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  1. #1

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    I recently bought a D'Angelico Deluxe EXL-1 which has a crack near its neck joint, and I knew it before I ordered it.

    However I am not sure if the crack is on its finish, or its wood.

    Does anyone have opinion please?
    Attached Images Attached Images Crack on my new guitar-e43226c7-90f7-4665-a103-0291f6dcdb66-jpg Crack on my new guitar-b17c406f-0b14-40ed-9504-8dc7fd4cd9ec-jpg Crack on my new guitar-74d47737-90e2-4f04-aa3e-b7f4fdd4b4d6-jpg Crack on my new guitar-cda13759-6f69-47a1-b7ad-36c34f2c041f-jpg 

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  3. #2

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    It doesn't look consequential, structurally, to me. If it were running vertically, near the join, I'd be seriously concerned. I will not speculate on root cause, although I have some thoughts. Pretty guitar. Congratulations.

  4. #3

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    That certainly is a blue guitar. As for the crack, that looks like it was made by something hitting the underside of the heel. There's a small chip in the heelcap. It's most likely just finish damage. I see no sign of separation of the heel from the body, and the damage I see in the photos seems rather inconsequential. Just don't look at it and you should be fine. If you see vertical cracks along the heel/body join, then you can worry.

  5. #4

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    IMHO it is highly unlikely that is anything more that a finish anomaly. I think you have a very beautiful guitar. Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone
    It doesn't look consequential, structurally, to me. If it were running vertically, near the join, I'd be seriously concerned. I will not speculate on root cause, although I have some thoughts. Pretty guitar. Congratulations.
    Thank you so much. It's rally a relief!

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    That certainly is a blue guitar. As for the crack, that looks like it was made by something hitting the underside of the heel. There's a small chip in the heelcap. It's most likely just finish damage. I see no sign of separation of the heel from the body, and the damage I see in the photos seems rather inconsequential. Just don't look at it and you should be fine. If you see vertical cracks along the heel/body join, then you can worry.
    Thank you for your opinion! I really appreciate!

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    IMHO it is highly unlikely that is anything more that a finish anomaly. I think you have a very beautiful guitar. Congratulations, and play it in good health!
    Thank you! I am so happy to hear that! Stay safe and play happily!

  9. #8

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    You don’t say if it’s new or preowned. Sorry but if I received a guitar in that condition, bought new, it’s going back. Accepting a new instrument in less than new condition makes no sense to me. And… how any of you can conclusively diagnose that crack with out physical examination just ain’t right.
    pretty guitar? Yes!
    acceptable? No!
    A typical jk minority opinion which may or may not make sense. (They upped my drugs)))

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    You don’t say if it’s new or preowned. Sorry but if I received a guitar in that condition, bought new, it’s going back. Accepting a new instrument in less than new condition makes no sense to me. And…
    pretty guitar? Yes!
    acceptable? No!
    A typical jk minority opinion which may or may not make sense. (They upped my drugs)))
    Thank you for your suggestion. The guitar was brad new but has crack. And, as I mentioned, I knew it when I ordered it. And I went to a repair shop, they said it is just on its finish. Thank u for ur opinion, but you've gone too far.

  11. #10

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    sorry for the dumb question, what direction is vertical?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    sorry for the dumb question, what direction is vertical?
    Up-down (perpendicular to horizontal).

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  13. #12
    I worked at Hoshino, that's Ibanez at the central import facility in Bensalem PA. It was my job to spot anything that could compromise the integrity of longevity of an instrument. I was part of a crew that processes EVERY Ibanez guitar that was sold in the American market. It was my job to know when an instrument was as perfect as it was meant to be and when it had been compromised in a way that could effect its life, short term, long term, in any way.
    One of the instant out of the box rejects, as a matter of fact the FIRST point of inspection and rejection is just this kind of finish crack: under the nut, along the join line (of which there IS evidence-look carefully there) and yeah, that big honkin' finish breach at your heel cap.
    Why? Yeah there're plenty of people that'll say "looks fine. That's pretty and don't worry over a tiny little scratch" but that's all they see. I see a guitar that was dropped in the box at some point. Hard enough to send a shock trauma impact along the entire instrument, hard enough to find the weakest point (where the neck is leveraged to the point of the unmoving body) and move it/separate it enough so the neck and the guitar are no longer one. You think a crack appears by bad magic? Not so. It appears because a well glued join of two crucial parts of a guitar are no long well glued and integrally sound.
    REJECT.
    You see a tiny crack. And an otherwise perfect guitar you probably got a deal on. I see two pieces of wood joining one another and bearing the collective pull of 6 strings ABSOLUTELY unmoving... compromised at the fulcrum of a lever. Think about it. 1 mm of action makes all the difference when you're playing the guitar. THat 1mm is dependent on absolute rock solid geometry between string, nut and bridge. The point of greatest stress on the entire instrument is the heel of the guitar, it's the elbow that takes the stress when you're lifting a weight in a gym. Now hit your elbow until you can see the skin break. That's your guitar.

