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How much is this severe? Should I have the bass exchanged or fixed or nothing?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gregvds, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. gregvds


    May 17, 2014

    I was discussing this problem I have on an Ibanez SR Premium SR1805 on the Soundgear club forum, and was suggested to post here too to seek your luthiers/experts advices and ideas:

    So, The bass is brand new, one month old, and has the defect since the beginning. I noticed it quite soon, feeling all the bass joints and wood finish.

    The problem is an open/dismantled joint on top of the body. Construction is this, from back to top, mahogany, dark wood veneer, walnut layer, maple veneer, and rosewood top. The top is also traversed by a 'fake' neck through, made of flamed maple wedge flamed maple sandwich, bordered by dark wood veneer. This sandwich takes the thickness of rosewood, maple veneer and walnut layer.

    The defect joint is the one between top rosewood and top flame maple, low b string side. Opening is at its worst 3/4mm, and 7 to 8mm, as seen in the neck pickup hole, neck side. On the other side of the hole, the joint crack is already fading, but the difference is height of the surface between rosewood and maple is still clearly there to the touch.

    I would like to know if there is a risk this will continue to open more, if I should ask for an exchange (that begins to be on the pricey side, IMO at least), if I should only fill up the crack and forget about it. And if so, how should I attempt to do that without ruining the natural flat finish.

    Here are the pics: DSCF4005.JPG DSCF4006.JPG DSCF4008.JPG DSCF4009.JPG DSCF4010.JPG
    Many thanks for your help,

  2. Igor Porto

    Igor Porto

    Mar 6, 2013
    Since the bass was purchased new one month ago, send it back and exchange for a new one. This failed glue joint is unacceptable.
    gregvds likes this.
  3. gregvds


    May 17, 2014
    Thanks Igor, I think that's the way I'll take.
    Igor Porto likes this.
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    This, the crack is not severe, and would probably be fine if left alone, but it is also a brand new bass, and under warranty. Just send it back for a replacement.
    Remyd and gregvds like this.
  5. gregvds


    May 17, 2014
    Thanks Hopkins, too
  6. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I'd ask for a replacement (since you purchased it new) but I don't see that getting worse in the future.
  7. The majority, hell, all my hi-end bass are of this same, multi-wood construction. I really don't see a problem with it. Hell, just put a lil' Super Glue in the crack (and, smooth n' blend it), if it'll make you sleep better at night. But, IMHO, I really don't see nothing turning even remotely into catastrophic failure over time. Hell, look at it as character!
    Has anyone really paid close attention to any of Carl Thompson's builds over the years with some of his "quirks" in some of his builds? Some call it "art".
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Its a brand new bass, no use living with a bad glue joint when it can be easily exchanged, even if it was guaranteed to not get worse.
    gregvds likes this.
  9. +3 Take it back for a refund/exchange

    Millsbass5; if you've watched a few of Carl's vids you'll see he's pretty committed to fixing that sort of stuff before it leaves his workshop. Kooky designs are one thing, poor construction is another altogether.
    gregvds likes this.
  10. gregvds


    May 17, 2014
    Thanks everyone, I decided I will take it back to the shop and ask for an exchange. I hope it won't take toooooo long (a month is excepted though :-( ).
  11. I responded in the Soundgear club thread, and here's what I posted there:

    If it were me - I'd probably look into a replacement based on the pics you've shown, and especially the crack down into the pickup cavity. For that much money - I'd want 100% perfection that one usually gets from Ibanez QC.

    Let us know what you choose to do.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
    IGotGas and gregvds like this.
  12. gregvds


    May 17, 2014
    see it :). Thanks Solarmist.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'm still looking for the problem. I don't see anything that isn't just a slight gap between wood pieces. I don't see anything to correct.
  14. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    A slight gap between the wood joints is a bad wood joint. It is possible that it will get worse in the future. Its a $1400 bass with a pretty serious flaw, its not like we are talking about a $200 bass with a swirl mark in the finish.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Looks like separation secondary to shrinkage, hence the fissure. Unless you've introduced debris in some way, the gunk appears to be dried glue remnants. Different wood species react differently to climate changes and, as a result, expand and contract at different rates. I believe the cut has some influence, as well.

    Pete B likes this.
  16. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    I agree- not up to Ibanez' standards (or mine ) for new bass.
    Not just a 'charactor' flaw, given their history.
    S**t happens, despite the best intentions and quality control...
  17. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    The next bass they give you might not have nice wood like that. I'd go to the grocery and buy one of those plastic lemons that are filled with lemon juice, and apply a tiny bit to the maple. I bet it will expand and even it out. That's not a crack. The wood either expanded or shrank. It could even be the finish adjusting after the glue settles.

    Good looking bass btw.
  18. Hi.

    IMO not severe structurewise, but unacceptable in a new instrument if one pays the full price.

    I'd probably take it back for an exchange, keeping in mind that:

    If the bass is a keeper, or at least feels like one now, and taking into account the very unfortunate decline in Ibanez QC of lately, the desicion to return the instrument wouldn't be a trivial one for me though.
    I would try to get a some kind of compensation for the flaw if I wanted to keep it.

    My vote would go for bad choice of (or use of non-stabilized) stock rather than a bad joint, but if left unsealed, the wood will continue to expand and contract, that's for sure.

    I have to admit, had to look the price up and sure enough, list is over $1800 according to zzounds.
    A helluva lot of money for a BO Ibby.
    And I do like the old Ibanez instruments a lot.

    That kind of a flaw in a Ric or Gibson would send people to scream bloody murder, and those
    two companies have a history of being among the worst in quality decline since the 80's.

    Fender OTOH has been very consistent throughout the decades ;).

    Exactly, and that's why multilams done that way are pretty rare outside boutique circles.
    Very, very hard to get right with the limited stock of exotic woods available in mass production with its demands for max profit.
    IME, the "oriental" way is to seal the surface after a considerable amount of time after the construction, the sealer fills the gaps.

    The cut has a tremendous influence on this, something that either makes the stock even more limited, or increases the waste considerably.
    Either way, the price of the final product increases.

  19. gregvds


    May 17, 2014
    Thanks Sam, that is reassuring and it comforts me on my decision. And it went ok with the shop that accepted the exchange, and me to keep the current faulty one until the new one arrives.
    Thanks again to everyone for your help, TB is a great place!
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    That wasn't a slam on Ibby basses, there QC is usually really good, which is why I suggested an exchange for a new one, and not an exchange for something else ;)

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