Uneven binding question

oldluapsel

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Hey everyone, I have been lurking around this forum for some time and finally decided to join the party!

I'm a new proud owner of a beautiful Les Paul Standard 60s in the Bourbon Burst color and I have to say that the guitar is simply amazing, it plays well the weight is perfect for me (9 pounds) and it looks simply stunning in my opinion.

With all of that being said some of the cosmetic issues on the guitar just won't let me enjoy it to the fullest, and I have been obsessed about finding out wether it's acceptable or not.

The issue is that the binding on the neck seems to be slightly uneven as it goes from the neck to the body, I have attached a picture that shows a spot where it becomes wider towards the body and then just goes back to normal.

Now I have been checking the forums and found out that this kind of thing might happen since it's a hand made guitar after all and that it will never be perfect, so I'm just curious what do you guys think about this? anyone else has this kind of thing on theirs?

There is also a small gap in the binding right before the fret, and was also wondering how bad this cosmetic defect is in your opinion?

I'm a bit afraid that if I will return the guitar I will get another one with more problems and will be endlessly chasing the "perfect" guitar instead of just enjoying it.

On the other hand maybe these things are unacceptable and the next one will not have these issues? what do you think?

Would love to hear your opinion :)
 

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MusiKfir

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I've had an issue too with my Gibson Les Paul Standard 60s. The binding is scraped too much on part of the neck, and was with a bit of stain and was lack of lacquer so it felt a bit dry while playing sometimes. So I considered to replace it but was scared like you that the next one will have different issues or will look too different (the flames vary in AA maple tops a lot). So I went to my dealer's luthier to ask him if it is fixable at least in a way I wouldn't notice it as much and he said yes and explained to me how, I trusted him and the results were pretty good. So for your situation I'm not sure how much it is noticeable, cause in the pics it doesn't look too much bothering and I'm not sure if there is a way to fix it without replacing the binding or sanding the place and paint the area of the binding so it will look more straight. About the fret, maybe wood filling will work? I think you better consult with your luthier or with your dealer, and maybe the dealer will let you see a new one and choose if to replace or not, try to ask him. Also you have a warranty so you can get a confirmation from Gibson to replace. In addition, if the luthier says that he can fix it, then it will be for free because of the warranty(for 1 year). Here are the pictures of my situation, before and after:

BEFORE:
Neck binding1.jpeg


AFTER:

WhatsApp Image 2020-05-28 at 14.07.10.jpeg
 

ARandall

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One of the problems of the hand scraping process is inconsistencies. Look close enough and they'll be everywhere. Vintage guitars were 10 times more inconsistent. A machine might make for a better way to do it, but that's one of the ways Gibson keeps the heritage alive.
By all means return, just don't expect obsessive OCD and Gibson to be compatible.
 

mudface

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The same with file marks around the fret ends and nibs..... some gibson employees are better at it than others... but once you file too much off you can't put it back.

What should Gibson do?......... band saw the guitar and throw it in the dumpster? .... sell it for half price?

You can always refuse to accept any flaws and demand perfection or your money back.

Like it has always been.
 

oldluapsel

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One of the problems of the hand scraping process is inconsistencies. Look close enough and they'll be everywhere. Vintage guitars were 10 times more inconsistent. A machine might make for a better way to do it, but that's one of the ways Gibson keeps the heritage alive.
By all means return, just don't expect obsessive OCD and Gibson to be compatible.
That's a super valid point, I completely understand that hand made items usually have imperfections and this is part of their charm, and I can imagine in any craft besides guitar making this sort of thing can happen.

I just want to distinguish the "Hand crafted" type of imperfections from "Manufacturing defects" imperfection, and since people around here have a lot more experience and knowledge than me about Les Pauls and the way they are I wanted to just to get some opinions where to draw this line.
 

LCPG282

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A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!
All my Gibsons have small flaws & inconsistencies if I scrutinize them closely, but as long as they sound and play great I don't care. If I had a guitar like yours and was 100% satisfied with it soundwise, I'd keep it.
Yet YMMV...
 

danzego

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I'm pretty picky and what I'm seeing there, I wouldn't be concerned about it. You're not going to feel that at all while playing and it's not a horrific visual flaw. It's not perfect, but it certainly isn't something that's making the difference between the guitar being a killer one or not.
 

gball

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I don't see anything there that I would consider a defect. Totally normal stuff there, and all part of the charm.
No Gibson I have ever owned was "perfect" cosmetically, whatever that means, and I wouldn't want it any other way. As stated above, they are a lot more consistent now than they used to be - vintage ones are really variable.
 

LesPaul60sTribute

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I had a similar issue with my Standard 50s - I had wavy binding and file marks on the upper frets.
I ended up touching up the guitar myself and receiving a $240 discount. I was surprised to see the workmanship was at that level but learned to live with it.

Part of whats happening also is that the workers are scraping the binding thinner while the necks are installed on the bodies. This is leading to thicker binding after the neck meets the body. I have seen this in 98% of every 50s & 60s Les Paul on line.

Here are my pics as I received the guitar. I also had a divot in one of the upper frets. I have never seen that on any guitar I have purchased in over 30 years.

Flaw2.jpg


Flaw3.jpg


thumbnail_IMG_20200109_024503.jpg
 

ARandall

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That's a super valid point, I completely understand that hand made items usually have imperfections and this is part of their charm, and I can imagine in any craft besides guitar making this sort of thing can happen.

I just want to distinguish the "Hand crafted" type of imperfections from "Manufacturing defects" imperfection, and since people around here have a lot more experience and knowledge than me about Les Pauls and the way they are I wanted to just to get some opinions where to draw this line.
None of the tiny or larger cosmetic issues typical of the QC complaints we hear are in any way things that might impact the ability of the instrument to function in any of its critical functions. It will play notes in tune (in the same sort of inaccurate way any uncompensated straight fret instrument does), it will structurally hold the tension of the strings the same way those pieces of wood are capable of doing.

The issue many have with binding and nibs is that you have to file and scrape to not only create the nibs in the first place, but the painting process requires either masking and/or scraping subsequent to the chassis constructive techniques. So there is additional steps to get the colour line done. If you've ever done masking of edges.....well its hard to get flexible tape not to subtly curve during application. Some people's eyes are very adept at seeing such things.
 


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