Design flaws the manufacturers didn’t resolve

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Blue Beagle, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Juanfler

    Juanfler New Member!

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2019
    Location:
    Malaysia
    The Stratocaster design was conceived to address issues with the Telecaster design - uncomfortable body edges and balance - as well as issues with Bigsby and other vibrato systems available at the time. Plus having the switch and controls in easy reach. Not many.people seem to note that the angled hole for the arm allows for the guitar to be put into the case without having to remove the arm. Just swing it round to the forearm contour and it's low enough to close the case. A lot of people take the arm out before putting the guitar in the case and then the little tension spring inside the hole falls out.
     
    beeflin likes this.
  2. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

    Messages:
    27,261
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Initech, Inc.
    Hey now, I'm an engineer and I resemble this remark!

    Seriously though, I don't care for the idea of the access panel on the back because I don't think it would sound best overall for the sound of the guit. If anything, I'd put it between the pickups and get in through there, I want the back to be solid.
     
    drp146 and CB91710 like this.
  3. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

    Messages:
    27,261
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Initech, Inc.
    None of my cases close with the bar on regardless of position, so off it comes.
     
    drp146 likes this.
  4. riverman

    riverman New Member!

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Cabarita Beach
    1) Strat: the pickguard should be in two pieces so one can access the controls without touching the strings or bridge
    2) Strat: there should be an alternative bridge plate that creates a hard tail without further alteration or new holes or need to block the trem
    3) Strat; inconsistent quality - many used ones are unreliable to setup, the neck relief wanders and they need regular setup adjustment and are hard to keep in tune. and then you get one that is really good and stable- a gem!
    3) Tele: the 3 saddle bridge on teles -they do sound "a bit" different but intonation is useless
    they have no real mojo it is just a poor design (get a Gotoh or similar drop in replacement six saddle)
    4) Tele - on some the route for the pickup wires that goes from the neck pickup through the bridge pickup cavity to the controls
    5) for partscasters a standard neck pocket size and neck butt dimensions. everything else can vary such as radius, they aren't modular as advertised, and only a small variation can be a problem
    6) Strat - only the neck pickup has any guts and depth of tone - I bet most of you use this 95% of the time
    7) the old fashioned 7 1/2 radius neck
     
  5. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,772
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2020
    Location:
    Altered States
    Yes, it would eliminate the issue. But, to be fair, Gibson doesn't lock down stop pieces from the factory, so it's not a design defect. The Internet says it's better though. (I take no position). You can also top wrap, which the Internet also says is better, to eliminate the issue. (I take no position).

    Brilliant!

    Yeah, I had a Mustang. Bad design. Never stayed in tune.

    Tradition! My LP is from the 70's and it has (had) the issue. I'm guessing the tradition dates to the originals in the 1950's.
     
    drp146 and ibdrkn1 like this.
  6. DeanoSonic

    DeanoSonic New Member!

    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    The Stratocaster pickups had raised G string poles to account for the lower output of wound G strings typically used when the Strat was originally designed. Even the three barrel Telecaster saddles coped ok when using a wound G string. Individual saddles now found on most modern Tele's have resolved the intonation issues of using a plain G string but the 2021 American Professional Strat still has raised G string poles when most players have been using plain G strings for decades. I figure that vintage inspired reissues can have whatever "flaws" those purists demand but modern, professional Strat's should have all of that stuff ironed out like - locking tuners, easy to use accessible truss rods, graphite nuts, larger treble side body cutout, balanced pickup poles, intonation screws that don't cut your palm, trem bars that don't flop around, plug and play wiring (at least at the output jack)... PRS, Silver Sky anyone???
     
  7. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Messages:
    2,711
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2016
    Location:
    Fulton MO
    Out of all these, #4, such a dumb thing that’s a total pain in the butt for me.
     
    SKYDOG4570 likes this.
  8. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    5,390
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    Did it fall backwards off the stand?
     
    drp146 likes this.
  9. SKYDOG4570

    SKYDOG4570 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    68
    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2020
    Location:
    Carolina's USA
    My Jazzmaster feels like a huge pancake that will not stay situated on my lap. (Might be my belly....I dunno). But I still LOVE my JM.

    The Ultra series and the new Am Pro II's resolve my main complaint with Fender body-neck joins, with their new contour back there.

    Agile 3200 MCC has had a solution for the LP body-neck set for years, now others are following. Plus the 3200 with it's three/five piece neck through neck solve headstock snaps as well as neck warping. Their weakest point are the cheap Grover tuners, which is easily solved with USA Grover locking tuners.

    Nuff said from me.
     
    drp146 likes this.
  10. drp146

    drp146 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    58
    Messages:
    190
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    It fell forward. The amp was still on and the volume knob still up. Made a sound I'll never forget. The place was freaked out for a bit there, lol. A drunk stumbled up on the small riser stage and knocked it over. He was saying, "You guys sound great!" I never got a dime out of him.
     
