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  #1  
Old 03-04-2021, 02:13 PM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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Default Yamaha LL-500 Top Fix

I bought a Yamaha LL-500 (still within returnable period). It seems like a surface crack maybe hit by something. I wanted to check with experts here if this is fixable, affects the longevity, value, etc. If fixable, how to do it DIY or how much it'd cost by a luthier. I want to keep it but need your opinion.
. Thank you in advance. I couldn't attach photos correctly so here're the photos of the top crack.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tQBS23rFGUiExf8U8

Last edited by acousticsean; 04-13-2021 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:30 PM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:54 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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I'm assuming you are asking seriously.

Clearly, it was hit by something. In so doing, it has cracked the wood of the top in two places and depressed that portion of the top. The third photo suggests that one of the cracks runs edge to edge vertically. If X-braced, it is in the location where the end of the brace would be, which might have been separated from the top.

Depending on the type of finish applied to the guitar, it will be next to impossible to repair professionally so that it looked like new. Forget any DIY remedy unless you have extensive repair experience, particularly with high-gloss finishes. Without seeing it, I'd suggest $100 to $150 to repair the cracks, check for a loose brace and re-glue it, but without doing any finish repair. Depending on the type of finish, it could be as much, or more, to repair the finish.

The value of the guitar, as it is now, depends upon who is buying it. Many will suggest its value is as low as 75% to 50% of what it would be without that damage (i.e. loss of value of 25% to 50%).

You don't specify make, what you paid for it, and whether or not you received it/purchased it in that condition. Without that information, one can't really provide meaningful input. Unless it was purchased for a song, or was a particularly rare instrument, I can't imagine why one would chose to keep it.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 03-04-2021 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:11 PM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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Thank you Charles for your answer. Yes, it is a serious question.
The guitar is a Yamaha LL-500 which is hard to come by. The store sold it for 800USD but I can still return it.
If I loosen the strings and feel the brace from the inside, will I be able to detect the damage?
It's such a nice sweet tone but wondering if I should return it because it will be difficult to sell in the future.

Last edited by acousticsean; 03-04-2021 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:37 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acousticsean View Post
Thank you Charles for your answer. Yes, it is a serious question.
The guitar is a Yamaha LL-500 which is hard to come by. The store sold it for 800USD but I can still return it.
If I loosen the strings and feel the brace from the inside, will I be able to detect the damage?
It's such a nice sweet tone but wondering if I should return it because it will be difficult to sell in the future.
A quick internet search suggests that they originally sold for $1500 and were made between 1999 and 2003. A few used ones are listed in price from $500 to $2300. The discussion here, https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...ad.php?t=32053, suggested, "If you can find one under $1000 buy it".

If you put, say, $200, into repairing it, it isn't clear you'd get your total investment back if you sold it, though all it takes is one buyer at the desired price. If you are buying it as an investment, I suggest there are other investments that provide a better return. If you are buying it to keep and play because you like the sound and playability, if you feel it is good compared to what else you could buy for the same $1k, then keep it and have it professionally repaired. If you decide to keep it, have it looked at and the repair work professionally estimated before your return period expires. That way you know what it will actually cost you and what options you have. At minimum, the top cracks should be repaired.

I don't buy and sell instruments so I can't tell you much about the used guitar market and how much buyers would expect as a discount in value were they to buy that instrument. Others here are in a better position to offer an opinion of what they would pay for a guitar with that damage, repaired and not repaired.

If you loosen the strings, you can probably put your hand into the hard-to-reach area and feel for damage. I usually use my thumbnail as part of checking for loose braces. A mirror is also helpful for internal visual inspection. Use some caution as you don't want to damage it further making it more difficult to repair.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 03-04-2021 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:43 PM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/2Re6wjb5PU7epATbA

Ok I have another photo of inside and you can see the crack went through.
Is this a bigger issue?
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:48 PM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/aFEiwxSvXsjtNqwa9

You can see the crack better here too.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:51 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acousticsean View Post
https://photos.app.goo.gl/aFEiwxSvXsjtNqwa9

You can see the crack better here too.
The photo doesn't tell me anything about the crack that I couldn't see from the outside.

While I don't know anything about how Yamaha made the LL 500's, the glue-soaked material is a little odd. It's possible that that is how they made them, but it seems a non-standard practice. Is there a similar piece of material on the opposite side of the guitar? If not, something "funny" has gone on.

Here's one, presumably in good condition, that sold for $750 in 2009. It took the seller eight months to sell it: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/f...ll-500-guitar/

Last edited by charles Tauber; 03-04-2021 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:05 PM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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Thank you Charles Tauber,
I just looked and the white glue cloth is only in the center and on the side where the crack is. Definitely not symmetrical. May have had a fix previously. Sigh. No matter how sweet the tone is, this one seems to have too many issues on the top board...
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:21 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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If you like the instrument, I still suggest taking it to a professional repair person to have the damage - past and present - assessed.

it is difficult to determine from the photo, but the end of the X brace doesn't seem to align with the corresponding pocket in the lining. It's difficult to tell if there is a gap under that end of the brace or it is just glue next to the brace.

Given that Yamaha went as far as applying finish on the side reinforcements, and that this was their top of the line, it seems unlikely they would have missed the pocket in the lining. That suggests something happened to the X brace: the cloth suggests something might have happened to the other braces beneath the cloth.

Regardless, have it professionally inspected to see what state it really is in. Armed with that information, you might be able to get a reduced price and know what it would cost to fix it.

If you are buying to resell it, return it.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:10 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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Quote:
....wondering if I should return it because it will be difficult to sell in the future.
If you are even thinking about this at all now, I'd return it.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:53 PM
redir redir is online now
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I'm not familiar with that guitar but that cloth patch looks to be an attempt, and a very poor one at that , to 'fix' the damage to the top. Who knows what glue was used to patch that cloth up with. It would probably not be something I would even accept in my shop for repair.
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2021, 09:34 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Here's my take on your situation:

For me, tone is everything. If a guitar sounds like I want it to sound and has other problems, unless they're endangering things structurally, I don't care. It's not often I come across an instrument that I love and what it looks like is irrelevant.

If I can afford it and I love the way a guitar sounds, I don't care what it's future value might be. I don't buy a guitar as an investment.


But those are my priorities and yours may be very different.

If you care about what you might be able to sell if for in the future I'd take it back.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:08 PM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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Thank you for all of your replies. I've learned much from all of your replies. I ended up returning it. Just wasn't comfortable with what other issues it may have. The tonal difference is subjective and constantly changing and that's probably why we guitarists keep changing gear. So I consider resale scenario just in case. Thank you for all of your answers.
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2021, 09:46 AM
acousticsean acousticsean is offline
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Default Yamaha LL-500

It looks like someone rebought it and is trying to make a quick buck.

https://reverb.com/item/39883866-rar...500-solid-body

It'd be good to know of the risk of damage before the transaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
If you like the instrument, I still suggest taking it to a professional repair person to have the damage - past and present - assessed.

it is difficult to determine from the photo, but the end of the X brace doesn't seem to align with the corresponding pocket in the lining. It's difficult to tell if there is a gap under that end of the brace or it is just glue next to the brace.

Given that Yamaha went as far as applying finish on the side reinforcements, and that this was their top of the line, it seems unlikely they would have missed the pocket in the lining. That suggests something happened to the X brace: the cloth suggests something might have happened to the other braces beneath the cloth.

Regardless, have it professionally inspected to see what state it really is in. Armed with that information, you might be able to get a reduced price and know what it would cost to fix it.

If you are buying to resell it, return it.

Last edited by acousticsean; 04-13-2021 at 09:56 AM.
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