are goldtops more susceptible to finish crack or checking?

Rumy

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I have a 2018 LP Classic goldtop and 2011 LP Deluxe goldtop.
I bought the 2018 new and keep it in its case when not being played.
to my surprise earlier this year after a long time of not playing it I took it out of it's case and found some finish cracks running in the area of the knobs. they look like 2 lines running horizontal to each other. not what I would usually think of for normal finish checking.
the 2011 I bought used and the finish cracks came on it when I bought it.
however I could swear there are a few more in the finish than when I bought it. they are more scattered on different areas of the top.
I know ya'll would probably like photos but they don't photograph well. even with the naked eye you have to move the guitar around to see them.
a bit of background on the 2011 deluxe, it is a chambered guitar.
I am wondering if areas of the maple top that are not supported by the mahogany slab might expand and contract more due to temperature and humidity changes causing the finish cracks.
I have other chambered les pauls with sunburst finishes and they don't have these finish cracks.

so I am wondering if goldtops are more prone to this.

any thoughts or ideas?

thanks,
dj
Hi DJU,

I had a Les Paul Gold Top and it developed two lines in the finish as you described. It never bothered me much but to each his own. And I can understand why someone might not like it. As you know, Gibsons are finished with Nitrocellulose to protect the guitar. That clear coat is not always stable, but I make no claims to understand the chemistry. My info is only anecdotal. A tech said metallic colors are less stable, which account for the lines developing in my guitar. However, another tech said that if the knobs are too tight it could happen? Who knows? Again sorry to hear about the imperfection, but I hope it does not come between you and the joyful noise you make on those guitars.

Rumy
 

Alpha-axeman

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I had a 2018 Classic in Pelham Blue which I don’t believe was chambered. That did the exact same thing in the same location as the OP. I thought the nuts were possibly torqued too tight at the factory. Sent in to Gibson, they apparently thought so also as they send me a new Goldtop Standard (the only model with P90’s)as an exchange. 1F9690AC-33E1-4AB4-8184-348AEA0E5C6C.jpeg 3FF40CB0-CD81-494C-A433-F19CE458A4B5.jpeg
 

tache3

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Yup. Same here. 2003 Goldtop Classic developed checking lines on the top after 2/3 years. Similar to the OP, they first appeared in the control area, are horizontal and parallel to each other. Guitar kept in the case when not in use and never subject to dramatic temperature or humidity changes.
Apologies for the delay in obtaining pics, this one has been in storage for a while and was awkward to get to. I removed the thumb bleeders (and changed to speed knobs at the same time) but certainly didn't over tighten the nuts. I've changed pots on dozens of guitars and never had this issue before. Besides, it wouldn't explain why the same cracking is occurring elsewhere on the top.
 

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hertzcontrol

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Hello there, 2 months ago bought a used '18 classic goldtop, it was pristine...about a month ago it started checking like crazy...all of my guitars are kept in the same place and inside their cases....y 2010 Lp has no cheching my 2018 V has no cheking nor my other guitars from the F brand.... so yes, I believe they do...wouldnt mind checking over the years, but not so soon haha
 

CB91710

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Hello there, 2 months ago bought a used '18 classic goldtop, it was pristine...about a month ago it started checking like crazy...all of my guitars are kept in the same place and inside their cases....y 2010 Lp has no cheching my 2018 V has no cheking nor my other guitars from the F brand.... so yes, I believe they do...wouldnt mind checking over the years, but not so soon haha
Most current Brand-F are poly... they don't check, they just peel off :D
 

efstop

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I have a 2013 '50s Tribute with a satin gold finish. No checking so far, but it's not a lacquer & bronze powder finish as far as I can tell.
 

CB91710

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Haha, my 72 deluxe MIM has the same issue!
That was not an uncomon problem on the MiM models. The Teles with transparent finishes were particularly bad about that happening.
 

mgenet

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For what it is worth I have 8 Gibsons. The only GT I have is a
2014 Memphis ES Semi-hollow, bought new (floor model),
and it is checking. Started like yours; around the knobs.
It is nitro lacquered. The 3 Fenders I have show no problems
with their finishes; except for the usual dings and dents.

Some of the guitars are older than the GT and some newer.

I would think a Pro guitar finisher would know something about
this. Do GT check faster and inappropriately than other colors
or finishes?
 

Renegade

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My 2007 Antique Deluxe Goldtop (GOW series) has small finish cracks around a couple of the knob...really hard to see but they are there.
 

fretout

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I don’t have any first hand experience with a goldtop yet (I’ve been on the hunt for an “all gold”), but I’m hoping to fix that soon!

I’ve been researching goldtops exclusively for the past few years, and based on what I’ve read, there seems to be some validity to metallic finishes checking more often.

This is said to be caused due to the metal flakes used in the lacquer. Since Checking is caused by the finish expanding/contracting at a different rate than the wood underneath the lacquer, it stands to reason that metal bits would be even more extreme than lacquer alone.

That’s assuming the paint is mixed with metal flake like it’s supposed to be!
 

moreles

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Solid colors, gold included, and tints and clear would all seem to have the same degree of susceptibility to cracking. My guess is that the nitro vehicle is the controlling factor and that the much smaller volume of suspended pigments are essentially irrelevant when it comes to response to weather (checking).
 

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