Would You Buy a Guitar with a Cracked Neck?

Wagonpeddler

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I am already thinking about my SECOND LP. I see what seems to be a more than usual amount of Les Pauls with cracked necks by the headstock. Is this typically a weak point? Can I assume that these breaks are from the guitar being dropped...or other?
Looks like guitars with cracks sell for much less. Is it worth the extra savings? Any reason to avoid these?
Thanks.
 
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If it's been professionally repaired, in many cases, the glued repair is stronger than the original. If I were you, I'd go for it
 

BillB1960

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Yes it's a well documented weak spot on any guitar with a 1 piece mahogany neck. Mahogany is not a particularly strong wood in the first place and the method used to shape the necks tends to lead to a weak spot at the transition and that's exactly where the neck is also bored for truss rod adjustment.

 

chillman

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Wow BillB, I've never seen a cross section like that. That makes it painfully obvious how weak that spot is. I feel like in any other product that would be seen as a design flaw and improved upon, but guitarists aren't exactly known for their keenness to embrace design changes.
 

dave1234

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I would if the asking price reflected the repiar, and it was done correctly. If it was properly repaired it should be fine.
 

Eddie

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If the price reflected the damage/repair and i loved the guitar, then absolutely.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Wow BillB, I've never seen a cross section like that. That makes it painfully obvious how weak that spot is. I feel like in any other product that would be seen as a design flaw and improved upon, but guitarists aren't exactly known for their keenness to embrace design changes.
It was addressed, for a while, by Gibson -- in the form of the volute -- but that was discontinued.

 

HRC

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I've bought a few guitars with broken/cracked head stocks. I've got a Martin D16-GT that had a cracked HS that I paid $50 with the Matin case. I fixed it and was playing it 2 days after I bought it. That was about 5 years ago and it still plays great. I bought the LP Special I'm playing in my avatar for $125 with a broken head stock. I fixed it and have been gigging with it for years. I've had many others that I repaired and sold but the Martin and the Special spoke to me so I kept them. :D

That being said I wouldn't but one unless it was a super good deal.
 

Jeffguy

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I would if it was repaired properly and priced accordingly. If it plays well then who cares!!
 

HOT-BRIT

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yes it's a well documented weak spot on any guitar with a 1 piece mahogany neck. Mahogany is not a particularly strong wood in the first place and the method used to shape the necks tends to lead to a weak spot at the transition and that's exactly where the neck is also bored for truss rod adjustment.

this is exactly why we like them with a volute
 

BillB1960

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Wow BillB, I've never seen a cross section like that. That makes it painfully obvious how weak that spot is. I feel like in any other product that would be seen as a design flaw and improved upon, but guitarists aren't exactly known for their keenness to embrace design changes.
Yeah, that is a pretty dramatic picture but remember that the wood on either side of the truss rod cavity is full thickness so it's not as bad as it first appears. I think the real issue is the lack strength along the grain inherent in mahogany.
 

ARandall

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I would treat buying a guitar with a headstock repair exactly the same way as you would do any Les Paul....play to see if you like its tone first and foremost. You will obviously be dealing with a much lower price, you might have to do some research as to how much repaired headstock breaks lower the value by.
Maybe even some forumites will be able to chip in here.

I bought a Les Paul with a headstock break. It sounds great, but I have no idea what it sounded like before as a fair comparison.
 

6stringer

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They should bore the truss cavity with a radiused tool, IMO. Sharp corners are stress points, a corner radius in there would add strength.
 




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