    Is it bad? Truth is, I don't know. Will you get a full life out of it? Might be. Are you going to be upset if that internal break of the glue join succumbs to the stress of use and causes high action in the future? I think so. Have I seen this happen and would I have rejected it? Damn straight.
    Finish crack is not just an aesthetic thing you can ignore, it's a warning sign of unknown integral compromise you DON'T see.

    But I'm just one opinion. Hope you have a long and happy experience with your new guitar. :-)

    Sorry if I too, have gone too far. It was my job for years. It's a bad professional habit. Please feel free to dismiss my doom and gloom.

  14. #13

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    Interesting observations, but in the end it’s your guitar. I assume you got a good deal on it, so just play it, and if you like it roll the dice and see how well it does over the long haul.

    Otherwise look for an opportunity to trade it for something else.

    That's been my philosophy in so many areas of life: cars, guitars, tools and women.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 08-04-2021 at 04:21 PM.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by oldane
    Up-down (perpendicular to horizontal).

    Sendt fra min SM-T810 med Tapatalk
    Thank you! I learned too!

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Interesting observations, but in the end it’s your guitar. I assume you got a good deal on it, so just play it, and if you like it roll the dice and see how well it does over the long haul.

    Otherwise look for an opportunity to trade it for something else.

    That's been my philosophy in so many areas of life: cars, guitars, tools and women.
    Thank you for your opinion!
    I should bring it to a luthier!
    Thank you man!

  17. #16

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    Have you tried and see if it is more than a finish crack. Set the guitar down on a towel put a book or two under the neck at around the 12th fret get the neck up off the flat surface and then put pressure down on the body just below the neck fret board and see if the crack opens up more you can do that by useing a peace of paper and with the pressure on the body see if the paper will slide into the crack.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    I worked at Hoshino, that's Ibanez at the central import facility in Bensalem PA. It was my job to spot anything that could compromise the integrity of longevity of an instrument. I was part of a crew that processes EVERY Ibanez guitar that was sold in the American market. It was my job to know when an instrument was as perfect as it was meant to be and when it had been compromised in a way that could effect its life, short term, long term, in any way.
    One of the instant out of the box rejects, as a matter of fact the FIRST point of inspection and rejection is just this kind of finish crack: under the nut, along the join line (of which there IS evidence-look carefully there) and yeah, that big honkin' finish breach at your heel cap.
    Why? Yeah there're plenty of people that'll say "looks fine. That's pretty and don't worry over a tiny little scratch" but that's all they see. I see a guitar that was dropped in the box at some point. Hard enough to send a shock trauma impact along the entire instrument, hard enough to find the weakest point (where the neck is leveraged to the point of the unmoving body) and move it/separate it enough so the neck and the guitar are no longer one. You think a crack appears by bad magic? Not so. It appears because a well glued join of two crucial parts of a guitar are no long well glued and integrally sound.
    REJECT.
    You see a tiny crack. And an otherwise perfect guitar you probably got a deal on. I see two pieces of wood joining one another and bearing the collective pull of 6 strings ABSOLUTELY unmoving... compromised at the fulcrum of a lever. Think about it. 1 mm of action makes all the difference when you're playing the guitar. THat 1mm is dependent on absolute rock solid geometry between string, nut and bridge. The point of greatest stress on the entire instrument is the heel of the guitar, it's the elbow that takes the stress when you're lifting a weight in a gym. Now hit your elbow until you can see the skin break. That's your guitar.

    Is it bad? Truth is, I don't know. Will you get a full life out of it? Might be. Are you going to be upset if that internal break of the glue join succumbs to the stress of use and causes high action in the future? I think so. Have I seen this happen and would I have rejected it? Damn straight.
    Finish crack is not just an aesthetic thing you can ignore, it's a warning sign of unknown integral compromise you DON'T see.

    But I'm just one opinion. Hope you have a long and happy experience with your new guitar. :-)

    Sorry if I too, have gone too far. It was my job for years. It's a bad professional habit. Please feel free to dismiss my doom and gloom.
    No! You are okay!!
    I told him gone so far because he disregarded some of other opinions.
    I am so appreciate for your professional opinion! Thank you!
    I should probably go to luthier instead of asking with just looking at photos.
    Thanks a lot!!

