Unusual problem with neck breaks.

rogue3

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I don't have the best of the best, as it were, when it comes to my Les Paul Tribute. I've even heard it suggested that it's "not a real Gibson" ... for whatever reason. Still, it was the best I could afford, and it still is. I had to deliberate over every penny I spent, as many of us do. And, to be fair, I really do love this guitar.

I think that has a lot to do with where I find myself now. I have seen so many different sources (not all here to be sure) about Gibson guitars' neck breaks being pretty much a given, I find myself sort of in fear of actually using the guitar. I look at the the thin and fragile spot where the neck meets the headstock and feel overwhelmed by concerns over it snapping at any given moment for any given reason.

It is an admittedly psychological problem. I can't afford to replace my Les Paul, and the concern over losing it paralyzes me.

Has anyone else hit this sort of stalemate? If you have, how did you overcome the irrational part of the concern?
op: OK.I've had a couple drops.You really have to qualify the type of drop,and impact,to have a headstock break.No breaks here.

So what can a Gibby neck survive? True story. I was coming back from my studio space late at night.It was dark.I had my Custom in a softcase strapped to my back,and i was on my mountain bike! I did that alot a few years back,travelling to play at clubs with lester on my back....back to story. I was heading home.it was dark.i had had a couple brews...enough to be affected :oops:. A cabby cut in front of me as i was making a lane change.He hit me.I crashed,and did one roll over on the ground with Custom on my back in the softcase with shoulder straps. Got home and opened her up.not a scratch.it was still in tune.perfect.lesson learned,never trust cabbies to signal properly!...:rofl:...and Gibsons are more robust than you are giving them credit for.

anyhoo,for a video on how hard(or easy) it is to break a guitar,i suggest this instructional video.enjoy!


 
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jvin248

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...I find myself sort of in fear of actually using the guitar. I look at the the thin and fragile spot where the neck meets the headstock and feel overwhelmed by concerns over it snapping ... I can't afford to replace my Les Paul, and the concern over losing it paralyzes me....
Store it in a case and buy another guitar that you don't worry about. That's what I do. The repair bill for a Gibson headstock will buy you a nice Epiphone or PRS SE.

Calling @jvin248 .... here’s a guy who can scare the bejeesus out of you about neck breaks.....he really likes this topic.
Lol. If you remember the Corvair ... "unsafe at any speed" or see any product recall for nearly any other product out there ... it's funny how so many Brand Fans will suggest it's the owner's fault why the brakes failed or that seat belts and air bags are for wimps. You don't know what other people are going to do on the road or at the gig .. or while shipping that guitar to sell it. That's where most of the breaks are happening these days. It used to be on stage or tripping or falling off stands when people traded in guitars at Mom & Pop music stores but now that everything needs to be shipped the shipping companies are the ones destroying the most instruments. Second only by furious ex-girlfriends, probably.

...Even if you break it, it can be fixed, and quite a few will tell you they sound better afterwards, and in my personal experience, if fixed properly, they're stronger than original. ...
Sure, they can be fixed. But you can buy an Epiphone for that repair cost, it's not trivial. And a repaired Gibson is worth on the market half of what an unbroken used Gibson is worth -- that's a big hit. Plus the drama trying to sell the repaired thing. How many are going to recoil from a Craigslist/ebay/Reverb listing that shows 'headstock repair'? How much less are you going to offer the seller, even for a proper 'pro repair'?

Some shop for broken headstock Gibsons because 'they are a better value' ... but they will be inundated with a thousand questions when trying to sell that guitar later. They will get asked "Are you sure it sounds better or is stronger than original?" And that's not counting the dozens who asked no questions at all because they skipped over the listing as soon as they saw 'repaired headstock'.

The 'sound better' and 'stronger than original' are like whistling while walking through a scary forest. It keeps the nerves quieted down.

...I think I'm going to shop around to see what headstock repairs in my area go for. I think knowing the dollar amount will give me peace of mind, especially if it's not a lot, as you mention.
Also factor in the value loss of your repaired guitar after the repair vs before it breaks should you try to sell it later.
And are the local shops 'pros' that buyers would recognize? Or are they 'screw-hacks' as prior posted pictures? You won't know until after the work is complete.


This could be Gibson's design team, if they cared about guitar owners.
Durable products can sell more units, look at how successful Timex was back in the old days pushing durability as a key product attribute.

