R8 With Over-Sanded Top

spartacus slim

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I’d really welcome any thoughts and advice on a 2011 R8 I just bought that has had its sunburst top stripped back to raw maple. The eBay seller assured me that the top carve was unaffected by the stripping process and was identical in shape to how it was before the work was done. But after receiving the guitar I can see that it has been over-sanded in places, particularly around the upper-left bout and waist where the maple top no longer retains its full dish carve and is instead rounded off around the edge.

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In this same area of the upper left bout and waist, the body binding has been sanded down to around 5mm in hight at some spots - it’s particularly low leading into the waist. The binding edge now appears bevelled away from the top.

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There is also a wide dip of around a half millimetre deep or so sanded into the maple top in an area near the poker chip. This can be seen when contrasted by shade or next to a straight edge, but it’s hard to capture with my camera due to the unreflective raw maple. I suspect this depression would really stand out if the top was refinished and glossy, though.

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There are also 4 strange dips sanded into the top that slope down into the narrow ends of the humbucker routs. These cause curved gaps to be visible under the straight base of the pickup rings which no longer sit flush with the top. I’ve taken some pics of how this looks with the rings on, and how these dips look relative to a straight edge. With the rings off, I can see that the sharp corners of the rout where the mounting screws attach have been sanded to curve downward instead of following the profile of the rest of the top.

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I paid around £1700 GBP shipped for the guitar, which I thought seemed okay for an R8 with a stripped but not over-sanded top. The headstock, back and sides have a bunch of dings that weren’t disclosed - the seller stated that the guitar had no scratches or dings, just signs of light use in the areas that still retain original finish.

My initial idea was to play it as is for a while, with a view to maybe respraying the top at some point in the future. After seeing that the original top carve has been altered I’m not sure this is still an option, even for a solid colour.

Now I’m trying to decide whether or not to send the guitar back to the seller in light of the undisclosed issues as there’s a 30 day return window, though I’d have to pay the return courier cost.

I’d love to know what other forum members think of how the top carve looks now. Is this guitar still a viable project for restoration? What might be a realistic value for a 2011 R8 with these issues?

Any advice given would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Paul46

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Is that from the same guy who made a Youtube video saying it was the bestest sounding Les Paul ever?

Found it.....this one?


Yeah, he f*cked that one up well and good. I'd be returning it.
 

PierM

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Is that from the same guy who made a Youtube video saying it was the bestest sounding Les Paul ever?

Found it.....this one?


Yeah, he f*cked that one up well and good. I'd be returning it.
Yes, it’s the same guitar.
 

mudface

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The finish can be easily removed without sand paper. Then just a light sanding to clean it up.

A DeWalt 200 horsepower belt sander is not required.

Yup.... Jackassed up... amigo......... send it back.
 

kakerlak

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I'd fight for return + reimbursement, as the guitar was materially misrepresented. I think the 30 day return-on-you-dime policy sounds more like an "I decided I didn't like it" courtesy, but this is fundamentally misleading advertisement.

IF you kept it, I think the only realistic thing that could be done would be to sand it down further at the rim to get a nice square edge back, try to feather out some of the lumps/valleys throughout the rest and know that you'd still have that rising edge of binding towards the neck and generally narrower binding everywhere else. You ccould re-bind first to get a square edge and reduce the amount of additional sanding needed to square it out, but it'll still be thin/irregular.

Or you could rebind with full height biding and use it as a perimeter form to work in wood filler pitty and restore the correct top profile, but that'd mean an opaque finish and you might get some odd checking and/or ghosting at the perimeter of the filled areas as the wood and filler shrink, settle and swell over the years.
 

mudface

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You could paint some Van Halen Frankenstein Stripes on it or some other art to hide the carve. Still want some dough back because the rebinding and filler work would be a lot of effort with a slim chance of it ever looking "right".

It would have to be an exceptional player and tone monster for me to even consider keeping it. $1200 usd maybe. $2k no freaking way.
 

VictorB

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It’s FUBAR. Unless you send it somewhere like HM.

These guys with their YouTube channels... it’s a pump and dump.

“I cut the headstock off and put tuners at the tailpiece, this has got to be the greatest sounding LP ever! I took the pickups out and jammed dildos in there, the tone is unbelievable!!1”

After 1,000 views.... “one headless LP for sale, free dildos with your purchase.”

And then the guy moves on to the next guitar.
 

Sct13

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I agree,

however...you do have a clean slate, some adjustments here and there, squirt a bit of Stew Mac (whatever color you want) Nitro and BAM.....

One of a kind....

HM is a great place for this Cluster fuk....

It would be worth it at $1200 for the guitar....
 

Sct13

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I didnt watch the video....did this guy try to carve the top and voice it like a violin top...?
 

Mstele97

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That thing is in need of a return. I watched the video....all 7 agonizing minutes of it. He says: I love the guitar just hated the color of a cherry sunburst!! HUH?! I think I'll pay someone to sand it down! The guilty party, Jonathan McDonald, is a self proclaimed Author, Speaker, Business Strategist and MINDSET MASTER! Wow...love to know the mindset when he had that done.
 
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RAG7890

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It’s FUBAR. Unless you send it somewhere like HM.

These guys with their YouTube channels... it’s a pump and dump.

“I cut the headstock off and put tuners at the tailpiece, this has got to be the greatest sounding LP ever! I took the pickups out and jammed dildos in there, the tone is unbelievable!!1”

After 1,000 views.... “one headless LP for sale, free dildos with your purchase.”

And then the guy moves on to the next guitar.
.......................that was very abrasive Victor. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Cheers, Rudi
 

Tim Plains

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The eBay seller assured me that the top carve was unaffected by the stripping process and was identical in shape to how it was before the work was done.
I think it would be very difficult to prove otherwise as it's your word against his. Can you prove 100% the carve was different before he sanded it? Buying stuff like this is always a gamble.
 

spartacus slim

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Sincere thanks to all who’ve taken time to offer their perspectives so far.

In terms of the options for restoring the binding and carve, I’m afraid it all sounds like an awful lot of work to put in just to end up with a guitar that still isn’t 100%.

I should be able to return the guitar and be covered by eBays buyer protection policy in light of the condition being not as described in the seller’s listing and communications.

I actually feel bad for the seller, as I understand he paid someone to undertake the job of stripping it and seems to have been genuinely happy with the results.

Up close though, it makes me think of the sort of heavy-handed sanding jobs applied to many guitars in the 70s during old refinishes or in pursuit of the then fashionable natural look. It’s a shame to see an instrument suffer the same fate in the modern era.
 

spartacus slim

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A couple of posters have suggested the guitar might be worth $1200 USD in this condition, which is around £930 GBP. Is this genuinely the top value of an R8 with issues like this?
 
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