guitar to a broken headstock. I certainly
wouldn't snap off my headstock to improve the tone.
Interesting to hear about the movie posters! At the end of the day, it's all
about portfolio diversification.


He paid what it was worth.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:57 AM   #20
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mccarroll View Post
If they honestly sound better with a repaired headstock break why don't repaired guitars fetch more, after all, it'a all about tone, no?.
It should be, but it isn´t - A fiesta red vintage Strat always fetch more than a sunburst. And tone is such a subjective thing anyway.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:59 AM   #21
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

At least Hammett is playing Greenie and making music with it vs sticking it in a vault.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:00 PM   #22
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mccarroll View Post
He'd probably apply the same logic to the original Seafoam Green Pre CBS Strat he bought no doubtedly for ten times the cost of a run of the mill sunburst Strat too. Guitars are guitars - if they get played they get battered - you have to remember that Peter Green viewed this guitar as not much more than a great tool to make the music he wanted to make - the mystique that surrounds the guitar has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with those who spruik the awesome incredibleness of the 59Burst they want to sell to you for $500K......
Anyone have a pic of a pre cbs seafoam green strat? If so I'd like to see it. Didn't think it existed, I've seen an old jazzmaster in sf, but never a pre cbs strat. If he has one it may be the only one.. and worth every penny.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:46 PM   #23
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Now a bunch of idiots are going to go break their headstocks and repair them in search of tonez
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:10 PM   #24
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by delawaregold View Post
I guess after being offered the guitar for four times the value,
getting the chance to buy it at half price felt like a bargain.
The headstock repair...sounding better after the repair is small compensation
after loosing half the value of your guitar to a broken headstock.
I know that you know this but... The neck has been broken a couple of times and places. The whole value of that guitar is the history and the celebrity ownership IMO.

That is the major reason that I don't get involved with celebrity guitars: celebrity is popular and the value holds or goes up, celebrity does something horrible and the value plummets. A bit too capricious for me tastes, I think.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:15 PM   #25
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Progear View Post
BCRGreg has been preaching for years "they sound better after there broken and repaired"
Actually, I have several stage guitars that I have repaired that DO sound a helluva lot better.

Anyone that disputes this is either inexperienced with proper repair or stupid.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:17 PM   #26
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

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Actually, I have several stage guitars that I have repaired that DO sound a helluva lot better.

Anyone that disputes this is either inexperienced with proper repair or stupid.
When you get a new guitar and you want it to sound better, do you go and break the neck? And if not, why not?
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:21 PM   #27
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

That is an idiotic thing to say.

The idea is that once it's repaired PROPERLY, the guitar is marginally but perceptively better....not "ruined" as many people think.

If the improvement was worth the labor and resultant loss of value, I would gladly do it.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:21 PM   #28
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Every guitar I've ever had always sounded better fresh out of the repair shop. For a while anyhows.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:22 PM   #29
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Remember, ladies......guitars are wood GLUED together.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:26 PM   #30
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Re: Repaired broken headstock Les Paul sounds better

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCRGreg View Post
That is an idiotic thing to say.

The idea is that once it's repaired PROPERLY, the guitar is marginally but perceptively better....not "ruined" as many people think.

If the improvement was worth the labor and resultant loss of value, I would gladly do it.
Idiotic? No need for Mr Grumpy. You said "helluva", I was just trying to get an understanding if that was hyperbole, if it applied to all breaks, or how strongly you REALLY felt about it.

If it makes guitars sound a hell of a lot better I'm not sure why you wouldn't do it? How long does it take to break and repair a neck? The breaking part, in my experience, is only a matter of seconds. The repair part I guess anywhere from a 1/2 hour to 5 hours depending on the break? I really have no idea.

Apologies for the stupid and inexperienced questions, I was just looking for clarity on your comments. Nothing worth getting upset about.
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