Fretboard (ebony) crack, purely cosmetic or a bad sign of things to come?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by AkiraSpectrum, May 9, 2021.

  1. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Hello,
    I was checking around the 'used' gear section of Long & Mcquade (Canada) and one of the locations is selling a (used) Schecter C-8 Blackjack ATX for less than 1/3 of the retail price, with a hard case.
    The reason for it being so cheap is due to a large fretboard crack from frets 12 through 24.

    I am not necessarily interested in the instrument (not really into the feel of 8's, I prefer to just tune down a 7), but it got me wondering if the fretboard crack is mainly just cosmetic, or if it is a sign of a potential future of problems.

    Here is a pic:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. evade

    evade enthusiast

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    Bad things to come. Any damage to the fingerboard for (neck thru guitars in particular) are bad news b/c you won't be able to replace it. That's going to affect tone, playibility, tension, and just about everything for guitar set ups. Specifically, that crack looks pretty serious too lmao. It's definitely going to get worse with the effects of weather (rise and decline of temperature.)

    You can get a better guitar for a better price 100%. Just keep looking. I'm telling you from experience.

    Also, an 8 string is going to be hard to resell just due to it being an 8 string.

    If you buy this guitar, you're going to be stuck with it.

    The rule of thumb for me is if there's anything wrong or serious damage to the neck of the guitar, I stay the hell away from it. That being said - I don't like cosmetic damage in general and generally will stay away from the guitar. (It's a tall tale sign of how the owner took care of the guitar.) I also only own neck-thru's - cosmetic preference, but becomes more of an issue when considering neck configurations.

    If a guitar has a bad neck, it's going to be a bad guitar. The set ups will be difficult to run through (at times impossible). That's why country of origin is so important. With non-Japan/USA guitars, there is often inconsistent quality, you could get a neck that's REALLY good or REALLY bad, it's just a crap shoot, or the quality could be inconsistent elsewhere, but the most important evaluation of buying a guitar to me is how well the neck is constructed.

    So yeah, I know I'll hit a couple of nerves for people who pledge allegiance to some country of origin or whatever or say that they have a shitty Japan or US guitar, and I get that there's no 100% rule for any QA process. But it's just my experience that Korea, Indonesia, and China have somewhat more of a deviation towards quality of build. I'm not saying you can't get a Korean guitar that blows a USA one out of the water, I'm saying if you buy 100 USA made guitars to 100 Korean guitars, you'll have more USA guitars that are better built than the Korean ones.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  3. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I am not really looking for an 8, but seeing this got me thinking what this type of damage may mean for the future of the instrument.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  4. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    They can get worse over time but really the biggest problem is if it starts buzzing or something. If it's cracked and doesn't buzz it's not a huge deal. It's not like it's gonna fall off or something.
    - Luthiers can repair cracks. If I was whoever ended up buying this the first thing I'd do is get it repaired to stop the spread.
     
  5. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    Ouch. That's far from a cosmetic concern. Run away.
     
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  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I've seen worse. Not a difficult fix either.

    It's impossible to say much else without having the guitar in hand.
     
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  7. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Ebony cracking isn't uncommon. And as mentioned, it's an easy fix.

    Genuine question though for those who know more about it than I: is that fact that it's right in line with the truss rod more of a concern? I've only had/seen cracks more to the sides, so never thought about this aspect.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Nah. Maybe if there was significant (and I do mean significant) cracking around frets 5 through 9 I might have some concern, but the truss rod isn't really doing much that high up the board.
     
  9. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the info Max :)
     
  10. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    It could be damage from trauma to the instrument, poor craftsmanship, or most likely, lack of humidity. Substantially dried guitars can develop fret lift, sharp fret edges, warped necks... Those can all be addressed to some extent, but they are problems.
     
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  11. MaxAidingAres

    MaxAidingAres SS.org Regular

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    Probably a surface crack. Ebony cracks often so not something uncommon. You can have it filled with ebony dust and filler. Cant really speak on how it affects the stability. I wouldn’t worry about unless you notice buss or frets lifitng.
     
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