  11. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

    Messages:
    16,256
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    Location:
    Hurst, TX
    My tube amp never heats up my chicken nugs hot enough.

    Design flaw.
     
  12. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Messages:
    4,347
    Joined:
    May 10, 2020
    Location:
    Washington
    It's a very real thing and I have made a lot of money repairing them.
     
    Blue Beagle and nadzab like this.
  13. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,796
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Location:
    SoCal
    And not unique to Gibson... nor is it "fixed" on Epiphone....

    16574656.jpg
     
    Neil.C, nadzab and StummerJoe like this.
  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,032
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    pennsyltucky
    Non-reverse Firebird.
    All the strings pull from one side of the headstock.
    If the nut becomes unglued, it goes zinging over about 1/2".
     
    StummerJoe and CB91710 like this.
  15. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    5,390
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    I’m sure they break from time to time under the right conditions, but my personal belief - which may be wrong, of course - is that the internet has elevated the issue to mythic proportions. People love to hate on Gibson, and perpetuating the “headstocks fly off in a stiff breeze” story is an easy way to do it.

    My view of it is definitely driven by personal experience (as is yours). When I was in high school, I had an ‘84 Les Paul Standard and a ‘72 VW Squareback with a damaged liftgate latch. I had the LP in the back (in its chainsaw case) when I went around a corner at a good clip and the liftgate opened. I saw my LP literally bouncing on the road in the rearview mirror, but it never came out of the case, thankfully. I was still super afraid to open the case, but when I did, the guitar was 100% intact. Those chainsaw cases were ugly as a dog’s arse, but I guess they were pretty good at protecting guitars.

    My next close call was many years later, when my boys were young and were horsing around upstairs. I heard a huge bang and went up to find them in the room where I kept my guitars, and my SG, which was in its case, was face down on the floor. I never got a straight answer out of them as to what happened, but when I turned the case over, it had a huge gash in the plywood directly over the headstock compartment. Once again, though, the guitar was unscathed, and the headstock still was fully attached to the neck.

    Those two incidents involved cased guitars, but I have read more than a couple accounts on the internet of Gibsons sustaining headstock damage while cased. But the closest call I had was when I leaned over my amp while I was playing my ‘95 Les Paul (which I still have, along with the SG), and the strap popped off the upper button. The guitar dropped, neck first, onto the top front edge of my Hot Rod DeVille, then hit the floor. The headstock hit first and took the majority of the impact. I can tell you that I was 99.9% certain that when I drummed up the courage to actually look at the neck, I would find a major crack at the very least; but the only damage was some gouges in the wood around the nut and first fret, one down to bare wood, that I was able to drop-fill and wet-sand to the point where today, they are barely noticeable.

    So I am skeptical, based on those three harrowing but ultimately harmless experiences; and the fact that I have never personally known (i.e., met in the flesh) anyone who has broken a Gibson headstock, or mentioned that they knew someone who had. I’m sure it’s happened, and that’s great that it’s been an income source for you, but in my experience, Gibson necks/headstock joins are a lot more rugged than they get credit for.
     
    Neil.C, StummerJoe and CB91710 like this.
  16. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    5,390
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    Lovely wall art :)

    FWIW, googling “broken Fender headstock” turns up a pretty good number of pictures - but I will freely admit that while I think Gibson headstocks are not as fragile as they’re made out to be (see my previous post), there’s no doubt a Fender headstock could take more abuse. That still doesn’t make the Gibson design horribly flawed, IMHO.
     
    Neil.C and CB91710 like this.
  17. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Messages:
    4,347
    Joined:
    May 10, 2020
    Location:
    Washington
    You've been lucky bro! The problem is when people lean them on something and then they fall. The angle of the headstock if it falls backwards means that the top of the headstock will hit the floor and it's an easy snap. Most are easy to repair and the repair is stronger than the neck was originally.

    I have actually had a guy bring me the same guitar for a second headstock repair and it wasn't broke where I had previously repaired it. I took the job, of course, but I also walked him over to some nice secure guitar stands. ;)

    You don't have to be a hater to recognize the flaw. Many Gibson owners/lovers complain about it and just accept the reality. Some even take extra care as to how they store their instrument or where they set it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
    nadzab likes this.
  18. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Messages:
    4,347
    Joined:
    May 10, 2020
    Location:
    Washington
    You have to TRY to break a Fender headstock.
     
    nadzab likes this.
  19. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    5,390
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    Well I would never try to... ;)
     
    StummerJoe likes this.
  20. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    5,390
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    I fully acknowledge that.
     
    StummerJoe likes this.