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by JaxJaxon
    Have you tried and see if it is more than a finish crack. Set the guitar down on a towel put a book or two under the neck at around the 12th fret get the neck up off the flat surface and then put pressure down on the body just below the neck fret board and see if the crack opens up more you can do that by useing a peace of paper and with the pressure on the body see if the paper will slide into the crack.
    I tried and nothing happened! Then, is it a good sign?

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jun77
    I tried and nothing happened! Then, is it a good sign?
    Have a luthier look. Honestly, it may be just fine and then again it may be a matter of time.
    Consider this. Something hit that guitar pretty hard. That's evident. It was harder than anything you'd ever knowingly do yourself and it separated something along a crucial load bearing glue line. It seems not to be moving at the moment. That's good.
    So you've got a functional guitar with a tell tale warning sign.
    At some point in the life of that guitar, it will:
    -Get whacked again. It's the nature of an instrument. Maybe it'll continue that breach (did you ever try to break an egg, first time barely a crack and next time a light tap and it opens up... right along that crack.
    -Be subject to the pull of all your strings, constantly. This is the effect of SHEER force rather than the MOMENTARY force that put that crack there. Sheer force won't open anything right now but it works to undermine any existing compromise, and it's constant. Remember that condo in Florida? Crack appeared. Went months as the weight of the building and the sheer force of gravity worked those cracks.
    -Undergo humidity changes. Each seasonal change, temp change and especially if you live where you need to use artificial heating and cooling, will change the wood. All over your guitar. Good news is that heel neck join is well glued. Bad news is the join has experienced a break and any break exposes wood to environmental conditions it cannot be exposed to. That is the REAL reason you have a finish on a guitar, not to look pretty, but to seal an entire instrument against being subjected to moisture. Your seal is broken, for what it's worth. Open up a bag of chips on a humid day. You get the picture.

    All these things are merely a few possibilities of something you nor I can really know. You are certainly free to choose to go with the possibility that nothing will happen. That's also an option.
    The question I would ask myself would be "Why would I want to pay for something that I know has a history of trauma that holds the possibility of catastrophic failure? That guitar had thousands of brothers and sisters on the assembly line that are as perfect as you could ever hope for. Right from day one!

    Think about this. You're buying a guitar to play for maybe your life, or at least for many years of happy playing, learning and growing. How important is it that your guitar has no issues or problems?


    Think carefully.

    On the other hand, if you do choose you MUST have that one, you of course have no warrantee. You CAN commit all sorts of crimes against lutherie and hedge your odds.
    You can have a luthier forcefully open up that crack as wide as it can go, load the join with super low viscosity cyanoacrylite glue and IMMEDIATELY let the pressure off and clamp it. That can seal the breach but you'll never be able to work that heel joint in the future. Ever. And then you can touch up the finish and pretend you never did it.
    Or you can get a new one and know everything from now on is gonna be good.

    Just a couple of points to consider.
    Best of luck

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Have a luthier look. Honestly, it may be just fine and then again it may be a matter of time.
    Consider this. Something hit that guitar pretty hard. That's evident. It was harder than anything you'd ever knowingly do yourself and it separated something along a crucial load bearing glue line. It seems not to be moving at the moment. That's good.
    So you've got a functional guitar with a tell tale warning sign.
    At some point in the life of that guitar, it will:
    -Get whacked again. It's the nature of an instrument. Maybe it'll continue that breach (did you ever try to break an egg, first time barely a crack and next time a light tap and it opens up... right along that crack.
    -Be subject to the pull of all your strings, constantly. This is the effect of SHEER force rather than the MOMENTARY force that put that crack there. Sheer force won't open anything right now but it works to undermine any existing compromise, and it's constant. Remember that condo in Florida? Crack appeared. Went months as the weight of the building and the sheer force of gravity worked those cracks.
    -Undergo humidity changes. Each seasonal change, temp change and especially if you live where you need to use artificial heating and cooling, will change the wood. All over your guitar. Good news is that heel neck join is well glued. Bad news is the join has experienced a break and any break exposes wood to environmental conditions it cannot be exposed to. That is the REAL reason you have a finish on a guitar, not to look pretty, but to seal an entire instrument against being subjected to moisture. Your seal is broken, for what it's worth. Open up a bag of chips on a humid day. You get the picture.

    All these things are merely a few possibilities of something you nor I can really know. You are certainly free to choose to go with the possibility that nothing will happen. That's also an option.
    The question I would ask myself would be "Why would I want to pay for something that I know has a history of trauma that holds the possibility of catastrophic failure? That guitar had thousands of brothers and sisters on the assembly line that are as perfect as you could ever hope for. Right from day one!

    Think about this. You're buying a guitar to play for maybe your life, or at least for many years of happy playing, learning and growing. How important is it that your guitar has no issues or problems?


