#1
Hey guys,

I see pictures all the time of Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls that have broken headstocks.

Since i have an Epi LP Standard, it makes me really worried that a fall from the guitar stand will have the same effect on mines. Plus it makes me feel really crap to own one since again, it seems to be broken so easily.

It has already once slid off my bed and landed on my carpet floor and it survived luckily enough, but in the future, i am afraid the next fall or whatever will render the thing unplayable.

Anyone care to enlighten me on this?

Thanks
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#2
Yes, they do break more easily than most guitars if you're rough with them. However, it needs to be said that Epiphones do have a scarf joint at the headstock to save costs in production. But that has the added effect of elongating the wood grain at the headstock area, which somewhat strengthens the headstock. Having a 14 degree headstock angle as opposed to a 17 on a Gibson also helps a little.

But generally you just have to be careful they don't fall over and hit something hard. That can be remedied by simply putting the guitar in a position were it isn't likely to.

Headstock breaks are usually fixable though. So if it does break, it usually isn't the end of the guitar provided that you're willing to afford to repair it. How much they cost depends on the nature of the break, how extensive you want to repair to be (if you want to refinish the guitar to hide the break for example), and who you ask.

But ultimately it isn't something worth losing sleep over. Provided you use common sense and don't allow other people to knock it over.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 4, 2014,
#3
Just wrap it in bubble wrap and keep it under your bed, make sure you don't take it out and play it, something bad might happen.
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#4
Quote by FingerFud

Since i have an Epi LP Standard, it makes me really worried that a fall from the guitar stand will have the same effect on mines. Plus it makes me feel really crap to own one since again, it seems to be broken so easily.


I don't keep a Gibson LP on a guitar stand. And yes, they're more susceptible to headstock breaks than almost any other design. The second-most broken headstock design is the "tilted pointy" jackson-style headstock, which usually breaks between the furthest and second-furthest tuner.

It's not just a fall from a stand that can do them in, however -- I've seen a lot of them broken while IN the case because the headstock touches the back or the end of the case, and the case has been roughly handled or allowed to slide over onto the ground.

Honestly, I have several LPs, but rarely use them. One is recent, an Axcess Custom, the others are vintage. I've got other Gibsons with a similar headstock (old ES-175, old 335-12, old L5S, old L6S, etc., but these haven't had problems. And I've got a slough of LP-style guitars (most with Floyds) that don't have issues (because the headstocks are slightly different designs or because their construction is different).
#5
Iv had a gibson les paul studio for 4 years its been kept on a stand or a wall hanger all the time iv had it. Its also fallen quite a few times and has never broken. Yes they do break more easily then other guitars but that doesn't mean they are that easy to break.

Its not something I would worry about as long as you take decent care of it then it should be fine. Les Paul's are one of the most popular guitars in the world a few story's of them being broken shouldn't scare you from owning one.
#6
Quote by mhanbury2
a few story's of them being broken shouldn't scare you from owning one.


Google "Broken Les Paul headstocks" and then hit the "images" section. A "few stories" indeed.
#7
Accord to the wise old owl, it only takes 3 licks...




Seriously, though, if you're reasonably careful with your axe, it should last a lifetime without breaking. They're more fragile than other axes in that area, but its just a relative thing- they're not made of eggshells.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 4, 2014,
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Accord to the wise old owl, it only takes 3 licks...




Seriously, though, if you're reasonably careful with your axe, it should last a lifetime without breaking. They're more fragile than other axes in that area, but its just a relative thing- they're not made of eggshells.


Isn't that from an old tootsie roll commercial? I remember seeing that owl when I was little.

"An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Keep the guitar away from irresponsible people and situations and you should be fine, just be careful!
#9
Quote by JGM258
Isn't that from an old tootsie roll commercial? I remember seeing that owl when I was little.

Almost- tootsie POPS!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Get a Les Paul with a 70s neck. They have a big volute to keep the neck from breaking. It’s also nice for playing cowboy chords.
#11
Quote by dspellman
Google "Broken Les Paul headstocks" and then hit the "images" section. A "few stories" indeed.


Considering Gibson did over 700 million in sales in 2013 a few hundred pictures of broken les Paul's is very few.
#12
Im pretty sure hitting it with a hammer would cause it to break.
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#13
I always use les paul, copies that is, but thy all have the same neck and yes they will break easily but we are talking RELATIVELY compared to other designs. It doesnt mean they snap just for fun, it would still take some sort of heavy impact or mistreatment to make one break!

It sounds to me like you need to pay more attention to instrument care than worry about the time proven design flaws of the largest manufacturer in the world.

