• THIS IS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR FOR THE LES PAUL FORUM! PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US AND SUPPORT US WITH A DONATION TO KEEP US GOING! We've made a large financial investment to convert the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and recently moved to a new hosting platform. We also have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
  • WE HAVE MOVED THE LES PAUL FORUM TO A NEW HOSTING PROVIDER! Let us know how it is going! Many thanks, Mike Slubowski, Admin
  • Please support our Les Paul Forum Sponsors with your business - Gary's Classic Guitars, Wildwood Guitars, Chicago Music Exchange, Reverb.com, Throbak.com and True Vintage Guitar. From personal experience doing business with all of them, they are first class organizations. Thank you!

NGD - Did I get my first dud? (Gibson Les Paul Special)

Son-of-a-Gib

New member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
10
I ordered this LP Special in TV Yellow from Guitar Center. It came in yesterday and after letting it acclimate to my apartment all day, I finally opened it last night to test it out and it's not sitting right. The first thing I noticed were these cracks beneath the lacquer on the dot markers. They're on about 3 or 4 sets of them along the neck. You can't feel them at all so they're definitely under the surface and I figure it came from the factory like that, not from Guitar Center handling it. I know it's just cosmetic but if I ever decide to sell this guitar in the future, I'd have to disclose these flaws and accept less money because of them.

After tuning it up and stretching the strings, I noticed that it just sounds kinda shitty. Not tone wise, which is great, but just out of tune when playing cowboy chords. This is making me think the nut isn't cut very well and chords on the first few frets are going to be randomly sharp. I know how to do a proper setup with truss rod adjustments, action, and intonation but I've never done a nut filing and wouldn't want/shouldn't have to do that on a brand new Gibson. I'm thinking I'm going to take it in to my local Guitar Center to return it.

It sucks because I bought a Gibson Les Paul Standard 50's in person from Guitar Center a few years ago and it's fantastic. I also bought a Custom Shop R9 from Chicago Music Exchange online and it's also phenomenal. I guess I was bound to get one of the Gibson not-so-greats at some point. Is this common for Les Paul Specials? I figured the wrap around bridge would be less precise on intonation on the higher end of the neck but I wasn't expecting regular open string chords to sound so off. I still want another Special but I'm thinking I'll order from Sweetwater where they inspect it before listing it.


LesPaulSpecial.jpg IMG_2542.jpg
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
Fret installation is most likely the cause. If a fret slot is too narrow for the fret tang minus the studs it pushes apart the fretboard at those locations causing the cracking in the finish. The fret slot being to narrow can happen easily if the tool cutting the slots is wearing down and not cutting the proper thickness. Same thing can also happen if the fret slot is too wide for the fret tang. The string tension squishes together the fret slots causing the cracks in the finish.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,767
I ordered this LP Special in TV Yellow from Guitar Center. It came in yesterday and after letting it acclimate to my apartment all day, I finally opened it last night to test it out and it's not sitting right. The first thing I noticed were these cracks beneath the lacquer on the dot markers. They're on about 3 or 4 sets of them along the neck. You can't feel them at all so they're definitely under the surface and I figure it came from the factory like that, not from Guitar Center handling it. I know it's just cosmetic but if I ever decide to sell this guitar in the future, I'd have to disclose these flaws and accept less money because of them.

After tuning it up and stretching the strings, I noticed that it just sounds kinda shitty. Not tone wise, which is great, but just out of tune when playing cowboy chords. This is making me think the nut isn't cut very well and chords on the first few frets are going to be randomly sharp. I know how to do a proper setup with truss rod adjustments, action, and intonation but I've never done a nut filing and wouldn't want/shouldn't have to do that on a brand new Gibson. I'm thinking I'm going to take it in to my local Guitar Center to return it.

It sucks because I bought a Gibson Les Paul Standard 50's in person from Guitar Center a few years ago and it's fantastic. I also bought a Custom Shop R9 from Chicago Music Exchange online and it's also phenomenal. I guess I was bound to get one of the Gibson not-so-greats at some point. Is this common for Les Paul Specials? I figured the wrap around bridge would be less precise on intonation on the higher end of the neck but I wasn't expecting regular open string chords to sound so off. I still want another Special but I'm thinking I'll order from Sweetwater where they inspect it before listing it.


