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View Poll Results: Should I take the guitar with a "reinforced" center top crack at 40% off?
Yes, that's a steal for something that's otherwise never played. 8 18.60%
No, run as fast as you can the other way. 17 39.53%
You never can tell; it's going to be a crapshoot. 18 41.86%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-20-2019, 04:54 PM
TokyoNeko TokyoNeko is offline
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Default Guitar on Reverb with a "blemish"

I was looking at a Reverb ad online for an inexpensive guitar, and there was one particular instrument that checks off most of the boxes... except for a visible top crack right down the middle between the bridge and the tail. A picture clearly shows the crack, and the description says that the crack has been "reinforced." The price of the guitar has been reduced by roughly 40% of what it would sell new in the market.

So I sent a message to the seller.

"Would it be possible to get a picture of inside the guitar where the crack has been reinforced? It might be a challenge, but if you could show that, it would be very helpful."

Here's the seller's response.

"I am not sure if I could pull that off. What it looks like is a couple of cleats, approx an inch long, glued to the top, on the underside of the crack. The cleats are mahogany and are the same thickness as the [spruce] top. Diamond shape, grain running opposite to the wood in the top."

My response:

"Thanks for the info. Let me think about this, because I think the added mass to the soundboard probably will have some impact on the tone."

If I were looking for a "keeper" there is no way I would go for it. But this is a solid-top/laminated-back guitar that is going to serve as a beater and a possible travel companion. Visuals are not the top priority, but I would care about tone, and structural integrity is obviously critical.

So now the poll question: Should I take the deal? Run the other way? Or is it a crapshoot at this point?
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Last edited by TokyoNeko; 08-20-2019 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:07 PM
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I think it's hard to answer this without knowing what kind/model guitar it is and how good a deal you'd be getting....
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:10 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is online now
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Ask him if he will give you a 48 hour return (he pays return shipping) if you find the repair was not done correctly.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:12 PM
MoJoe MoJoe is offline
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IMO I would steer clear of any acoustic guitar with any type of crack in it. With the market of used instruments soooo flooded out there, I imagine you can find a lot of wonderful guitars without cracks for the same price. Buying an already cracked acoustic just seems like a red flag from the get go.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:20 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoNeko View Post
The price of the guitar has been reduced by roughly 40% of what it would sell new in the market.
Isn't that pretty much standard for a used guitar without issues?
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:32 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Unless you’re worried about one of us reading this thread snagging the guitar before you can, Neko, it would be useful if you’d post a link to the ad so we can get a better idea of the guitar’s issues than we can by your description.

However, if you want to play it close to the vest, that’s perfectly understandable.


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Old 08-20-2019, 05:34 PM
TokyoNeko TokyoNeko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Unless you’re worried about one of us reading this thread snagging the guitar before you can, Neko, it would be useful if you’d post a link to the ad so we can get a better idea of the guitar’s issues than we can by your description.

However, if you want to play it close to the vest, that’s perfectly understandable.
Actually, someone snagging that particular deal is the least of my concerns. I don't want the poor seller (who I believe has been up front and honest to this point) to take a negative hit on his reputation.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:37 PM
TokyoNeko TokyoNeko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmcr View Post
Isn't that pretty much standard for a used guitar without issues?
Technically, the guitar has "never been played." It's a "new" guitar that was cracked because the shipper damaged it.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:42 PM
TokyoNeko TokyoNeko is offline
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I guess a picture will help... It's an A&L Roadhouse.

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Old 08-20-2019, 05:54 PM
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Carmel Cedar Carmel Cedar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmcr View Post
Isn't that pretty much standard for a used guitar without issues?
This would be my question. What would a normal discount be off of 'new' (list?). If it's truly 40% off the street price, this could be very well worth it.

I once considered a Ryan guitar with a soundboard crack, that had been repaired by Bill Tippin. Spoke to Bill, and got educated on soundboard cracks. Essentially, if they're well cleated, they are the strongest part of the guitar and will be stable for decades.

If you think the repair was well done, your only risk is the buyer freak-out factor in a resale, which will impact your sale price. If you're truly at 40% off, you may be able to resell with just a mild or maybe no loss (and way less of one than if you bought at full street price). I think it might be a good deal.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:54 PM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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The crack looks tight, and it sounds that a professionally qualified repair was made. I have a Bourgeois with a far more obvious center seam than that, repaired by Dana himself (as told to Elderly Instruments), and it's a stellar guitar. I also have a Northwood with a center seam repair that used three cleats 1/8th" thick that subdued the top. I thinned them down, near to the thickness of the top, and the sound came to life.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:55 PM
mercy mercy is offline
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If its going to be a beater the sound doesnt matter so buying it is good but Id look for the the cheapest one you can find. I would look for used at 50% which is not that unusual.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:01 PM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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Knowing what you're getting from the jump start, I wouldn't have a problem with a properly cleated top. I had an HD-28 with a repaired top seam crack that was superb. I had no problem selling it when it came time.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:32 PM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
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If you like the guitar I'd probably go for it, and seriously doubt that the repair as you described it would necessarily even be audible in a side by side, let alone just playing it.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:59 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is online now
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Default opinion

If this is the same seller who seems to have access to a huge number of damaged new Godin guitars, I recommend him. A year ago I bought a Seagull Walnut 12 that got a good hard whack, from this vendor, and the whole transaction was thoroughly satisfactory. In my case I bought a damaged guitar and did the repairs myself. A new instrument with a good repair sounds like a real bargain to me. I'd do it again if I wanted another Seagull.
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