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ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting to centre top on a 1960 handmade guitar   You are logged in as Guest
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silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting to ce... 

Do you think I need to be concerned about this? Described as a hairline parting to centre top by a highly respected guitar auctioneer. It's a guitar hand made in 1960 by an English luthier. It's the only photo I have at the moment but have asked for more. No idea if a repair was ever attempted, but I have asked that too. No knowledge of the bracing pattern, sorry. Doesn't appear to be any issues north of the bridge.

Thank you!



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2024 9:29:57
 
RobF

Posts: 1621
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to silddx

It's called a seam separation and it is fixable. There's probably a brace running either over or alongside the seam which complicates matters somewhat, but these things do happen and do get repaired.

Thing is, stuff like this shouldn't be evaluated online based on a single picture and the say-so of an auctioneer. The instrument needs to be in hand to properly assess the damage and arrive at a repair strategy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of it. Don't buy stuff like this in this manner. Even experienced people get taken at auctions (not just talking guitars here). Ask me how I know...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2024 15:31:47
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to RobF

Thanks very much, Rob. Greatly appreciated. It looks like a nice guitar otherwise and it might be worth a shot for a few hundred bucks.

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Estar sano. Más guitarra.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2024 16:22:14
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15032
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to silddx

Those are some old and corroded strings there. If it is open, try a little humidity to see if it closes. It might be the case it was already patched. The issue is if it is wide open, it might run under the bridge which can affect the sound.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2024 16:31:38
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to Ricardo

Yeah, nasty strings. Thanks for your advice, I'll see what they can tell me, and I have asked if there's any evidence that repair has been attempted.

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Estar sano. Más guitarra.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2024 18:28:53
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to silddx

If it’s a few hundred bucks it might be worth repairing.

Humidify, hide glue is your first course of action.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2024 2:28:47
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to estebanana

Thank you, Stephen, that's encouraging. It will be interesting to see more photos and information.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2024 8:33:40
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to silddx

I received a lot of photos from the auctioneer. Don't like the look of the 'hairline' seam separation on the tapa. It also seems to have some separation or a crack along the upper fingerboard / tapa join. I won't be bidding.



It's such a shame the guitar has been neglected. It was built not far from where I live, by a luthier that RobJe recommended.

Here it is if you want a look Estimate. £300 - £500. Someone's bid £200 already. Sorry for not posting this earlier, I didn't want the potential competition :D

https://auctions.gardinerhoulgate.co.uk/catalogue/lot/e553b41dbff980f816acbd78df7fbf02/bf0761984d271d5c0c6b7fc7cecee274/the-guitar-auction-four-day-sale-lot-3243/



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2024 14:22:00
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15032
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to silddx

quote:

It's such a shame the guitar has been neglected


To be totally honest, with exception to Ramirez that has a work around, I have never seen a guitar that did not have the same type of “damage”. When a fingerboard shrinks (and you can’t stop it from happening unless you never play it and just store it swollen with H2O at all times) it pulls the wood it is glued to with it. Ramirez, knowing the impossible to prevent reality, admitted to not glueing the sides of the fingerboard; only the middle, so the cracks end up being invisible underneath the ebony.

Many Luthiers insist on repairing these and of course they can get worse if they extend toward the soundhole, which stops the split, unless the Rosette also splits (especially if they are just stickers ). The soundboard seam split is also common and if there is a brace there it is not a problem unless it splits the beam and goes under the bridge making bad harmonics. Again, these types of crack are so common, that they should not be resulting in the devaluation of high end or vintage instruments. Making it a big deal on low end student guitars less then 1k, is I guess the only arena I can see it make or break the deal. If I really liked the sound I would not care about them at all, but try to get a reduction of price anyway. I have said it before, if I am ever handed a pristine guitar crack free, I refuse to play the thing. I think it is bad luck. Every guitar needs some ding, scratch or split somewhere to warrant hard playing IMO.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2024 18:22:03
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED: Hairline crack on... (in reply to Ricardo

These are all very helpful points, Ricardo, thank you. You may have changed my mind about bidding. This issue is I can't play it first, and I have a wonderful guitar already. I just fancied getting another to clean up and enjoy.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2024 11:23:16
 
Firefrets

 

Posts: 115
Joined: Mar. 22 2023
 

[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Jun. 10 2024 9:43:10
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2024 9:27:03
 
Firefrets

 

Posts: 115
Joined: Mar. 22 2023
 

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to silddx

A lot depends on what you can do yourself and your agenda for buying.

The guitar comes with a hard case, and overall cosmetically she looks in good shape although I suspect the final price by the time you pay the auctioneer will be considerably more.

While close inspection is a bonus, the peg holes look ok at a glance, even if the pegs probably need a bit of work.

The separation at the seam is unclear from the pictures I can see. Sometimes you have a fan running along the seam which prevents cleating, but it could still be a simple glue job. My guess judging from the shadow is that's had a repair already, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.

You have a soundboard crack which will need a bit of attention, and an area of binding at the waist if fussy.

