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Warren Haynes ES335 cracked.

Uncle Gary

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I've had the Warren Haynes ES335 for just about a month, and I've really been bonding with this guitar. Then, tonight I picked it up and noticed an inch long crack in the top on the bass side "ear". This appears to have just happened sometime in the past couple of days.

I realize it's been a cold winter here, but the guitar has lived in a humidified room in my house since I've owned it, and my other guitars (including several solid wood acoustics) have weathered the winter without incident.

I also realize the crack is probably not going to be a structural issue, but it's still a disappointment in a new guitar, and an expensive one, at that. I'm also afraid that the crack will devalue the guitar when the time comes to sell it (which will happen, eventually). I'm not sure what, if any, recourse I have at this point. Yes, I have a warranty, but I have no idea if Gibson will consider this a "defect in material and workmanship", or if they will tell me it was my fault.

Then too, I'm reluctant to try to get it replaced under warranty. In my experience, the ES335 is the most inconsistent guitar Gibson makes. Tone, feel, weight and build quality all vary widely, and there's no telling what I might get as a replacement from them.

I guess I'll contact the dealer and see what they tell me. Sorry for the long rant.
 

Minibucker

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Definitely call and find out. So sorry to hear about it...and I know what you mean about consistency....when you find a 335 you really like, it feels like a gem amongst common stones. But what is right is right. Or just keep it and see if you can get some compensation for a pro repair. Best of luck.
 

Mars Hall

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Sorry to hear about this. Once bonded with an instrument, it's liken to having a pet or, dare I say, a child. I've been considering adding one of these to the arsenal.

What reviews I've read so far, these guitars seem to be fairly consistent. I would think, Warren attaching his name, to something like this, would demand the best.

Hope everything works out for ya.
 

GotTheSilver

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Apr 14, 2007
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Very sorry to hear about this! I recently discovered a crack in my Memphis ES-335 and was quite upset, although I have had that guitar for about seven years. (my, how time flies!)
 

Uncle Gary

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Thanks. I think my first response will be to get in touch with the dealer and see what they suggest. I've bought more than a dozen guitars from them, mostly Gibsons, and they haven't steered me wrong yet.

My 11 year old Hummingbird developed a tiny crack in the back after about 7 years, but it's in portion of the back that's glued to the neck block, so I don't consider it a structural issue, and it's been stable since it appeared.

OTOH, of the six 335 type guitars I've owned, three of them have developed cracks within a year. Not the best record for sure.
 

Ken Fortunato

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this is a weathercheck in a lacquer finish ?

I was wondering the same thing... Especially after the quote below... We're not talking about a single ply Sitka spruce acoutic top. I would think that a "true crack" in a plywood top is a rarity, and certainly a bonafide warranty issue...

OTOH, of the six 335 type guitars I've owned, three of them have developed cracks within a year. Not the best record for sure.
 

Uncle Gary

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No, not a check in the finish. You can see a black line in the wood where the outer ply is cracked. This is not all that uncommon in my experience. Remember how laminates are made. First the veneers are "peeled" from the log and pressed flat. Then they are glued together and pressed into the arched shape of the guitar top/back. All this forming and pressing sets up stresses in the wood. Sometimes the only way the wood can relieve these stresses is to crack.
 

Mars Hall

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No, not a check in the finish. You can see a black line in the wood where the outer ply is cracked. This is not all that uncommon in my experience. Remember how laminates are made. First the veneers are "peeled" from the log and pressed flat. Then they are glued together and pressed into the arched shape of the guitar top/back. All this forming and pressing sets up stresses in the wood. Sometimes the only way the wood can relieve these stresses is to crack.

Is this true about vintage guitars too? I'm glad to have never experienced it.
 

Minibucker

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I had an '87 that luckily had no cracks. I certainly hope it doesn't happen to my current '59 Historic.
 

Uncle Gary

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I had an '87 that luckily had no cracks. I certainly hope it doesn't happen to my current '59 Historic.

I suspect that if it's going to happen, it happens when the guitar is fairly new. At least, my admittedly limited experience with ES models would indicate this.

For the record, I love ES-335s. It's always been my favorite Gibson after the Les Paul. I just seem to have bad luck finding the right one, for some reason.
 

DanD

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Apr 8, 2007
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I'd never heard of or seen this type of crack either. :hmm

Is there a simple solution/fix for this issue or is it a painful repair?

Sorry to hear it happened on yours...
 

Don

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Is this true about vintage guitars too? I'm glad to have never experienced it.

My '59 ES-225 has a crack in the outer layer of the veneer on the back. I should probably look into having it repaired but it's not structural and hasn't spread.
 

Minibucker

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If it can be repaired simply and stably enough, I'd say it adds mojo.
 

Wally

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A crack in the laminate??? Irksome, to say the least. My '66 ES-345 has never suffered from this 'malady'. 'Green' laminants???? Maybe modern productions demands are rushing the wood??? Just imagine if that '59 Blonde ES-355 that we can see in another thread on the Forum had a laminant crack from long ago that was now darkened further by dirt and oils?? (8^O
As for a crack---even if it is only in the finish to begin with-- in the joint where a neck and body come together?? That is more worrisome, imho. A finish crack that follows a joint is or could be indicative of stress that is or could be causing changes in the joint area, ime. With luck, though, it is only finish shrinkage.
 

Uncle Gary

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To be sure, the crack is in the top, near the bass side cutaway. A completely non-structural area. It does penetrate the wood, as you can see a dark line in the wood under the finish, and the wood is raised on either side of the crack.

I don't have a photo hosting account, but if someone wants to host it, I can email a picture.

I figure it's just God's way of telling me I have too many guitars.
 
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