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NGD: Week old 2016 Traditional with a finish issue

joeh77

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Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
97
I purchased my first Les Paul a week ago and I was very happy with everything about it. Until about 3 days ago. I went to put a strap on the guitar when I got a look at the area around the studs that the stop tail is anchored to. Unfortunately I found that both studs had areas where the finish had come up, one still has a piece of the finish hanging from it. Here are some iPhone photos of the issue:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/18975893@N07/albums/72157663116446945


I know this is a cosmetic issue, nothing to do with the tone or playability of the guitar. I know I should have examined the guitar more fully before buying it. That being said, I don't think a brand new guitar should leave the factory in this condition. I know I can exchange the guitar for another one through my dealer, but I think, that the top on this Traditional is a level, or two, above the AA figure you'd expect at this price point.

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with a similar issue on a brand new guitar? And can this be repaired through Gibson warranty?

Thanks - Joe
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
Messages
3,068
The pics look perfectly normal... There's no problem.
What you are seeing is the excess nitro finish lifting off the top of the steel insert for the tailpiece studs.
That little circle lifting off is what happens.

The nitro finish does not stick to the steel insert. You can lift off those little rings of excess finish if it bothers you. You'll see the nice clean tops of the studs .

Nice looking guitar you have!!
 

1all's Pub

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Aug 15, 2015
Messages
157
The pics look perfectly normal... There's no problem.
What you are seeing is the excess nitro finish lifting off the top of the steel insert for the tailpiece studs.
That little circle lifting off is what happens.

The nitro finish does not stick to the steel insert. You can lift off those little rings of excess finish if it bothers you. You'll see the nice clean tops of the studs .

Nice looking guitar you have!!

The circle part is normal, true. But other part, the other part that's chipped/peeled away in addition to the circle is not normal.

OP, if you've only had the guitar a week, you might want to consider returning it. No telling how much worse that may get over time.

Bummer.
 

toxpert

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3,068
perhaps some more detailed pics would assist here.
The pics you posted appear to show only the excess finish (on top of the stud anchors) as peeling away. This is expected and not a defect.
 

DanD

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Apr 8, 2007
Messages
2,366
perhaps some more detailed pics would assist here.
The pics you posted appear to show only the excess finish (on top of the stud anchors) as peeling away. This is expected and not a defect.

+1

Even a bit of lifting around the inserts on the body is pretty common. I've used Xacto blades before to trim the edge of the bushing inserts clean with the insert. You may still get some fractures moving into the top surface around that area tho. I know I have. :dang

A lot of older guitars have checking that emanates from the same area. Probably due to the broken finish from the stud bushings being painted over.

If it bothers you take it back. Just be aware that most new Gibsons show this flaw. Some are worse than others tho. Yours looks about average to average plus.

:peace2
 

grimlyflick

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Oct 27, 2005
Messages
1,250
If you look carefully at the photos the lifting appears to spreading out farther than the inserts and what would normally be expected. :hmm

I'd certainly take it back to the store and make them aware of your concerns.
 

Cogswell

The Duke of Dumbassery
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Mar 19, 2002
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15,717
Very hard to make out what's going on here, but no, it doesn't look right
 

tommersjay

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Jun 11, 2015
Messages
134
There is no issue. Take the excess material off to reveal the studs. Quit scaring the kid and causing people to make unfair judgments about Gibson. Its non issues like this that stir that pot about QC unnecessarily. They are hand built instruments from wood, given that nature there will be not be 100% perfection to a T. Either way nice guitar. Enjoy it and do not return it is my .02

edit: my real suggestion is to just lower the stop tail to the body and then top wrap the strings. You wont see the studs and you will get the benefit of easier bending from top wrapping. Plus it looks cooler imo.
 

grimlyflick

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Oct 27, 2005
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There is no issue. Take the excess material off to reveal the studs. Quit scaring the kid and causing people to make unfair judgments about Gibson. Its non issues like this that stir that pot about QC unnecessarily. They are hand built instruments from wood, given that nature there will be not be 100% perfection to a T.

