Finish or wood crack?

Taytayw11

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Hey Gents!

This is my first real Les Paul so I really don’t know what’s the norm, figured I’d ask all the real enthusiasts.

So anyways I bought a 2022 Les Paul classic, I bought it minor blem so I didn’t expect it to be perfect but at the same time I just want to be rest assured it’s okay while I’m still within the exchange period! And this one plays really nice so if I was to exchange it for another minor blem, no telling what I’d get.

There’s a couple little lines that run perpendicular to the binding the one that scares me the most is the one coming down by the nut cause it looks deeper-ish? I just want to assure does this look more like a an actual hairline crack in the wood? Or is it just the clear finish ? I also included a pic of one in the bindings there like 3 of those all located by the dot markers

Thanks I’m advance for your help :)
 

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LesPaul60sTribute

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I had those same odd markings on a brand new Les Paul I purchased approx 6 or 7 weeks ago. I ended up returning the guitar. The sharp marks that penetrated only the binding at 90 deg were quite perplexing to me - so was the fact that no one saw the markings before I received the guitar new.

9BD49D10-66C7-4E4E-864E-11B37DBEFF7C.jpeg 6EEF6C48-3A81-4398-9277-5CDAD6854A63.jpeg
 

yamariv

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We're going to have to see some high resolution much larger pics to give an opinion. Right now the pics are tiny, can't see much

Edit, I gues I can click to zoom!.. That's an odd little crack running down away from the nut. Can you post several more pictures at different angles of that area and other cracks? Does the other side of the neck have any cracks like these ones?

Personally, even if it's just a small crack in the finish, I'm betting by the angle that the crack is leaving the nut area, it's a result of a small shipping trauma. Personally I'd send it back..you're always going to have resale issues and doubts if you keep it. The next Les Paul will play just as nice, if not, return that one too!
 
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Taytayw11

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I had those same odd markings on a brand new Les Paul I purchased approx 6 or 7 weeks ago. I ended up returning the guitar. The sharp marks that penetrated only the binding at 90 deg were quite perplexing to me - so was the fact that no one saw the markings before I received the guitar new.

View attachment 617264 View attachment 617265
We're going to have to see some high resolution much larger pics to give an opinion. Right now the pics are tiny, can't
We're going to have to see some high resolution much larger pics to give an opinion. Right now the pics are tiny, can't see much
You can click the photos for higher res. However I can’t get much closer without my camera not being able to focus :/
 

Taytayw11

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We're going to have to see some high resolution much larger pics to give an opinion. Right now the pics are tiny, can't see much

Edit, I gues I can click to zoom!.. That's an odd little crack running down away from the nut. Can you post several more pictures at different angles of that area and other cracks? Does the other side of the neck have any cracks like these ones?

Personally, even if it's just a small crack in the finish, I'm betting by the angle that the crack is leaving the nut area, it's a result of a small shipping trauma. Personally I'd send it back..you're always going to have resale issues and doubts if you keep it. The next Les Paul will play just as nice, if not, return that one too!
So it seems as if it may be a more normal thing? But I’m more so worried about the one that penetrated below the binding into the neck.
 

yamariv

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So it seems as if it may be a more normal thing? But I’m more so worried about the one that penetrated below the binding into the neck.
No that's not a normal thing at all.. I was hoping for more pics and angles so I we can see the other cracks around the nut. I'm betting it took a minor hit during shipping. Not enough to crack the wood but still enough to leave some odd looking finish cracks from the fall or bump. More pics please!!

The crack on the binding down further on the neck looks to be normal finish checking to me. Odd place for it but that stuff happens. Any weird cracks like the one you have near the nut and headstock is not good
 

Taytayw11

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Those wouln't bother me at all if I liked the way it plays and sounds (and got a good deal). Just a little finish cracking, which you're going to get over the years anyway.
Thanks gball :). The physical appearance doesn’t both me I just wanted to rest assure the small one in the neck IS indeed just the finish as I know Les Paul’s already have weaker neck joints as is.
It’s hardly noticeable unless you’re looking for it.
 

Cjsinla

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The third pic seems to show the bigger problem. It looks like the fretboard is higher than the binding. If so, it wasn’t made that way and would suggest something has shifted and is damaged.
 

Taytayw11

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The third pic seems to show the bigger problem. It looks like the fretboard is higher than the binding. If so, it wasn’t made that way and would suggest something has shifted and is damaged.
Some weird camera magic or lighting/angle there , in person there is no raised fretboard it’s flush with the binding
 

Taytayw11

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Thank you everyone for your comments. Just a quick update for y’all. Again this guitar was purchased as a “minor blemish” so I expected there to be issues but was hoping they were only superficial and not structural. For a $2500 at the price of $1850 not too shabby?

I figured I’m well within the return time frame so zero loss to experiment further and if things go awry I can still return the guitar

First things first another member on the Gibson forum recommended a string change to see if the stress/tension of new strings furthers the issue - it did not.

In turn I decided let’s find out once and for all, I grabbed some fine grit sand paper and was able to fully remove the blemish, no structural damage whatsoever so it did turn out to be the laquer.

A couple people stated on another forum that it can actually be a very common occurrence as the wood and nitro expand and contract at different rates. Mind you this guitar spent most of its life in New Jersey and just made the trip to California where we are having a pretty bad heat wave.
 

mudface

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The third pic seems to show the bigger problem. It looks like the fretboard is higher than the binding. If so, it wasn’t made that way and would suggest something has shifted and is damaged.
I believe that is the shadow of the E string giving it that illusion.
 

Dolebludger

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This is a lacquer finished guitar, right? This opens up the strong possibility that the crack downward from the nut is only a finish crack, or maybe just a scratch. In general lacquer will crack from some trauma and the wood will be undamaged. Lacquer has little flex and will crack before the wood will. And since it buffed out, it was probably just a scratch.

But a crack like that on a poly finished guitar is an indication that the wood has been compromised. Poly has greater flex than the wood.
 

moreles

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For the pics on the OP, I think those are finish cracks caused by impact, like a bump to the headstock making the neck flex, or a whack to the case or something of a real but minor nature. The wood flexes; the nitro cracks. It's always worth making sure there's no other weirdness, but if what's pictured is all there is, I would put it out of mind.
 

Azmedian

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I would say that is a finish crack

I would also note that finish crack was caused by severe headstock flex

It could be you were a "finish crack" away from a headstock/neck break

Its a survivor for sure
 
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ArchEtech

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I personally wouldn’t be bothered by those things, because they are bound to appear after a couple years of ownership anyway.

They look cosmetic to me. As long as the rest of the guitar is good to go…
 

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