The crack next to the fingerboard doesn't look too bad. Again, a bit of glue, or worse case scenario a thin inlay, but easy to hide there.

The saddle looks quite low. The stated action seems fine but until you have it on your bench you'll never really be able to assess.

A 55mm nut isn't going to suit everybody. Even if they say the frets are ok they'll still need some work, as always do.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2024 9:44:12
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to Firefrets

Thank you very much for this very useful information. I think it's going to need more work than I want to afford to be honest. I can tidy it up and do simple fret work, but for the repairs and any woodworking / French polishing I would take it to Stephen Frith. Not sure it's worth doing, or taking the risk buying it unplayed.

Thanks again!

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Estar sano. Más guitarra.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2024 10:20:26
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1140
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to silddx

Nothing to be worried about imho. No structural problems: I’d be much worried for something like a wrong neck angle for instance.
If it’s a deal or not always depends how good is the guitar and how much is the guitar worth.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2024 10:22:18
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to Echi

Thanks, Echi :)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2024 12:37:58
 
Filip

 

Posts: 432
Joined: Apr. 23 2006
From: Paris

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to silddx

My first flamenco guitar was Ramirez blanca factory model. Just a few montes after I got it, during the summer, a long crack appeared in the soundboard along the neck. I freaked out and took it to Ramirez workshop, but they said that it's not serious and it does not affect the sound. Six years later when I was moving to France I took it to the workshop again for a check. They again said that it is fine, no need to do anything, but if I insisted really they could do a reinforcement from the inside, and I did insist but that was just to have a peace of mind. In the meantime I got a new guitar and my Ramirez is at my parent's place and every time I visit I play it and think to my self that it's a pretty decent nice sounding guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2024 0:48:44
 
Firefrets

 

Posts: 115
Joined: Mar. 22 2023
 

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to silddx

What is your budget? I can sell you plenty of guitars that need no work (all done / didn't need any) if you can afford them. If you want to pick a guitar up 'cheap' then sometimes you have to take a risk.

I'm sure Stephen Frith is wonderful at what he does, but also understand that a builder who does occasional repairs, isn't going to be as fluent as somebody who repairs every day, yet likely to be 3 times the price, as you are delaying their personal schedule. There must be a wealth of repair talent in London.

Nothing 'that I can see' on that guitar is going to be expensive to repair. If you insist on perfection, then you are going to have to pay more. The gluing is something that can be done in a few hours. If you then want to start finish work then the price goes up. She's a 1960 guitar, and doesn't need to be perfect.

Having said that, I think the guitar is one of many that can be found at these type of auction sites, and you have to pay 26.4% extra (at least) on top of what ever price the winning bid arrives at.

If fully restored, providing she sounded ok, I'd probably sell the guitar for a couple of grand. If simply repaired, I'd probably look for around £1500. I'd need to get it cheap though in order to make any money, and on those sites you're bidding against many different agendas, and so difficult to get a guitar cheap enough to guarantee a profit.

If all you want to do is play it, then you don't really need to repair her at all. The gamble is in the structural integrity. That can be fixed should it need to be. The problem is if you are paying somebody to do it, but that unfortunately is life. Players outbid me on all kinds of guitars regularly. They can be annoying in that respect, as then the guitar often misses out on the care it needed, or they end up paying a high price to have it done. Buying a restored guitar can be cheaper in the long run, as the restorer does the work as a job lot.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2024 8:47:07
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 732
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to silddx

I knew the builder of this guitar. Maurice Johnson was an art teacher/lecturer who built 30 or so guitars before he died without reaching old age. My own teacher owned one of these guitars which he bought to replace the Barbero his wife had thrown at him during an argument.

I remember his house in Barnes where he regularly hosted unofficial concerts by Pepe Martinez.

The import duty on guitars was 100% in the 60s and there were hardly any luthiers in the UK who were experienced in making flamenco guitars. My teacher's guitar was one of the best that Maurice produced. I enjoyed having the chance to play it occasionally.

Some years ago I saw what I think was the same guitar advertised on eBay. I wrote to the vendor supplying some information about Maurice that I hoped would follow the guitar to its new owner. In those days it had an ugly black golpeador. I still have the rather fuzzy pictures and I could send them to you or post them here.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2024 12:20:15
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to RobJe

Thank you Filip, FireFrets and Rob. Wonderful information. I am really see-sawing between making a bid.

Rob, what you have just said, and what you posted quite some time ago, about Maurice Johnson is what got me interested. I live and work near where the guitar was made, I have a romantic notion of buying it and giving it some love. However, I still adore the Ariza you sold me, this would just be to have some enjoyment cleaning her up and to provide a little contrast to my only flamenca. It's a risk buying this way, but who knows, it could be a delight.

I would love to see those photos, Rob!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2024 17:04:33
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to silddx

A few more pics









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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2024 21:51:08
 
silddx

Posts: 634
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: ADVICE NEEDED Hairline parting t... (in reply to silddx

Sold for £530 inc auctioneer fees of 26%. Not to me.

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Estar sano. Más guitarra.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2024 16:16:53
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