What happened to this guitar?

ErictheRed

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So, I recently bought a Suhr Modern HH from a private party online (not through here, I found the ad on Craigslist, talked to the seller on the phone, bought it with PayPal). I've always had great results until now.

I was told that the guitar was in excellent condition, all original, no dents or dings, etc. I don't mind some scratches and dings. Really I don't think that I'm very picky about guitars at all.

However, the neck around the fretboard area has a very filed down, unfinished feel to it. The fit and finish is not good at all, not at all like my Suhr Modern Pro HSH that I own from 2017. It seems to have altered on purpose somehow. This is very hard to show in pictures, but extremely apparent when you feel the neck. Parts of the neck near the fretboard just seem like "raw" wood, barely even sanded and not finished.

I'm hoping that you guys can help me out with what has happened here. Would this have been the result of a new fretboard being put on it? Or a fret job that someone did a bad job of? You can see in one picture that the top of the fretboard by the nut seems to have a crease in it where it joins the neck, it's not joined smoothly like on my Modern Pro.

I'm going to contact the seller and go from there, but I wanted some expert eyes on it. The first photo is of my Suhr Modern Pro HSH showing how smooth the fretboard is joined to the neck near the nut, all of the others are of the Suhr Modern HH that I just received this morning.

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ErictheRed

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Hmm, it's hard to see the raw/unfinished portions of the neck near the fretboard in pictures, but hopefully you know what I mean. Up near the nut where the fretboard attaches to the neck it looks obvious that something happened. Any ideas what this was?
 
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DotStudio

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I can actually see what you mean quite clearly (kinda looks like uneven sanding down the length of the neck). Not sure why it would be that way outside of someone replacing the fretboard maybe? Seems unlikely for such a new guitar though.
 

Roxy13

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That is weird. And the scratches are going the wrong way for it to have been caused by nut files. I always tape that area of the hs off when I'm adjusting slot height.

I'm talking about where the fretboard actually joins the face of the headstock.

As for the neck, I'm wondering if someone filed the fret ends due to sprout and caused that.
 

ErictheRed

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I emailed Suhr with the serial number, and they sent back a spec sheet that seems to match this guitar. They say that it was made in 2019, so last year! This was clearly someone doing something to the guitar.

I'm going to gather a few more opinions, and maybe even email Suhr some of these pictures and confirm that it would never have left their factory like this. Then I guess I'll contact the seller and see what they say...
 

LtDave32

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Hmm, it's really hard to see the raw/unfinished portions of the neck near the fretboard in pictures, but hopefully you know what I mean. Up near the nut where the fretboard attaches to the neck it looks obvious that something happened. Any ideas what this was?
Eric, this might have been a fret board replacement, due to a truss rod replacement.

It looks as if a dual-action rod was installed in a single-action rod guitar. The head stock has the classic "bullet" relief, but the end of the fret board has a channel cut for the round head with the hex center of the truss rod.

You cannot buy the classic "bullet" bi-flex truss rods anywhere that I know of. you are stuck with either the old classic fender one-way rod that adjusts from the heel, or a two way rod.

When you have to replace a fret board on such a guitar, you have to deal with the existing routs, and you have to use a spindle sander to get that fret board end "scoop" just right.

As well, a new fret board fitting to an existing neck would explain the rough sides of the neck when it was sanded to match.
 

LtDave32

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Upon further examination of the pics, I'm convinced that this was a fret board replacement, and probably due to a needed truss rod replacement.

So, the mystery is.. Did the owner have that done to that guitar? Because the factory would have simply re-necked the whole affair.

Owner had ape-arms and stripped the damn truss rod, me thinks. And this was the cure.
 

Tone deaf

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If you love the guitar, I think a talented craftsperson could fix those cosmetic issues. However, I'd beat up the seller for some funds back. If you don't want it, I'd tell the seller. If he balks, take it up with paypal.
 

LtDave32

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Eric, it has all the ear marks.

-Different TR head than your other Surs, you said.

-Neck sanded at fret board edge, due to an oversize board.

-squirrely bit of business where the rosewood meets the head stock at the scoop of the head stock.

As said on the phone, somebody tightened the original rod too much, or it was defective to begin with, and it stripped.

This was the cure.

And they guy who sold it to you gave less than full disclosure.
 

LtDave32

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If you love the guitar, I think a talented craftsperson could fix those cosmetic issues. However, I'd beat up the seller for some funds back. If you don't want it, I'd tell the seller. If he balks, take it up with paypal.
He just got it this morning. I hope he takes it up with PP, because the seller was less than honest.