I'm not trying to scare anyone or certainly stir any pot regardinging Gibson's QC. I've been willing to overlook many a minor issues with many guitars over the years and have recently had to swallow a quality issue with Gibson, but if you look at the 1st photo you can clearly see the finish lifting off has extended further than the inserts and could spread further across the top.

Just my .02c
 

grimlyflick

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Oct 27, 2005
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1,250
It's worth letting the shop and their local Gibson rep aware, even if you don't end up doing anything about it. You may as in tommersjay's case be lucky and find the issue spreads no further, or you may as in my case, decide to live with it and if it worsens over the next year you will find Gibson can be a little "unhelpful" once you've added a little wear and tear of your own.
 

joeh77

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
97
Thanks to all for your comments!

While I admit to not being an expert on this kind of thing, I will say that I have never seen the finish coming off of studs, but on my other guitars the set screws were pretty much level with the top.

I noticed that the strings on the guitar are D'Addarios, which I thought was strange as the completion date on the case candy says the guitar went through final setup less than a month ago.

So I took it back to my local GC and they said that the strings could have been changed as their techs have to change strings on shop guitars at set intervals. Of course this also means he could have altered the factory setup and caused the issue. They did think the studs looked off and also commented on how high the bridge and tailpiece were off the top. They had no problem giving me an exchange. They looked for an exchange guitar for me at other Northeast locations. Got some iPhone photos for me to compare, but, they admitted, none came close to the top on the guitar in question. So I brought it back home and emailed the photos you've all seen to Gibson repairs. I'm hoping to hear back from them soon.

Their local warranty service center is about 40 minutes away with no email, so I might be proactive and call him on Monday and see if he can take a look.

I've added a few more photos, if anyone wants to take another look.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/18975893@N07/albums/72157663116446945

Joe
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
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3,068
The additional pics still show only the excess pooled finish sitting on top of the stud bushing/anchor. That layer of nitro finish on top of the bushing is extraneous and usually removed (unfortunately not in this case...which leads to false impression of defect).

Here's a pic of another guitar on this forum site that shows how the anchor/bushing normally looks...no finish on top.

bushingremovaltools19fq.jpg


Regarding the tailpiece height...nothing looks out of kilter. The tailpiece is adjustable so that you can adjust the downward pressure on the bridge saddles and also avoid the strings resting on the back edge of the bridge.
Adjusting the tailpiece height up...allows for more slinky action...especially for string bending. Many (including me for 30+ years) on this site top-wrap strings 'over' the tailpiece to enhance that feel. With top wrapping, you usually tighten the tailpiece studs onto the anchors/bushings - this is especially where you do not want the extraneous finish sitting on the anchors/bushings.

What you are seeing on your guitar is an artifact...there is not supposed to be nitrocellulose finish on the tops of the anchors/bushings. Take a exacto knife and carefully trim around the edge of the anchor/bushing...and you are good to go.

I am sure that GC will agree with whatever your concerns are...to keep the sale.

Best things - you have a great guitar...nothing wrong there....and this is a great place to seek advice from those who have been around a long time.

cheers !
 

joeh77

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Mar 20, 2015
Messages
97
The additional pics still show only the excess pooled finish sitting on top of the stud bushing/anchor. That layer of nitro finish on top of the bushing is extraneous and usually removed (unfortunately not in this case...which leads to false impression of defect).

Here's a pic of another guitar on this forum site that shows how the anchor/bushing normally looks...no finish on top.

bushingremovaltools19fq.jpg


Regarding the tailpiece height...nothing looks out of kilter. The tailpiece is adjustable so that you can adjust the downward pressure on the bridge saddles and also avoid the strings resting on the back edge of the bridge.
Adjusting the tailpiece height up...allows for more slinky action...especially for string bending. Many (including me for 30+ years) on this site top-wrap strings 'over' the tailpiece to enhance that feel. With top wrapping, you usually tighten the tailpiece studs onto the anchors/bushings - this is especially where you do not want the extraneous finish sitting on the anchors/bushings.