    Think carefully.

    On the other hand, if you do choose you MUST have that one, you of course have no warrantee. You CAN commit all sorts of crimes against lutherie and hedge your odds.
    You can have a luthier forcefully open up that crack as wide as it can go, load the join with super low viscosity cyanoacrylite glue and IMMEDIATELY let the pressure off and clamp it. That can seal the breach but you'll never be able to work that heel joint in the future. Ever. And then you can touch up the finish and pretend you never did it.
    Or you can get a new one and know everything from now on is gonna be good.

    Just a couple of points to consider.
    Best of luck
    You make very good points, and who am I to argue with them?

    But my thought is this…there are probably lots of guitars out there where the glue on the neck joint fails. I’ve had a couple of vintage guitars with finish cracks in that area. But the dovetail joint is a very strong joint. Yes wood swells and shrinks. It is going to do this regardless of the finish, because the finish is not a waterproof cover. In somewhat humid conditions the wood in that joint will swell enough to make the joint even stronger. (Low humidity is always the enemy of wood joinery.)

    The crack is only in the lower 1/3 of the heel, indicating it probably is only a problem in that area. There’s probably 2/3 of the glue line that is intact.

    I agree there is a chance the joint will loosen over time, but what is the chance it will move a couple of tenth mm’s—enough to make playability problems? With the dovetail joint and truss rod it’s not really going to flex and cause a bow.

    Like everything in life it’s a game of percentages and probabilities. A guitar company ideally would not let a guitar out into the world with a 1% chance of failure down the road. But an individual might decide that’s not a bad bet, if the price is right.

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I’ve had a couple of vintage guitars with finish cracks in that area. But the dovetail joint is a very strong joint. .
    Old vintage and custom guitars use a dovetail. Even with CNC, it's much more work and time than a tongue and groove. The mass produced assembly line constructed guitars, archtops too, use a simpler join. This is one of the reason they're not as durable, but then again they're more than adequate under normal circumstances. It's under extreme situations where the extra effort is evident, and especially in repairs. Well built hand built guitars (and Gibsons I'll say) are much better to work on for major repairs because of better materials and better construction methods.
    John D'Angelico would have used a dovetail. Jimmy D'Aquisto would have used a dovetail. You could even get a good permanent fit without glue on those, but...let's say the Asian namesakes are nothing of that ilk. Fast, easy, and profitable are not design parameters that favour things like fitted dovetail joins. Gotta take that into the equation when you're talking damage to a system.
    Just sayin'

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Old vintage and custom guitars use a dovetail. Even with CNC, it's much more work and time than a tongue and groove. The mass produced assembly line constructed guitars, archtops too, use a simpler join. This is one of the reason they're not as durable, but then again they're more than adequate under normal circumstances. It's under extreme situations where the extra effort is evident, and especially in repairs. Well built hand built guitars (and Gibsons I'll say) are much better to work on for major repairs because of better materials and better construction methods.
    John D'Angelico would have used a dovetail. Jimmy D'Aquisto would have used a dovetail. You could even get a good permanent fit without glue on those, but...let's say the Asian namesakes are nothing of that ilk. Fast, easy, and profitable are not design parameters that favour things like fitted dovetail joins. Gotta take that into the equation when you're talking damage to a system.
    Just sayin'
    I can’t find specifics on this particular guitar, but it is Korean-made, and DA advertises using dovetail joints even on their cheaper guitars. It’s not a big deal for a manufacturer to do a dovetail given templates and modern CNC machines.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I can’t find specifics on this particular guitar, but it is Korean-made, and DA advertises using dovetail joints even on their cheaper guitars. It’s not a big deal for a manufacturer to do a dovetail given templates and modern CNC machines.
    I found joint type of my guitar!!
    It is a Set Thru Neck!!
    Then, could it be a problem??

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun77
    I found joint type of my guitar!!
    It is a Set Thru Neck!!
    Then, could it be a problem??
    What means „set thru“?

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Eff
    What means „set thru“?
    I was kinda tryin' to figure that one out myself.
    "Aren't you guys playing an encore?"
    "No. Set through."

    But seriously, set through is something I've seen in association with solid or semi hollowbodies, a tongue and groove neck extension glued into a routed out pocket. This is often for guitars that are so thin in depth that they don't have a chin or heel to speak of. It makes sense for a guitar that doesn't need the body to resonate so the neck can be continued into the body area.
    As far as how that applies to a hollow body, Hmmmm. Mystery to me.
    Gibson did work with internal chin block extensions on the Johnny Smith, for increased stability but that was something different. It gave sustain and stability.
    Somehow I don't think that's the case here.

    Curiouser and curiouser