View attachment 24462 View attachment 24463
The finish cracks by the frets are not unusual - even typical.
Once the guitar gets a proper set up by a professional luthier I'm sure it'll sound great.
It's a great looking guitar!
 

rockabilly69

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,905
Once again, it's Guitar Center put it back in the box, return it, and get a new one without the problems,. Why settle when you get a no questions asked guarantee? Yes a setup with easily fix those problems as the strings are probabably just getting hung up at the nut., but the cracks on the binding are just going to piss you off. and make it hard to sell for a decent price if you decide you don't want it.
 

Son-of-a-Gib

New member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
10
The finish cracks by the frets are not unusual - even typical.
Once the guitar gets a proper set up by a professional luthier I'm sure it'll sound great.
It's a great looking guitar!

I agree, it's a beautiful guitar. I'm just not thrilled about needing a professional setup on a brand new $1600 guitar. I can get my guitars pretty dialed in on my own but I don't think I'll be messing with this one. I have another on the way from Sweetwater.

Once again, it's Guitar Center put it back in the box, return it, and get a new one without the problems,. Why settle when you get a no questions asked guarantee? Yes a setup with easily fix those problems as the strings are probabably just getting hung up at the nut., but the cracks on the binding are just going to piss you off. and make it hard to sell for a decent price if you decide you don't want it.

I am going to return it. I messaged my Sweetwater rep and he was able to price match the deal Guitar Center gave me. Originally, he was only able to get me around $60 off but the deal GC gave me helped Sweetwater come down. So that one is on the way and I trust their QC a lot better since they inspect all of their guitars before they sell them. I'll be going to Guitar Center this weekend to return this one.
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,936
Gibsons come from the factory plekked and are almost always spot on right outta the box.

Wrap tail can be a little different for intonation, and some players get hung on that and never get along with them.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,767
Gibsons come from the factory plekked and are almost always spot on right outta the box.

Wrap tail can be a little different for intonation, and some players get hung on that and never get along with them.
I did not know this. I do know the new Gibsons usually play great in the shops.

I've always taken a "new-to-me" guitar (brand-new or otherwise) to a luthier for a set-up within a few weeks of acquisition. I can do all the basic stuff, but a good proper luthier always does it better. They have a different relationship with guitars than do the musicians. It's kind of like "which barber does the barber go to"?
 
1

1allspub

Guest
Cosmetic flaws and sounds bad = instant return. Hope the next one is better for ya.
 

rockabilly69

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,905
Gibsons come from the factory plekked and are almost always spot on right outta the box.

Wrap tail can be a little different for intonation, and some players get hung on that and never get along with them.
I have 3 different friends (three of the best guitarists in town) that bought LP Specials and all of them required the nut to be cut down for proper intonation at the first fret. They would all go sharp. And all three of them changed out the wraptail. One Music City, one Mojoaxe,, and one intonatable Pigtail. That said, I bought my 2023 used and the nut was cut perfectly, and intonates really well for a wraptail.
 

gmann

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
6,199
The finish cracks by the frets are not unusual - even typical.
Once the guitar gets a proper set up by a professional luthier I'm sure it'll sound great.
It's a great looking guitar!
Agreed, stop looking for out of the box perfection and just play the thing! Also, a Mojoaxe tailpiece will take care of any intonation problems.
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,936
I have 3 different friends (three of the best guitarists in town) that bought LP Specials and all of them required the nut to be cut down for proper intonation at the first fret. They would all go sharp.
well, there's that ?‍♂️ Yeah, they are a tad sharp as it's easier to lower than raise a nut slot. But overall the fret work and overall neck tuning is real good compared to the old days.

Cowboy chords always show what's up and once that area is dialed in, a jr/special (heck. any guitar) just sings.
 

Chronomariner

New member
Joined
Dec 20, 2023
Messages
28
I got a whole lot more cracks than you my friend, and it doesn’t bother me at all ?.
Also, according to a really good luthier in my area, Gibson Custom Shop does a great job setting up the guitar. It is the temperature and moisture fluctuations during shipping and storage and then home to you that cause the neck to move, sometimes it just needs to be adjusted.
 
Top