What you are seeing on your guitar is an artifact...there is not supposed to be nitrocellulose finish on the tops of the anchors/bushings. Take a exacto knife and carefully trim around the edge of the anchor/bushing...and you are good to go.

I am sure that GC will agree with whatever your concerns are...to keep the sale.

Best things - you have a great guitar...nothing wrong there....and this is a great place to seek advice from those who have been around a long time.

cheers !

Thanks very much Toxpert! Well explained and certainly great info to be had here on the forum, no doubt!

Joe
 

1all's Pub

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Aug 15, 2015
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I Maybe I'm just seeing things... but on some of these pics I clearly *think* I'm seeing a good 1/4" or more of the finish chipped away underneath the tailpiece... not just the finish pooled on top of the bushings (which, btw, is very common and I agree not a problem).

The problem that I thought the OP was asking about (and which I commented on above) is the that it seems there is finish chipping off to the side of the anchor. OP... am I just seeing things or is there indeed finish chipped & missing. Or maybe is this excess nitro sitting on top of the finish??? See pic below of what I am referring to:
 

joeh77

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Mar 20, 2015
Messages
97
I Maybe I'm just seeing things... but on some of these pics I clearly *think* I'm seeing a good 1/4" or more of the finish chipped away underneath the tailpiece... not just the finish pooled on top of the bushings (which, btw, is very common and I agree not a problem).

The problem that I thought the OP was asking about (and which I commented on above) is the that it seems there is finish chipping off to the side of the anchor. OP... am I just seeing things or is there indeed finish chipped & missing. Or maybe is this excess nitro sitting on top of the finish??? See pic below of what I am referring to:

You are correct. In the highlighted photo above that is finish chipping away from on top of the anchor. I can't tell if it's just finish from the anchor, or from elsewhere.

The GC tech mentioned they might have drilled the hole for the anchor too deep and perhaps filled it with something and then when they backed the screw out some residue came back out of the hole?

I just received a call from the guy that is my local warranty service center. So I am taking the guitar to him tomorrow.

Interested in hearing what he thinks, and I'll post what he says.

Joe
 

Kris Ford

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Jan 6, 2007
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4,003
Really, if you took the tailpiece off, removed the studs, you could just score around the stud bushing in the guitar body, peel that little nitro donut off, and be good to go. Going by the pics, it's that excess nitro that has been broken, and is C shaped, and no longer a ring.
Please try this...:salude
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
Messages
3,068
The material in the pic is the excess nitro finish that was on top of the anchor/bushing. When the tailpiece studs were installed into the anchor/bushing, the excess finish started peeling off from the top of the anchor/bushing.

The problem originates with Gibson not cleaning off the excess finish on top of the anchor/bushing.

In this case, the normal separation of the excess finish from the anchor/bushing is alarming to our OP.
His concerns were further not addressed competently by the GC tech...and left our friend further in doubt that something was terribly wrong with his beautiful investment.
His concerns are now further exacerbated by a GC tech stating the bushing is too low and material is squirting out !!
Gibson installs the bushings a bit lower than vintage guitars were...but that's no problem and is what it is. Even with the stud screws all the way down and tight onto the bushings...the tailpiece still has plenty of clearance from the top of the guitar.

Holy smokes batman ! This new LP owner has got a beautiful instrument with no problems....

The GC tech(s) needs to go back to training (if they ever were trained...).:hmm:bug
 

Edselman1

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Dec 25, 2015
Messages
6
Every Gibson I have purchased new has had this issue. The tops of the stud bushings are covered in paper at the factory before finishing. In theory the lacquer that's over the paper should slough off. But in reality, it doesn't. I always just score the excess lacquer where the metal meets the wood with a #11 Exacto Knife and peel the excess lacquer off. Works every time.

I understand that this issue isn't seen on other brands of guitars, but Gibson has been doing this for many years and somethings they don't change. Another issue the I see that is similar is that they spray lacquer over the ends of the nut. Lacquer don't stick well to the material (plastic of some variety) the nut is made of and often this peels off. The peeling can on rare occasions spread up the binding on the neck. You don't see that happening on other brands either.
 
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