Do minor imperfections also drive you nuts?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Oig, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Oig


    Jun 12, 2019
    Stuff like the new pickguard i got that doesn’t perfectly fit around the butt end of the neck of my P bass.


    No impact on sound, feel or playability at all, but it bugs the ever living crap out of me. I’ll show stuff like this to my friend, another ex-tech, and he’s like “Shuddup.”

    I have a Strat I put together with a tiny gap in the side of the neck pocket and some small finish imperfections in the oil finish I applied to the neck. It’s one of the best playing and sounding guitars I have, but those things still really get to me. Dumb, I know. Sometimes I can just let it go, but most times the OCD reigns.
  2. cholyoke

    cholyoke Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2016
    Rubber City
    Nope. I gave up on perfection a long time ago. My favorite bass has holes in the back where I drilled a bit too far, small deviations from perfectly straight edges on the pickup routs and all sorts of little things that don't fit perfectly. However, it plays like a motherscratcher and sounds like hell on wheels (both are good qualities).

    Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. (Someone else said this statement, but it works)
  3. Adds character!
    zubrycky, teh-slb, Low8 and 2 others like this.
  4. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    Depends on the imperfection. Most of my basses have many. Only some bug me. That pickguard would make me crazy - as a quick fix I'd probably file the part that's "closer" to the neck such that the gap was totally even all the way around. I think a larger, even gap would be better looking than a smaller, inconsistent gap.
  5. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Not unless the imperfection was really noticeable. In this case, no.
    MonetBass likes this.
  6. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue Guest

    Sep 29, 2018
    I’m getting better. That PG would, admittedly, bother me. I’m pretty ridiculous when it comes to new items, like I actually observe the stitching on shoes for imperfections before buying. Once I get past that annoying period of near insanity I find I’m a lot happier with what I got.
  7. robert43


    Jun 5, 2007
    Depends on how much the item / bass cost and how new . As I dont buy new now it really dosent worry me . I got bigger things in life to worry about now a days
    PhillipHolbrook likes this.
  8. turindev

    turindev Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Sarasota, FL USA
    Yes! Absolutely nuts. The smallest thing seems to just scream "you are the worst builder ever" at me. Its tough to balance expectations, but I'm trying to get better at realizing that it will probably never be flawless to me, but as long as I am improving every build that is ok.
    thisSNsucks and dwizum like this.
  9. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    It depends on the level at which I'm operating at the time. On a $500 bass? No. On an old, relic-y bass? No. On something like a $3500 bass? Absolutely.
  10. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Yeah, it really depends a lot on the price. A $2000 bass should be darn near perfect in those kind of details. A $200 bass, not.
  11. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    If its a high price item, then ill be more picky. In the OPs situation I would need to see a pic further back where you can see it from the front like most people would. Dont think it would bother me too much (unless it was really expensive) since its an aftermarket item. Id be more likely to obsess over my technique rather than a small inexpensive thing.
    PhillipHolbrook likes this.
  12. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    On a $2000.00 bass? No. On a $40,000.00 car? Not really. I guess not really on anything...all small potatoes in the long run...
    rzamites and JRA like this.
  13. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Do minor imperfections also drive you nuts?
    It depends. I think I would return an instrument or that showed any signs of sloppy QC if I were to buy a bass from a big company or; provided it was possible have the issue fixed before taking tha bass home.
    I'd be pretty much a zero tolerance kind of guy in that case.
    PhillipHolbrook likes this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Eh, cosmetic stuff has to be way off for me to care. Something like that pickguard wouldn't bother me at all.
  15. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    That first dent /scratch or bent tuner / pot shaft on what was otherwise a perfect looking instrument makes me break out in sweats. After some time has gone by, it becomes like my neighbors, a minor annoyance that I have to live with. I take care of light scratches every few years with Mequiar's. Others leave it and call it Mojo.
    PhillipHolbrook likes this.
  16. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    i'm anal about cosmetic imperfections
    that wouldn't bother me
  17. The bigger flaw on your P bass is that the PG blocks truss rod adjustment.
  18. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    Some of the most famous musicians play what looks like crap. Malcolm Young never filled in the pickup holes when he modded his hollow body axe. Then there’s Willy Nelson....

    I have to learn to get over such perfectness myself though. The thought that when I sell my instruments, who know what will happen to them. Might wind up in a Goodwill or dumpster.
    Winslow likes this.
  19. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    all i can say is dont look at the vintage section of classifieds.......
    PhillipHolbrook likes this.
  20. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Depends, but generally yes.
    PhillipHolbrook likes this.

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