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Epiphone Les Paul necks

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Bigdogdaddy, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Bigdogdaddy

    Bigdogdaddy Strat-O-Master Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2018
    I have been in the market for an Epiphone Les Paul (because I can't afford a real Gibson) and it appears to me that a lot of them have cracks or outright have broken up around the headstock. Is this a normal t hing on those guitars? I'd love to have one, but don't want it to take a crack on me.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  2. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014

    Any guitar when it has the miss-fortune of falling, or being dropped on the ground has a real chance of doing some damage somewhere.

    A cracked head-stock can be the fate of any guitar, that has a glued-on, 17-degree offset, head-stock.

    They can be re-glued of course, depending on the break & how many pieces of wood you can collect.

    The bottom line is don't drop your guitar !


  3. mad axe man

    mad axe man Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 23, 2016
    ontario canada
    drop a gibson and its broken...drop a strat and might go out of tune...simple
  4. circles

    circles Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Some folks look for that repair, claiming it is actually stronger, plus the stigma makes them cheaper. I dunno. Just be careful with what you like. I've had my LP for decades, no problem.
    abnormaltoy and ZlurkCorzDog like this.
  5. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Where are you seeing "a lot of them have cracks or outright have broken up around the headstock"?

    AFAIK, Epi LP's don't have a particularly bad rap for headstock breaks. Yes, headstock failures can occur on Epi's but the break angle on the Epi headstock (14 degrees) allows for more abuse compared to the 17 degree on Gibsons.
  6. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 3, 2009
    Mobile Bay
    Usually somewhere between 4-5 degree neck angle. It doesn't seem like much.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  7. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog ALSO BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 20, 2012
    Not On Cloud 9
    Keep your eye on MF on a daily basis & you will eventually find a smacking deal on an Open Box or blem.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  8. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog ALSO BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 20, 2012
    Not On Cloud 9
    Quoted for cool seasonal avatar. :cool::thumb:
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    What I find:
    Gibsons are known for fragile headstocks and people will be careful of them. Yet they still get broken.

    Epiphone has the scarf joints (which are really quite strong) but the headstock angle increases the likelihood of breaking. However, the main reason is because Epiphones are less expensive; people toss them around, don't take care of them, and yes they get sat on, dropped, kicked, and generally treated poorly "because they are not a Real Gibson" and they have those funny corners clipped off like a domesticated goose.

    If priced well, just fix 'em and play on! Guitars are only wood and wire, players give them their magic.

    johnnymg and abnormaltoy like this.
  10. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Just treat your guitars as if they were made of fine china.
    abnormaltoy and Stratoskater like this.
  11. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Its not an Epiphone issue, its an owner issue.
    No guitar is drop proof. Or idiot proof for that matter.
  12. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 4, 2013
    the scarf joint used on many guitars with steep headstock angles may not be pretty or look traditional but it is a gazillion times stronger than a 1 piece steep angled headstock.

    it eliminates what is known in the woodworking world as the "short grain"- this is where the wood is the weakest from the way the grain is oriented and why the gibson headstock has that flaw.

    a scarf joint will not break from a normal fall over like a gibson head stock usually will.
    ZlurkCorzDog and Guy Named Sue like this.
  13. bob_66

    bob_66 Strat-Talker

    Sep 22, 2018
    The gibson design is just bad ,simple as that. The scarf joint on guitar necks have been around for hundreds of years on classical /flemenco/parlour guitars etc... They are done for a reason which Gibson choose to ignore for some reason.(which was probably for aesthetic reasons only)
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  14. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Strat-O-Master

    I've heard of dozens of Gibbos with broken and repaired headstocks. Not so much with Epis. I'd actually buy an Epi over a Gibbo because of this. A friend of mine who repairs Les Paul headstocks claims they're stronger after the repair, mainly because the glue (and possibly stents on large jobs) used tend to be stronger than the original neck wood.
    johnnymg and abnormaltoy like this.
  15. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Oh? So that explains decades of production and thousands of top quality guitars sold around the world.

    The only thing "wrong" with the Gibson design is the idiots who drop their guitars and blame Gibson because the guitar broke.

    So how can it be a design flaw?

    Really? Dozens? Wow, considering the tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of Gibsons on the planet, thats an astronomical percentage.
    Yep, gotta be a design flaw. :confused:

    Oh, and based on what you said, your "friend" isnt qualified to work on a childs plastic toy banjo.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  16. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito

    If I may say, observing you through different threads on this site has got me wondering if not Gibson is a sensitive subject for you? It just strikes me funny how defensive you get at times when it comes to opinions about Gibson guitars. And this isn't the first time either.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  17. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Strat-O-Master

    I think we just found the Gibson employee there. Definitely a raw nerve. Time for a chill pill.
  18. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    @guitartwonk - Nope, I dont currently, and never have worked for or been affiliated with Gibson.

    @Guy Named Sue
    Not a sensitive topic, but one that I am sick of hearing about.

    Ive owned Gibsons since the 80s, including many different models and years. I've worked on a countless number of them, and have known many players and collectors who have had literally hundreds of Gibsons pass through their hands.

    Never has there been an issue with Gibsons "flawed" design until the internet tongue waggers (who Id bet a dollar to a dime have never even played a Gibson, let alone owned one) started this retarded rumor.

    The head stock defect is in part connected to the "Three tuners per side tuning defect" that Gibsons also (supposedly) suffer from.
    Which of course, is more internet nonsense.

    I hear the same thing at car shows all the time regarding Corvettes and thier inherent "flaws".
    Which again, are perpetuated by basement dwelling losers who could never afford a Vette.

    Same thing applies here, only its Gibson getting the bash, not Chevrolet.

    Broken head stocks due to being dropped is not a design flaw.
    arcticstrat likes this.
  19. evangilder

    evangilder Strat-Talker

    Sep 18, 2018
    Ventura, California
    With any guitar, keep it safely in a case or on a good stand when it's not being played, and you won't have any issues. The angle of the headstock on the Gibson Les Paul makes it fragile to breakage when dropped at the right angle. But the same is true on other guitars as well, not just Gibsons.

    I have 2 Epi Les Pauls and I have not heard of many breakage problems on the Epis because their angle is less. Look around for the right used one and you can find them inexpensively. I got a LP Studio for $179 used, and aside from being filthy, there was only one fret bar that needed some attention (it appeared to have fallen forward onto the guitar around the 12th fret that dinged the fret bar on just one.). Polish, elbow grease and a file made it a perfectly good instrument for $179. They sell new right now for around $350.

    They are fun and if you want one, buy one. I wouldn't lose sleep over someone breaking their guitar because thy didn't take care of it.
    TheDuck likes this.
  20. bob_66

    bob_66 Strat-Talker

    Sep 22, 2018
    The duck , regardless of what you`ve seen or experienced it is a bad design, which is why guitar builders have did it with a scarf joint for around 500 years .
    I`m not criticising Gibson ,just mentioned its a bad way to do things,i`m speaking as a luthier.
    Im not saying the headstock would spontaneously fall off either but it makes it very much more likely if knocked than if it had a scarf joint. Its just basic woodwork practice .
    No comment on tuners either side etc, which is the sensible way for a symetrical shaped headstock.
    Its just crossgrain is weak even without strings ,if it were knocked .
    guitartwonk, TheDuck and evangilder like this.