I know a guy who's had his Gibson LP for nearly 30 years and gigs it most weekends wednesday to saturday, its head looks pretty attached to the neck and in good shape.... the paintwork, not so much!
#14
Your Epiphone LP will be less susceptible than a Gibson to headstock breaks for two reasons. First is that it uses a scarf joint which adds strength.


Secondly, Gibson uses a traditional truss rod with a 5/16" nut, which requires a lot of wood be removed to make room for the nut and nut driver (which goes around the nut).


As you can see, there is little more than a thin shell of wood in the area where most Gibson breaks take place.


Here is a picture of the type of truss rod used in most Epiphones. As you can see, there is a lot more wood left in place because it is thinner and uses a recessed allan wrench.


Epiphone headstocks DO break, but not as easily as Gibsons.
#15
Quote by mhanbury2
Considering Gibson did over 700 million in sales in 2013 a few hundred pictures of broken les Paul's is very few.


I have no idea how many actual breaks there were compared to the number of guitars there are out there with that headstock. I've been very lucky myself, with over fifty guitars and no breaks of any kind. <*knocks on wood*>.

I have, however, been present at three breaks, including one at happened during a guy's second set, seemingly with no impact responsible. The headstock just folded up on him. The percentages and the repeatable nature of the breaks indicate that it's just a bad design, and that no effort to fix it has been made by the manufacturer. If this had been a safety issue on a car model, there would have been a demand for a recall long since.
#16
Quote by dspellman
<*knocks on wood*>.

*SNAP*

"My Les Paul!!!!"
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#17
^ thanks, I just spit beer all over my tablet, lol.
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Last edited by monkeybike at Aug 5, 2014,
#18
Quote by dspellman
I have no idea how many actual breaks there were compared to the number of guitars there are out there with that headstock. I've been very lucky myself, with over fifty guitars and no breaks of any kind. <*knocks on wood*>.

I have, however, been present at three breaks, including one at happened during a guy's second set, seemingly with no impact responsible. The headstock just folded up on him. The percentages and the repeatable nature of the breaks indicate that it's just a bad design, and that no effort to fix it has been made by the manufacturer. If this had been a safety issue on a car model, there would have been a demand for a recall long since.

Traditionalists be traditionalists. Gibson would rectify the problem in a jiffy, but that's not what their customers want.
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#19
Unless you drop it from more than one meter on the headstock, I don't think it's going to break. If it does, get it repaired or get a new one, such is life.

Quote by mhanbury2
Considering Gibson did over 700 million in sales in 2013 a few hundred pictures of broken les Paul's is very few.

700 million what? Dollars I hope, I don't think 10% of the world population bought a gibson/epiphone product last year.
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#20
Quote by Von II
Unless you drop it from more than one meter on the headstock, I don't think it's going to break. If it does, get it repaired or get a new one, such is life.


I watched a case that was leaning upright against a wall slide over and lay down on its back. That was it. Headstock gone. In this case, I think the design of the case had a lot to do with it as well, though (stock Gibson case).
#21
Quote by FingerFud
How easy is it to break a headstock on a Les Paul?


Short answer.
it depends on how you go about it. dropping it off at a pro repair shop is very easy. fixing it yourself generally isn't although people will argue it is. but shops will give you options ranging from about $150 to much more than $150.


Long answer.

i've seen three ways to fix a borked LP stock that's i'd consider professional. repairs that use screws to repair a LP stock don't qualify as a pro job.

1). The good ole re-glue and hope for the best (careful to not glue your truss rod in place), clamp her tight and right and hope you got it back on straight. wait a month or two and start to refinish that effected area. This is by far the most common and least costly method. It's usually only good if a repair has never been attempted, so only a fresh virgin break. old dried glue from a previous break can make this option obsolete.

2). The spline method. One individual that's well known for this is Greg P at BCR Music in Lamoyne PA. In short, he inserts two splines of new wood to reinforce the area after doing a re-glue that most people would probably consider repaired. There is a lot more to this method and i'm sure dynamics involved that only a wood savant would understand. this isn't an easy repair.

here is a mid-repair pic that shows the splines.



3). This method also uses a re-glue then re-wood but in much larger proportions. The shop/repair guy (Chicago Fret Works) has coined the term "cove cut". it's almost a complete rebuild. here's some pics that should guide you through what is happening here, this isn't an easy repair.







rule of thumb, keep your LP in a case because shit happens.

while people will argue that the glue is stronger than the wood (and that's true) what you really have to worry about is the wood that is connected to the glue re-breaking due to the large amount of old glue in a particular area. this is why options 2 and 3 involve replacing the old glue'd area with new wood.