If you have an axe with a major surgery issue, you need to disclose that when you are selling.

Some folks do not subscribe to that method of business, but I do.
 

LtDave32

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Funny thing is, if this repair was done better and finished off properly, the buyer might not even have known.

-Unfinished, poor job of it.

Still, it needs to be disclosed. " the truss rod has been replaced professionally" would have been fine.
 

ErictheRed

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Yeah, I'll be calling the seller as soon as I'm done with work (about two hours). We'll see how it goes, then I'll take it up with PayPal. Thanks all.
 

TheX

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That's too bad, Suhr guitars are top shelf.
 

Tone deaf

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He just got it this morning. I hope he takes it up with PP, because the seller was less than honest.

If you have an axe with a major surgery issue, you need to disclose that when you are selling.

Some folks do not subscribe to that method of business, but I do.
100% with you. The seller was dishonest, buyer needs to be satisfied. That's why I said if he wants to keep it, despite the flaws, he should demand a partial refund. However, if the seller doesn't satisfying him 100%, get money back from PP and f the seller.
 

ErictheRed

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I just spoke with the seller, and he was very apologetic. He basically says that he got the guitar in trade recently and didn't play it much. He thought it was the jumbo fret size that he didn't like...which seems plausible I guess, though the sides of the fretboard feel really bad in your hand, so I don't know. He said that he'd offer me a partial refund, I said that I'm kind of leaning towards just returning it for a full refund, and he seemed fine with that. I'll probably call PayPal just to make sure of the protocol, I don't want to just mail it back on his word without some record of events, etc.

It looks like it'll all work out, but still a bummer. Thanks all (especially @LtDave32 )!
 
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cooljuk

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Glad you are getting it worked out, Eric, and being cautious with the procedure, as well.

Question for Dave and the skilled elders, here...

Is the reason the fretboard is somewhat "scalloped" looking between frets from someone trying to address fret sprout with sandpaper and not a proper file? I've seen that before and never really figured out how/why a guitar gets that way.

Looks like that one still has quite a bumpy edge.
 

LtDave32

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I just spoke with the seller, and he was very apologetic. He basically says that he got the guitar in trade recently and didn't really play it, just listed it for sale...which seems plausible. He said that he'd offer me a partial refund, I said that I'm kind of leaning towards just returning it for a full refund, and he seemed fine with that. I'll probably call PayPal just to make sure of the protocol, I don't want to just mail it back on his word without some record of events, etc.

It looks like it'll all work out, but still a bummer. Thanks all (especially @LtDave32 )!

Eric, don't do the guy any "favors" that leave you holding the short end of the stick.

He knew about the troubles. After all, you noticed them right away, right?

Get your funds back, my friend. If it is a top-quality Suhr as everybody here says, the guy will find a buyer quickly.
 

LtDave32

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Glad you are getting it worked out, Eric, and being cautious with the procedure, as well.

Question for Dave and the skilled elders, here...

Is the reason the fretboard is somewhat "scalloped" looking between frets from someone trying to address fret sprout with sandpaper and not a proper file? I've seen that before and never really figured out how/why a guitar gets that way.

Looks like that one still has quite a bumpy edge.
Scalloped on the sides, or on the fret board top?

If on the sides, it's either wood shrinking very rapidly (should have been sealed, I spray lacquer over my FB sides), or someone's been doing a bit of monkey-business. Look for sanding marks , dremel wheel, etc between the frets.

If it's a very slight sprout issue, the right way is to take a good, sharp file to it all until everything is flush.

If it's a very heavy sprout issue with huge scallops between frets, then I'd say it's new FB time. Or, if you like playing 1960's Rickenbackers, file it down to flush and have a very narrow neck.

Frets should be at the top of the neck around 1 5/8" wide. That's the width of a Fender style nut. It (fret board) should taper from there (1 5/8" for Fenders, 1 11/16" for Gibbys) down to 2 1/4" to 2/18".

If you find your center line of the neck measure half way out at the small end of the neck ( .625 for F .6875 for G), find your center of the bigger end, measure out 1. 125) , lay out a straight line from those two points, that's your ideal fret board. If your straight edge follows those points well, and there's no huge gap-osis anywhere along there, you're golden.

News: It doesn't always pan out that way.

This is why you file fret ends flush to match the board edge.

So that was the long way around the barn.

Cutting through the barn door, if it is a very deep scallop, you may want to replace that board due to very bad shrink back.
 


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