The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  1. #1

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    Thinking about purchasing a used ES-175
    should I be concerned about this crack and location
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson ES-175 crack should I be concerned-gibson-steve-howe-12-jpg 


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    The crack along the glue line might suggest a neck angle shift. One thing I'd check is the saddle height assuming the action is reasonable.
    I don't know if this would also pose a structural problem down the line. Hopefully someone who has more experience with these sorts of issues will chime in about the potential structural risks.

  4. #3

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    If you are buying, talk them down as much as you can. If selling, it looks more like a finish issue near the glue line; if it is stable, probably no big deal.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    If you are buying, talk them down as much as you can. If selling, it looks more like a finish issue near the glue line; if it is stable, probably no big deal.
    Agree loots like finish line crack. Careful examination should tell.

  6. #5

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    Hard to tell exactly from one photo, but it looks like a poor finish job, and the bubbles are breaking off a little. There should have been no bubbles, but Gibson sometimes just shoves it out the door. It has no effect on strength, it's just a finish issue, as far as I can tell from the photo.

  7. #6

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    The crack is minor. If it bothers you too much, you have to take it to a reputable guitar shop or individual that repair guitars.

  8. #7

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    I'd be very wary. Although it looks minor, a crack like that doesn't appear out of nowhere. In my many years of experience as a luthier, repairman and QC for Ibanez, I've seen this kind of breach many times. There is a fair chance this resulted from a case drop where the neck experienced a shock trauma, was held within the case as the body and neck separated momentarily. This takes a LOT of force and torque and although the split looks minor, it can indicate underlying issues and surely points to some amount of glue separation. Torque along the neck also impacts things you can't see.
    Decent chance that it's minor and you'll have many years of use.
    Decent chance that it's trouble that will haunt you and get worse in the future.
    No way of knowing what the odds are.

    On a new guitar purchase and not knowing how and when this split occured, I'd pass on this one personally. Two places where finish cracks and checks signal an instant pass in my book: Neck/body join and the area right beneath the nut. These are the two highest points of tension on a guitar and anything questionable here where hundreds of pounds of tension are focused constantly and shear and momentary forces are constant means don't mess with integrity here.
    When we QC'd a guitar on the Ibanez line, this was the FIRST area we looked at and it was an instant reject because it meant something major compromised the integrity of the guitar. This would never go to a sales floor.
    As a repairman, I've seen many guitars come apart after a seemingly tiny breach like this opened up after a while or with use and weather shifts (it's a potential time bomb) and that's long after a seller will consider it his responsibility.

    Look at the placement of the cracks; it's clear in your photos. Both on the body side of the binding and the neck side. See the places where the finish has chipped? This isn't bad lacquer application, this is the body and neck separating, levered at the 14th fret and downward pressure causing the neck and body to come apart. To a repairman, finish isn't just a pretty shiny coat, it's also an indication of the integrity history of the guitar. History is written with a finish. You need to learn to read it. Good informative photos, by the way.

    But I'm in the minority here it would seem. Do what your gut tells you.
    Good luck.
    Last edited by Jimmy blue note; 06-07-2023 at 05:10 AM.

  9. #8

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    Jimmy Blue Note makes sense to me.

    As a layperson, I wouldn't buy it because I couldn't be sure it was minor -- even if it is minor.

    I think a lot of people might think this way, which means it will be hard to sell.

    I also wouldn't be sure it could be fixed properly at any price that makes sense.

  10. #9

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    I'm also with Jimmy Blue Note. A Gibson jazz guitar is a huge investment (for me).. That kind of crack at the neck joint is just not normal. I would take it to a luthier before buying. No way I would buy it without a very careful inspection by an expert.