.
 

efstop

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Store it in a case and buy another guitar that you don't worry about. That's what I do. The repair bill for a Gibson headstock will buy you a nice Epiphone or PRS SE.



Lol. If you remember the Corvair ... "unsafe at any speed" or see any product recall for nearly any other product out there ... it's funny how so many Brand Fans will suggest it's the owner's fault why the brakes failed or that seat belts and air bags are for wimps. You don't know what other people are going to do on the road or at the gig .. or while shipping that guitar to sell it. That's where most of the breaks are happening these days. It used to be on stage or tripping or falling off stands when people traded in guitars at Mom & Pop music stores but now that everything needs to be shipped the shipping companies are the ones destroying the most instruments. Second only by furious ex-girlfriends, probably.



Sure, they can be fixed. But you can buy an Epiphone for that repair cost, it's not trivial. And a repaired Gibson is worth on the market half of what an unbroken used Gibson is worth -- that's a big hit. Plus the drama trying to sell the repaired thing. How many are going to recoil from a Craigslist/ebay/Reverb listing that shows 'headstock repair'? How much less are you going to offer the seller, even for a proper 'pro repair'?

Some shop for broken headstock Gibsons because 'they are a better value' ... but they will be inundated with a thousand questions when trying to sell that guitar later. They will get asked "Are you sure it sounds better or is stronger than original?" And that's not counting the dozens who asked no questions at all because they skipped over the listing as soon as they saw 'repaired headstock'.

The 'sound better' and 'stronger than original' are like whistling while walking through a scary forest. It keeps the nerves quieted down.



Also factor in the value loss of your repaired guitar after the repair vs before it breaks should you try to sell it later.
And are the local shops 'pros' that buyers would recognize? Or are they 'screw-hacks' as prior posted pictures? You won't know until after the work is complete.


This could be Gibson's design team, if they cared about guitar owners.
Durable products can sell more units, look at how successful Timex was back in the old days pushing durability as a key product attribute.

.
The OP isn't shipping his guitar, he just wants to play it. It will be fine.
The Corvair was killed by a lawyer making a name for himself. If the Corvair was that deadly, then all VWs and Porsches of the era (also had swing axles in the rear) should have been killed off, too. Just parallel parking a 356 made it want to swap ends :eek:
 

PauloQS

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The repair bill for a Gibson headstock will buy you a nice Epiphone or PRS SE.
What quote did you get on a headstock repair? I’m curious, because you either got an absurdly high quote for that repair or you’re finding some amazing guitar deals. For a repair it varies depending on location, but most places should be able to get the job done for around $350 or $400. If you’re seeing the higher end Epiphones and SEs at that price, you’d be making a lot of money flipping guitars.
 

dspelman

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I can accept your opinion is that its an awful design. Thats fine.....you are quite entitled to anything you want to think.
It's an opinion shared by almost every tech I've ever talked to and a whole lot of guitar players over the last 60 years.
It is, after all, the most-broken guitar headstock, period, followed by the Jackson-esque "tilted pointy" headstock.

It's worth noting that other manufacturers have cleaned up the issues with simple design changes that don't affect the performance of the guitar, but Gibson is hoist on its own petard of traditionalism.
 
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PauloQS

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I’m sorry but how are techs able to extrapolate their own experience? There are a few things that prevent them from getting a full picture.
  1. They don’t have a figure of how many guitars are out there. They have no clue what’s the percentage across Gibson and Epiphone that break. They only have the absolute number of Gibson and Epiphone that goes through their shops.
  2. Why is item 1. important? Because the sample they have is by construction not representative. Take the other manufacturer that have a huge percentage of the market share, Fender. They have bolt on necks. You break the neck, you just buy another neck. Neck breakage among Fender guitars seldom would get recorded in any sort of data collection.
  3. A person buys his or her first guitar and know absolutely nothing of how to take care of a guitar. That person is more likely to drop the guitar and break the headstock. The likelihood that person got a Squire or entry level Fender or an Epiphone or entry level Gibson is fairly high relative to other makers. This would make any data collection prone to selection bias.
  4. Probably the third biggest market share goes to PRS. Most people who own PRS would send them to PTC (PRS tech center). Thus PRS wouldn’t show up as much your local tech’s shop. However, I did see an interview with Paul Smith, where he said that broken headstocks were the number 1 repair work they did at PTC outside of mods, like changing the finish on guitars or bringing the spec of old guitars to newer specs.
I haven’t been playing guitar for 60 years, but I have played long enough to hear year after year hear techs and random people bash anything Gibson tries to do. They try something new, people lose their minds because of nostalgia. Gibson reverts back to the the old ways, they are called dated and their designs are questioned. I saw this same pattern back in the ‘90s, which now are considered the best years after the late ‘50s and ‘60s. Just play the guitar. If you like it great, if not move on. This echo chamber thing is getting absolutely exhausting.
 

