Finish crack or worse?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Landshark2021, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Landshark2021

    Landshark2021 Strat-Talker

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    Just bought this Player Stratocaster HSS online from Amazon Warehouse (I know, total roll of the dice) It was advertised as open box in very good condition and was selling for $561.00. Using a $60 amazon credit I had earned brought it down to $501.00, list is $809.00.
    The guitar seems to be in great shape, no fret buzz, nice action, sounds killer. The only thing I noticed is that there are very slight cracks in the finish on both sides of the neck, under where the neck is attached to the body. They don't seem to be deep but I can't tell for sure. If they won't ever effect the playability,
    I am inclined to keep it. But if its something worse, then I have until 6/25 to return it.
    The cracks are really hard to photograph, I was only able to capture the larger of the 2.

    Please let me know your opinion.
    100_0353.JPG 100_0354.JPG 100_0362.JPG 100_0364.JPG
     
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  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    Normal stuff. They're finish cracks and won't effect anything as far as tone or playability. You'll find them on all kinds of models with bolt on necks.
     
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  3. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    It's a stress crack in the finish caused by slight expansion or shrinkage. It is very common on Strats. It should not cause any playability issues.
     
  4. Martins Strat

    Martins Strat Strat-O-Master

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    I agree with the other comments, just looks like a stress crack in the finish.

    Looking at that fretboard it looks like it could do with some moisture in general.
     
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  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    in a bolt on guitar with a nice snug heck/body fit, such cracks are inevitable... the reason, wood expands and contracts.. but few realize the dynamics in the neck and body.. the neck is easy... when the wood expands the heel gets wider.... However things are different on the body.. as the body expands, the neck pocket gets smaller.... so now you have two sections of wood trying to occupy the same space at the same time... the results .. those quaint little cracks in the finish reminding ya, the guitar is a living entity..

    I might expand for those on the opposite end of the spectrum, comfronted by an unsightly gap between the neck and the body....

    as the wood contracts, again the neck is easy to understand.. it gets smaller.... But.. the body... the neck pocket represents a hole in the material surrounding it that will be contracting.. as that happens that neck pocket gets wider... thus as the two different pieces of wood head in different directions, the gap can reveal itself.



    r
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  6. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Strat-O-Master

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    As mentioned above it's normal and happens to pretty much all bolt on necks (eventually) that have neck fitting tight in the pocket. The people who complain about gaps between the neck & body don't typically have these finish issues. A lot of people believe a tight fitting neck equals better sustain & vibration transference from neck to body, so there's always pros with the cons.
     
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  7. Slyy

    Slyy Strat-Talker

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    Those stress cracks in the finish are likely the reason you got the guitar at a discount. So be happy they are there!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  8. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    Structurally, the neck is supported by the bottom of the pocket, and the bolts (wood screws), not the sides of the pocket.
    So even worst case scenario (which is unlikely) that it's deeper than the finish, it's still insignificant structurally.
    Cosmetically, yeah, that's a bummer. It will also make it harder to sell because people are...leery about neck pocket cracks. Just like why you are leery about it.

    If the price is right, keep it and play it and forget about the cracks.
     
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  9. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    Exactly right ^^^
    Which begs the question, why is the guitar community so obsessed with tight neck pockets?
    I see it as a detriment, not a feature, but what do I know. I spend all of my time playing the darn things, not inspecting them.
     
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  10. stratelespaul

    stratelespaul Strat-O-Master

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    I agree with all above.
    If you find that you just can't deal with it, send it back or better yet, part it out.
    You'll probably turn a profit.
    Best to all
     
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  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    And along with the price those are all of the reasons why you shouldn't return it. Those are all of what you paid for. The finish cracks are meaningless structurally and may even have gotten you a better price.

    As Ron Kirn added to others opinions wood will expand and contract which indicates that even if a guitar is perfect in every way when new that's not to say stress cracks in a finish won't happen at some later point in time.
     
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  12. telepraise

    telepraise Strat-O-Master

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    That's a real pretty strat. I take it you're liking those alnico 5 pickups? I'd oil up that PF fingerboard and let her rip!
     
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  13. train

    train Owner operator Silver Member

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    Nice guitar. Congratulations, enjoy
     
  14. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Most Honored Senior Member

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    Many of my Fenders have that...completely normal.Nice Strat at a great price!!
     
  15. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    It’s in the wood, but it’s also no big deal. With the neck off super glue can be wicked into it from the neck pocket. That should keep it from spreading. The finish could also be touched up, but unnecessary.