Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I've been looking at various used guitars, some of which exhibit binding rot, especially 70s/80s Japanese guitars. It seems like repairing it is prohibitively expensive on less expensive guitars (several hundred $'s, on, say, a $1000 guitar). What are your thoughts and experiences on buying such guitars? Buy it at a discount and accept that the binding will be falling apart? Attempt partial fixes? Avoid altogether?

    John

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    My two main gigging guitars are a '69 L5 and a 70s Aria PE180.
    In the 15 or so yrs Ive owned the Aria it has developed cracks in the body binding, most notably in the cutaway area where there's some crumbling (an area normally affected the most on these guitars) But it's only minor rot overall, I've seen some really bad examples.
    The wood joints are still sound so unless the structural integrity gets affected down the road I'll probably leave it as is. But if the cracking was there before I might not have purchased it. I have about $900 into it between the purchase price and a refret, probably worth about 2K today.
    I'd probably only buy a guitar w bad binding if it was a very valuable or rare guitar worth repairing like an original D'Angelico and could buy it for a price that would allow for the extra expense.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Binding rot is something you deal with on even D'angelico's especially and sometimes D'aquisto's. On a guitar of that caliber I can handle it but really why buy a guitar with binding rot when there are many others to choose from? To me I don't mind a finish that is not so great but binding rot looks just about what it is called. Rot! You are correct rebinding a guitar is extremely hard and expensive to do. In some cases it is much like doing surgery and not getting a real surgeon's pay even with the high cost.

    In the end no.........find another guitar. Many, many guitars out there that are great, look good and play wonderful with sound. To me these days with the "antique road show mentality" just avoid. I know well enough the just binding issues around the body have zero to do with how the guitar sounds, but buyers buy with eyes.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    Binding rot is something you deal with on even D'angelico's especially and sometimes D'aquisto's. On a guitar of that caliber I can handle it but really why buy a guitar with binding rot when there are many others to choose from? To me I don't mind a finish that is not so great but binding rot looks just about what it is called. Rot! You are correct rebinding a guitar is extremely hard and expensive to do. In some cases it is much like doing surgery and not getting a real surgeon's pay even with the high cost.

    In the end no.........find another guitar. Many, many guitars out there that are great, look good and play wonderful with sound. To me these days with the "antique road show mentality" just avoid. I know well enough the just binding issues around the body have zero to do with how the guitar sounds, but buyers buy with eyes.
    I've always heard the worst are old Guilds, because of the poor quality of glue they used. It's amazing that some guitars hold up as well as they do. Seems to me Gibsons and Martins are about the best in terms of durability. That may be why they are so valued.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    One of the great things about some of the newer guitars is they are using real wood for the Binding.
    The Eastman you have been asking about has nice real Wood binding. There is a richness to a beautiful flexible piece of maple when used as binding material that really stands the test of time.
    If you keep your stuff nice and one day you pull your guitar out of the case and notice its binding is starting to rot, it will be dissappointing. And in most cases, there is nothin you can do about it. Its just going to get worse.
    Joe D.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    OK, in rot's defense ... seems to be found a lot in otherwise interesting guitars. We have all these threads praising MIJ guitars from the 70s and the 80s, but the opportunities for them at a decent price seem to be getting rarer, and many of the ones that tick all the other boxes have this issue. Aargh, damn it I want a pony and a unicorn

    John

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    So, is there any budget amount or range that could be used for biding repair estimates ? How do luthiers quote these - -or do they just say 'time and materials' ?

    I remember the first time someone here quoted Jimmy D'A as saying how binding does nothing for sound, I was skeptical, but no longer.

    I really think if I ever had to have a binding repair done I'd prefer wood - -if nothing else, it'd probably be lighter.

    Maybe you pay 'whatever it is' on a D'A, but for an old Epi -- maybe you stop at $500...And I am not too sure how much that even buys you.

    ???

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    binding rot is not something you want to fool around with...unless you have the skills/money for repair...it spreads quickly and ugly

    in the 50's new plastics/synthetics were being used and in combination with glues or finishes, the long lasting results were unknown....now we know...50's brooklyn gretsches and 50's nyc guilds have had issues...here's a gretsch



    otherwise fine guitars, but they need some tlc...and tlc can be costly...so tread carefully

    still tho, i believe these guitars very worthy of repair...(someone has to do it!)...but think about if you are the one prepared to make the commitment

    cheers

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D
    So, is there any budget amount or range that could be used for biding repair estimates ? How do luthiers quote these - -or do they just say 'time and materials' ?

    I remember the first time someone here quoted Jimmy D'A as saying how binding does nothing for sound, I was skeptical, but no longer.

    I really think if I ever had to have a binding repair done I'd prefer wood - -if nothing else, it'd probably be lighter.

    Maybe you pay 'whatever it is' on a D'A, but for an old Epi -- maybe you stop at $500...And I am not too sure how much that even buys you.

    ???
    It's time and materials (mostly time, I assume). Removing and cleaning up after the old binding, then shaping, cutting and applying binding is very painstaking work, especially multi-layered binding. And after that you may have to do some refinishing.

    John

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    It can cost anywhere from $500 to 3K, and some guys charge more to work on higher end guitars like D'Angelicos/D'Aquisto's etc....A lot of guitar builders don't do them because they can make more $ just building a guitar w/less headache. Many times only the outer layer is affected [especially on DA's] but not always. Sometimes it pays to find a young up and coming repairman who's willing to take on a job like this for not a ton of $

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Fortunately newer guitars will not have this problem as celluloid binding is no longer used.
    I talked to Mark Campellone in length over this. All plastic binding is ABS now.
    Also a lot of the acetone glues used back in the old days leached the molecular structure of the celluloid binding.
    I also heard that Epiphone, D'A, Guild, and Gretsch bought their binding from a manufacturer in NYC that all had the same binding rot issues. Gibson bought from a different source.

    Also in the 1980's Jimmy D switched to a different acetone glue for a while that caused many DAQ's in the 80's to get binding rot. Thankfully mine was not one of them.

    Very rare to see a Gibson with binding rot. Fret binding cracks yes but not rot.