rockstar232007

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I've been playing Les Pauls since I was 5 years old. Have owned 2 for going on 20 years, and have never worried about neck-breaks.

I am extremely carefull with them (keep them in their cases when I'm not playing, and stay very aware of my surroundings, so there's almost 0 chance of knocking into anything.
 

Roxy13

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I've owned Gibson and Gibson type guitars since 1983 and haven't had a broken headstock (knocking on wood here). I currenly have at least 20 of them (I'm not going to count because if I don't, I'm really not a hoarder, right?). I am careful. I am careful about how and where I set them down, I keep them in the case when they aren't being played. Being in the case won't insure the hs won't snap if the case falls over, but again, be careful storing your guitars in cases too. And yes, use strap locks! Check them each time you play too just in case one should begin working loose.
 

rogue3

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This has to be a doctored photo. Teles don't break :)

This pic is a testament to the strength of a Fender Slab sawn maple neck.They are strong! The body broke(lighter wood) the neck (apparently)is intact! Just order a nice swamp ash body from Warmoth,transfer the hardware,good to go!
 

belthezaire

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P.S. I apologize for the car-crash post earlier, but you have to see the point to some degree. You DO have a car, and you DO use it.
Oh, no worries, endial. I didn't take it as an attack or anything. I absolutely see your point. No apologies required.
 

Jazzmaster

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Has anyone else hit this sort of stalemate? If you have, how did you overcome the irrational part of the concern?
I bought an SG 2nd hand because it's all i could afford so i know what you're talking about. If people say your guitar isn't a real Gibson, ignore them. They are wrong.

As for the neck breaking, that sounds like a mental problem that you need to overcome. Good luck, mate.
 

Bubbles

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I don't have the best of the best, as it were, when it comes to my Les Paul Tribute. I've even heard it suggested that it's "not a real Gibson" ... for whatever reason. Still, it was the best I could afford, and it still is. I had to deliberate over every penny I spent, as many of us do. And, to be fair, I really do love this guitar.

I think that has a lot to do with where I find myself now. I have seen so many different sources (not all here to be sure) about Gibson guitars' neck breaks being pretty much a given, I find myself sort of in fear of actually using the guitar. I look at the the thin and fragile spot where the neck meets the headstock and feel overwhelmed by concerns over it snapping at any given moment for any given reason.

It is an admittedly psychological problem. I can't afford to replace my Les Paul, and the concern over losing it paralyzes me.

Has anyone else hit this sort of stalemate? If you have, how did you overcome the irrational part of the concern?
I have owned Gibson Les Pauls and Gibson SGs since the 70s. I have never had a neck break. Golden rules 1) Always store the guitar in a closed and latched case. 2) use a stand that will not allow the guitar to fall out. 3) 2 alcoholic drink max rule (for me at least) before the guitar goes back in the case and latched. 4) Never, ever, EVER !!! loan the guitar to a "Buddy".

I sold my SG 1978 standard to a buddy. He broke rule 1, 2, 3 and....wait for it.... the guitar dropped and the headstock broke clean off the guitar.
 

wully

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I don't have the best of the best, as it were, when it comes to my Les Paul Tribute. I've even heard it suggested that it's "not a real Gibson" ... for whatever reason. Still, it was the best I could afford, and it still is. I had to deliberate over every penny I spent, as many of us do. And, to be fair, I really do love this guitar.

I think that has a lot to do with where I find myself now. I have seen so many different sources (not all here to be sure) about Gibson guitars' neck breaks being pretty much a given, I find myself sort of in fear of actually using the guitar. I look at the the thin and fragile spot where the neck meets the headstock and feel overwhelmed by concerns over it snapping at any given moment for any given reason.

It is an admittedly psychological problem. I can't afford to replace my Les Paul, and the concern over losing it paralyzes me.

Has anyone else hit this sort of stalemate? If you have, how did you overcome the irrational part of the concern?
I wouldn’t worry. They don’t all break - not by a long way, and if they do, they can almost always be repaired.
 

P5G

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I don't have the best of the best, as it were, when it comes to my Les Paul Tribute. I've even heard it suggested that it's "not a real Gibson" ... for whatever reason. Still, it was the best I could afford, and it still is. I had to deliberate over every penny I spent, as many of us do. And, to be fair, I really do love this guitar.

I think that has a lot to do with where I find myself now. I have seen so many different sources (not all here to be sure) about Gibson guitars' neck breaks being pretty much a given, I find myself sort of in fear of actually using the guitar. I look at the the thin and fragile spot where the neck meets the headstock and feel overwhelmed by concerns over it snapping at any given moment for any given reason.

It is an admittedly psychological problem. I can't afford to replace my Les Paul, and the concern over losing it paralyzes me.

Has anyone else hit this sort of stalemate? If you have, how did you overcome the irrational part of the concern?
My Les Paul has had 2 neck breaks. I bought it used with one previous break. The second break happened when the guitar case was on its side and tipped over on its back. It wasn’t a sturdy case, my fault. I’ve had the guitar 40 years, plays great. Use strap locks, sturdy case and don’t lean it against anything and no problems.
 

Ravenwitch

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I don't have the best of the best, as it were, when it comes to my Les Paul Tribute. I've even heard it suggested that it's "not a real Gibson" ... for whatever reason. Still, it was the best I could afford, and it still is. I had to deliberate over every penny I spent, as many of us do. And, to be fair, I really do love this guitar.

I think that has a lot to do with where I find myself now. I have seen so many different sources (not all here to be sure) about Gibson guitars' neck breaks being pretty much a given, I find myself sort of in fear of actually using the guitar. I look at the the thin and fragile spot where the neck meets the headstock and feel overwhelmed by concerns over it snapping at any given moment for any given reason.

It is an admittedly psychological problem. I can't afford to replace my Les Paul, and the concern over losing it paralyzes me.

Has anyone else hit this sort of stalemate? If you have, how did you overcome the irrational part of the concern?
Worked in a guitar shop for over a decade. Only broken headstock joint I saw was when the guitar (SG) was in a non-Gibson case where the headstock was in contact with the end of the case.
The guy walked it into a closing door.

It was repairable-and not too expensively-but I’ve never come across another broken Gibson.
 

reelman955

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I don't have the best of the best, as it were, when it comes to my Les Paul Tribute. I've even heard it suggested that it's "not a real Gibson" ... for whatever reason. Still, it was the best I could afford, and it still is. I had to deliberate over every penny I spent, as many of us do. And, to be fair, I really do love this guitar.

I think that has a lot to do with where I find myself now. I have seen so many different sources (not all here to be sure) about Gibson guitars' neck breaks being pretty much a given, I find myself sort of in fear of actually using the guitar. I look at the the thin and fragile spot where the neck meets the headstock and feel overwhelmed by concerns over it snapping at any given moment for any given reason.

It is an admittedly psychological problem. I can't afford to replace my Les Paul, and the concern over losing it paralyzes me.

Has anyone else hit this sort of stalemate? If you have, how did you overcome the irrational part of the concern?
It’s been said but here is what my experience has been.
1. Strap Locks
2. Strap Locks
3. No Guitar Stands especially while out gigging
4. Don’t lean against anything
5. During breaks or switching guitar, unplug cord and lay guitar in case.
I have never had an issue by following these simple practices
My band mate guitarist never uses strap locks, always leans the guitar on his amp or put it on a cheap stand leaving it plugged in. It’s was never a problem till it was and somebody knocked his 1976 Custom Les Paul off the stand resulting a complete head stock break.
 

DIMAIO90

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I’m always nervous about breaking my head stock. Often times when I jam with my buddies we’re doing some drinking too. One trip is all it’d take. I also have 3 kids under 5 and they destroy everything.

imo best precautions are strap locks and if it’s not in my hands it’s in a case. I don’t even own a guitar stand.
 

goodguy

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PRS = better sleep + better guitar.
I’m serious - you’ll never look back.

or a Fender & always use a Hercules Stand.
 


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